Saturday, October 11, 2008

On a Third Term for Bloomberg

JW posted to ICE-mail:

LeRoy Barr's chapter leader's weekly said an email address has been set up for giving your opinions on NO THIRD TERM :

Not that I believe for one minute that Weingarten and Co. care a fig about what the membership thinks, the whole thing is so disingenuous.

But since I recently had to answer my son's serious question about 3rd term (he's a freelancer, not a unionist), I had already researched and written up an answer for him, so sent more or less the same thing in to the MyViewssite.

Since I hate throwing research away, I'll post it here as well.


PS: I seemed to have convinced him off his original position. Yeah!


My son asked me:

"Can you give me some reasons to not have Bloomberg in there again? You must have a litany of educational woes, but for the most part I've been happy with him...and now in the midst of this financial crisis he seems like an good person to have in there. I welcome the opportunity to be convinced, but at this point I don't have much of a problem with Bloomberg."

And I wrote back this answer:

1. The people voted 3-term limits out TWICE before, in two different referendums in the 1990s. He has been AGAINST extending til now:

In April 2008, quoted in the Daily News: "The mayor believes in term limits, and is going to leave office at the end of this term,"spokesman Stu Loeser said emphatically Sunday.
It has been reported that Bloomberg himself called extending term limits "disgusting."
According to Room Eight: "The present two-term limit law could be permanently abolished off the law books and constituents will have no say in this matter. "

2. Billionaires can buy segments of the public, and mostly these are voters. They have the hard cash to skew popularity, accountability, and data to make it "seem" as if they are doing good work. They hire firms to create this image, they can use hidden gifts even from their own pockets that we'll never know about it.

According to Room Eight: Ron Lauder, cosmetics mogul and billionaire is "a stark proponent for term limits in 1993 and founder of New Yorkers for Term Limits. He led his support to keep term limits in place but now he wants an exception for his fellow billionaire boys club member, Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Lauder feels the mayor has done an extraordinary job as mayor, so he wants to support a one-time extension that will keep the mayor at the helm of his City Hall seat."

And from an article in the Times:
"There was a palpable sense of resentment over the way Mr. Bloomberg negotiated his decision to run for a third term and the strategy he would employ to change the term limits law, which was twice affirmed by voters, in 1993 and 1996. Over the past few months, the mayor worked in private, reaching out to fellow billionaires and shoring up support for his bid among the publishers of the city's three largest newspapers, all of which ran editorials endorsing his decision.
"'The media and business elite in New York seem to not be willing to hear the voices of regular people,'" Mr. Cantor [Working Parties] said, accusing the publishers — Mortimer B. Zuckerman, of The DailyNews; Rupert Murdoch, of the New York Post; and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., of The New York Times – of trying to create "a 21st century Tammany Hall."
"Today we are saying no and encouraging all New Yorkers who believe that democracy belongs to them to log, to stand up and to be counted," Mr. Cantor said.

4. Many people think that Bloomberg has not been able to push through his entire corporate agenda yet, more than just education. They are asking for a one-time term limit extension: They want Bloomberg to have this chance to re-stack govt, then close the door so no one else can do the same thing after him.

5. THEY LIE. He doesn't have to do this through the City Council. "He has said voters should have the final say but that it is too late for a referendum this year. But it's not too late for other measures, as critics have pointed out, including a special election solely on this issue, which could be held early next year. .. . under the city's term limits law — which he had previously strongly defended — he is limited to two terms. He told reporters that handling the financial crisis facing the country and the city, while strengthening essential services, is "a challenge I want to take on for the people of New York."

IMPORTANTLY: " it should be noted that two-thirds of the ponderers [of the City Council who will vote on this] — 34 of the 51 total — will also be forced out next year under the existing law. Bloomberg's ambition to guide the city through another term puts them in an awkward situation: They too will stand to benefit, along with the mayor, from taking this momentous decision out of voters' hands."

From Working Families:
When asked what political party he would align himself with — upon the unveiling of his master plan to install himself for a third term — Bloomberg stated,"This is not about politics." Right. (It's very much about the politics of the Mayor's ego and believing he can operate outside the so-called rules. Don't ya think?)

Good quote from Dan Cantor, head of WFP: "This is not necessarily about where you stand on term limits or whether or not you think that Mike Bloomberg has been a good mayor. This about the rules of the game. And you don't get to change them at the end of the fourth quarter just because your team wants to keep playing."

I added this a few minutes later :

You have to look at this as a major effort in social engineering and "disaster capitalism".

Naomi Klein: SHOCK DOCTRINE. The neo-corporate agenda is to wait til major crisis (Katrina, Iraq War for the Iraqis, this financial crisis),then use large amounts of scare tactics -- real as well as fabricated and enhanced -- and go GREAT GUNS INTO it and scoop up whatever you can in the aftermath: real estate, banks, credit agencies. And change laws, change the way government does things.

So, the financial markets CRASH, and now this billionaire changes his long-standing position supporting 2-term limits. He's making a power grab and a financial grab. No bones about it. For himself and for his cronies and his whole class of rich people.

My son wrote back that what convinced him was the line:
"This is about the rules of the game. And you don't get to change them at the end of the fourth quarter just because your team wants to keep playing."


Anonymous said...

Faults and all I happen to like Bloomberg and how he has gotten this city under fiscal control.

Anonymous said...

It disheartens me that democracy seems to be going out the window with self-serving politicians who want nothing more than to line their own pockets either with money or power (or both). How egotistical of the Mayor to think he is the only one who can attend to the business of NYC by using scare tactics.