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Giuliani won't run for mayor

By WILLIAM M. REILLY   |   Oct. 3, 2001 at 9:14 PM
NEW YORK, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Wednesday he will not be a candidate for mayor for the Conservative Party, but he did advise the candidates to accept his offer to lengthen the transition time for the new mayor by 90 days.

"I told Mike Long (New York state Conservative Party chairman) I'm not going to be on the ballot because I think it would lead to litigation and division at a time we don't need litigation and division," Giuliani said. "My advise to the candidates is that they should have a longer transition period."

"I know how to manage the city of New York and if this were me, I'd ask for it (more time)," he added.

Giuliani thanked Long, however, he said he would like to be on that line sometime in the future. The liberal-leaning mayor has had numerous disputes with the Conservative Party chief. However, Long indicated he was open to switching the current Conservative Party candidate for mayor with Giuliani.

"It's no secret that Giuliani and I have not agreed in the past, but New York has never been attacked before, and what's important is how to rebuild New York, to retain the companies hit and the employees and residents," Long told United Press International. "If this happened a year ago, there would be time for a new mayor to take over but we're talking about less than two months to take on one of the most difficult politician jobs there is in the middle of a crisis."

"It's not just losing the mayor, it losing all of the experienced commissioners and top staff, I don't understand why candidates wouldn't accept all possible help," Long added.

Giuliani is barred from a third term because of voter-imposed term limits but last week he offered his "unity plan" to the candidates to extend the transition time that ends on Jan. 1 to April 1, 2002. He also said that if his offer of a longer transition time was refused he would consider running himself for a third term.

City Public Advocate Mark Green, one of the Democrats in the run-off scheduled for Oct. 11, is in favor of the transition extension but his Democratic opponent, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, is against it because he "doesn't want to be an apprentice mayor."

Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg was in favor of keeping Giulinai as mayor for three more months and extending the transition period.

"I think anybody who thinks they're ready for this job on Jan. 1, given the monumental tasks that are ahead, doesn't understand this job very well," Giuliani said. "In my own transition it took me until May to get my commissioners in place."

In the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Giuliani's poll numbers hit unprecedented heights in two recent polls from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Conn. Giuliani's approval rating was at 90 percent and 74 percent of the registered voters in the state of New Yorkers felt Giuliani had done an excellent job in speaking to the nation about the attacks.

In a poll released Wednesday, Quinnipiac found that just 48 percent of New Yorkers felt the same way about President George W. Bush and only 25 percent felt that way about Gov. George Pataki. Fifty-four percent said Pataki had done a good job following the attacks and 41 percent said the same about the president.

Pataki, a Republican, and the Republican-controlled state senate indicated they would be amenable to a transition extension or a possible third term for Giuliani.

However, either the extended transition or a rescinding term limits in New York City would require action from the state legislature but both on the part of the Democratically-controlled New York state Assembly.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the state's top Democrat whose home district includes the World Trade Center, has been cool to both proposals.

He had opened the door to keeping the mayor around a bit longer but after a few days he shut the door again, because he said "there isn't support with the members." Sources who didn't want to be identified said the New York City assemblymembers, especially the minority members, were very much against retaining Gillian for a minute longer than Jan. 1, 2002.

One assemblymember against rescinding term limits for Giuliani or extending the city mayoral transition period is Assemblyman Roger Green, a Democrat from Brooklyn, and the former head of the Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Caucus.

"The state constitution's emergency power section was written for nuclear attack and if several key city officials had died, this is not the case here," Green told UPI. "It's important to show that terrorism will not keep us from electing a new mayor and having an orderly transition."

The New York Constitution says:

"The legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local government operations in periods of emergency caused by enemy attack or by disasters (natural or otherwise), shall have the power and the immediate duty to adopt such measures as may be necessary and proper for insuring the continuity of government operations."

Members of the minority community have demonstrated against the mayor often, some daily following the shooting death of African immigrant Amadou Diallo by four city police officers who were later acquitted, for what they felt was racial profiling of the New York Police Department and the controversial use of "stop and frisk" where police stopped and searched people if they felt they may be carrying a weapon.

Giuliani, a strong supporter of the police department, said the stop and frisk was necessary to remove weapons off the streets and helped reduce crime levels in New York City to 40-year lows.

Green explained that the minority community has felt "in exile" during the Giuliani administration because they couldn't meet with the mayor.

"I've requested 16 meeting in the last eight years and I've met with the mayor once," he said. "We've had a history of poor relationsips with the incumbent mayor."

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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