Democracy Loses as New York’s City Council and Mayor Bloomberg Swindle Voters

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Planned Parenthood of NYC Endorse Bloomberg for Mayor

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Planned Parenthood of NYC Endorse Bloomberg for Mayor

This November third voters in New York City will get a chance to elect eight-year incumbent Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, for a third time. Thanks mostly to the city council, that voted earlier this year to override two city-wide referendums and extend term limits another four years. The council also surreptitiously voted down an amendment calling for a public referendum on term limits, shutting the door to any opposition by the city’s citizens. (See how the city council voted on each measure at the end of this post).

This is backdoor politics of the worst kind. Michael Bloomberg apparently made deals with city council members in exchange for their votes. It’s almost reminiscent of the corrupt days in New York City when Boss Tweed (1823-1878) ran Tammany Hall for the Democratic Party political machine. The Tweed Courthouse, a magnificent building located right behind City Hall that bears his name, still stands today as a national symbol of political corruption.

Bloomberg’s Democratic rival in the race for mayor is William C. Thompson Jr., New York City comptroller and former Board of Education president. Thompson, who is African-American, is looking to rally the black vote as well as those undecided. Even though Bloomberg is outspending Thompson by a 12-to-1 margin, Democrats outnumber Republications in New York City by a five-to-one ratio. New York City’s lopsided Democratic base may give Thompson an edge in the general election as Congress continues to clash along partisan lines over healthcare reform.

Whether Bloomberg as mayor is doing a good job or not is not the question. The real issue is Bloomberg’s eligibility in the race and how that sits with New York City’s voters come November. Term limits were put in place to prevent “career” politicians from getting too cozy in his or her seat. It also gives lesser-financed high-minded individuals a chance to serve at the public level. Bloomberg and the New York City Council ignored its citizens and should be called on the carpet during re-election time.

New York City Council members that voted against public referendum on term limits:

Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx
Maria Baez of the Bronx
Anthony Como of Queens
Leroy G. Comrie Jr. of Queens
Inez E. Dickens of Manhattan
Erik Martin Dilan of Brooklyn
Simcha Felder of Brooklyn
Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn
Helen D. Foster of the Bronx
Sara M. Gonzalez of Brooklyn
Robert Jackson of Manhattan
Melinda R. Katz of Queens
G. Oliver Koppell of the Bronx
Jessica S. Lappin of Manhattan
Miguel Martinez of Manhattan
Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn
Michael C. Nelson of Brooklyn
Christine C. Quinn of Manhattan
Domenic M. Recchia Jr. of Brooklyn
Diana Reyna of Brooklyn
Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx
Helen Sears of Queens
Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn
James Vacca of the Bronx
Peter F. Vallone Jr. of Queens
Albert Vann of Brooklyn
Thomas White Jr. of Queens

New York City Council members that voted to extend term limits for New York City elected officials to three terms from two:

Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx
Maria Baez of the Bronx
Leroy G. Comrie Jr. of Queens
Inez E. Dickens of Manhattan
Erik Martin Dilan of Brooklyn
Simcha Felder of Brooklyn
Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn
Helen D. Foster of the Bronx
Alan J. Gerson of Manhattan
Sara M. Gonzalez of Brooklyn
Robert Jackson of Manhattan
Melinda R. Katz of Queens
G. Oliver Koppell of the Bronx
Miguel Martinez of Manhattan
Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn
Michael C. Nelson of Brooklyn
Christine C. Quinn of Manhattan
Domenic M. Recchia Jr. of Brooklyn
Diana Reyna of Brooklyn
Joel Rivera of the Bronx
James Sanders Jr. of Queens
Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx
Helen Sears of Queens
Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn
James Vacca of the Bronx
Peter F. Vallone Jr. of Queens
Albert Vann of Brooklyn
Thomas White Jr. of Queens
David Yassky of Brooklyn