Ronald S. Lauder, the billionaire cosmetics heir and term limits champion, said Sunday night that he would vigorously oppose a plan, outlined by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council members, to permanently change the city’s term limits law to allow 12 years in office rather than 8.
His opposition jeopardizes a carefully constructed alliance that was considered key to Mr. Bloomberg’s bid for a third term.
Lauder Opposes Mayor on Change to Term Limits
“If there is a permanent change, I will fight it,” Mr. Lauder said in a telephone interview on Sunday night. “As far as I am concerned, it’s a one-time only exception. That is it.”
Mr. Lauder said he expressed concern to Mr. Bloomberg on Friday in a telephone conversation. Mr. Bloomberg suggested that Mr. Lauder sit on a charter revision commission, which would study the issue in 2010 and probably put it up for a referendum.
He insisted that he would like the mayor to remain in office for a third term, but said that he could not endorse a permanent change to a three-term limit.
A spokesman for Mr. Lauder said that should the City Council adopt such a permanent change, he would consider opening his wallet to oppose it with advertisements, as he has in the past.