Coming back to Parks and Public Space Issues…

While I find Mayor Bloomberg and his unbelievable moves and audacity (and arrogance) around term limit overturning endlessly fascinating, and do believe it all links together with park-issues-and-pacification-and-privatization-of-public-space — the same political architects with the same ultimate goals — there is much more to write on Washington Square Park. As well as other issues and parks. More coming!

Bloomberg will spend at least $100 Million on campaign. Ethics Violations? No Problem.

It just gets more and more fascinating..

People behind the scenes with knowledge of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s plans to install himself for a third term say he’s willing to spend “as much as $100 million” on his campaign, should it proceed. You might recall that, in 2001, Bloomberg spent $74 million on his campaign (when he was technically an unknown) and at least that much in his 2005 re-election campaign. Total: $160 million thus far.

If Mayor Mike is so sure of his popularity and so convinced that he is the only one who can do the “job” in these tough times, why the need to bulldoze over his competition? Clearly, he will do whatever it takes to keep himself in City Hall.

Presently, many are stating, that if he accomplishes his goal, the multi-billionaire should “abide by the strict spending restrictions in the city’s public finance system.” His advisers told the New York Times that “the mayor had no intention of limiting his spending.”

Also announced today, two advocacy groups, New York Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause, filed a complaint with the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board stating that the Mayor’s behind-the-scenes deal-making with fellow billionaire Ronald Lauder, Estee Lauder heir, amounts to a violation of city ethics laws. Bloomberg promised Lauder – whose issue since at least 1993 has been term limits – a position on a Charter Revision Commission in return for not challenging (with his money) Bloomberg on overturning voted-in term limits.

Ethics not being Michael Bloomberg’s strong point, I’m not so certain this will mean much to him. The city’s Conflicts of Interest Board members are all appointed by the Mayor. (See Decision: Daniel L. Doctoroff.)

A thank you to Council Members Bill de Blasio, Letitia James, and David Weprin for taking stands on this issue to bring the matter to the people. These three Council Members presented alternate proposals to counter Bloomberg’s in the City Council.

And as Clyde Haberman wrote in today’s New York Times:

If the city is forced to shrink the number of police officers or to stint on helping the poor or to stop performing maintenance on decrepit water mains, Michael R. Bloomberg will inevitably be cast as Mayor Culpa. But it is the recklessness of his old Wall Street buddies that went far to create this fiscal tumult, which has poked enormous holes in the municipal budget, which has led to the prospect of severe belt-tightening, which has fed the sharp debate over political term limits, which has more New Yorkers snapping at one another than is absolutely necessary, which has…well, you can extend this for as long as you wish.

Stay tuned…