Weiner Comes Out Fighting -- Kind Of
Democratic mayoral wannabe Anthony Weiner, the beanpole congressman from the outer boroughs, came out swinging this morning against his would-be rival, Michael Bloomberg. But after taking some tough shots, Weiner promptly went into a rope-a-dope crouch, saying that he didn't want to start campaigning yet -- and wishes the mayor well.
Before he declared a cease fire, Weiner had this to say at a Citizens Union breakfast at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service about the two-term mayor:
--Bloomberg's New York "seems to be controlled by the elite and the powerful."
--The deal that gave Bloomberg the right to seek a third-term was the product of "the business elite, together with major publishers who became virtual arms of City Hall."
--Under the mayor, the city's Conflicts of Interest Board -- which gave an all-clear for the term limits vote by the City Council -- has been "asleep at the switch."
--Developers hold such sway with the administration that "no one has said no" to them in years.
--The administration has been so is stuck in an "old fashioned way of thinking" that it let debt and city expenses soar while revenues rose.
--Bloomberg has added 13 percent more city employees. "It's as if we hired all of Middle Village (Queens)."
--The administration is continuing to pour money into Yankee Stadium even though the team doesn't need it. "Enough is enough," said Weiner of the proposed extra $370 million in tax-free bonds that Bloomberg wants to give to the Yankees later this week.
After he got through blasting Bloomberg's reign, Weiner added that "the correct time to campaign against the Mayor is not now," suggesting that voters want a break from electoral politics after the long presidential campaign.
Then, in response to reporters'' questions, the congressman went after pensions and health care for city workers, suggesting that "future employees should pay more for health care" and that "defined benefit pension plans are not going to be around much longer."
There goes that Municipal Labor Council endorsement!