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October 15th, 2008


by Jo Panisch

“You’re not asking the people if they want term limit extensions? Not cool, Mike. Now give me a fish.”

Criticism gets increasingly vocal as opposition to Mayor Bloomberg strengthens. On Tuesday the Working Families Party delivered a petition to Councilman David Yassy to sway his undecided vote on Mayor Bloomberg’s appeal for a term extension. The WFP, officially not opposed to ending term limits as long as it goes to a public referendum, has organized a massive grassroots petition rallying support.

This comes after an array of nasty allegations were made against the mayor, including a letter to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board asking them to conduct an investigation into whether the Mayor made unethical deals with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former term-limits advocate Ron Lauder.

Tuesday Bloomberg gave a press conference intended to pacify concerns, but got agitated when a journalist asked him about any misconduct in both lobbying City Council members and alleged attempts to sway votes by threatening committee positions.

When a reporter asked to what means he would go to get city council members to vote for term limits Bloomberg replied, “When you get done with your speech, let us know. You can write it out. Whenever you have a question, I’ll be happy to answer it. As far as I know on our end of City Hall, number one, we have no ability to do it. Number two, we don’t work that way.”

With an increasing amount of politicians coming out in opposition to the mayor’s application-including Republican Queens Councilman Anthony Como, who announced his opposition Tuesday morning-Bloomberg’s chances for City Council ordinate extension looks slim. As of now, including Como, 19 council members are in opposition, 15 have expressed support, and 17 are undecided. Bloomberg needs another 11 council members in his favor for the bill to pass.

The first of several public hearings will be set for Thursday, October 16th at 1pm at City Hall Council Chambers. Testimony is open to the public.

To sign a petition to express opposition against Term Limit Extensions and for information on the October 16th hearing click here.

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