In what comes as no shock to the political world, the NY Daily News reported yesterday, that council speaker Christine Quinn plans to support the Bloomberg extension bill: "City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is ready to back Mayor Bloomberg's call to extend term limits, putting her own mayoral dreams on hold to help keep him in power for another four years. "She will cite the economy as her reason," an insider told the Daily News, referring to the announcement she plans to make Sunday in City Hall."
No ad libbing from the speaker; the scripted narrative remains intact. So now the world's worst kept secret's out in the open, and the only mystery left is the margin of victory-because if you ask the condemned to take the place of a governor with the power of commutation, it's not hard to predict what the reults will be. As the News points out: "Said consultant George Arzt: "They wouldn't be putting it up for a vote unless they knew they had the votes."
To put it another way, no one expected that a speaker, who has been characterized as an appendage of the mayor, would all of a sudden act independently: "Quinn's assent was widely anticipated as her staff has worked with the mayor's team behind the scenes to win Council support for the change. Public hearings are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, and the measure could be voted into law Oct. 23. "This is straight out of the Bloomberg administration playbook," said Councilman John Liu (D-Queens), one of many Council members and other opponents who believe any change to term limits should be made by New York voters, not by the Council."
So, as we have speculated, it appears that the entire issue will finally be decided by the courts; and while the council has the presumptive power to change the charter, there are a number of potential intervening legal issues that could derail this automat power grab. What's indisputably, is that this will roil city politics for the forseeable future.