Bloomberg's Third Term Now More Likely
Billionaire cosmetics king Ronald Lauder, the guy who in 1993 funded the successful push for term limits for all of Gotham's elected officials, has done an about face and is now backing the movement to allow Michael Bloomberg a third term as mayor.
"I've been reading that Mayor Bloomberg might be interested in serving a third term," the cosmetics heir said. "Because of the unprecedented times, this is welcome news. To me, Mayor Bloomberg's brilliance in the financial sector, particularly Wall Street, would be invaluable." He added, "If it wasn't for the fact of what's happening today in the world, particularly Wall Street, it would be a different story. But we need [Bloomberg's] expertise in New York."It's too late to put a rollback of term limits on the November ballot, so it will have to be done by a legislative act of the city council. It will be very interesting to see how city council Speaker Christine Quinn handles this, as she has been considered most likely to succeed Bloomberg.
Lauder - who virtually was single-handedly responsible for bringing term limits to the city in the 1990s - said he came to his decision in the last two to three days and had not held any talks with Bloomberg. The business community has rallied strongly around the notion of a third Bloomberg term, making the same case as Lauder.
The shift by Lauder - which would cover all citywide officeholders, the borough presidents and City Council members - is seismic, and its implications for the next 14 months in New York politics are profound, because every executive-level post and two-thirds of the council are term-limited out in 2009.