The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, at a public press conference yesterday, chastised a reporter for asking about the rationale for the overturning of the term limits law by the City Council. The mayor made comments about the begins signs of a turnaround in the economy. The ailing economy was one of the major reasons sited by members of the City Council and the supporters of the overturning of the law on term limits as to why the mayor and the City Council should be allowed to serve beyond their two term limit.
The reporter asked a perfectly legitimate question about whether the rebounding economy took away one of the reasons for the extending of term limits. The Mayor reacted angrily and said that the voters will speak to that on November 3rd and called the reporter a "disgrace". I actually think that Mike Bloomberg has been a very good mayor for the city of New York. There is something appealing about a man who has so much money that he cannot be bought by special interests and isn't beholden to the dogma of either national party. However, the downside of having a mayor who is basically above the fray means that he sometimes feels that he is above being questioned as well.
Mike Bloomberg was all for term limits when he ran for Mayor. Rudy Guliani had floated the idea that he be allowed to stay on to shepherd the city through six additional months in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. Bloomberg was the first to quote the famous line about the cemeteries being filled with "indispensable" people. Of course he used exactly the same argument that Guliani did, by claiming that he was the only person qualified to lead the city through these difficult economic times. His master stroke was including the City Council in his plans.
He could have made his desire for another term known in more than enough time for it to be put on the ballot, but he knew the easiest path would be to skip the voters all together. The voters of this city had twice voted for term limits, but that did not matter to the mayor. By including the City Council in his plan, he allowed those already in office to basically vote to allow themselves to remain in office. The ridiculous argument floated by a lot of the City Council members was that if almost half of them were forced out due to term limits then the city would suffer because it would take the new members a few years to figure out what they were doing. This argument does not acknowledge the fact that in four years we will be faced with an entirely new City Council. If the argument was that experience matters, then in four years we will face a city council that will be 100% new. There will be no seasoned council men or women to mentor the new members. That does not seem to matter to the people currently on the Council and Bloomberg knew it wouldn't.
So the mayor stands poised to win a third term in November (along with large chuck of the City Council), which he will no doubt do with an overwhelming majority of the votes. There is simply no candidate who can stand up to the onslaught from a multi-billionaire mayor. And as King Michael oversees the land, he finds it an annoyance to answer questions that do not fit into his view of the world. King Michael is indifferent to the will of the people unless their will coincides with his desires. King Michael rules at his leisure and we his humble servants are fortunate to be able to bask in the glow of his magnificence. That reporter should count himself lucky that the words out of the king's mouth were "you're a disgrace" and not "off with his head".