Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Coming to Terms

The city's electorate came out to vote on the term limits issue-and let's hope that the third time is a charm. C'mon, how many times do the citizens have to make their feelings known? But we got a huge kick out of the mayor's response to the accusation that he was-ouch-hypocritical. As the WSJ reports:

"Mr. Bloomberg voted Tuesday in favor of the roll back.Some New Yorkers, most notably former city Comptroller William Thomson, the mayor's Democratic opponent last year, called Mr. Bloomberg's vote hypocritical and self-serving. Before the mayor decided he wanted a third term, he once called an effort to revise term limits "disgusting." Asked by The Wall Street Journal to respond to complaints of hypocrisy, Mr. Bloomberg said, "I don't think it's hypocritical at all. The public came to me and said that they wanted to, wanted me to change term limits, see if I could get term limits changed, serve another term," he explained. "I said I'd be willing to spend four more years of my life helping the public and doing what I think is right so I leave my kids a better world. Did that. But the public clearly wants to go back to two terms, and I said that it would be on the ballot. It is," he added. "That's what democracy is all about."

Talk about being solipsistic. The mayor is the only person we know who looks into the mirror in the morning and sees, "the public," staring back at him. But, hey, this time the change may not have been written in disappearing ink from the Bloomberg LLP mega store-as the NY Times reports: "New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly to limit politicians to two consecutive terms on Tuesday, undoing a highly contentious change to the law pushed through by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg two years ago...The vote was a repudiation of the tactics used in 2008 by Mr. Bloomberg and his allies in the City Council, who supported a bill to allow three terms despite criticism that they had usurped the democratic process."

But considering the mayor's methods, you have to feel a little bit sorry for the weary voters: "But much of the frustration of two years ago has cooled, and the vote on Tuesday, overshadowed by a contest for governor and make-or-break Congressional races, seemed more an act of quiet rebellion than a scathing rebuke. Still, voters said they were pleased to have the opportunity to finally weigh in on the matter, though two years later. “The way it was slammed through was rather distasteful and disingenuous,” said Gianni Sellers, 54, a banker who lives on the Upper West Side. “The voters have spoken on this before. I hope we don’t have to do it again.”

Unfortunately, the second charter revision question (ignored editorially and in the reportage on the election) that will aggrandize mayoral power also passed-undoubtedly buoyed by the pro term limits sentiment: "In addition to the term-limits question, voters supported, by a vote of 83 percent to 17 percent, a second referendum item that called for several changes to city law, with 87 percent of precincts reporting. The changes include reducing the number of signatures required to get on the ballot, requiring disclosure of campaign contributions by independent groups and raising the maximum fine for violating conflicts of interest law."

While the mayor with his vast fortune got away with the Great Term Limits heist, it remains to be seen whether the voters will remember Speaker Quinn's role in the robbery when she presents herself for city wide office in 2013-the sins of the father, and all that.