This morning, a number of influential New Yorkers purchased an ad in the Daily News calling upon City Council to extend term limits so that Michael Bloomberg can again run for mayor. The list includes big names like Candace Beinecke, Lloyd Blankfein, James Dimon, Henry Kissinger, Henry Kravis, Martin Lipton, Dick Parsons, Tim Zagat, and Mort Zuckerman. But earlier in the week, before Bloomberg's intentions were known, there was a smaller and more tight-knit group of movers and shakers who were vocally backing a third Bloomberg term — and they all had one thing in common: PR maven Howard Rubenstein. According to one source close to Bloomberg, the biggest corporate pusher of the third term has been developer Jerry Speyer, a top Rubenstein client. And, not surprisingly, the boldface names quoted in the Times article that broke the story, such as Steven Ross, of the Related Companies, and others, are also signed on with Rubenstein. And, perhaps most fitting, it was Rubenstein who arranged the breakthrough breakfast meeting between Bloomberg and former term-limits booster Ron Lauder, who gave an exclusive interview earlier this week to, of all places, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, another Rubenstein client.
"No question, Howard played the kingmaker on this one," says one source in the development industry who discussed Bloomberg's third term with Rubenstein and just so happens to be repped by him. "We're all clients."
Earlier: Chris Smith: A Bloomberg Oligarchy?