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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

NYC Comptroller Sues Bloomberg on Power Grab

BROOKLYN (CN) - The city comptroller and three city councilors are the latest to sue Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council for changing the law so Bloomberg can run for a third term. In their federal claim, the officials say democracy should not "crumble in the face of a weakened economy, nor should it be violated for the direct benefit of specific individual elected officials."

Named plaintiffs include Council Members Bill de Blasio, Letitia James and Charles Barron; New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson; the nonprofits NYPIRG and U.S. Term Limits; Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, and many activists who do not hold public office or represent political organizations.

Plaintiffs say New Yorkers overwhelmingly supported term limits in two public referendums: by 59-41% in 1993 and by 54-46% in 1996.

The "First Amendment's protection of the right to an effective vote includes the right not to have one's vote nullified by self-interested legislative action," the complaint states.

They also claim that City Council violated the 14th Amendment in extending term limits.

Defendants include Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the New York City Council, the Board of Elections, and its Commissioner James J. Sampel.

The plaintiffs are represented by lawyer Norman Siegel, former director of the NYCLU.

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