Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bloomberg Mocks FOIA Request For Term Limit Extension Emails

In an open and transparent democracy, it is the representatives of the people who are beholden to those that elect them. For Mayor Bloomberg though, he does not believe that principle applies to himself. Going around the backs of New Yorkers who voted for term limits, he had the city council reverse the will of the people and extend term limits so that he and other two-termers could run for another four years.

What the Mayor engineered was an outrage to say the least. In response, at least one person at the NY Times (not to mention outside groups) file a Freedom of Information request to see how it all went down. Sadly though, in the same spirit that Bloomberg spit on the will of the voters who enacted term limits, he did the same to that request for information.

From The NY Times:

“Many thanks.”

In the middle of the pitched battle over Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to re-engineer the city’s term-limits laws, those are the only two words that the first deputy mayor, Patricia E. Harris, wrote about the topic.

Or at least those are the only two words that City Hall will allow the public to see.

On Friday, six months after The New York Times requested copies of all e-mail messages about term limits sent or received by six top aides to the mayor under the Freedom of Information Act, the Bloomberg administration released 66 pages of correspondence. (Also available as PDF.)

Much of what the city released amounted to fan mail for the mayor, from businesspeople, friends of his aides or ordinary citizens.
There was absolutely nothing in there that had any of what the principle architects of this political maneuver had written to each other. Nothing about the logistics and nothing about anything of importance was included. Of course, the information is there, somewhere. Bloomberg and his aides however, do not respect the public enough to let them see what or how things went down. Instead, their fear of the public keeps them from disseminating the information that would expose them for the power-hungry politicos that they are.