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.
“The day we change the term limits is the day we take a step toward dictatorship,” said Tony Avella, a Democrat from Queens who opposes changing the law and is running for mayor.
Uh, okay. I don’t really have a horse in this race, but dictatorship seems a bit extreme.
Despite the widespread support in the Council for abolishing term limits, I still don’t think a third Bloomberg thing is a 100% sure thing, for a couple reasons:
1.) Term limits are still ridiculously popular. Spending that much political capital just to get to the election seems like a hassle. But that’s not a huge hump to overcome.
2.) Bloomberg and Quinn are still playing footsie with the idea:
During a press conference on Wednesday, he pointedly left the door open to a third term: “I have always thought that term limits are a good idea,” he said. “I’ve said you can debate whether it should be two terms or three terms, but I’ve thought term limits are good.”
Ms. Quinn said: “I’ve always been against term limits. But the voters have made a decision. And by force of referendum, that is the law.”
You coy bastards, you.