Wayne Barrett in the Village Voice: The Transformation of Mike Bloomberg

Check out Wayne Barrett‘s in-depth piece on Mayor Mike in this week’s Village Voice. An excerpt:

Last month’s 29-to-22 [NY City] council vote to do Bloomberg’s bidding was the most tawdry moment in city politics I’ve ever seen. More camera crews and reporters attended the vote than any other session in City Council history—some said the passage of the bill was as close as we would get to a mayoral election in 2009.

The mayor justified the bill by saying that it gave voters an additional choice—namely, himself. But unnamed sources had already told the Times that Bloomberg would spend $80 million on his re-election (at least $20 million of it on attacks on anyone daring to oppose him). …

The Bloomberg who came into office as the anti-politician, promising to transform city government, has been transformed himself. …  But seven years later, Bloomberg has not only proved himself to be a master politician, as hungry for power as anyone we’ve ever seen, but he’s also ended up putting nearly everyone who deals with the city deep into his political debt.

Read the full story here.

A Letter from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn re: Term Limits Vote

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn sent this letter out yesterday via email to New Yorkers who had contacted her expressing their opposition (prior to the vote) to the City Council overturning of voted-in term limits.

Ms. Quinn writes:

As I’m sure you now know, on October 23rd the Council voted to extend term limits for city elected officials from two to three four-year terms.

I understand how strongly you and others felt about this issue. This decision wasn’t one that the Council and I took lightly, and it came with a great deal of deliberation, dialogue and debate, including two days and nights of public hearings.

WSP Blog Note: which she didn’t attend.

I realize there’s very little I can say at this point to convince you that my support for extending term limits was based solely on what I absolutely believed in my heart was best for our City: that in these extraordinarily difficult times, New Yorkers should have the choice to keep their current leadership or vote us out at the polls.

WSP Blog: As Council Member Bill de Blasio (Brooklyn) said the day of the crucial vote … by taking away the voters’ right to choose, Mayor Bloomberg and Christine Quinn make the argument, in true Orwellian fashion, that they are giving the voters more choice.

I would like to promise you this, though. As Speaker, I will continue to work as hard as I can each and every day to earn your trust and respect and to help make city government more responsive and effective for all New Yorkers.

WSP Blog: Responsive… would have been listening to the voices of New Yorkers -89% of whom stated in a Quinnipiac poll they did not think the New York City Council should overturn these previous votes.

Next November, you and other voters will have the opportunity to vote for me, any of my colleagues, or Mike Bloomberg for another four years – or to make a change. The decision will ultimately be yours. That, to me, is the essence of democracy.*

As difficult as this decision was, I appreciate and respect your views and hope we can continue to work together during these tough economic times.

Sincerely,
Christine C. Quinn, Speaker

* definition (Webster’s Dictionary): democracy (n) : government by the people