26 February 2009

Bloomberg's Bad News Week

Would-be Mayor-for-Life Mike Bloomberg didn't have such a great week—I mean, aside from closing the deal of the townhouse next to him and turning his Upper East Side home into a mansion. (No Gracie Mansion, but an actual mansion.)

King Mike, you remember, doesn't belong to any political party, since he's shed both the Democrats and the Republicans in the past seven vainglorious years. Now, of course, since he wants to be mayor for four more years—and rammed a term-limit law revision through City Council in order to do it—he needs some kind of party affiliation.

But guess what? Everybody pissed at him. Nobody wants him in their treehouse. The Republican Party of New York let me crawl to beg forgiveness on Wednesday, but gave him a cold, inconclusive reception. Seems the party has the not unreasonable idea that Mike should rejoin the party is he wants to run on the GOP ticket, but the ever unreasonable Mike doesn't want to do that.

So what's a power-mad fella to do? Well, go court the wacko Independence Party, which is run by Fred Newman, a man regarding by many as a sort of cult leader. Man, what the billionaire won't do to stay in office! But even Fred's not so keen on Bloomie.

Then again, maybe Mike needn't bother. There's a growing movement upstate in Albany to render null and void the whole term limit revision thing. The new law, if passed, "would prevent city lawmakers across the state from revising term limits laws without a voter referendum." The measure has the support they needed to advance the bills out of the appropriate committees in both houses.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Kevin S. Parker of Brooklyn, would apply retroactively and require a referendum on term limits in New York City in May.

Oh, and the Department of Building, which Mike supposedly fixed after two crane accidents last years revealed it to be inept, hollow and easily manipulated—is still corrupt.

Seems the guy can't catch a break. Could this be divine retribution for a Greek-Tragedy-size case of hubris? The press has caught on to Mike's streak of bad luck, too. Jacob Gershman, of the New York Post, put it best in a Feb. 23 piece called "Mike Marches Left: How Mayor Lost His Principles."

But along with his poll numbers and the city's economy, the mayor's stature is shrinking. His mockery of the political process is wearing thin among voters who were more tolerant during the good times. A Democratic lawmaker framed it like this: "The man thinks he can buy anything, and to large degree he's been right. He's not a Democrat or a Republican. He's a rich guy. That's his party."

1 comment:

Jill said...

In the early 90's (maybe 92?) Fred Newman flooded as many local and state elections with as many candidates as he could find to run for office, with a basic philosophy of empowering the people. I was on a PAC and interviewed many of them. While they were good and nice people with hearts true and brave, they were not the people you want running your city, with a real naivety about politics and an almost complete lack of knowledge about most of the important issues of the day. It seemed that they were chosen to run based on their availability to do the legwork rather than any real qualifications. Lenora Fulani was the one that got the most press. Remember her, the shrink?

None (I think none, insert fact checker here) of them won any offices, but they did make quite a splash since he had all these people hitting the streets looking for votes, getting face time, all at the same time.

I thought he had faded into obscurity, but apparently not. Interesting what comes around goes around.