Friday, October 31, 2008

Preposterous or Presumptuous?

In Daily Politics yesterday, Liz regaled us with the mayor taking umbrage at the gall of anyone challenged his droit de seigneur : "Mayor Bloomberg reacted strongly when asked this morning about the legal challenges opponents to the term limits extension legislation plan to file after Monday's bill-signing ceremony, saying: "I don't even know what they're taking about; they're so preposterous."

Now, knowing the mayor's regal hubris as well as we do, we believe that what he really meant to say was that his challengers were "presumptuous." Which our dictionary tells us means: "unwarrantedly or impertinently bold; forward." Subjects aren't supposed to challenge the regent in this manner. As His Honor tells us:

"The City Council passed the law; it was well-debated. Lots of people had a say, and if there are court challenges the corporation counsel will defend the city on those, and I think that the public wants a choice and they'll make the choice a year from November."

Or, in other words, it's pretty clear to Mike that what the public wants is, well, Him. But wait, what's that we here in Satchel Paige fashion? Remember what the old Negro League all star warned against: "Don't look back," he used to say, "Something may be gaining on you."
And that something, at least according to the City Room, could be an Albany challenge to term limits.

As City Room tells us: "Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries said Thursday that a number of his colleagues in Albany have announced their support for legislation he is sponsoring to require a public referendum before the change in New York City’s term limit law becomes effective. Mr. Jeffries said that there are now 15 members of the Assembly’s Democratic majority who have joined him as co-sponsors of the bill."

Can this actually happen? "Mr. Jeffries’s bill would create a new state law requiring any municipality with term limits to hold a public referendum before making any changes that would affect how long elected officials can serve. Because the law would apply statewide, it would supersede any law passed by the City Council. That could throw up a road block for Mr. Bloomberg, who recently won a victory in his campaign to get the City Council to extend term limits."

But what about the state senate, you may ask? Ah, there's the rub-because even with all of the Bloomie Bucks pouring in, there's no guarantee that the senate will stay under Republican control. And if it doesn't? Who knows just how far this bit of preposturousness will go. As Hakim Jeffries says: "The fix was in at City Hall and democracy did not stand a chance,” he said. “The vote to legislatively change term limits was one of the biggest shams ever perpetrated on New Yorkers,” Mr. Jeffries added. “With breathtaking arrogance and reckless disregard for the public sentiment, a few self-interested politicians conspired to undermine the will of the people.”

What we see here, is the potential for the kind of perfect storm that will flood the mayor and his abettors right out of city hall. Maybe that's presumptuous, but in our view it's far from preposterous.