See today’s NY Times, which reports how members of the Bloomberg administration, including Linda Gibbs, Deputy mayor for Health and Human services, are urging the beneficiaries of city contracts and his private fortune to lobby the City Council to overturn term limits so he can run for a third term.
The article mentions the involvement of several organizations in giving testimony this week on behalf of the Mayor during the City council hearings on term limits that have received substantial city contracts and private donations from the Mayor. Most prominent among them are the Doe Fund, an organization for the homeless, which has received either $150,000 from the Mayor’s own pockets, according to the Times, or more than $2 million, according to the Daily News (anonymously donated by the Mayor’s accountant after the organization honored Bloomberg at a fundraising dinner in 2005.)
According to the Times, not only did the head of the Doe Fund testify at City Hall in support of overturning term limits, but at least 11 Doe Fund staff members as well, most of whom did not identify their employer, but instead described themselves as ordinary citizens.
See also the Daily News blog, which further details how the organization bused nearly 50 homeless men from shelters in support to City Hall in support of the Mayor, a fact which the organization first denied and then finally admitted. The group’s spokesman later claimed that these men were all volunteers who simply wanted to support the mayor.
One wonders whether how legal this all this – pushing nonprofit groups to literally campaign in favor of the mayor’s ability to run for office again.
Geoffrey Canada is also mentioned as one of the individuals who testified to overturn term limits;
The Mayor’s bullying tactics have long been clear to many of us in the educational advocacy world – and those organizations that have had the nerve to speak up against his policies have had their city contracts and donations from Bloomberg drastically cut – in some instances, to the tune of nearly one million dollars.
It is about time that the rest of the world finally woke up to the ruthlessness of this Mayor – and his determination to use his personal fortune and political power to ensure that non-profit groups comply with his every whim and keep silent if they disagree with his policies.