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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

More on how the Mayor's bullying didn't work, this time

An article in today’s Times about how the congestion pricing plan wasn’t helped by the Mayor's arrogance and threats to finance the campaigns of potential opponents. Even those legislators who supported the proposal were turned off by his heavy-handed tactics:

"Indeed, many opponents said they resented the pressure and threats that they said emanated from Mr. Bloomberg’s side, including hints that the mayor would back primary candidates to run against politicians who opposed congestion pricing. The mayor’s allies recently formed a political action committee to finance those campaigns.

Those efforts, supporters and opponents agreed, illustrated the gulf between Mr. Bloomberg and lawmakers in Albany, where the mayor sometimes seemed to miscalculate how far his power and prestige could carry him.

Many Democrats in the Legislature felt that the mayor’s demeanor in private meetings was condescending. Some opponents wondered at Mr. Bloomberg’s political strategy, noting that they hardly expected to be punished by their constituents for siding with them.

This is the kind of reporting we need and we rarely seem to get from the NY Times when it comes to the imperious tactics that Bloomberg, Klein and Co. employ with our schools.

See also this article on the resentment produced by the high-handed, and ultimately unsuccessful tactics of the Mayor’s office:

Indeed, several lawmakers, already offended by what they saw as the mayor’s past highhandedness, said that the hardball tactics employed by Mr. Bloomberg and his surrogates simply made a bad situation worse. ….“I imagine that’s how one becomes a multibillionaire, by being a strong-arm individual,” said Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, a Westchester Democrat who opposed the plan. “He’s not going to push us around, though. We are the immovable body at this point.”….“People don’t appreciate threats,” said Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Democrat from the Upper West Side, who said she would have voted for the plan. “Members who might have been on the fence reacted negatively to the specter of a campaign from the mayor if they didn’t go along with his plan.”

Clearly the Mayor is a very powerful, very wealthy man who is used to getting his way by throwing his money around. But it didn’t work this time. Perhaps it won’t with the renewal of Mayoral control either.

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