Sunday, August 15, 2010

Like deja vu all over again

From CBS 2:

The wording of the questions has yet to be finalized, but the term-limits measure likely would ask voters whether New York City’s charter should impose a limit of two consecutive full terms for the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough presidents and City Council members.

The charter commission also approved including a measure to let voters decide whether City Council members should be prohibited from changing the term-limits law to benefit incumbents voting on the proposal.

The commission also voted to let the voters say whether a two-term limit should take effect later for some officials, depending on which term they are serving.

Passing that measure would allow officials in their first and second terms to have the option of a third, and the two-term limit would apply to those elected on or after the 2013 November election.

In regards to petition signatures for candidates, the commission did not set a number Wednesday night but approved putting before voters a question that asks whether the city should reduce the signature requirements by about 50 percent.

Candidates for citywide office now must obtain 7,500 signatures to get on the ballot, but because of the requirements needed for each signature to be valid, they typically obtain about three times the requirement to guard against potential legal challenges.

The Village Voice put it the best:

Remember that time our plutocrat mayor basically gamed the system by having the city council he put into place give him the go-ahead to run for a third term? Well, now, voters -- and not the city council -- will have a say on whether or not New York's political power-mongers will get to keep their office for a third term.

Yes, New Yorkers now have the right to vote on an issue they never thought would be out of their hands in the first place, and it comes a year after Bloomberg decidedly kept this decision out of the hands out New York's voters regarding one of the most powerful positions in the state, and as far as city officials go, the country. The best part, of course, is that this vote was Bloomberg's doing. To, you know, make up for it. If this counts for "political capital," we are a city of nihilists.

The New York Post points out that voters have upheld term limits twice and are in favor of them by a 70 to 22 percent margin according to a Quinnipiac poll put out in March. So if you see this term limits fall in November, well, be surprised, especially because there's not one city politician savvy enough to figure out how to get around them. Except, of course, for Bloomberg. Which he already did.

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