Christine Quinn just got booed off the stage at #829Strike— OWS People's Puppets (@Power2thePuppet) August 29, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Christine Quinn Compromised On Reproductive Freedoms For Women
A passage from Chapter 8 of ''Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn'' about Christine Quinn's ascension into the speakership of the New York City Council :
For Christine to make these giant leaps in power after less than six years in the City Council, she had to cut deals. The winners weren’t going to be the voters, who were still naively waiting for Christine to be a source of top-down support for bottom-up community empowerment. Instead, the winners were going to be the power brokers, the insiders, the lobbyists, and the political operatives on whose backs Christine climbed to further her own position in government. For example, in the weeks leading to the formal announcement that Christine had clinched the speakership, Christine co-hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Joe Crowley, a weak supporter of reproductive freedom for women. Rep. Crowley had succeeded Tom Manton in Congress, and Mr. Manton expected his subjects, which now included Christine, to express loyalty to the members of his political machine. Even though Christine kept brandishing her myth as an advocate for, among other things, abortion rights, the LGBT activist and social critic Bill Dobbs told The Village Voice that Christine was motivated to help Rep. Crowley “solely to win Manton’s support and the Queens delegation.” It was no coincidence that the higher up the totem pole that Christine climbed, the more glaring the betrayals to her own political ethics became. The rationalizations of Christine’s supporters became all the more bold, as well. Michael McKee, the controversial tenants’ rights activist, who was called on to provide more and more political cover to Christine, expressed his support to Christine for her contradictory support of Rep. Crowley. “Does it bother me ? No,” he told The Village Voice.
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Endorses Christine Quinn. Lord Jesus, Are The Roosevelts Turning In Their Graves ?
Several weeks ago, I was Tweeting at the Roosevelt Institute, supposedly one of the last hold-outs of progressive political values anywhere in New York State, the way that things are going. I even sent them an e-mail, or filled out the e-mail Web form, or something, I might have even left them a voice mail, but I moved on, because I can't even begin to think about how much outreach I have done to try to roll up my research for Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn into a larger narrative about the corruption of progressive politics sensibilities in New York City. Meanwhile, fast forward to today, and what do I happen to see on Huffington Post ? A fellow from the Roosevelt Institute writing a blatantly shallow, identity politics piece, advocating for Christine Quinn's campaign. I jammed my arms up into the air and asked God, "Why ? God, Why ?" We're talking about a City Council speaker, who unilaterally overturned term limits, which were adopted by voters twice through voter referenda. Voter referenda were one of the primary gains made during the turn of the last century during the Progressive Era. This gave voters a way to directly participate in a government that had, back then, become beholden to industrialists and was prone to corruption. Remember learning about meat packing scandals ? Remember learning about corporate trusts ? Remember learning about crack downs on union organising ? Sound familiar ???
One of the other important gains during the Progressive Era, one that we can all appreciate right here in New York City, was the passage by the state legislature of the Tenement House Act, which regulated the size and conditions of apartments. Prior to its enactment, slum lords were putting up apartment buildings that skimped on windows, livable space, and other necessities, like indoor toilets and fire escapes. In the last year, you might remember Mayor Bloomberg trying to give us poor folk a hard sell on trying to live in new micro apartments as small as 250 square feet ! Christine Quinn, a former advocate for affordable housing and tenents' rights, remained mum as Mayor Bloomberg violated the very essence of the Tenement House Act. I could go on and on about how Quinn has been undermining the progressive political advances we made during the turn of the last century. Eventually, according to the history books, progressive political sensibilities gave way to Roosevelt's New Deal, which gave way to LBJ's War on Poverty and his vision of a Great Society. Fast forward to today, during the last vestiges, we hope, of the Bloomberg-Quinn era, and you see what's left of our progressive heritage is now in tatters, and somehow Ellen Chesler, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, would have you believe that Christine Quinn deserves your vote, just because she's a woman. Ms. Chesler had the audacity to write, "Chris Quinn has been a powerful agent of progress and change." How do progressive political sensibilities get to the point that they are openly undermined by Bloomberg and Quinn today ? By the corruption of those last standard-bearers of this ideology.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Did Mayor Bloomberg Select Christine Quinn As Speaker In 2006 ?
After Christine Quinn was named speaker, she appointed Michael Keogh to become the City Council finance director. In that position, Mr. Keogh would help the City Council negotiate the budget with City Hall. The appointment created a conflict of interest, because it was not known if Mr. Keogh's former role with the Bloomberg administration would compromise the City Council's independence in the budget process. Mr. Keogh had previously served as a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of State Legislative Affairs. In 2008, Mr. Keogh resigned after he was implicated in the slush fund scandal.
Mr. Keogh's initial selection followed a pattern of politically-motivated appointments that were seemingly made to reward the powerful political supporters, who had helped to broker Quinn's speakership. For example, after the party bosses in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, had each helped Quinn to cinch the speakership, Quinn announced that powerful City Council committees would be chaired by members from the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn delegations.
- Joel Rivera from the Bronx became chair of the Health Committee.
- Melinda Katz and David Weprin from Queens remained chairs of the Land Use and Finance Committees, respectively.
- Erik Dilan from Brooklyn was named chair of the Housing & Buildings Committee.
Voters often cite Speaker Quinn's subjugation to Mayor Bloomberg as one reason citizens are promising to vote for "Anybody But Quinn." Now, Flores asks in Chapter 8 of his book, Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn : when did Speaker Quinn make the deal to become Mayor Bloomberg's chief enabler in the City Council ? Did the deal get made during the time Quinn was negotiating her speakership with the political power brokers in late 2005 and early 2006 ? Was Mayor Bloomberg among the power brokers with whom Quinn negotiated her speakership ? Was Mr. Keogh's appointment as the powerful City Council finance director a way to reward Mayor Bloomberg for his support of Quinn's speakership ?
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
The New York Times Mayoral Endorsement : Christine Quinn, the Democratic Choice
Following is a line-by-line explication of editorial in which New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is endorsed by the Editorial Board of The New York Times :
|WHAT THE NYTIMES WROTE||WHAT THE NYTIMES MEANS|
|Mayor Michael Bloomberg is almost gone.||Real estate developers and big business interests are worried about who is going to carry out Mayor Bloomberg's policies for the next eight years.|
|At year’s end there will be nothing more he can do to shape, alter or improve the City of New York.||The Editorial Board has been tasked by Mayor Bloomberg to help elect Christine Quinn.|
|It’s the end of 12 years of governing under one man’s singular, often inspiring, sometimes maddening priorities, which were as big as a rising ocean and as small as your soda cup.||The Editorial Board is afraid of calling out Mayor Bloomberg for the dictatorial ways that he has run New York City. He wouldn't have made it to three terms, unless Christine Quinn violated the two voter referenda that imposed term limits, something the Editorial Board is trying to cover up.|
|It was a vision that succeeded brilliantly, but incompletely.||The Editorial Board believes that Mayor Bloomberg should have done more to help the 1%.|
|But don’t worry, New York.||The Editorial Board doesn't want the Real Estate Board of New York or the Partnership For New York City, our last two groups of major advertisers, to worry.|
|Mr. Bloomberg’s is hardly the only way to run a city, and the excellent news is that there is a candidate who is ready to carry on at least as well as he did.||The Editorial Board is going to help Mayor Bloomberg anoint his own chosen successor.|
|She is one of seven Democrats who have been toiling for months in the primary race, standing before voters day and night in a marathon of civic engagement.||The Editorial Board believes that even through Christine Quinn has been in public office for 15 years, she has had to hurry up and do her "wawk and tawk" tour to try to introduce herself to the taxpayers paying for her political slush fund.|
|A common complaint is that this year’s candidates look small, like dots on the slopes of Mount Bloomberg.||The Editorial Board thinks that even though the crop of candidates are not billionaires, if we have to do with peons, we can accept Christine Quinn, because she's proven to have sold her soul to big business interests, which is the only thing that the Editorial Board cares about, frankly.|
|But that isn’t fair; all but a few are solid public servants running substantive campaigns.||The Editorial Board has to give lip service to the other candidates, so voters could fool themselves into thinking the editors might possibly consider a candidate other than Mayor Bloomberg's heir apparent.|
|Though the race was crashed, and distracted for a few irritating weeks, by the unqualified Anthony Weiner, it has since sobered up, and voters are paying attention.||The Editorial Board did its best to keep focusing on Anthony Weiner in a negative light, so that the editors could dispatch him as quickly as possible, so that the editors could focus on fluffing Christine Quinn's sagging campaign.|
|It is clear by now — and last Wednesday’s debate made it even clearer — that the best in the group is Christine Quinn.||The Editorial Board is trying to make this hard sell of Christine Quinn, so we will go to any lengths to push her campaign on voters.|
|Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, offers the judgment and record of achievement anyone should want in a mayor.||The Editorial Board believes that Christine Quinn has a corrupt enough record that she will nicely fit into the broken political system.|
|Two opponents — Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, and William Thompson Jr., former comptroller — offer powerful arguments on their own behalf.||The Editorial Board wants to give these two fools more lip service, yadda-yadda-yadda.|
|But Ms. Quinn inspires the most confidence that she would be the right mayor for the inevitable times when hope and idealism collide with the challenge of getting something done.||The Editorial Board believes that Christine Quinn will be a perfect puppet to her REBNY and PFNYC masters.|
|Ms. Quinn has been an impressive leader since her days as a neighborhood advocate and her early years on the City Council.||The Editorial Board believes that Christine Quinn has fully sold out and betrayed her activism roots by now. She's gotten that shit out of her system, and she is a complete "Yes Woman" to her campaign contributors and special interests.|
|We endorsed her for the Council in 1999 as someone “who can both work within the system and criticize it when necessary” — a judgment she has validated many times since.||The Editorial Board analyses this as meaning that Christine Quinn will do what she is told by big business, and she will continue to undermine democracy and shred the social safety net when instructed.|
|She has shepherded through important laws protecting New Yorkers’ health, safety and civil rights, including measures banning public smoking, protecting tenants and small businesses, and battling slumlords.||The Editorial Board wants to remind big business interests that Christine Quinn has a record of doing what Mayor Bloomberg told her to do.|
|She sponsored the sweeping 2007 legislation that made the city’s exemplary campaign-finance laws even stronger.||The Editorial Board is only telling you a half-truth here, because Christine Quinn also weakened campaign finance laws this very year to benefit outside groups being able to spend unlimited amounts of money to further corrupt political campaigns.|
|She pushed successfully for a state law making kindergarten mandatory for 5-year-olds — giving thousands of poor and minority children a better start on their educations.||The Editorial Board likes it when Christine Quinn focuses her campaign on childish issues, because that helps voters forget her betrayals on term limits and her corrupt record with slush funds.|
|As speaker, Ms. Quinn has been a forceful counterpart to Mr. Bloomberg, and has turned the Council from a collection of rambunctious, ill-directed egos into a forceful and effective legislative body.||The Editorial Board believes that Christine Quinn subjugated herself to Mayor Bloomberg, and she used her slush funds to reward and punish her political allies and enemies like a good political boss should do.|
|In wrestling with budgets she has shown restraint that runs counter to lesser political instincts.||The Editorial Board is most impressed that Christine Quinn was able to focus on a political agenda that favoured the 1%, even when it meant driving up poverty and homelessness in New York City during the Bloomberg-Quinn administration.|
|She fought, for example, for a Bloomberg plan to keep a year’s surplus as a rainy-day fund.||The Editorial Board liked that Christine Quinn didn't use surplus funds to fight poverty or homelessness.|
|There was fierce opposition from Council members who wanted to spend the money.||The Editorial Board congratulates Christine Quinn turned her back on the needy, especially LGBT homeless youth, which is not an easy thing to do, given her identity. Let's give her some credit for that !|
|Ms. Quinn was right, and the city had a cushion when the recession hit.||The Editorial Board is impressed that Christine Quinn found ways to prevent tax hikes on the 1%.|
|Mr. Bloomberg has raised expectations that hard decisions should be made on the merits — that the city needs a mayor who is willing to say no.||The Editorial Board is endorsing Christine Quinn in part because Mayor Bloomberg told us to, and plus we may need to be bought out by Mayor Bloomberg if the newspaper business keeps losing money.|
|More than with the other candidates, that description fits Ms. Quinn.||The Editorial Board believes that Christine Quinn is the most corrupt candidate, and the extremes that she will go to embrace corruption is why Mayor Bloomberg respects her so much, that's what he told the Editorial Board during our back room meeting.|
|As an early leader in the campaign, with a target on her back, she has faced anger and derision without wavering.||The Editorial Board has tried to keep extending political cover to Christine Quinn, so that she wouldn't suffer such a steep drop in the polls.|
|We admire her staunch support for the city’s solid-waste management plan, which is good for the whole city but bitterly opposed in some neighborhoods.||The Editorial Board picked this lousy issue to focus on, because the editors didn't want to touch the slush fund scandal.|
|She has been willing to challenge the mayor’s misjudgment and insensitivity, as when he tried to require single adults to prove their homelessness before they were allowed to use city shelters.||The Editorial Board mentions the only thing Christine Quinn has done to address a small part of the homeless problem, so that the editors could keep running the façade of a "liberal newspaper."|
|Mr. de Blasio has been the most forceful and eloquent of the Democrats in arguing that New York needs to reset its priorities in favor of the middle class, the struggling and the poor.||The there is no way that the Editorial Board could ever support a candidate that wants to help the poor.|
|His stature has grown as his message has taken root — voters leery of stark and growing inequalities have embraced his message of “two cities.”||The Editorial Board endorsed Christine Quinn so that we could shift the campaign conversation to be about identity politics, not about income inequality.|
|He has ennobled the campaign conversation by insisting, correctly, that expanding early education is vital to securing the city’s future.||The Editorial Board picked early education as an issue for Mr. de Blasio, because that's an issue that provides the editors with some political cover in the Christine Quinn endorsement.|
|And yet, Mr. de Blasio’s most ambitious plans — like a powerful new state-city partnership to make forever-failing city hospitals financially viable, or to pay for universal prekindergarten and after-school programs through a new tax on the richest New Yorkers — need support in the State Capitol, and look like legislative long shots.||The Editorial Board has brought back Anemona Hartocollis to continue to write shoddy and entirely biased reporting to undermine Mr. de Blasio's platform on saving community hospitals.|
|Once a Mayor de Blasio saw his boldest ideas smashed on the rocks of Albany, then what?||The Editorial Board was told by Mayor Bloomberg that he would pull strings with the state GOP politicians up in Albany to undermine any candidate other than Christine Quinn.|
|Mr. Thompson, meanwhile, who nearly defeated Mr. Bloomberg four years ago, has run a thoughtful campaign grounded on the insights he gained in important elective and appointed posts in New York City.||The Editorial Board can't take Bill Thompson seriously. His wife has taken millions in charitable donations from Mayor Bloomberg. There's no way that the Thompson family isn't already indebted to Mayor Bloomberg, even the editors would figure out this much.|
|A former president of the old Board of Education, Mr. Thompson argues that he is the best candidate to fix the city schools, but his close ties to the United Federation of Teachers, not always a friend of needed reforms, give us pause.||The Editorial Board was told by Mayor Bloomberg that the next item on our political agenda is to bust up the teachers' union.|
|The teachers’ union is one of the municipal unions itching for retroactive pay raises in contracts that expired under Mr. Bloomberg and need renegotiating.||The Editorial Board is going to start a campaign to deny the teachers' union any pay raise.|
|For all the growing testiness of the campaign, the Democrats share much common ground.||The Editorial Board believes that enough real estate and big business campaign donations have steered the Democratic candidates into adopting campaign platforms that embrace an ideology of neoliberalism.|
|All agree on equality, opportunity and fairness.||The Editorial Board doesn't give a shit about equality, opportunity and faireness -- except as it would apply to our dwindling list of advertisers.|
|They concede that the best of the Bloomberg years — the economic diversification and growth, the astounding drop in crime, the transit innovations, the greener and cleaner public spaces, and big plans for the future — must be preserved.||The Editorial Board wants a mayoral candidate that will continue Mayor Bloomberg's policies of gentrification, stop and frisk discrimination, higher transit fares for commuters, the sale of more parks for sports stadiums, and more zone-busting real estate development.|
|And they agree that the worst must be corrected — starting with the Police Department’s unconstitutional use of stop-and-frisk, which has abused and humiliated hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers.||The Editorial Board believes that stop and frisk should be ended in the outer boroughs, but its use should continue in Manhattan, perhaps even increased.|
|Ms. Quinn has no specific plan to require the richest New Yorkers to pay more in taxes in service of important civic goals (she says she will raise taxes as a last resort), but neither has she made a long list of unrealistic promises.||The Editorial Board is happy to see that Christine Quinn will keep sparing the 1% from having to pay their fair share, and, even better, Christine Quinn isn't making any promises to the poor or working classes of New York City. If low-income New Yorkers can't afford to live in New York City, they can always move to New Jersey.|
|The biggest challenge has not been talked about much — next year the new mayor will have to confront a budget crisis with no money to spare and all those expired municipal contracts to settle.||The Editorial Board is salivating at the opportunity that Christine Quinn will have to bust up a few municipal unions.|
|The mayor we will need then will not be the police reformer or education visionary, but a skilled and realistic negotiator.||The Editorial Board doesn't want Christine Quinn to reform the police department. As stated, the editors prefer to continue stop and frisk discrimination and police brutality as a way to drive out undesireables from the five boroughs, or from Manhattan, at least.|
|Some positions Ms. Quinn has supported are unwise or objectionable.||The Editorial Board is thrilled that Christine Quinn so readily adopted neoliberal and racist policies without complaint.|
|She has been too strong in supporting Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the architect and stoutest defender of stop-and-frisk.||The Editorial Board expects that Christine Quinn will expand the use of stop-and-frisk.|
|She has supported, too blindly, Mr. Kelly’s practice of spying on Muslims at prayer, a similar false choice of public safety over the Constitution.||The Editorial Board finds this kind of discrimination excusable, and notice how the editors didn't mention how the NYPD also menaces people of color and LGBTQ and gender non-conforming New Yorkers. Basically, the editors don't care about civil rights and civil liberties violations.|
|She can become mumbly when talking about things that the real estate industry opposes, like changing zoning laws to require construction of affordable apartments.||The Editorial Board likes that Christine Quinn won't bite the hand that feeds her.|
|She has a reputation for shouting, but has shown a capacity to listen, and to be persuaded to change her mind — attributes we will count on seeing more of if she is elected.||The Editorial Board is already receiving estimates and bids for the installation of sound proofing in Gracie Mansion.|
|We had already made up our own minds in favor of Ms. Quinn, but the Wednesday debate would have clinched it anyway.||For years, the Editorial Board has been instructing reporters to write their articles from a point of view of bias that fluff's Christine Quinn's image and her campaign.|
|Candidates were asked what legacy they wanted to leave after two terms.||The Editorial Board has arranged it for fix to be in so that Christine Quinn can serve two terms as mayor.|
|“More people in the middle class,” Ms. Quinn said.||The Editorial Board helped Christine Quinn with this lip service.|
|It was a perfect answer, and she could have left it there.||The Editorial Board told Christine Quinn to shut her mouth and not ruin her interview with the editors.|
|But, Quinn being Quinn, she threw in supporting details.||But being the big mouth that she is, Christine Quinn went on tawking and tawkig and tasking, so much so that many editors put on their earphones and started listening to the latest Lady Gaga song on their iPhones.|
|She wants 40,000 more apartments the middle class can afford to live in.||The Editorial Board did hear that Christine Quinn has a plan to help funnel tax breaks and low-cost loans to developers, so that taxpayers could subsidize real estate profits to some of her campaign donors.|
|She wants to repair crumbling public housing, providing “quality conditions” for 600,000 people.||The Editorial Board promised to help support Christine Quinn carry out Mayor Bloomberg's plan to allow the development of luxury high rises on the last little bit of open space in NYCHA housing projects.|
|She wants to make the school day longer and replace textbooks with electronic tablets.||The Editorial Board also liked what it heard when Christine Quinn said that she wants to outsource teachers to a series of computer learning modules in 45 minute segments.|
|At the buzzer, she threw in: make the city “climate-change ready.”||The Editorial Board is looking forward to finding out how Christine Quinn has funnel more tax dollars to real estate developers that keep wanting to build along the rivers and beaches of the five boroughs. The editors view this as a risky proposition, but Christine Quinn seems to be obsessed with making more and more back room deals with real estate developers. The editors want to see how much she can get away with.|
|A lot of good ideas that, in Ms. Quinn’s case, add up to an achievable vision, and one we would be glad to see come to pass.||The Editorial Board is going to help Christine Quinn win by running more fluff pieces about her new luxury condo, her week-end home, her cooking skills, her favourite café, and her love of animals.|
Friday, August 23, 2013
Stephen Berger : From Gov. Hugh Carey to Gov. Andrew Cuomo : Relentlessly Attacking Hospitals and Healthcare
From Chapter 8 of Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn
Of all people, why was Mr. Berger selected by Gov. Pataki to lead a commission charged with closing New York hospitals ? During the aftermath of the 1970’s fiscal crisis that gripped New York City, Mr. Berger served as the executive director of the New York State Emergency Financial Control Board for the city. To carry out the severe austerity cuts demanded by Wall Street bankers and big business interests, Mr. Berger, among other actions, slashed the subsidies that New York City paid to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. One consequence of Mr. Berger’s cuts to the MTA has been the dramatic and relentless increases in subway and bus fares endured by users of the city’s mass transit system. A calculating political insider, Mr. Berger had also served as the executive director of the Port Authority ; as chairman of a private equity firm, Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC ; and as a political campaign consultant for each of Senate candidate Richard Ottinger, Representative Jonathan Bingham, and Representative and one-time Republican mayoral candidate Herman Badillo. During Mr. Berger’s supervision of the city’s budget during the financial crisis of the 1970’s, he was accused of trying to “destroy” the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the city’s public hospitals. His management style was alternatively described as “sarcastic, plaintive, caustic, philosophical and hortatory.” Since Mr. Berger had proven himself under Gov. Hugh Carey to be predisposed to be a “hatchetman” for hire, Mr. Berger could be counted on to carry out ruthless budget cuts with a sense of moral and ethical impunity. Therefore, he was a natural pick for Gov. Pataki to lead the charge to indiscriminately close down hospitals. Mr. Berger was comfortable reviving the role of the bad cop to Gov. Pataki’s good cop in the 2000’s, an arrangement he had successfully played opposite Gov. Carey during the 1970’s fiscal crisis.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Will the USAO-SDNY investigate possible fraud allegations in LICH sale from Continuum Health Partners to SUNY ?
SUNY Took Over LICH To Sell the Real Estate - Where Is the Criminal Investigation ? (True News)
Judge Carolyn Demarest has found that SUNY may have taken over Long Island College Hospital with the intention of "a more sinister purpose to seize its assets and dismantle the hospital." If the 2011 SUNY takeover of LICH was encumbered by fraud, then Stanley Brezenoff, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the SUNY Board of Trustees, Carl McCall, and Stephen Berger need to be investigated.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
From Crain's : Longshot Dem blasts rivals' real estate cash
Sal Albanese, a former City Councilman and longshot candidate for mayor, is calling on his fellow Democrats to return campaign contributions they've received from real estate firms being examined by a state anti-corruption panel.
The Moreland Commission, a group created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to investigate corruption in state government, recently issued subpoenas to five top developers in New York : Extell Development, Thor Equities, Silverstein Properties, Fisher Brothers and Friedman Management. The five firms have collectively donated tens of thousands of dollars to each of the top four candidates for mayor, Mr. Albanese notes.
"When you've sold your integrity to the highest bidder, how can we trust you to follow through on building affordable housing or holding developers accountable?" Mr. Albanese asked in a statement. "The simple truth is: we can't. That is why I have not accepted a single cent from developers or lobbyists."
But it is not clear if any developers or lobbyists have even offered to donate money to Mr. Albanese's campaign, which is barely registering in public polls. The former Bay Ridge councilman was out of public life for 15 years before launching his mayoral bid, and only 1% of likely Democratic primary voters polled by Quinnipiac in the last few days said they would vote for him.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn has accepted a total of $79,125 from employees of the five real estate firms subpoenaed by the Moreland Commission. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has received $42,100, former Comptroller Bill Thompson $30,660 and ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner $37,550, according to Mr. Albanese. None of the firms has been accused by authorities of doing anything wrong, and the amounts they donated represent 0.8% of the $22.2 million raised by the four leading Democratic candidates.
News of the subpoenas hit the papers in early August. The commission plans to investigate whether the five developers building luxury housing projects opened their wallets to curry favor among state legislators to secure millions in tax breaks. An explicit exchange of a donation for a tax break would be illegal. The Real Estate Board of New York, an industry association, did not comment Tuesday afternoon on Mr. Albanese's call.
None of Mr. Albanese's rivals responded to his call to return the campaign contributions. A debate scheduled for Tuesday night, hosted by WABC, the Daily News and the League of Women Voters, will exclude Mr. Albanese based on his low fundraising numbers. The New York Times editorial page has called for him to be included.
The New York Times Web site is experiencing technical difficulties. We expect to be back up shortly.— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 14, 2013
@nickconfessore Did the NYT go out of business?— True News (@unitedNYblogs) August 14, 2013
Queers Against Christine Quinn is joining members of the Defeat Christine Quinn group and The Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and our supporters in Fire Island to protest Christine Quinn at three fundraisers for her campaign on Saturday, August 24th.
RSVP on Facebook : Protest Against Christine Quinn - Fire Island
Monday, August 12, 2013
Christine Quinn illegal William Rapfogel Century Coverage Met Council slush fund campaign donations left out : http://t.co/ywcjNLLLKQ— Stop Christine Quinn (@stopchrisquinn) August 26, 2013
Daily News Daily Politics : Christine Quinn Returns $25,000 In Donations To Firm Tied To William Rapfogel Scandal
Hours after we blogged that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had allotted New York City Council discretionary funds to the Metropolitan Council, Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign announced that they were returning $25,000 in campaign donations at the center of the William Rapfogel scandal.
Mr. Rapfogel was terminated today as executive and president of the Met Council after revelations of financial irregularities. Initial reports showed that Met Council might have been using city or state funding to funnel money to an insurance company named Century Coverage Corporation, which would, in turn, funnel that money through employees to a/some 2013 New York mayoral candidate(s). But then later reports alleged that Mr. Rapfogel was taking kickbacks from an insurance company, which he would then funnel as campaign donations to a/some 2013 New York mayoral candidate(s). But a Campaign Finance Board report run today for all election cycles showing employers beginning with Century Coverage turned up no 2013 campaign donations.
Three glaring problems exist with Speaker Quinn's announcement that she is returning $25,000 in campaign donations tied to the William Fogel-Met Council-Century Coverage scandal :
(i) The previous Campaign Finance Board doesn't show $25,000 in recent disclosed campaign donations to Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign ;
(ii) The following Campaign Finance Board report shows all Rapfogel donations made for all election cycles, and Mr. Rapfogel is not shown as having made any campaign donations to Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign ; and
(iii) In a Crain's report, it was reported that "Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran political operative and prominent member of the city's Jewish community, said Mr. Rapfogel's legal predicament will likely make more trouble" for New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (Met Council head fired amid probe) If Speaker Quinn was returning $25,000 in untraceable donations, does this mean that Speaker Silver is going to be expected to return tainted donations, too ? And why did Mr. Sheinkopf say that political backsplash was going to splish splash only on Speaker Silver, when within hours of our first blog post it was Speaker Quinn, who was rushing to unload $25,000 in undocumented campaign donations ?
Christine Quinn illegal William Rapfogel Century Coverage Met Council slush fund campaign donations left out : http://t.co/ywcjNLLLKQ— Stop Christine Quinn (@stopchrisquinn) August 26, 2013
Joseph Ross admitted that William Rapfogel, the former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, told him to make contributions to various politicians and political organizations using money from their $7 million kickback scheme, The Daily News reports.
BREAKING : The leader of yet another charity group that receives discretionary funds from Christine Quinn's political slush fund has resigned today from an organization due to an impending investigation into financial improprieties. This morning, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty issued a statement announcing the immediate termination of its chief executive and president, William Rapfogel. (Attorney General Investigating Power Broker William Rapfogel) Under Mr. Rapfogel, Speaker Quinn has consistently funneled money to the Met Council, even when those allocations came under scrutiny for their regularity. (Christine Quinn Grants Slush Funds to Metropolitan Council) According to WNBC, "Sources familiar with the investigation said the probe is examining what happened to some of the organization’s funds and whether any of that money might have been improperly funneled into the political campaigns of some New York City mayoral candidates." (William Rapfogel Jewish Charities Metropolitan Council Investigation) We know from prior reports from the Daily News that Speaker Quinn has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in discretionary funds to nonprofit groups that have helped her mayoral campaign. (Christine Quinn Grants Slush Funds To Nonprofits Which Donated Campaign Contributions To Her Political Campaign)
Indeed, just last month, when Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign was in trouble because of Anthony Weiner's ascendant, insurgent campaign, Speaker Quinn's closest political advisers were invited to an emergency strategy meeting to help fluff up her then-troubled mayoral campaign. The invitees to this emergency strategy session included Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel. (Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel Participated In Emergency Secret Strategy Session To Fluff Christine Quinn's Struggling Mayoral Campaign) What kind of role was Mr. Rapfogel and the Met Council playing as a result of Speaker Quinn's emergency campaign strategy session ? How could there be an arm's length distance between Speaker Quinn and the Met Council if the charity group was helping her strategize her electioneering strategy ? Were slush funds payments or kickback campaign donations part of this emergency strategy ? Hmmmmmmmm......?
According to The New York Times, "Investigators are, among other angles, looking at the relationship between Mr. Rapfogel and Century Coverage Corporation, an insurance company based in Valley Stream, N.Y., according to people familiar with the investigation. Investigators are focusing in particular on generous contributions that the company’s chief executive, Joseph Ross, and other employees have made to candidates for New York City offices. The company’s employees have given almost $120,000 to various candidates since the late 1990s, including $26,175 to several candidates in 2013. Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment."
But a report generated today from the Campaign Finance Board shows no campaign donations from 2013. This report was generated from a search by employer that begins with, "Century Coverage." Were the 2013 campaign contributions deliberately not fully disclosed to the Campaign Finance Board ?
Sunday, August 11, 2013
NYC Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn: Families should go into debt to pay for preschool http://t.co/Mwe8kBqn9C— StrikeDebt (@StrikeDebt) August 6, 2013
Separately, The New York Observer were skeptical that more student loans was the right policy for debt-burdened families. "Student loan debt may be crippling everyone from recent college grads to senior citizens, but now New York parents will be able to start piling on the educational debt when their children are mere toddlers (the inverse, we assume, of saving for college?)," The Observer reported last week. (Should Upper Middle Class Tots Get Subsidized Student Loans for Pre-School ?)
Friday, August 9, 2013
Christine Quinn Watered Down Rudy Giuliani's Abner Louima NYPD Police Brutality Task Force Recommendations.
Quinn Then Went On To Enable NYPD Culture Of Racism And Brutality.
Before the evening of August 9, 1997, was out, NYPD police officers had brutalized and tortured Abner Louima inside a police station house in Brooklyn.
After the tremendous public outcry, then Mayor Rudy Giuliani appointed a police brutality task force, and among the task force members he named was Christine Quinn. She was one of the driving forces to weaken the task force's recommendations, and eventually her efforts lead to a split among the task force members.
The weaker recommendations, which Quinn championed, went on to be represented in a majority report of the task force, while a set of more aggressive recommendations were formulated in a minority report. Read this excerpt from a report published by The New York Daily News :
Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union and a task-force member, spearheaded a dissenting report that made a connection between race and police misconduct. "On issues like police brutality and race, you never compromise," Siegel said. But Quinn said her strategy was to make it easier for Mayor Giuliani who called some of the report's recommendations unrealistic to adopt reforms quickly in the wake of the sodomy and torture of Abner Louima, allegedly by police. (NYDailyNews * Saturday, February 20, 1999, 12:00 AM)
On the anniversary of Mr. Louima's torture and brutality, let us not forget who Speaker Quinn sides with.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
When Dick Dadey was the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, he was visible in the effort to redraw the boundaries of the Third City Council District in Manhattan that made it possible to elect an LGBT candidate for the first time from that district. In 1991, Tom Duane was elected to the New York City Council. At the time, Mr. Duane’s campaign manager was Christine Quinn. In the time since, up to and including Mr. Dadey’s term as the executive director of Citizens Union, Mr. Dadey has had a close association with Ms. Quinn, the present City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate.
Earlier this year, information about the role that each of Mr. Dadey and the Pride Agenda had in the 1991 campaign to bring Mr. Duane and Ms. Quinn to power used to be found on the Pride Agenda’s Web site. But now that information has been deleted.
Why was the Pride Agenda’s redistricting activities removed from its Web site ?
Because of the close association that still exists between Mr. Dadey and Speaker Quinn, Mr. Flores questions the independence of Citizens Union, especially since each time that Speaker Quinn’s slush fund continues to lead to more public corruption cases, Mr. Dadey is always ready to provide political cover for Speaker Quinn. After The New York Post published a critical editorial of Speaker Quinn’s slush fund, hours later Mr. Dadey was quoted as defending Speaker Quinn in The New York Times. Another example follows where Speaker Quinn’s spokesperson used Mr. Dadey’s own remarks to deflect responsibility away from Speaker Quinn for the on-going corruption tied to Speaker Quinn’s slush fund.
This week, WNYC published an interactive online map documenting the extremely low voter turnout during the 2009 mayoral election. One of the reasons few citizens vote is because good-government groups like Citizens Union make a promise to be a “watchdog” over our government. Yet, under Mr. Dadey’s leadership, Citizens Union was informed last week by the New York State Board of Elections that Citizens Union must register as a political action committee as a consequence of all of its electioneering activities. Among its questionable recent activities is the contemplation of endorsing one of its previous benefactors.
If Citizens Union is going to engage in political favoritism and make campaign endorsements, then how independent can Citizens Union remain under immense political pressures, including those of the Speaker Quinn’s political machine ? During the 10 years that Mr. Dadey has been at Citizens Union and the 15 years that Speaker Quinn has been a councilmember, have any meaningful, transformational reforms been brought about to increase voter participation in the matters of our own governance ?
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., wrote a list of "Page Six" items about corrupt political reporters.
Given the culture of corruption in local and state government in New York, Sen. Ruben Diaz has decided to instead focus on corrupt political reporters by writing a round-up of riddles that allude to journalists who practise compromised media ethics.
His list is a form of pushback on how everybody assumes that only politicians are corrupt, but nobody considers the ethics of political reporters. Here are some of his "blind items" :
- Rumor has it that there are some folks in the media who do some pretty manipulative (and illegal) things behind the scenes, and I have to wonder, who investigates them.
- Rumor has it that there may be a radio personality in New York who uses his influence on the morning airwaves to push for his candidate for one of the 2013 Primary races, and that candidate may happen to be his partner. There’s no call to investigate if this is happening, or if the use of that in-kind-service-like air time for a family member is something the campaign financial board should take a close look at.
- Rumor has it that there may be a political reporter on TV who uses his evening air time for political maneuvering that may be right in line with the political will of his spouse, who might be found on the top of a list of the most politically influential New Yorkers. There’s no call to investigate those maneuverings.
- Rumor has it that there may be a Spanish language newspaper whose editorial board blocks the coverage of certain Hispanic elected officials who champion Hispanic New Yorkers, only because these elected officials will not cave in to the publication’s radical agendas. There’s no call to investigate if this is happening, and if the abuse of power by this type journalism is fraudulent or corrupt.
- Rumor has it that there may be a polling company that, more than one month before the Democratic Primary, decided to exclude in its poll the name of the only Latino candidate who is running for Mayor in New York City. There’s no call to investigate if such manipulative tactics to remove a candidate’s name from the race is, in fact, happening – and what consequences there may be if this is racist behavior.
- Rumor has it that there may be a political commentator who has freely and frequently used vulgarities and disparaging remarks on live television about Catholic Church leaders and about an elected official or two – and we all know that if any elected official used that language or attacked the Catholic Church, there would be serious consequences. There’s no call to evaluate the obvious mental instability of this type of commentator, and there is no investigation to find out if television sponsors who pay to air these types of broadcasts are comfortable sponsoring this kind of hate-speech.
- Rumor has it that there may be an editor in the print media who uses his power or influence even when he knows that he is lying to ruin the reputation of someone in elected office who may have offended the editor by holding a differing view. There’s no call to investigate the personal and professional damage that editor may have caused.
- Rumor has it that there may be a powerful political reporter who had once chummed up to a top elected official in New York State, using all of his resources to fawn over and sing the praises of that official, until the elected official took a differing position on a matter or two. There’s no call to investigate the abuse of journalism when these kinds of reporters use their columns and radio time to obviously attack elected officials when they turn a corner and personally disagree with them.
- Rumor has it that there may be a powerful political reporter from one of New York’s tabloids who accepts money and favors from elected officials when the elected officials want to get a bill passed in order to get covered. Rumor also has it that this same reporter goes out of his way to expose elected officials who take bribes. There’s no call to investigate this type of hypocrisy and bribery in the media.
- Rumor has it that some very powerful editorial boards in New York City that rightly condemn DWI cases, host Christmas parties where the hosts of the parties and even some of their ace reporters climb in behind the wheel to drive home after drinking too much at these events. There’s no call to investigate this type of hypocrisy or illegal behavior, even when they are putting people’s lives at risk.
- Rumor has it that there may be several journalists in New York who boast about what balanced and objective journalists they are, and even though they try to keep their writing balanced, they Tweet in professional capacity to spew their contempt for elected officials and issues they oppose. There’s no call for these journalists to stop lying to themselves or for anyone to investigate their apparent dual personalities.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
A new video posted on YouTube takes a satirical look of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s political record. The video is set to a Karaoke recording of ''Moving On Up'' -- the famous theme song from the hit sitcom, The Jeffersons, and the video uses sarcasm when Speaker Quinn denies some of the most controversial political choices she’s made.
Among the issues addressed in this short video are :
- the $30,000 in campaign contributions Speaker Quinn accepted from Rudin Management Company, which basically foreclosed on St. Vincent’s Hospital ;
- Speaker Quinn’s controversial support for police commissioner Ray Kelly, who oversaw a culture of racism and brutality at the NYPD ;
- Speaker Quinn’s controversial use of fictitious accounts to hide her political slush fund ; and
- the ever-changing rationale for extending term limits.