Glenn Thrush with Dan Janison & Bryan Virasami. Newsday. 4/18/2005.


New School University President Bob Kerrey's mayoral aspirations seem to have come and gone like the 48-hour flu.

But he may get the bug again.

The former Nebraska senator now says he's a long shot to challenge Mayor Michael Bloomberg after telling reporters this weekend that he just might be "crazy enough" to run.

"It is highly unlikely, although I haven't made a final decision," Kerrey said yesterday.

When asked if he'd consider a City Hall bid in the future, Kerrey said "It's more likely than not. ... I love politics, I love public life."

Kerrey, who had pledged to be head of Democrats for Bloomberg before making his about-face, said he's still aggravated with Bloomberg for not taking on President George W. Bush on federal taxes and funding.

"My only fault with the mayor is his unwillingness to criticize the president. ... I've noticed that part of his style is not to engage in public debate and I don't like that."

Meanwhile, Fernando Ferrer, the front-runner in the field of Democrats, proposed to bring back a stock transfer tax to fund his public schools agenda.

Ferrer said the Wall Street tax will generate $1 billion a year. He downplayed any adverse affects on jobs.

The plan, billed as a major policy move, focused largely on education shortfalls and needs. He took jabs at Bloomberg for not being more aggressive with Albany and Washington in asking for more education dollars.

"Mayor Bloomberg has shown a terrible failure of leadership and equally a terrible failure of imagination," Ferrer said. He said the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, in which a judge ordered that billions more be spent on city public schools, must be addressed by the mayor and state officials.

Stu Loeser, a Bloomberg campaign spokesman, said Ferrer's "$4 billion job-killing tax hike" would hurt jobs in the city. The Ferrer plan calls for .5 cents fee for shares worth $20 or more while shares under $5 would charged at one-eighth of a cent (0.125 cents).

A $35 dollar cap would be placed on all transaction.

The plan was instantly attacked by opponents including Rep. Anthony Weiner, who appears to be the first Democrat to attack another Democrat in the mayoral race.

"It's like a politician from Wisconsin proposing a dairy tax," Weiner said.

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who last week suggested a surcharge on those making $500,000 or more to help pay for education costs, wasn't impressed, said his spokesman Steve Sigmund.

City Comptroller William Thompson said, "I think it's something that we will take a look at and I think others should do the same."