When Michael Bloomberg ends his 3-term stint as Mayor of New York City, it will be the end of an era.
So let the speculation on who will replace his powerful political machine begin.
Charlie Gasaparino, usually a Wall Street reporter, took a stab at speculating in today’s NY Post. He endorsed Joe Lhota, a Goldman Sachs alum, Giuliani administration deputy mayor, and current head of the MTA.
Gasparino points out that the Bronx born bureaucrat is no normal Goldmanite. Though Lhota was in high demand on Wall Street for his help raising money for municipal infrastructure projects, Lhota hated it at the bank.
Another plus: Lhota helped the city recover from September 11th while working in the Giuliani administration.
As a former budget director, Gasparino thinks Lhota would reign in costs by curbing the power of unions that other candidates for mayor are already cozying up to (a quote from Lhota in the NY Post):
“The first priority, no matter who is mayor, will be dealing with the unions, because all collective-bargaining agreements are ending and they’re just waiting for the next mayor to make their move.” They’ll want concessions the city can’t afford; higher taxes would make New York even less welcoming to businesses than it already is…
“We have to create jobs,” he says. “Without jobs, there are no revenues and without revenues we don’t have the money to pay for all this stuff. It’s pretty simple.”
Here’s the thing, though, Lhota is going to face some fierce competition. Perhaps he can get through a Republican primary, but once he’s done with that, he’s likely to face fierce competition from entrenched NYC establishment politicians — like City Council Speaker and West Village Councilwoman Christine Quinn.
Quinn has been a staunch ally of Mayor Bloomberg since he took office and it’s rumoured that she’ll have his backing in her bid for his old seat.