Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg will use his personal fortune to fight two bills passed by City Council last week aimed at reining in the NYPD.
Aides to the third-term hizzoner tell CBS New York he'll use his vast wealth to convince city council members to change their minds on two pieces of legislation. One bill, targeting the NYPD's use of stop and frisks, makes it easier for New Yorkers to sue if they feel they've been profiled based on religion, sexual orientation, or race.
The other bill sets up the office of the NYPD inspector general, which would act as watchdog over the department.
The inspector general bill passed with a strong, veto-proof majority.
The racial profiling bill, however, passed with a weaker majority. Bloomberg would need to persuade just one city council member who supported the bill to vote to not override his veto, and the bill would be defeated.
“He is just as intent as ever on using his wealth to determine the outcome. It’s almost like he can’t let go, like he doesn’t understand it’s over. It’s time for the people to make decisions in this town again, not billionaires,” New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio fumed to CBS. “And even though he’s on the way out the door and even though people fundamentally disagree with his position on stop-and-frisk all over this city, he’s going to try once again to turn the tables on the democratic process.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, also a mayoral candidate, was also concerned.
"People are free to lobby, advocate with council members,” she told The New York Post. “[But] I don’t think money should be involved in lobbying council members."
Last week, Bloomberg was widely criticized for his comments regarding the two bills.
"The racial profiling bill is just so unworkable," he told host John Gambling during his weekly radio appearance. "Nobody racially profiles."
"There is this business, there's one newspaper and one news service, they just keep saying, 'Oh it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group,'" Bloomberg added. "That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the murder. In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."
Bloomberg's comments led to an article from The New York Times editorial board Monday, calling for Bloomberg to brush up on his math and logic skills.
The NYPD made 533,042 stops last year. Of those stops, 87 percent were of blacks and Latinos.