What's the Real Agenda Behind the City's Official Millennium Committee?

Hizzoner will likely play a bigger role in NYC 2000 projects, as he did when he hosted the simulcast fashion show from a giant runway in Times Square. But along with the prospect of his using public Y2K galas for self-promotion goes the more unsettling possibility that NYC 2000 functions as a repository for political dollars. "A corporation is limited in what it can give to the mayor in terms of campaign contributions. But what's to stop a corporation from giving a hundred thousand dollars to this entity?" asks a former City Council staff member who fought to diminish "soft money" during both Dinkins and Giuliani eras. "That then provides the same access and influence," he warns. At least a dozen of those who were picked for the prestigious NYC 2000 roster contributed generously to the mayor's 1997 campaign. And a recent Newsday story revealed that NYC 2000's money machine, NYC Public-Private Initiatives—which is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency—has collected major bucks for projects billed as mayoral civic activities from some of his most generous political donors.

Meanwhile, Plimpton still hopes that "this big check mark I gave on my [suggestions] form sheet will be noticed." Curious New Yorkers will join him, while he sits "waiting in the wings," to find out what NYC 2000 will do.

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