Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Christine Quinn Mini-Me

Christine Quinn Uses City Council Funds (aka Taxpayer Money) to Reward Political Bosses

After City Council Speaker Christine Quinn got fluffed by NYTimes reporter David W. Chen, now comes Michael Powell, a columnist for the Gray Lady, who pulls back the curtain on Speaker Quinn's slush fund-tinged campaign for mayor.

Mr. Powell reports that Ms. Quinn was appointed Speaker of the City Council after she "charmed" political bosses from Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. At her coronation ceremony, she put Vito Lopez, the notorious Brooklyn political boss (who is the target of several ethical and corruption investigations) in the front row. Speaker Quinn has also scratched Mr. Vito's back in exchange for his political support. "The fates have smiled on Mr. Lopez’s social-service empire, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council ; this year the Council sent more than $4 million its way," reported the NYTimes.

In a statement posted Facebook, a government integrity watchdog activist questioned why the latest NYTimes article stops short of probing the status of the federal investigation into Speaker Quinn's slush fund scandal.

"Instead of reporting on Quinn's criminal activity, the NY Times merely raises questions about her ethics and leadership: "But there are questions to be asked about her leadership, and not all cheery." Is it a fear of Bloomberg that prevents the Times from reporting on the well-documented budget and campaign corruption ?" Donny Moss posted on the social network.

This is how the NYTimes article ends :

Last year, a Council majority favored mandatory sick days for New Yorkers with less than a week of vacation. The mayor opposed it. Ms. Quinn killed it.

Some suggest that she has gotten lost in the game, that she can no longer recall the questions she once asked as an advocate. That sounds too definitive. Her arc is not done.

She affects nonchalance when described as a mayoral puppet: “You can call me Mini-Me. I don’t really care.”

The rub is that voters might care a lot.

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