Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bloomberg bought support

From the NY Times:

It was one of the flash points of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s bid to overturn term limits and clear the way for a third term: officials and workers with the Doe Fund, a nonprofit group that works with the city’s homeless, testifying at Mr. Bloomberg’s behest before the City Council in support of his effort.

To critics of Mr. Bloomberg’s efforts to extend term limits, including some candidates who had prepared to run for mayor, the Doe Fund officials’ appearance amounted to a clear conflict of interest. For one thing, the organization, which has provided help to the homeless, drug addicts and ex-inmates for a quarter-century, has been awarded tens of millions of dollars in city contracts.

What was unknown in the fall of 2008, though, was just how much the Doe Fund had benefited from Mr. Bloomberg’s personal philanthropy. A review of Doe Fund documents and tax returns, as well as e-mail messages from the group and interviews with people knowledgeable about its finances, shows that Mr. Bloomberg, through his charitable arms, has regularly given millions of dollars to the group since he became mayor — at least $10 million of which came after the City Council hearings on term limits.

It is clear that an array of well-qualified organizations have been either saved or improved by the mayor’s giving. But many people, not least of all those politicians who have taken on the mayor, have seen a political calculation in the mayor’s largess. Was he merely underwriting good groups, they have asked, or buying political loyalty?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everybody knew this. I woulda been great to out the receipients of his largess during the campaign.