Mayor Michael Bloomberg today took aim at the city’s rising pension and health costs, calling what he dubbed the “labor-electoral complex” the most pressing threat to New York in the final major speech as mayor.
Speaking in a grand ballroom in front of members of the Economic Club of New York, Mr. Bloomberg said that exploding health and pension benefits for municipal workers threatened to undermine the city’s progress and urged his successor, Bill de Blasio, to push through reforms.
Big Thought Thursday
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has thus far remained mum on his favored candidate for mayor, but Anthony Weiner is pretty confident he’s got it locked down.
“I think that the mayor, were he a Democrat, would vote for me in the primary and I expect him to vote for me in the general,” declared Mr. Weiner, speaking to reporters at a press conference on parking on the Upper East Side, following a raucous forum at Hunter College.
In the first major policy speech of his campaign for mayor, Anthony Weiner was all business.
Standing next to a projected PowerPoint presentation laden with images of a financial charts and graphs, the normally-wisecracking-candidate-turned-staid-professor laid out his plan to overhaul the city’s health care system, including establishing a “single payer laboratory.”
It was his third interview in recent days on the Supreme Court’s health care ruling, but former Congressman Anthony Weiner said this does not mark a return to public life for him.
“Well, you called me and asked for my thoughts on this issue that I care deeply about,” Mr. Weiner said when asked on The Brian Lehrer Show if he’s putting his “toe in the water” for such a return. “I’ve not stopped caring about it and the challenges facing the middle class and those struggling to make it.”
“I’m not putting my toe anywhere but I’m just going on my favorite radio show and talking about a subject that’s very dear to me,” he added.
Among the many politicians who rushed out statements opposing or supporting the Supreme Court’s decision that President Obama’s health care legislation was constitutional, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not among them. On John Gambling’s radio show today, Mr. Bloomberg explained why he’s “not sure if after all the yelling and screaming and all the politics around this, there’s really any great change.”
“Good or bad, at least it takes away the argument that this law was unconstitutional,” he began to describe his reaction to the ruling. “It does not mean that future governments in Washington can’t change the law or repeal it or something.”
Strongly Worded Letters
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House Republicans, has been relentlessly focused on tying President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation around the necks of at least two Democrats in recent weeks: Long Island Congressman Tim Bishop and Staten Island challenger Mark Murphy.
Since March 14th, the NRCC sent The Politicker no less than 13 press releases attacking the two Democrats on the issue with headlines such as “Bishop is Responsible for ObamaCare’s Broken Promises” and “With Obama in Hiding, Will Murphy Help House Dems Defend Government Healthcare Takeover?”
Most recently, the NRCC blasted out a statement connecting Mr. Murphy to the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on a case against the bill today.
In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo and ten Albany legislators Monday, Communications Workers Union of America District 1 Health Care Coordinating Council Chair John Klein urged the lawmakers to prohibit the controversial natural gas drilling procedure known as hydrofracking in New York. In addition to communications workers, the CWA represents roughly 15,000 people working in the health care industry. “I am writing regarding concerns we have about the hydrofracking process and its potential impacts on human health and the environment,” Mr. Klein wrote. “As health care workers, we would be on the front line of any public health problems that result from hydrofracking.”