Mayoral Debate’s Little Fibs


Debates are always a great temptation for cheap shots and resume inflation and last night’s match between Mike Bloomberg and Bill Thompson did not disappoint.

The Times has its own tick-tock this morning of swings and misses but a couple other bits of revisionist history that caught our ear were these:

–Bloomberg on why he’s repeatedly changed his party affiliation: “I did not have the opportunity to run in the Democratic primary so I became a Republican.”

Hmmm. Unless there’s a secret codicil hidden somewhere in the Democratic Party rule book barring short billionaires from Medford, Mass., the party’s 2001 primary is believed to have been open to all members. The previously undisputed history of Bloomberg’s political evolution is that he became a Republican because he knew he couldn’t win the Democratic primary that year since it was already crowded with well-known names. The GOP line, on the other hand, was his for the asking, particularly since he was pledging to self-fund his entire campaign. Stay tuned for further evolution on this new discrimination charge by the mayor.

–Thompson on how he’s doled out no pension favors to campaign contributors:
“Last but not least, no one has ever received a favor from my office for a nickel of contributions. Let’s just end that right now.”

Bloomberg threw a round house punch insisting that Thompson had doled out pension investment business in exchange for campaign contributions. Then he recommended to the audience that they read the Times and Daily News stories. I guess he can’t exactly say read the Village Voice because then people might read this week’s tough, in-depth Bloomberg review by Wayne Barrett. But while we admit a hopeless bias, the toughest stories about Thompson’s pension cronies appeared here and here and here.If Bloomberg wanted to back up his vague accusations, he’d focus on Thompson’s pal Bill Howell, a business partner of top Thompson fundraiser Norman Levy, who made millions by peddling investment deals to the city funds under the city comptroller’s watch. Photo (cc) Edwin Martinez1.