Based on Elizabeth Benjamin's post on the Daily News Politics blog (Feb. 18, 2009) in a piece titled Bloomberg: No Connection Between Me and Chavez the Economist Democracy - -heh- heh -- in America blog posted this:
ERIN EINHORN of the New York Daily News deserves some sort of award for this question. Last year Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, got the city council to repeal the law that prevented him from seeking a third term. This week, Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, won a vote (insofar as the polls there can be trusted) allowing him to run for as many terms in office as he likes. Cue Ms Einhorn:
Q: Mayor, it’s hard to compare New York City to Venezuela but as you know, Hugo Chavez did his second effort - this time sucessful - to extend term limits. You chose to go through City Council. Do you have any second thoughts about this? Do you wish you should have had a chance to take to the...
A: I don’t understand your question. What on Earth do we have to do with Hugo Chavez?
Q: Well, like you, he wanted to extend his term.
A: If you wanted to ask Hugo Chavez, call him up! Maybe he’ll take your call. My suspicion is he doesn’t have press conferences and let people ask questions or if they ask questions, he probably throws them, I don’t know what he does with them...Who knows? (Laughs). I still fail to see a connection.
Mr Chavez doesn't throw too many press conferences, but he does host hours-long radio shows and TV shows where citizens can toss questions at him. No one's suggesting that Mr Bloomberg should do that.
More from Benjamin
Mayor Bloomberg did not take kindly today to a question from the DN's Erin Einhorn about whether he wished he had followed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's lead and allowed a public term limits vote.
As Erin noted, this was Chavez's second attempt to scrap term limits. After Venezuelans voted down a similar proposal in December 2007, Chavez, who was facing ouster from office in 2012, spent considerable government resources on this second - ultimately successful - effort.
Unlike the first proposal, which would have only applied to the president, the one that passed earlier this week applies to all elected officials (sound familiar?).
Here in New York, opponents of extending term limits are still holding out a slim hope that the courts will force a third public referendum on the subject. But so far, the legal challenge hasn't been going so well.
Despite the efforts of Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Sen. Kevin Parker, it doesn't appear a bill that would require a public referendum for any term limits change - even the one Bloomberg signed into law last November - will be brought to the floor in either house in Albany.
This isn't the first time the mayor has been unfavorably compared to Chavez. During the City Council's term limits debate, Councilman Charles Barron urged Bloomberg to "be like Hugo, and let the people decide."