Monday, July 16, 2007

Bloomberg Has A Temper Tantrum

The NY Times reports that Mayor Moneybags walked out of negotiations for his traffic congestion pricing program in a snit tonight when Assembly and Senate Democrats didn't roll over and give him everything he wanted. This is a long excerpt from the article, but it's worth reading because it gives you some very important insights into who Bloomberg is as a person and as a politician. If this robber baron is going to spend $1 billion or more dollars to define himself to the nation when he runs for president, it's important that people around the country come to see what a rich, arrogant bully he is:

ALBANY, July 16 —Lawmakers this evening shelved Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to charge motorists who drive into the busiest parts of Manhattan, dealing a setback to the mayor as he attempts to raise his national profile and tout his environmental initiatives.

The State Senate, which had convened in a special session in Albany, ended its session without taking up the plan after it became apparent that the votes for passage were not there.

Meanwhile, Democrats who control the State Assembly refused to gather in Albany, and the speaker, Sheldon Silver, unveiled a proposal to send the issue to a study commission that would also consider other ways to reduce traffic.

Together, the developments suggested that, barring a dramatic reversal, prospects for passage of the mayor’s plan this year were bleak.


The plan called for imposing an $8 fee on cars and $21 on trucks that enter Manhattan below 86th Street during the workday.

In a tense meeting yesterday, testy exchanges erupted between the mayor and the Democratic state senators he was trying to win over. At one point, according to several people present, Mr. Bloomberg told the senators that his administration had sent plenty of information about his plan in the mail, and that it was not his fault if they had not read it.

“If the mayor came in with one vote, he left with none,” said Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat.

“His posture was not ingratiating,” he said. “He says he doesn’t know politics, and he certainly bore that out by the way he behaved.”

So angered were Democrats that they decided to vote as bloc to defeat the measure, and there were not nearly enough votes among the Republican senators for it to pass.


Senate Democrats were particularly upset when the mayor told them he was “not political,” with several asking him why he had then supported their opponents or why he had been such a fervent financial supporter of Senate Republicans.

“I think several members during the meeting with the mayor referenced their disappointment that he left the Republican Party but still swore his allegiance, basically, to keeping Joe Bruno as the majority leader,” said Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. “The mayor tried to explain that he wasn’t political. But most of us in politics don’t believe that any mayor is not political.”

Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, a Manhattan Democrat, said, “I think my conference has gone from split on congestion pricing to quite hostile.”

Nice work, Moneybags. You killed your own plan with your arrogance and bullying.

If you're keeping score, this is the second time the mayor has suffered a major defeat - remember that Shelly Silver killed the mayor's proposal to spend $1 billion of New York tax payers' money to handcraft a football stadium for his billionaire buddy Robert Wood Johnson and a platform over the West Side rail yards to provide land for his billionaire real estate buddies to erect luxury buildings.

Moneybags, with more money than god and just a little less money than Bill Gates, is not used to not getting his way on everything and it shows. He certainly cannot lose gracefully.

But then again, what robber baron can?

It's nice to see state Democrats weren't cowed by big money. I am so sick of billionaires as it is, let's elect someone middle class next time.
Amen, Lew. I'm sick of bored billionaires looking to buy their political offices too.
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