Good job, City Room! The New York Times blog is reporting live as City Council hears testimony on a change to the term limits law that would allow Mayor Bloomberg to run again—thus providing me with access to some wonderfully negative comments about the Plutocrat-in-Chief. Here are a few:
Rick Herman Hackshaw compared Mayor Bloomberg to President Robert G. Mugabe of Zimbabwe... In four years, he predicted, “I guess 16 is the new 12, and 20 will be the new 16,” he said.
Laura Altschuler, co-chairwoman of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, said "Your proposed action violates our basic principle of being a nation ruled by laws and not by men. We have a law which the voters enacted. It should not be bypassed by the very men and women who would benefit from changing it."
State Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, said "You had enough time to discuss this," Mr. Adams said, reprimanding the Council. "You waited until the midnight hour to sneak it through the process. You’re all aware in legislative-land that it takes longer than two hearings to give the voters a choice." He called the process a “masquerade.” Mr. Adams likened Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Lauder to schoolyard bullies. "We are in a position to tell billionaire bullies that we are not going to be victims of child’s play and let our democracy be eroded.” He continued, "All across America people looked to the resilience of New Yorkers after Sept. 11. Even after Giuliani attempted to hijack democracy, we stood firm. And the irony is that many of you are here because of that." Mr. Bloomberg "woke up one day and realized he couldn’t be president or vice president or anything else," and only then decided he wanted a third term, Mr. Adams said. (HA!)
Cathryn Swan, an environmental activist who blogs about Washington Square Park, said that "term limits are only coming up now because Mayor Bloomberg has decided he wants to stay in office." The financial crisis is merely a rationale advanced by the mayor’s "P.R. machine," she said, pointing to an opinion essay in The Wall Street Journal that raised critical questions about the mayor’s failure to prepare the city for the downturn. "Frankly, I don’t think our city can survive with him."
Thank you, Cathryn. Finally, someone agrees with me about Bloomberg's culpability in the City's current financial crisis.