Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bloomberg's Term-Limits Coup: Heroes, Villains, and Wimps

Tom Robbins offers up some strong view in the Village Voice:

So much for New York City sophisticates. Last week's rush by 29 self-inflated council members to gut term-limits laws—approved by voters in two separate referendums—was the kind of thing that's supposed to happen only in countries south of the border, or those with "-stan" at the end of their names.

He offers suspicious examples of secretive manipulation:

De Blasio predicted that Bloomberg and Council Speaker Chris Quinn's scheming and dealing to force-feed the bill to wavering council members last week will eventually be discovered and exposed. I'm not so sure.

For instance, who was that mystery man sitting in the Subway sandwich shop across from City Hall on the first day of the hearings? The guy with the cash-filled envelope doling out dollars to those who showed up early to grab front-row seats and wave pro-Bloomberg signs? One likely suspect, a well-practiced Brooklyn campaign worker, denied it. "It's nothing to do with me, man," he insisted. The search continues.

So does the hunt for the telephone bank that routed pro-Bloomberg calls directly into the offices of council foes of the mayor's bill. Who paid for that? Not us, said an administration official who suggested a friendly labor group was behind it.


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