Monday, October 20, 2008
Bloomberg bribed councilmembers
Mayor Bloomberg showered cash on key City Council members with the power to kill a term-limits extension bill in the last year.
Members of the council's Government Operations Committee have received millions from Hizzoner's slush fund, a once-secret pot of taxpayer money the mayor doles out to favored lawmakers for their pet causes.
All the members are Democrats who will decide whether the change in term limits - which the mayor needs in order to run for a third term - goes before the council for a full vote.
...the committee members were favored with some of the most generous handouts from Council Speaker Christine Quinn - Bloomberg's closest ally in the fight to extend term limits - in this year's budget.
'3RD TERM' IS $LUSH HOUR
...some speculate it was part of a heavy-handed campaign to entice lawmakers to support a term-limits extension, the aggressiveness of which came to light last week as:
* Union brass have personally lobbied council members to support term limits. According to a source, some unions have met with the mayor's office in hopes of getting perks in exchange for their support.
* City-funded arts groups have also pressed city legislators. One member said she received "dozens" of calls from "groups I really respect."
* Committee chairmanships have been promised by Quinn to several council members - at least two of whom have been offered the finance chair in exchange for a yes vote.
* A councilwoman was "offered the world. . ..rec centers, parks, affordable housing and more discretionary money" in a meeting last week urging her to support term limits.
Political shuffling in the spring also raised eyebrows.
Sears, who has backed Bloomberg on hotbed isSues in the past, was appointed to the Government Operations committee in May, replacing term-extension foe Councilman Joe Addabbo Jr.
There's 2 more in the Mayor's corner now: Term Limits Tally, 16-19-16
Helen Sears' statement:
"I have listened carefully to the arguments presented by those both in favor of the bill to extend term limits and those opposed. It is my sincere belief that it is in the best interest of the city of New York to extend term limits from 2 terms to 3. This decision was not made easily, but it is the right one.”