Monday, October 13, 2008

Clause for Dismissal

The NY Daily News reported Saturday on the amending of the original Bloomberg term limits bill-the News calls it the "Lauder" clause, a revision that states clearly that a 2010: "Call it a cosmetic change. A last-minute clause has been inserted into a controversial bill to extend term limits to quiet the concerns of billionaire Ronald Lauder. The mayor's proposed law, introduced Tuesday, was amended to say that if the majority of voters in a 2010 referendum prefer it, the law will automatically revert to two terms, according to a revised bill obtained by the Daily News."

So Lauded needed to see it in black and white-so he can see that the deal he srtuck is more than just words; or, shall we say, he reads it and we weep: "Several officials said the new clause was unnecessary because a subsequent referendum would take precedent. It was included expressly as an additional "black-and-white" pacifier for Lauder, they maintained."

The whole thing has a truly bad odor-and the council's lame excuse is risable: "Jamie McShane, a spokesman for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, insisted the modification is merely intended to make clear that "this legislation would be superceded by a revision to the Charter." Oh, you mean just like the original referendum was superceded by this council putsch?

This entire episode is likely to contribute significantly to our over all cynicism about government; and to force a full re-evaluation of the Bloomberg mythology-the one that tried to portray him as a selfless, above special interest, only concerned with the common good executive. The true picture's just a bit less flattering.

The final word here, underscoring the selfish posturing, belongs to State Senator Eric Adams, who told a news conference last week: “The walls of City Hall are filled with the marks from the fingernails of officials who had to leave here by almost being dragged out,” he said. “This is the biggest scam I’ve seen in my life,” he said. Then he turned to Mr. Bloomberg’s desire to seek a third term...“Power is intoxicating,” Mr. Adams said. “And he’s drunk with power. He needs to go to AA after this is over.”