25 February, 2006

Perusing The Papers: Does Mayor Bloomberg Have His Own Karl Rove?

There's an interesting piece in today's New York Times about Kevin Sheekey, Mayor Mike Bloomberg's top political advisor.

The article describes a hard-driving, ambitious aide who has a hand in pretty much every pie at City Hall. Times reporter Jim Rutenberg describes Sheekey as a consumate deal maker who has instilled a new political toughness in the Bloomberg administration in an effort to push forward the mayor's agenda.

The story offers several examples of the new toughness, including implicit threats from City Hall that Bloomberg would help the Democrats take over the state Senate unless the legislature poinies up more funds for city schools.

Like President Bush's top political advisor Karl Rove, the article says Sheekey likes to stay out of public view and is often unreachable for days, except by the mayor himself.

In addtion, the story says, Sheekey became acquainted with Rove during the Republican convention in New York in 2004 and has conferred with him from time to time since.

But, according to the Times article, the Bloomberg administration bristles at any comparison between Sheekey and Rove.

Unlike the perception of the Bush administration - Bush the public face of policies designed by Rove- Sheekey told the Times his job is to implement policies clearly set by Bloomberg.

Aso unlike the Bush administration, which has clashed often recently with a House and Senate dominated by his own party, the article inidcates City Hall's workings with City Council members and borough presidents has improved since Sheekey took his current job of deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations.

One other clear difference between Sheekey and Rove. Sheekey is a long-time Democrat.

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Feathers were ruffled up in Harlem when Eliot Spitzer chose Senate minority leader David Patterson as a running mate, but that apparently is all water under the bridge now. The Albany Times-Union today reported Rep. Charles Rangel, in a show of unity yesterday, praised Patterson and supported a Spitzer-Patterson ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. Rangel and other members New York's black political establishment had preferred Buffalo lawyer Leecia Eve and were critical of Spitzer a few weeks ago when he chose Patterson.

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Jeanine Pirro, who was drummed out of the race for U.S. Senate by leaders of her own party, met with the New York Daily News editorial board earlier this week. Out of that meeting came a highly positive profile of Pirro and the contention that the state GOP may be shooting itself in the foot by throwing up roadblocks for what the paper said may be the party's only legitimate "rising star."

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Coming up tomorrow on WCBS-TV's Kirtzman & Co. is an interview with Republican gubenatorial candidate John Faso. According the New York Observer's political blog, The Politicker, Faso stopped just sort of siding with president Bush on the ports controversy.

On the other hand, Fasso is scheduled to appear on WNBC tomorrow too, and according to The Politicker he does not come off in that interview as wanting to be seen as being too closely allied with the embattled Bush.

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