Now that the City Council's 29-22 voted to extend term limits from two terms to three yesterday--paving the way for Mayor Bloomberg and a bevy of other officials, including Council members, to run for re-election--there lawsuits are coming in. Two have been filed and the NY Times says many more are expected (term limits votes winners: Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Quinn, lawyers!).
Quinn, an ally of Bloomberg's, had tried to play up the economic reality as a reason for term limits, "Our city, already in recession, is headed for a long and deep downturn. In challenging times like these, the voters should have the choice, the choice to continue their current leadership. They should have the right to vote for their current mayor or a new one, for their current City Council member or a new one."
However, those who voted against the extension were upset. The Daily News has this quote from member Tony Avella: "The public of this city knows the fix was in." Council member Charles Barron, no stranger to Council drama, said, "The mayor is a loser today. His legacy will be forever tainted."
You can see how City Council members voted--and how that differed from earlier stated positions--with NY1's tally. CityRoom looks at how City Council member Darlene Mealy changed her mind: She went from opposing the extension alongside City Comptroller Bill Thompson on the steps of City Hall to voting yes. Barron said, "They put unbelievable pressure on her in a way that may have been unethical." Mealy, described as being in tears last week, refused to discuss her decision.
The Post and Daily News have editorials about the vote--both think it's a good thing, with the News calling it a "win for democracy" while the Post says it's better to have the choice of Bloomberg in '09 given the economy -- but the Times doesn't, because it has a huge endorsement for Barack Obama.