2009-01-14 / Features

Weiner Blasts Bloomberg, But Doesn't Declare Candidacy For Mayor

Sounding very much like a mayoral candidate, Congressmember Anthony Weiner yesterday blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg for adding workers to the city payroll despite huge budget deficits and for spending freely.

In a talk before the Citizens Union government watchdog group, scheduled to reignite his candidacy, Weiner accused the city of "boom and bust planning", pointing to growing city debt and runaway city worker wages while costs for health care and pensions have skyrocketed.

The Queens/Brooklyn lawmaker, who ran a very successful Democratic primary campaign, although finishing second in 2005, also painted the wealthy mayor as an incumbent with "an old fashioned way of thinking" who is out of touch with middle class New Yorkers.

Bloomberg's campaign spokesman, Howard Wolfson, responded by saying Weiner's political attack would not help middle class families facing major challenges.

Despite sounding like a mayoral opponent and candidate, Weiner did not outright announce he was running. Throughout much of his talk, he reviewed his record in Washington.

Weiner had been considered a sure bet to run for mayor this year before the mayor engineered the term limits repeal that cleared the way for him to run for a third term. When that happened, Weiner's candidacy appeared to fade from the political picture.

Then last Sunday Weiner staged a fundraiser in every borough, although he did not announce to the media that they were going to happen. At that time, he also announced his appearance before Citizens Union, with the likelihood of a major announcement seemingly imminent. However, that didn't materialize.

Meanwhile, city Comptroller William Thompson Jr. has thrown his hat into the ring, making him an unmistakable candidate against Bloomberg.—John Toscano

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