the Radical Homosexual Agenda seen in Council this morning
The real argument is about competitive elections, not term limits. Of course we'd like to think that every vote counts, but the fact is that we've designed a system in which money really counts; the votes are essentially just for decoration.
If we had a real system of public financing of elections there would be no argument for term limits. New Yorkers have voted twice to establish a system of term limits, a clumsy and ineffective mechanism intended to help level the playing field for candidates seeking office. It doesn't really get us where we should be, but it's not preferential, and it's what we got.
While it's not entirely about money, it's about money. Wealth always attracts power and power attracts wealth. It's not just ironic that the billionaire who initiated and bankrolled, to the tune of $4 million, successful term limits referendums in 1993 and 1996 now wants to overturn the results without a referendum, in order to support another billionaire: In fact it's disgusting but it should surprise no one.
Supporters of Mayor Bloomberg's call for the Council to negate the twice-expressed will of the voters of the city for his benefit are acting as if victory would automatically mean a third term for their candidate. Unfortunately they're probably right. Bloomberg spent $100 million of his own money to buy and keep his first two elections; he is expected to spend another $80 million if we let him have his way with us a third time.
Supporters also argue that voters should have complete freedom to cast their ballots for whomever they wish. I agree, but it's not going to happen if this kind of money (whether coming from individuals or very interested corporations) is always going to be there to tell us who and what is best for us. Any other other "whomever" or "whatever" will always be kept out of both sight and sound by people with more money behind them.
I'd like to think that my city is not for sale, and yet of course we know it is.
But there's still hope, and some of it showed up at City Hall this morning. On the second day of hearings over the question of whether the Council should vote for another term for Bloomberg, the first statements were delivered by Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, Time Warner Chairman Richard D. Parsons, and Peter Vallone, Sr., who was Speaker of the City Council from 1986 until 2001. All three support Bloomberg, and all three spoke in his support today, but then something happened to throw a figurative wrench in their political works. I hope it might set the theme for the remainder of the day: Members of the Radical Homosexual Agenda [RHA website] got up from their seats and dropped the cloth banner shown above.