New York’s Governing Billionaires on the March Again

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Howard Rubenstein: Influencer of politics, puppeteer of billionaires.
Howard Rubenstein: Influencer of politics, puppeteer of billionaires. Photo: Getty Images

Remember when the secret cabal of billionaires that run the city stepped into the public eye for an awkward, scary moment last year to support Mayor Bloomberg's run for a third term? Well, once again they've let the veil slip. A group of oligarchs business leaders met last Sunday at the "Upper East Side manse" of Jerry Speyer to talk with Governor David Paterson. The gang included Dick Parsons, Rupert Murdoch, Howard Rubenstein, Marty Lipton, and Bill Rudin, and was originally reported to vaguely concern commercial real estate (an obvious ruse, considering Parsons, Murdoch, Lipton, and Rubenstein are magnates of finance, media, law, and PR respectively).

But today, the Post explains that it was, in fact, exactly what you thought it might be: another attempt by Howard Rubenstein's gang of heavies to push around government leaders:

The civic-minded business leaders expressed concern that the "millionaires' tax" being considered by Silver's Assembly Democrats would worsen the city's rapidly deteriorating economic climate. They also drew comparisons to the city and state fiscal crisis of 1975-76 and, as the business community did back then, offered to pitch in to help.


We love the euphemism "pitch in to help" as a stand-in for "issue orders from on high." We're going to use that from now on with our interns. It's unclear what Paterson took away from the meeting; he apparently just told the moguls to take their gripes to Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver. What is clear, however, is that somebody needs to get Howard Rubenstein into elected office: It might just be the only way to limit his power!

GOV TO TYCOONS: TAKE TAX GRIPES TO SILVER [NYP]
Earlier: Howard Rubenstein’s Fingerprints All Over Bloomberg Third-Term Push
Yep, It Was Howard Rubenstein
Related: How the Bottom Fell Out of Jerry Speyer's New Vision for Stuyvesant Town [NYM]