Who, exactly, are Michael Bloomberg’s friends in Albany?
Since getting elected in 2001, Bloomberg has always counted on Joe Bruno and Republicans in the State Senate whenever he’s needed help in the capital, and he even gave a $500,000 donation to the Senate majority in the run-up the crucial elections later this year.
But lately, Bloomberg’s Albany team hasn’t counted for much.
First, a small a small band of Assembly members were successfully able to block the billionaire mayor’s plan to open a waste transfer station in a part of lower Manhattan.
More recently, lawmakers in the capital shot down his cherished congestion pricing plan, which never made it to the floor.
While Sheldon Silver’s Assembly Democrats were the ones who definitively killed the proposal, Bruno and his allies didn’t do much to keep it alive either. The bill was never brought to the floor of the Senate. If he had, it would have isolated the Democratically-controlled Assembly as the bill‘s opponents.
And overshadowed by the defeat of congestion pricing was another major loss for Bloomberg — one that could have an impact that outlasts all the others. The mayor had wanted to tie teacher tenure to student’s grades, a major component of his schools agenda. But it is a measure the United Federation of Teachers opposes. The teachers won.
The mayor is going to have to confront the union again next year when he tries winning renewal of mayoral control of city schools. Or, if last week’s fight was any indication, he’ll have to find out way to cut his own deal with them. He certainly won’t be able to count on anyone else to carry his water.