New York Post
2-FACED POLS' LOBBYIST $CHEME
By DAVID SEIFMAN
September 2, 2007 -- SOME City Council members who voted for a landmark bill that limits campaign contributions by lobbyists are privately urging the lobbyists to file a lawsuit to overturn the legislation.
"They're telling us we should sue," confided one well-known lobbyist. "They don't really want this."
The bill, eagerly signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg, severely limits contributions from people who do business with the city, such as the lobbyists.
While other individuals will still be able to give up to $4,950 to a mayoral candidate, lobbyists will be restricted to $400.
And their contributions won't be eligible for a new 6-to-1 matching program covering the first $175 donated.
More infuriating to the lobbyists is a provision exempting unions from the reduced limits.
"This can't be constitutional," complained one lobbyist.
With the muscle of the mayor and good-government groups behind it, the bill breezed through the council, 44-4, in June.
One council member - who spoke on condition of anonymity - told The Post that he's been privately advocating that the law be overturned even though he voted for it.
"All it does is make it more complicated for people to do what they were doing before," said the legislator. "If we could get rid of the law, that would be great. I hope there's a lawsuit. I don't believe in it."
"Why vote for it?" the pol was asked.
"I'm not a masochist," the lawmaker replied. "This was done purely to cater to the good-government groups."
Mayor Bloomberg has been on a tear lately over the alleged mistreatment of overseas visitors at U.S. entry points.
On Friday, the mayor ratcheted up the rhetoric and revealed that some of his information comes directly from employees of his own information company, Bloomberg LP.
"People in my company say when they come to America, and we have offices in 160 cities around the world, they get treated like criminals," the mayor reported.
Former Mayor David Dinkins has been out of office for more than 14 years, but 1,700 boxes of paper records spanning his term still haven't been catalogued.
That'll change this year, since Mayor Bloomberg has set aside $200,000 in the budget to start the lengthy project.
NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc. NYPOST.COM, NYPOSTONLINE.COM, and NEWYORKPOST.COM are trademarks of NYP Holdings, Inc.
Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.