More Fun With Term Limits
August 28, 2008

The New York Times confirms that if Bloomberg went to the City Council asking them to overturn term limits, they would almost certainly do it.

In the survey, The Times interviewed 38 of the Council’s 51 members, most of whom spoke on the record. Twenty-seven of them said they could support extending term limits, even though city residents have voted twice, in 1993 and 1996, for the existing laws. Eight members opposed altering the rules, three said they remained undecided and the 13 others could not be reached this week.

That’s actually an even smaller margin than I expected. But with Bloomberg and Paterson on the same side on this, I think we can probably move a couple names from the undecided column to the anti-term limits one. Which means that the only things standing in the way are the Speaker’s possible mayoral ambitions and the hyperbolic panting of other mayoral hopefuls.
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Michael Bloomberg plans to buy, demolish term limits
August 23, 2008

Well, this is awkward. Dylan tagged me to try and shed some light on New York City’s 2009 mayoral race, presuming, perfectly reasonably, that I would be fairly well-versed in the political climate of the city in which I live. That’s not entirely the case, however – my knowledge of NY politics is pretty sketchy, particularly now that I’ve been back in CT for two straight months, but I’ve been working on it.

With that disclaimer out of the way, a few thoughts:

First off, on the likelihood of Bloomberg getting a third term: He’s pretty damn popular in New York, and if he manages to get rid of the term limits, I think he would get reelected easily. But eliminating the term limits so he can run in the first place? That would probably be trickier. As the Times article that Dylan links to points out, a referendum wouldn’t do it but the City Council might. If the Speaker wants to keep her job, then she might try to push it through – but she might eyeing Bloomberg’s job, in which case she’ll want to preserve the term limits, because there’s no way in hell she’s going to want to have to go up against him next Fall.

One ray of hope for Bloomberg: the Democratic governor thinks it’s a swell idea.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about who else might be running – I can tell you that if Bloomberg gets his chance at a third term, it’s not going to matter a great deal. In the meantime, I’m not making predictions until I hear about anyone assembling a team.

One last thought: When I first read about Bloomberg’s push for an end to term limits, it reminded me that he’s not the first prominent New York Mayor to try and artificially extend his administration past two terms. The difference is that Bloomberg seems to be attempting it through constitutional means, while Giuliani was basically trying to pull a Julius Caesar.

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