You have to hand it to the New York Post — though they endorsed Bloomberg’s third term, they know a good crooked-deal story when they see one, and reported Sunday on the city councilmembers who had been enriched by the Mayor’s “slush fund.”
Though that discretionary honey-pot had been capped when the council’s own fund finagling was exposed last spring, that apparently didn’t prevent Government Operations Committee members who might be useful in Bloomberg’s drive to overthrow term limits from collecting; the Post provides a helpful diagram of the big winners, who include Larry Seabrook and Simcha Felder (was this was Felder was talking about when he promised during the primaries to be the “greatest schnorrer in my community”?).
Other possible improprieties are mentioned: Council squeezing by unions and arts groups, and a councilwoman who was “offered the world. . ..rec centers, parks, affordable housing and more discretionary money” by parties unknown to back the Mayor’s plan.
(That much at least was also picked up by the Times yesterday, which reported that spokespeople for five groups who spoke against term limits at last week’s hearings did not reveal that their organizations received millions in city funding.)
Everybody denies everything, including Speaker Quinn’s spokesman, who calls the outlays “insignificant” compared to the entire $30.7 million discretionary budget.
Lost City shakes its weary head and notes, “Oh, and the Mayor’s push to remain in power? You’re paying for it.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 20, 2008