Monday, October 20, 2008

Disgraceful, Disgraceful, Disgraceful: Bloomberg Meets YouTube

The NY Times links to a video from 2005 (mashed up) where Bloomberg calls a legislative override of term limits "disgraceful":

YouTube Clip Uses Bloomberg’s Words Against Him

“The public wants term limits and while there may be — it may be that the City Council has a right to override them, deliberately saying to the public ‘we don’t care what you think’ is, I would use the word ‘disgraceful.’ “ — Michael R. Bloomberg, Nov. 22, 2005.

These words, uttered shortly after the mayor’s resounding re-election victory in 2005, may be coming back to haunt Mr. Bloomberg.

Opponents of the plan by Mr. Bloomberg and members of the City Council to extend term limits for the city’s elected officials through legislation — nullifying the outcome of two voter referendums — unveiled an ad on YouTube on Monday that assails the mayor as a hypocrite.

The video shows the mayor making the above remarks, and then homes in on the mayor’s mouth as the words “‘we don’t care what you think’” and “disgraceful” are repeated, again and again.

“Who’s disgraceful now?” the closing shot of the ad asks. “Demand a public vote on term limits.”

The ad was created by, a Web site set up to oppose the term limits plan...

The Mayor's spokesman declined to comment to the Times.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Putins on the Hudson: Mike, Mort, Rupert, Arthur and Christine

The Putins on the Hudson "rear their heads":

Mike Bloomberg says, "I'm doing this for the people of New York City who cannot live without me. It is a sacrifice I must make, my pals at the dailies, and Christine, said I should!"

Mort Zuckerman says, "Go for it, pal."

Rupert Murdoch says, "Run, Mike buddy, Run!"

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. says, "Hey Mike, like you, we love the idea of abolishing term limits—the will of the people be damned, they can vote later after your $200 million campaign."

Christine Quinn says, "Hey Mikey, no worries, we know there is no time to waste. We'll introduce the bill on Tuesday! Whatever you want. Rah rah rah YAY!"

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mayor Bloomberg: Disgrace

Mayor Bloomberg thinks that some things are a disgrace:

Disgrace - Overriding the voters on term limits (Aug. 2005):
"I think it would be an absolute disgrace to go around the public will," he said on Aug. 30, 2005.

The City Council, over his veto, changed the law once to allow its speaker, Gifford Miller, an extra two years in office.

Bloomberg said four years ago: "They already did, I thought, monkey around with it to extend the definition of two terms to two and a half. Enough!"

Disgrace - Real Estate Money (Feb. 2008):
Responding to a question on campaign finance, he told reporters that he thinks it’s “a disgrace” that some real estate developers are giving to all the viable candidates, as “pay to play” is too prevalent in the city.

He knows a disgrace when he sees one, except when it's in the mirror.

13 Reasons Bloomberg Shouldn't Be Re-elected

Concluding "Term limits were made for this man," Lost City
summarizes "13 Reasons Bloomber Shouldn't Be Re-elected," and starts with....Atlantic Yards:

I'm not sure why a great chunk of the metropolitan population, when thinking about Michael Bloomberg, don't remember his many mayoral failings, but only that they kinda like him for some reason. So, as Mayor "I-know-you-need-me" Mike jockeys for a third term, I thought I'd jog some memories with 13 reasons why he doesn't deserve one more single day.

1. Atlantic Yards. That gaping hole in downtown Brooklyn is as much his fault as Ratner's. He allowed it to happen, funneling money from the City coffers to the developer and looking the other way as Ratner twisted every law in the book,including that of Eminent Domain, in his favor.
Lost City's list continues with (go to the blog for the explanations) :

2. The West Side Stadium.

3. Every Ugly Condo Tower and Every Dangerous Construction Site You See. 4. Unaccountability.

5. He's Too Charitable for the City's Good.

6. Every Chain Store You See.

7. Amanda Burden.

8. Big Vision Projects.

9. Wall Street Melted Down on his Watch.

10. He Buys Elections.

11. He Changes Stripes. Bloomberg, a lifelong Democrat, became a Republican in order to win City Hall. He then became an Independent when he hoped to run for President. THE MAN HAS NO CONVICTIONS EXCEPT PERSONAL ADVANCEMENT!

12. He's a Fake Subway Rider.

13. He Allowed This Picture to Be Taken of Him.

Associated Press: Bloomberg says he'll seek 3rd term


NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is almost certain to face a legal challenge if he tries to alter the city's term-limits law and seek four more years in office.

Several lawyers and government watchdog groups said Wednesday they are mulling legal action to block any changes without the approval of voters, who passed a two-term cap by referendum in 1993.

Bloomberg was expected to announce Thursday that he will ask the City Council to pass a bill giving him and other officeholders the option of running for a third consecutive term.

Even before the specifics of the mayor's plan have been revealed, the idea has already inflamed some critics who are promising a fight.

Public advocacy lawyer Norman Siegel said he has received calls from several people urging him to file a lawsuit, including a political candidate whose campaign plans would be disrupted by a change in term limits.

"The legal question is, can you undo a public referendum by legislative fiat?" Siegel said.

He promised "a hard look" at a legal challenge, a vow repeated Wednesday by other attorneys.

"Lawyers all around the city are going over this with a fine-toothed comb," said Gene Russianoff, a senior attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group.


"It sounds to me like they would have a really, really tough time," he said, though he added that because the stakes were so high, an attempt to get the courts to intervene might be worth the long-shot odds.

One possibility, some lawyers suggested, would be to try to persuade the courts to change their thinking on whether any change to term limits requires a voter referendum.

State law currently requires a referendum in cases where someone has proposed changing the length of an officeholder's term, but the courts have interpreted that provision to apply only to changes in the number of years in a single term, not how many terms someone is allowed to serve.

Siegel said there are other possible grounds for a lawsuit, including the argument that it is too late in the election cycle to make changes without infringing on the rights of candidates who have already begun to campaign.

"I think there will be litigation, one way or another," Siegel said. He urged any member of the public opposed to term limit changes to make his or her voice heard now.

"Any change would be undoing the people's will," he said.

His Power Grab and the Myth of Mayor Mike

Put aside his hypocritical rhetoric and the effort to override twice-voted term limits is nothing more than a cutthroat power grab. How dare he say that New York can’t survive this crisis unless this one man can override the voice of the voters.

He says we need to override the voice of the voters because only can save New York the fiscal crisis. And he calls that democracy.

Putting aside how undemocratic that is, let’s look at Mike’s record on development and speculation. Every large scale “economic development” project he has backed has failed, is failing or is mired in controversy. Here are the big ones:

Atlantic Yards
The Olympics
Jets West Side Stadium
Willets Point redevelopment
Downtown Brooklyn rezoning
Greenpoint/Williamsburg rezoning
Columbia expansion
Javits Center
Moynihan Station
NASCAR in Staten Island

All speculative, all top down, all failures or mired in the stench of failure. His laser beam focus on the megaproject has wasted time and taxpayer dollars, and has been an opportunity cost of mammoth proportions.

That record of failed economic development policy is reason enough not to re-elect him, let alone allow his power grab to overturn the people’s vote.

How is he going to lead us out of the financial problems facing the city and nation with that track record? Is he going to overdevelop us out of this mess?

We don’t think so.

The power grab is based on a myth of Mayor Mike as a shrewd businessman, a steady hand on the city’s economy.

Myths shouldn’t be allowed to override the will of the people. His disingenuous rhetoric about democracy and choice doesn’t make his power grab right.