Jun 23, 2004

Don't diss NYC or else, feisty Mike says

Go Mikey!!

Don't diss NYC or else, feisty Mike says

Staff Writer

June 23, 2004

Diss my city and there will be political ramifications, a tough-talking Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday.

The mayor was explaining why on Monday, he barred Ohio Rep. Bob Ney from a Republican congressional campaign committee get-together that had been scheduled at his Upper East Side townhouse.

"I think that the political ramifications are important and serious, that's exactly why I did it," Bloomberg told reporters at a news conference in Staten Island announcing the opening of the 2,800-acre Greenbelt Nature Center and Park.

"I want everybody to understand, I will encourage everyone in this city to help support those that help support us," Bloomberg said.

The timing of the mayor's tough talk just months before the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden raised eyebrows. But the mayor said the homeland security issue was too important a priority to New York City and the country to become another "pork barrel" bill.

"We are under a real threat," Bloomberg said. "We had 2,800 of our citizens killed on 9/11. The world is a dangerous place. You can see our men and woman overseas fighting and dying. ... To leave us unprotected here is just an outrage."

Bloomberg said he wanted to send the message to elected officials in Washington that New York City was more than just a stomping ground.

"Congress is always out trying to help their constituents. Well, we are their constituents, we are the country's constituents," Bloomberg said. "This is where they come for funds and this is where they come for exposure and publicity, and I think that the political ramifications are all positive for the city if we stand up."

Ney, who helped block $450 million in Homeland Security funding to New York last week, did not respond to Newsday's inquires yesterday.

The meeting, where President George W. Bush was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, has been postponed until a new location can be found, Republican sources told Newsday on Monday.

Elected officials in Washington apparently stiffing New York City has long been a sore point with the Democrat-turned-Republican mayor. He supported a well-publicized initiative with the Partnership for New York to document how much money was raised in the city and who actually supported legislation that benefited New Yorkers.

Copyright (c) 2004, Newsday, Inc.



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