What Did Bloomberg Not Know, and When Did He Not Know It?

Two good government groups have filed a Freedom of Information Law request seeking communications between the mayor’s office and “any private party” on the issue of term limits.

The request, filed by the New York Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause yesterday, is an attempt to disprove the mayor’s official explanation that he only decided in response to the recent Wall Street meltdown to seek a third term, and that there was simply no time to put the term limits issue on the ballot for voters to decide, like they did in 1993 and 1996.

Critics don’t believe that, since term limits could have been put on the ballot this fall if the mayor had impaneled the Charter Revision Commission he said he was forming back in January.

Here’s the FOIL request.

October 14, 2008

Anthony Crowell
Records Access Officer
Office of the Mayor
City Hall
New York, New York 10007

Re: FOIL Request Related to Term Limits

Dear Anthony:

We write to make two requests for government records pursuant to section 87 of the State Public Officers Law, known as the Freedom of Information Law. Both relate to the issue of term limits.

First, recent media reports have detailed actions by the Office of the Mayor to obtain support from private individuals and groups ­– including real estate developers, business associations, clergy and labor unions ­ for Intro 845. That bill would legislatively extend the current two-term limit to three terms. Our groups want to know what – if any ­– specific offers have been made by the Office of the Mayor in exchange for endorsing or voting for Intro 845. Therefore, we make a FOIL request for:

1) Any written or electronic documentation concerning communications by the Office of the Mayor with any private party regarding Intro 845.

Second, our groups want to how long Mayor Bloomberg and his staff have been actively considering supporting to a term-limits extension. The Mayor contends that the determination was made too late in the year for to be considered by a Charter Revision Commission and presented as a public referendum. However, news stories regarding active consideration by the Mayor’s office date back as early as April 2008. Therefore, we make a FOIL request for:

2) Any written or electronic document concerning communications by the Office of the Mayor with any private party or group regarding term limits between January 1, 2008 and the present.

We would appreciate a reply to our request within five business days.

Sincerely,

Susan Lerner Gene Russianoff

Common Cause/NY NYPIRG

155 Sixth Avenue 9 Murray Street

New York, NY 10013 New York, NY 10007

What Did Bloomberg Not Know, and When Did He Not Know It?