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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mayoral Debate

And Also: A second mayoral debate will be shown on a local network affiliate, but this one (of two) was only shown on NY1, not available on Dish Network. [It was shown on a PBS station.] Meanwhile, good cliffhanger for Drop Dead Diva. Missed Army Wives, thinking it would be repeated on Monday. Not!

NYC is having a mayoral race -- MICHAEL BLOOMBERG versus some guy. Oh well, it's Bill Thompson, who was president of the now defunct Board of Eduction and current city comptroller. Now, originally, MB would not have been able to run. The city had term limits and the people rejected overriding it even though members of the city council desperately wanted them to do so. But in part because he was seen as a savior in poor economic times, the city council eventually on its own did find a way to overturn them (with a few votes to spare). And, thus we now are inundated with anti-Thompson commercials so much that some people (not just me) are starting to get annoyed. Given the mismatch (and few T ads), it is just a bit too much.

Since he was about to be term limited out, MB changed his mind and supported them, as he changed parties to fit his political campaigns. MB is socially liberal in various respects (pro-choice, for strong gun regulation, big on local health regulations involving smoking and transfats, etc.) and once a registered Democrat, but running as one here -- even with his money -- is tricky. Just ask those in the four-way comptroller race that required a run-off. So, he changed to Republican and with help of the support of 9/11 mayor Rudy G., he won in '01. He eventually switched to independent, but continues to support Republican candidates.

The term limit matter pisses me off. I see it as a basic violation of the rules, even if there was some small print that allowed overriding the people's wishes. I say this as someone who is not a big fan of term limits overall. But, there is a right way to do it, and one aspect would not to pass a blatantly self-interested measure (e.g., let the new rule start after the next election for each office involved). And, he in particular has too much of a "you need me to save yourself" vibe. The fact he avoids needing campaign money (but as noted in the debate, finds another way to use money to influence people) because he is a billionaire is surely a mixed blessing. I can't damn those who don't have such money for needing to accept campaign donations from various interested parties, like most non-billionaires do.

I think the health thing was taken a bit too far. Not surprisingly, I also don't like his Republican involvement. His push for a Jets stadium in Manhattan is also a negative. My NY public school connection (a teacher) opposes him on education, even though she is personally conservative on various issues. I also want a more progressive voice overall. Honestly, yes, he is no Rudy Giuliani, who was an authoritarian asshole, though he supports Rudy for governor. I can stomach him as mayor, which is more than I can say for various Republicans. And, he doesn't have the strongest of opponents, though BT does have a career in city public service that deserves respect. But, there is enough to not vote for MB all the same.

In honor of Bloggers on the Bus, here is a local blog on the debate. I'd add that underdogs often focus on attack, but yes, he needs to also focus on why he brings different voice. Oh, that yes/no lightening round was lame.