Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bloomberg's California Scheming: Do What I Say...

Let's face it, Mayor Bloomberg is so enamored of his own self deceptive image that he's unable to see hypocrisy when it stares him right back in the face in the mirror. As the NY Times reports, the mayor is in California to support a nonpartisan ballot initiative that would allow non politicians, rather than the usual political suspects, to carve out legislative districts. The goal is to reduce the power of incumbency-what has become, in essence, self-perpetuation.

Mr. Tone Deaf, however, doesn't see just how hypocritical this promotion of good government reform is when, at the same time, he's looking to deep six a voter-driven term limits law: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg visited California on Wednesday to stump for a measure that would prevent legislators there from redrawing their district maps, a practice that he contends is a self-serving way for lawmakers to keep themselves in office. Back in New York City, where Mr. Bloomberg is stumping for a measure that would allow him to keep his job as mayor for a third term, some saw a touch of irony."

So it appears that the mayor is for good government as long as it doesn't effect his own self interest: "Some of the mayor’s critics said that his support of Proposition 11 — which he has backed with $250,000 of his own money — is starkly at odds with his plan to revise the term limits law in New York, which now bars him from seeking re-election to a third consecutive term. The California redistricting measure, these opponents say, is aimed at making it harder for incumbents to coast to re-election; Mr. Bloomberg’s term limits measure would make it possible to do just that."

All of this has the mayor-echoing the Grouchism of "who're going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?"-tripping over his own words: "Mr. Bloomberg, asked about what some saw as dueling positions on different sides of the continent, said that “putting everything before the public in a fair way is democracy, it is democratic governance.”Asked if his support of the California law undercuts his campaign to change term limits in New York, he said: “It is good governance to change term limits from two terms to three terms.”

Logic right out the window; Bloomberg, spending his own money to let the people decide in California, is doing everything he can, aided and abetted by his legislative co-conspirators, to not put his term limits exorcism directly to a vote. "Putting everything before the public," apparently is only a good idea if it applies to Californians, not New Yorkers; and changing of term limits in NYC, something that the mayor could have easily done here-and paid for the effort with his own money, making him a real democratic hero-is "good governance."

Guess why? Because it allows Mike to run again and spend record amounts to flood the voters with his own jaundiced view of mayoral greatness. Here's Bloomberg on Prop 11 in California, playing Lou Costello to Schwarznegger's Bud Abbot: “It’s no surprise many legislators are against Proposition 11 — they’re afraid of facing a real opponent,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “They’re afraid of the voters.”

Read the following juxtaposed quotes from Bill de Blasio and Mike Blooomberg, and see if you can understand the logical consistency of the mayor's two disparite views: "“We have extraordinary news today that Michael Bloomberg does in fact support a referendum, but in California, not New York,” said Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn. “We’ve now gotten a new definition of irony and hypocrisy,” he added. Mr. Bloomberg, asked about what some saw as dueling positions on different sides of the continent, said that “putting everything before the public in a fair way is democracy, it is democratic governance.”

And Liz B captures more of this high colonic hilarity, citing de Blasio on the mayor's selective democratic impulses: "This is proof, de Blasio said, that the mayor "understands that legislators should not act in their own self-interest" - except when it comes to voting themselves the opportunity to seek another term, as long as he can, too."

The mayor's butler, doing his best to explain away the irony, tells the Times: "Kevin Sheekey, New York City’s deputy mayor for government affairs, who was with Mr. Bloomberg in California, said, “It is a gross mischaracterization to suggest that an effort to prevent politicians from redistricting their districts to make them safe for themselves has anything to do with the debate back in New York, which has to do with empowering voters to make decisions.”

As if the rem limits referendum wasn't designed for the expressed purpose of reducing the power of incumbency. In fact, redistricting reform and term limits-along with the concept of referendums itself-are flip sides of the same good government coin; only in Mike Bloomberg's solipsistic universe could the California posturing not be seen as incompatible with his efforts to legislate an additional term for himself.