As speculation raged about Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s plans for a Presidential run, he kept saying he had the best job in the world. Turns out he really meant it – voters and term limits be damned. Seeking a third term as Mayor in 2009, billionaire Bloomberg recently launched a pre-campaign campaign to overturn New York City’s term limits law, twice passed by voter referendum in 1993 and 1996.
To justify his overturn of two referendums, he had to sweeten the deal for the City Council and Voters alike. To help shepherd a controversial term limits bill through the City Council, he proposed exempting Councilmembers from term limits restrictions along with the Mayor. To sell the deal to voters, he proposed limiting the term limits extension to current office holders only.
His argument to justify the move? With Wall Street crumbling, the city needs continuity and financial leadership to weather the storm, and no voters have no better option than the Billionaire Mayor himself.
Not everyone is happy with the move. Organizations with names like It’s Our Decision and The People Have Spoken coalition sprung up immediately to demand that any term limits change occur through referendum. Mayoral candidates like Comptroller William Thompson and Representative Anthony Weiner spoke out against the extension as well (although fellow candidate Speaker Christine Quinn supports the extension, perhaps because she already sits pretty nicely as the second most powerful person in city government).
(one of three posts written for a college-blogging job prospect)