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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Mayoral flatterer's fat fiscal-crisis payday

Michael Bloomberg celebrates his victory for a third

Michael Bloomberg celebrates his victory for a third term as mayor of NYC Tuesday. (Nov. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

This has got to be the quote of the week.

It popped out when Mayor Michael Bloomberg – just days prior to announcing that he’s closing firehouses and slicing teachers – explained the $200,000 hiring of career political-campaign man Howard Wolfson as a deputy mayor in charge of something blatantly non-essential, like promoting Bloomberg nationally.

Declared His Honor:

"He looked me in the eye and he said: 'I've never seen an administration as honest and as competent and as dedicated to making a difference, and I want to be part of it.' It's one of the nicest things anybody's ever said to me."

Message: Honesty and competence equals hiring high-priced political operatives on the public dime when you were given a third term under the rationale of a fiscal emergency.

A longtime source who declined to have his name used offered this tart assessment:

“In a single quote, it captures the fawning insincerity of Howard toward people with power, the fawning narcissism of Bloomberg toward himself, and the complete disregard both of them have for the press.”

Nassau legislative leader Peter Schmitt could perhaps argue some government rationale for his controversial raises. How on earth is Bloomberg's move justified, at least symbolically, in times like these?

Makes you wonder if Bloomberg will even finish this third term that he rigged from the inside.


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