Monday, October 20, 2008
NYC Mayor Bloomberg Asks Charities to Which He Has Donated to Lobby for His Term Limit Extension Legislation
The October 18, 2008, issue of the New York Times reports that New York City Mayor, Michael Bllomberg, is contacting charities to which he has donated to ask that they speak in favor of legislation that would allow the Mayor to run for an unprecedented third term in office. Here is an excerpt from the article:
An official at a social service group that receives tens of thousands of dollars from Mr. Bloomberg and has a contract with the city was startled to receive a call in the past few days from Linda I. Gibbs, the deputy mayor for health and human services. Ms. Gibbs asked whether the organization’s leaders would be willing to call wavering council members to argue for Mr. Bloomberg’s term limits legislation.
“It’s pretty hard to say no,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of upsetting the mayor. “They can take away a lot of resources.”
A spokesman for the mayor, Stu Loeser, said that many of the organizations that have publicly supported the extension “are groups that we have been working with over the last seven years to move New York forward, and the reason we are asking for the opportunity for another four years is to keep New York moving forward.”
Mr. Loeser said Mr. Bloomberg took pains to separate his charitable giving from his day-to-day management of the city.
Nevertheless, public hearings on Thursday and Friday and interviews with council members revealed the extent to which the mayor is relying on those who have received donations from him as he pushes for the legislation, which would permit officials elected citywide and council members to serve 12 years rather than 8. Several administration officials confirmed that top mayoral aides, including Deputy Mayors Edward Skyler and Kevin Sheekey, have encouraged groups to join the effort.