At a press conference this morning, Michael Bloomberg said he supports Republicans in the state Senate because “ a one-party rule at wasn’t good for government at any level.”
Bloomberg was speaking at City Hall Park, and responding to a question from a reporter. In Albany, the Governor, leader of the Assembly, Attorney General and State Comptroller are all Democrats. Republicans hold a narrow, two-seat majority in the State Senate.
“I just think that when you have the checks and balances of multiple parties, Democracy works better,” Bloomberg said.
Later, Democratic Senate Leader Malcolm Smith responded to the remark by saying Bloomberg is doing pretty well with one-party rule in the City Council, which recently approved his plan to extend term limits.
Smith, standing in front of City Hall for his own press conference this afternoon, said, “He got terms limits in there, and that was one party rule.” He later said, “He should be the last person to talk about there is a problem with one party rule.”
In the City Council, there are 47 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and one Working Families Party member (Letitia James of Brooklyn). On the term limits extension, James joined the three Republicans and 18 Democrats in voting no. Twenty-nine Democrats voted in favor of it.
Today’s remarks between Bloomberg and Smith are the latest salvo in their awkward relationship. Earlier, Bloomberg contributed $500,000 to Republicans in Albany and once said Smith lacked courage for not supporting the mayor’s congestion pricing plan.