Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New York, NY - Anger Rising At Wavering By Bloomberg On Term Rule

New York, NY - Irritated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s protracted dalliance with overturning the city’s term limits, leading candidates for a variety of New York City offices are demanding, in unusually pointed language, that he make up his mind.
The candidates, who are running for positions from borough president to mayor, complain that Mr. Bloomberg’s refusal to say whether he will challenge the election laws has paralyzed the city’s political world.
As a result, the candidates said, they are being forced to rethink their next campaigns and recalibrate their fund-raising just a year before the next citywide election. Under existing law, they would be forced from their current jobs in December 2009.
“It is time that the mayor clearly state his position and not continue this charade,” said the New York City comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., who is expected to run for mayor next year - unless, perhaps, Mr. Bloomberg seeks to extend term limits so that he can seek a third term.
Mr. Thompson, who has a warm relationship with the mayor and even plays golf with him occasionally, did little to hide his frustration with Mr. Bloomberg’s coyness. In a statement issued, Mr. Thompson called for the mayor “to clearly, truthfully and directly let the people of New York City know whether he supports term limit extensions.”
Over the last several weeks, Mr. Bloomberg’s once-strong opposition to revising the city’s term limits, now says it is worth debating whether a limit of 12 years is wiser than the current 8.
On Monday, asked by reporters to respond to Mr. Thompson’s criticism, the mayor again dodged questions about his position, suggesting the matter was up to the Council.
“If it’s changed by legislation that the City Council sponsors, it’s up to the City Council to do so,” he said. “Is it a reversal of my position? The City Council has a right to do things. I’ve never, ever said the City Council doesn’t have a right to do anything.”
Asked repeatedly to address Mr. Thompson’s call for him to take a clear stand on the issue, the mayor said: “I think it’s absolutely a great example of what America is all about. The comptroller has the right to state his opinion anytime he wants.”
Such equivocation - and obliqueness - has angered officials trying to map out their political future. “All of us deserve to know what exactly is going on,” said Bill de Blasio, a second-term council member representing Brooklyn, who is running for Brooklyn borough president. “We should have clarity because the next election is fast upon us.”

No comments: