New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is willing to dip into his massive fortune in order to help thwart the re-election bids of City Council members who vote to override his veto of a bill that limits the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, The New York Post reported.
“The mayor believes actions have consequences, and [he] certainly hasn’t ruled out holding members accountable for their votes,” said a source close to the mayor.
The council approved a measure on Thursday that opens the NYPD up to lawsuits filed by individuals who feel the cops used bias-based profiling in conducting a stop-and-frisk.
The bill passed 34-17 — exactly enough votes to override Bloomberg’s expected veto.
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Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said that Bloomberg’s political action committee will “cast a wide net” to get council members to change their votes. “I’ve got the time to talk to all members. Basically, we’re going to recanvass as many members as we can and see what we come up with,” Wolfson said.
One lawmaker who Bloomberg and his aides have tried to persuade to vote against the bill, Erik Dilan, isn’t likely to change his mind at this point unless he hears a better argument.
“It would have to be incredibly compelling, and it would have to be factual,” Dilan said. “It can’t be more of the same. Once you go on the record as having voted for something the first time around, it’s hard to change your vote without a substantial revelation of fact.”
When asked about using his PAC, Independence USA, to unseat council members, Bloomberg had this reply:
“I think you should urge your readers to vote for those people that want to keep this city safe,” he said during a news conference. “It’s votes that matter, not money.”
Bloomberg’s recent comments about stop-and-frisk, where he made reference to the notion that officers stop “whites too much,” have just added fuel to the fire.