There’s a further report in today’s Times of Mayor Bloomberg’s curious approach to his reelection campaign vow of “Progress, Not Politics.”
Scribe Michael Barbaro reports that the mayor has found budget elbow-room to add some 15 former campaign staffers to the city’s payroll. They include GOP operative and ex-Giuliani aide Matthew Mahoney, now holding down a $160,000 a year post at the Department of Environmental Protection; Democratic strategist Larry Scott-Blackmon who nailed a $157,000 a year slot at the parks department, and campaign chief of staff Kim Molstre, now pulling in $135,000 as a deputy mayoral aide.
The mayor offered a wonderful quote to the Times in defense of his personnel-padding amidst massive budget crisis worries: “If there’s any group I wouldn’t want to cut in tough times, it’s those that can guide people and incent people and excite people to do more with less.”
“Incent?” Is that legal?
One former Bloomy campaigner-turned-city staffer who could definitely excite his troops is Chris Coffey, who is now holding down a $114,000 a year post doing something at NYC Media, the scandal-plagued city television and radio office. Coffey, who worked on Bloomberg’s 2001 campaign as well, held a $101,000 a year job as deputy commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit when he was arrested in a booze-fueled, cop-cursing tirade outside the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea in March, 2007.
As the News reported the incident, when “cops arrived to a 911 call about a ‘rowdy drunk,’ they found the 27-year-old inside his taxpayer-funded car with the engine on, according to a criminal report. He took an alcohol test and blew a .149, above the legal limit of .08 blood-alcohol content. He told the cops: ‘I’m not turning off the car and I’m not getting out,’ said police, who added that he smelled of booze and his eyes were bloodshot.”
Coffey had been due at the time to take a top post for the WTC Memorial Foundation but, as the Times reports, his most recent pre-campaign job was with a top-flight private sector employer who also hires only the city’s best: Bloomberg L.P.