Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Times's Joyce Purnick

Less Than Enthused With de Blasio Et Al

November 21, 2005

Metro Matters

Measures Needing More Thought


IF campaign-weary New Yorkers were paying much attention to the latest political shenanigans, the City Council might want to take a vacation - a pause to reflect - just about now.

First, on Wednesday, the Council approved a measure that could undermine the city's campaign finance system. A day later, the seven candidates for speaker complained that the Council suffered from a power imbalance with the mayor and talked about changing the term limits law (which can be modified legislatively or through referendum) by voting themselves a four-year extension: to three terms from two. Given the Council's week, New Yorkers might prefer to leave the city's checks and balances unbalanced.

Term limits have been unpopular with the Council since the voters approved them 12 years ago in a referendum initiated and backed by a wealthy Republican, Ronald S. Lauder. In 1996, the public rejected an effort to lengthen the terms by four years in another referendum that attracted Mr. Lauder's resources.

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