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

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fidler on Term Limits

Strategy vs. Morality?

In a rather frank interview with his long time buddy and Queens Tribune publisher, Michael Schenkler (MS), Speaker candidate Fidler (LF) enters into an interesting exchange:

MS: Term limits - the Council changing them is a most egregious step against the people who have voted to impose term limits -- the referendum said 2 terms.

LF: It did. [But] if you poll the death penalty, I'’m told the polls will show 70 something percent - and if you add to the question "or life in prison without parole," the number drops from 70 to 40. If the referendum had been term limits, 8 or 12 years, [then I'’d agree].

MS: So shouldn't you then go back to the people by referendum?

LF: I think that may be where it has to go. I may at some point advocate that. This is not as simple as some of my colleagues think it is. If it winds up in front of the voters [after we have acted], we will have already shot ourselves in both feet. If we take it to the voters it has to be on some sort of level playing field. I am troubled by the fact that the people have voted twice and disagreed with my opinion.

[But] for you it's an issue of morality, for me strategy. As I sit and have this conversation now, I don't see any way that this is not going to wind up as a referendum.


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