Mike Bloomberg will make good on his pledge to launch a new charter review commission early next year, reports the Post this morning, and we can’t wait.
The top item on his wish list, writes Ginger Adams Otis, is another re-do of the term limits law, the one that the First New Yorker scrapped last year so he could run for a third term.
At the time, Bloomberg promised a spot on a new charter commission to cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder who was the biggest backer of the original term limits referendum. Lauder — who started fancying himself a reformer after his humiliating defeat to Rudy Giuliani in a 1989 GOP mayoral primary — had threatened to spend big on TV ads fighting any term-limits revision. But he backed down after Bloomberg said the change was a one-time only deal needed to rescue the city from looming financial oblivion. The Mayatollah pledged to change the law back again if he won a third term. He even put it in writing, in a press release jointly issued by the two billionaires.
This Bloomberg-Lauder pact struck several good-government groups as a blatant violation of conflict-of-interest rules. There is something in the law that says you are not allowed to use the perks of office for personal advantage. They promptly filed a complaint with the proper authorities. Said proper authorities, the Conficts of Interest Board, yawned, rolled over, and went back to sleep.
According to the Post, the richest New Yorker is likely to announce the new charter commission in his January State of the City message. This sounds like a sure invitation to an Article 78 lawsuit, but first you’ve got to find a lawyer willing to buck the once and future mayor.