Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bloomberg's term-limits override effort implies a Markowitz re-election and other ripple effects

Mayor Mike Bloomberg's efforts to undo the term limits law likely will be successful in City Council and then allow his reelection, now that billionaire term limits supporter Ronald Lauder and newspaper editorial boards have signed on, leaving the mayor free to spend large sums on his campaign.

If so, that would have major ripple effects, allowing City Council members and Borough Presidents with expiring terms to run with the enormous advantage of incumbency, and maintaining the current configuration of Atlantic Yards support.

Four more years of Markowitz?

That means Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz would run again, leaving announced challengers like Council Members Bill de Blasio and Charles Barron facing the dilemma of an uphill run against Markowitz or a return to a relatively safe seat. [Update: de Blasio is still running, according to the Brooklyn Paper, which calls de Blasio now a "vocal critic" of AY; I'd say he's a vocal critic of some aspects.]

And that would leave some announced challengers aiming for de Blasio's seat, like Brad Lander, a de Blasio appointee to Community Board 6, either running against an incumbent they didn't expect to be there, or biding their time.

The public interest

“The mayor has carefully crafted an image of always acting in the public interest, but this act of circumventing the will of the voters now calls that into question,” Dick Dadey, the executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog group, told the Times.

A Times editorial today was almost as disingenuous as Markowitz:
This is a rule that needs to be abolished. If the voters don’t like the result, they can register their views at the polls.

Maybe so, but the rule, imposed by the voters, should be abolished at the polls by the voters. The Times editorialists surely know the advantage of incumbency, such as promotional publications (right), at the ballot box.

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