Hey, remember when the people of New York gave billionaire makeup heir Ronald Lauder the power to temporarily alter laws at his whim? Neither do we. But it seems that because Lauder was the catalyst for implementing term limits in the first place, we need his consent to change the law again. Lauder had been reluctantly onboard with Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to run for a third term when he thought it would apply just this one time, but turned on the plan when he discovered it could become permanent. “I was opposed to even extending it once,” he told the Times on Sunday. “For the love of this city, I will do it once, but that is it.” You hear that, New York? We get one exception, and that’s it. Lauder is putting his foot down. We guess we should be grateful.
But Bloomberg wants to do things a little differently, and today in London he tried to downplay Lauder’s dissension. The two really see eye-to-eye, Bloomberg explained, because he plans to put term limits on the ballot in 2010, and let voters decide whether the limit should remain at three terms or revert back to two. Either way, there will be term limits, just possibly less limited than before. “It was something that we both agreed to, and I think it will work out fine,” he said. “I’ll talk to Ron when I get back.” There, the two powerful billionaires will come to an agreement and everything will be settled. Democracy in action.
Bloomberg Plays Down Rift With Lauder Over Third Term [City Room/NYT]