Mike Bloomberg has chosen up sides in the great bonus disclosure debate now rocking Washington and the airwaves: It’s none of our business, sayeth the Mayatollah.
The Associated Press quotes Bloomberg this way on the topic: “I don’t think you’d be wanting somebody snooping around in your private life.”
The mayor weighed in just as a judge approved Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s demand to know the names of 200 bonus babies at federally subsidized Merrill Lynch. Cuomo is also seeking the identities of those who got big bonus bucks at insurance giant AIG after it took in billions in federal aid.
It’s understandable that New York’s richest man would see this issue a little differently than the rest of us. Bloomberg has long zealously guarded information about his own wealth and spending, releasing only edited versions of his own tax returns.
There was a memorable moment when Bloomberg first ran for mayor in 2001 and was ducking demands by the media to release his tax data. Late in the campaign, at a press event outside City Hall one day, Daily News reporter Michael Saul pushed him one more time, mentioning that the other candidates had already released their own tax info.
“That’s because they don’t make any money!” Bloomberg thundered before storming away.