Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ex-Staten Island BP plans suit vs. term limits extension

The Staten Island Advance reports on the growing political and legal heft opposing Bloomberg's term limit maneuvers. Ex-Staten Island BP plans suit vs. term limits extension reports on the impressive list of elected officials supporting the new suit:

Molinari, a Republican who also represented the Island in Congress for a decade, said he will be the lead plaintiff in the civil action against Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who sought the extension to three terms. The former borough president will be joined by more than a dozen plaintiffs, including Brooklyn Democrats Charles Barron, Leticia (sic) James and Bill DeBlasio, the City Council's most vocal opponents to the term limits bill; Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum; and the New York Public Interest Research Group.

There is an interesting legal basis for the new suit:

The lawsuit contends that overturning two public referenda that overwhelmingly supported a limit of two 4-year terms for public officeholders violates the First Amendment, which guarantees the right of political speech and meaningful elections; and it violates the Fourteenth Amendment, which "forbids incumbent elected officials from making legislation for the purpose of extending themselves in office."

Molinari's move come with a personal cost:

His decision to join the lawsuit was difficult, the 79-year-old said, because he considers Bloomberg a personal friend. However, Molinari, who still remains a force in Staten Island politics, said he "certainly wouldn't rule out" backing the mayor for a third term -- should he lose the lawsuit, of course. "Despite the feelings I have for Mike, if you don't agree with someone, and you really believe it

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