Michael Bloomberg is already coming under criticism from City Council members over the budget cutbacks he proposed.
And according to Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, that criticism will only make Bloomberg…stronger.
“If they attack him, they strengthen his hand,” said Sheinkopf. The presumption among Bloomberg’s critics “is that New Yorkers don’t know the world is collapsing. Trust me, they know. And Bloomberg is going to appear to be the hero if they attack him. ‘I’m protecting you,’ he’ll say.”
Sheinkopf admitted that it’s easier for the mayor, rather than a local City Councilman, to explain the need for such drastic budget cuts.
“The mayor doesn’t have the problem. The City Council does. The mayor sets policy. The Council delivers services and they have to explain it at home. Not easy to do.”
Sheinkopf said that even they, the put-upon Council members, were unlikely to pay the ultimate price for the strains that the city’s austerity measures would put on their constituents. “In 1975, the city went bankrupt. How many people were turned out of office in 1977? None that I remember.”
Numbers-cruncher Jerry Skurnik, who was around at the time, did say that Arlene Stringer (Scott’s mother) lost her Democratic primary to Stanley Michels, but that it wasn’t over her budget vote. “It was reform versus regular,” and the “more liberal, reform-oriented people were coming in.”
But Skurnik said, “Hank is absolutely right that many people in the City Council haven’t been defeated over someone making a big issue on how they voted on some budget cuts.”
UPDATE: A smart reader noted that nobody was turned out of office in 2003 after voting for a huge property tax increase in 2002.