Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bloomberg "lobbies" Albany

One of the most interesting stories (to me) coming out of New York City is Mayor Bloomberg's effort to hold legislators accountable for the money New York City schools are supposed to be getting.

Bloomberg's latest move is to cancel plans to build schools in districts of state legislators who don't support the required funding for New York City schools.

The New York Times has more:

When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced this week that he was killing plans for dozens of buildings that were to be built under New York City's school construction plan, he blamed leaders in Albany for not sending enough money to the city.

But the schools that the mayor singled out were apparently chosen for a reason: They were in the districts of powerful lawmakers in Albany, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and several Republican state senators, signaling that the mayor is prepared to use his muscle to penalize lawmakers if they do not support his effort to get more school aid from Albany.

Of 21 schools that were to begin construction this year and are now being scrapped, four are in the district of State Senator Serphin R. Maltese, a Republican. Earlier this month, mayoral aides said that Mr. Bloomberg was so frustrated with Albany that he was considering supporting a Democratic challenger to Mr. Maltese in the November elections, even though the mayor is a Republican.

It's risky gambit with a high chance of backfiring. Bloomberg's trying to seem bipartisan by targeting Senate Republicans and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, even though Silver and the Assembly Democrats have been on the right side of the CFE fight, only to see the Republican Senate refuse to do the same. I don't think anyone's fooled by that - this is all about Bloomberg fighting the Republican Senate for school funding.

So what do you think, smart politics or dumb idea?


Civilis said...

If he's going to do this, he should just come out and say hey Bruno I ain't gonna take it! But I don't think he wants to burn NYGOP bridges even though they are on the decline in NY anyway.

After reading The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol this issue get me really angry. I think Bloomberg is going to have to lay down the gauntlet. He can't do this halfway supposedly bi-partisan thing.

Truthfully, this is his last term right? Layeth the Smackdown!!! Get some funding for NYC public schools!!!

Steve Perez said...

Maybe he's hoping Bruno will blink before he has to go down that road in public.