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NYT: Bloomberg Leaving Republican Party

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  • Ram Lau
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/19/bloomberg-leaving-republican-party/ June 19, 2007, 6:07 pm Bloomberg Leaving Republican Party By Sewell Chan
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2007
      June 19, 2007, 6:07 pm
      Bloomberg Leaving Republican Party
      By Sewell Chan

      UPDATED, 8:01 p.m.

      Michael R. Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who switched to the
      Republican Party to run for mayor of New York City in 2001, announced
      this evening that he is changing his party status and registering as
      an independent. His office released this statement at 6:05 p.m. (EST):

      I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to
      change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any
      political party. Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I
      believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led
      and will continue to lead our city.

      A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: we’ve
      balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed
      the school system and made the nation’s safest city even safer.

      We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that
      too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political
      independent, I will continue to work with those in all political
      parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to
      achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.

      Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more
      important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take
      precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology.
      Working together, there’s no limit to what we can do.

      Mr. Bloomberg’s decision â€" the first change in party affiliation by a
      sitting New York City mayor since 1971, when John V. Lindsay switched
      from Republican to Democrat â€" immediately set off intense speculation
      that he will enter the 2008 presidential race as an independent.

      Mr. Bloomberg, 65, a billionaire businessman, narrowly beat a
      Democrat, Mark Green, in his first run for elected office, in 2001. He
      was re-elected by a wide margin in 2005.

      The mayor was in California on Monday and today for events with Gov.
      Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los
      Angeles, a Democrat.

      On Monday, the mayor gave a speech at “Ceasefire! Bridging the
      Political Divide,” a conference intended to improve the quality of
      public discourse in America. In the speech, he said, “The politics of
      partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralyzed
      decision-making, primarily at the federal level, and the big issues of
      the day are not being addressed â€" leaving our future in jeopardy.”

      Over the past year and a half, after his decisive re-election victory,
      Mr. Bloomberg has taken increasingly public stands on national issues,
      especially gun control, climate change and urban education, but has
      tended to shy away from offering his views on defense and foreign affairs.

      Although the mayor has insisted again and again that he has no plans
      to run for president, several of his top aides â€" especially his chief
      political adviser, Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey â€" have made no secret of
      their desire to see him enter the 2008 race.

      Reaction is already starting to trickle in from the New York political
      world. But we’re interested in what readers have to say.
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