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« The Surrogatization of Ted Strickland | Main | PA Follies »

March 03, 2008

Bloomberg Helping Republicans in New York

posted by Josh Goodman

Michael Bloomberg is a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent. But, independent or not, the New York City mayor is still opening his checkbook for Republicans (and, it seems, only Republicans) in the New York Senate. The New York Times explains:

Several weeks ago, the mayor wrote a $500,000 check to help keep the dwindling and increasingly imperiled State Senate Republicans from losing their grip on power, according to an official with direct knowledge of the donation.

The Democrats are seeking to gain control of the Senate for the first time in 40 years, and the race is growing personal and bitter.

Moreover, Mr. Bloomberg has made clear to the Republicans that he is willing to personally campaign for G.O.P. senators.

The mayor’s efforts to buttress the party stand in sharp contrast to his message as he traveled the country flirting with a presidential bid during the past year. Mr. Bloomberg has promoted his independence, denouncing party politics and dramatically announcing his resignation from the Republican Party.

The Republican edge is down to 32-30 in the New York Senate, thanks to last week's special election (the Assembly is overwhelmingly Democratic). If Republicans don't have control of the Senate after the 2010 elections, Democrats will be in charge of redistricting. As a result, they'd probably control the legislature for the foreseeable future.

In that context, I can see how Bloomberg would think that the interests of non-partisanship or bipartisanship are served by helping the Republicans maintain divided government in Albany. I could also see how he would think New York City benefits from it.

Let me suggest a more self-interested motive, however. Bloomberg is a possible candidate for governor in 2010. It's common for New York politicians to run on multiple "lines" -- with the endorsement of more than one party. Is Bloomberg looking for Republican support for a gubernatorial bid, even if he has no interest in becoming a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent-turned-Republican?

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