Some legislators call him the 63rd senator or the 151st assemblyman. "His vote has much more impact than that of this lone senator," said Sen. Bill Perkins.
Perkins was referring to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Whether it springs from his generous sponsoring of Senate Republicans, the weight his opinion carries with the public or the spite some lawmakers feel toward him, Bloomberg has the ability to drastically affect the direction of discourse in Albany.
With so many city issues in the hands of the state legislature, Bloomberg has made his influence felt, assisted by the staff of his Albany office as well as his deputy mayors. This year, though, Bloomberg seems to have stepped back to let his surrogates speak for him, in an evident effort to make the debate less about him and more about the issues. He reduced his combative moments in the capital and focused on the big fight— renewing mayoral control of schools.