2:00 pm Oct. 1, 20121
"Did he actually say that?" Democratic state senator Eric Adams said when I asked for his response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg saying the Democrats in the State Senate were "an embarrassment" to New York when they were in the majority.
"It's interesting," said Adams, standing outside City Hall yesterday. "We were not an embarrassment when he came to us and asked us to pass some very important pieces of legislation."
Bloomberg traveled to Albany in February 2011 seeking, among other things, a restoration of $300 million in Aid to Municipalities (AIM) funding that was cut from the state budget.
The mayor "came to us and asked can we help push it forward," Adams said. "Yet, we said, 'You just gave $900,000 to the Republican Party, the same party that's denying you AIM. Their counties are going to receive AIM and we're not.'"
Bloomberg had donated the $900,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in the run-up to the 2010 elections.
"I was very clear," Adams said. "I said, Mayor, prior to AIM or talking about any other issues, let's deal with the $900,000 elephant in the room. You single-handedly gave the Republicans the resources that we cannot retain control.'"
"He sort of tried to be dismissive of it and say, 'Well, that's not a question that's a statement.' I said 'Well, that's fine. But what's the answer. What's the answer?'"
Bloomberg, according to Adams, "didn't have a response. He realized you can't come with your hat in hand when you fill someone else's cup."
A spokesperson for Bloomberg declined to respond to Adams' remarks.
UPDATE: Bloomberg, doubling down on his position, told reporters today, "I don't know what rational person would want to go back to those days," when Democrats controlled the State Senate.
UPDATE: A reader notes the AIM funds were originally cut in 2010, when Democrats were still in the majority.
UPDATE: Senate Democratic spokesman Michael Murphy emailed to say, "On the issues Mayor Bloomberg claims to care about, the record is clear - from sensible gun laws to women's rights to government reform, the Mayor agrees with Senate Democrats and the Republicans are obstacles to progress. The Bloomberg agenda will go nowhere if Republicans retain control and will advance if the Democrats recapture the Senate."