Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keeping Up Appearances

The City Room blog is reporting that Mayor Bloomberg is denying that he's done anything untoward in pressuring not-for-profits to come out and show the flag for Himself: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today strongly defended his administration’s tactics in assembling support among nonprofit groups for legislation that would allow the mayor to seek a third term in office."

This is in keeping with the over all pretense of the man and his minions that his governance sails above all of the grubbier political precincts; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the levels of coercion/persuasion here are unmatched-much as is the Bloomberg bankroll.

Still, Mayor Mike continues to elevate political disingenuousness to an art form: “We’re out there promoting and trying to rally people to support the administration’s position,” Mr. Bloomberg said, speaking with reporters following a groundbreaking ceremony for a new building at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. “That’s what we’re supposed to do,” he said. “We do it appropriately. I don’t think we’ve come anywhere near crossing the line. I understand why they might say things they don’t really believe. But that’s up to them.”

As we've said before, this is all simply a crock-and if there was a RICO investigation with discovery there wouldn't be enough hand cuffs to go around. The reality here is that the comingling of private and public money-in both a carrot and stick fashion-creates an unprecedented level of influence-making the mayor's defense down right comical : “We’ve been very careful to not do that,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Do we try to get people to come and testify? Absolutely. That’s what we’re always supposed to do, and we do it exactly the way the Conflicts of Interest Board said is appropriate.”

Citing your own in-house COIB as your best defense is, well, no real defense at all; and the mayor's claim that the one hearing was sufficient is in keeping with his smokeless-filled backroom dealing. He's apparently forgetting-and confident that there will be a hundred million ways to encourage voter amnesia-what he himself has said about the end run of the referendum process.

Liz B has the latest ad from extension opponents. Here are words to live-or to die-by: "The public wants term limits, and while...it might be that the City Council has the right to override them, deliberately saying to the public, 'We don't care what you think,'...I would use the word: Disgraceful."

But remember, Bloomberg also told council members to not sweat a yes vote because the folks who vote have a short memory; it all devolves from the perspective of someone who knows how easy it is to buy an election. Hopefully, this time the past will not be prologue.