Friday, October 16, 2009

El Diario's Blistering Attack on Bloomberg

El Diario's endorsement in the mayoral race is a courageous and eloquent clarion call for democracy. It's so rare to see an editorial these days that doesn't simply parrot the administration's positions. This one is a must read. Excerpt:

Twice, New Yorkers had voted to limit the service of local elected officials to two terms. Instead of respecting that, Bloomberg and his associates peddled the idea of overturning term limits to the editorial boards of local newspapers; pressured the heads of nonprofit organizations that rely on private donors and city funding to speak before the City Council in support of undoing term limits; and contrived to run out the clock on a referendum.

All of this is not simply slick scheming—it is a gross abuse of power. Even Venezuela's President Hugo Ch├ívez conducted a plebiscite on his extended stay in power. New Yorkers were not even given that chance.

With city government already tipped to favor the executive branch, Bloomberg’s power grab delivers a clear message: the ability of constituents to challenge power and shape decisions at the top is seriously in danger. The prospect of a mayor with an emperor-esque approach to New Yorkers bodes poorly for our city.

Read the full text here.