Friday, September 19, 2008

Watch Out for the Undertow

It now appears that the Citizens Union is prepared to lead the charge against the extension of the term limits law. According to Liz: "Citizens Union is gearing up to play an active role in the still-brewing term limits battle and plans to not only voice its opposition to any legislative action but try to prevent it as well."

Hi Ho Silver! This may just be the beginning of a city wide grass roots movement to preserve the will of the people. Cu, along with other good government groups is setting up "citizen hearings: "Dadey also revealed that CU, Common Cause/NY, CU, and NYPIRG are setting up citizen-initiated public hearings on term limits "since there does not seem to be any effort afoot in the Council to hold a public meeting on the matter and take the temperature of New Yorkers." In a brief interview, Dadey said CU's goal is to create a unified yet diverse coalition of people who might not have very much more in common than the fact that happen to be on the same page regarding term limits."

Good for him, and caution for those who are headed forward unmindful of the potential wrath of the voters. Here's a portion of Dadey's Dear Colleagues letter: "As another part of our strategy, Common Cause/NY, CU, and NYPIRG, are in the process of lining up locations to hold citizen initiated town hall public hearings across the city so that New Yorkers can come and publicly declare their positions on the matter to us and their neighbors since there does not seem to be any effort afoot in the Council to hold a public meeting on the matter and take the temperature of New Yorkers."

We can wait to see the response of the Wylders, and those council members that appear to be scornful of the popular will. As Bill Thompson told Liz yesterday, the attempt to try to use the current fiscal mess to overturn the law, the so-called "Rudy defense," just doesn't wash: "I remember the same argument being made by former Mayor Giuliani and New York City appears to have survived and done well after that," Thompson said. "This isn't about an individual. This is about the people of this city, it's about this city. we're stronger than any one person...I think this city will continue to do well in the future, and while I think Mayor Bloomberg has done a good job, I think others could do well for New York City also."

And Thompson sent the following message to the city council: "I think the discussions right now about going to the City Council, and with all due respect to my colleagues on the Council, it's wrong. It's just a mistake. It would be, and I don't care how it would be dressed up, it would be a backroom deal. We can't engage in that. We need to respect what the voters of New York have said in the past, and that's where I stand, and I'm going to continue to stand there."

Can you get better political theater in NYC? Stay tuned; more turmoil and blow back is on the way.