Monday, October 13, 2008

Double Dealing

We have been hammering away on the Bloomberg/Lauder term limits deal-and now Common Cause and NYPIRG have filed a formal complaint on the Plutocratic Anschluss. Leave it to mayor's chief editorial toady to give us this take on the power grabbing boardroom arrangement: "The Bloomberg charge, filed by NYPIRG and Common Cause, is that he made a deal with Ron Lauder, the father of term limits, under which Lauder would support Bloomberg's run for a third term in exchange for Lauder getting a spot on a Charter Revision Commission that would give the voters yet another say on term limits in 2010. Yeah, it's a deal - and a smart one. The voters would get full choice both on their mayoral candidates and on how best to shape term limits. What's unethical about that? Nothing. In fact, it's in the best interests of all."

Apparently, it all depends on whose ox is being gored; since the News' allegiance to any previously stated principles has long given way to a drooling sycophancy. The choice that the Bloomberg deal gives to the voters is one that they've already weighed in on. Or is this simply a variant of the old saw that the folks need to keep on voting until they get it right?

It's the complement to the Bloomberg view that the deal allows for greater competition-something, he alleges, that his opponents are afraid of. In yesterday's News E. L. Doctoroff makes this persuasive point about competition: "Of course there will be a campaign and presumably the voters will then decide if Bloomberg should be elected for a third term. On the other hand, no one who runs against him will have $80 million of discretionary income to run with."

This disparity doesn't bother the plutocrats-they're used to this birth rite advantage. We'd be somewhat more sanguine about the completion angle if all would agree to a spending cap; let Bloomberg compete in 2009, as a two term incumbent, with a spending cap; along with a series of debates that will give the voters as much information as possible. To complete the fairness doctrine here, let's insure that the term limits question is up for a vote simultaneously-so New Yorkers are completely aware just how the mayor dealt his way onto the ballot.