Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mark-Viverito convenes secret meeting to fix pick of Board of Elections chair

PUBLISHED : TUES, 26 AUG 2014, 06:57 PM
UPDATED : WED, 27 AUG 2014, 08:20 AM

The New York Daily News to City Council Speaker : Vote of No Confidence

Threatening retaliation, the City Council's Manhattan delegation, overseen by Speaker Mark-Viverito, are on quest to stop leaks to the media about shady closed-door meetings to select the city's next chair of the Board of Elections

The Editorial Board of The New York Daily News again admonished Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her lack of ethics and violations of transparency, this time over the decision by the Manhattan delegation of the City Council to meet in secret to select a new commissioner representing the Democratic Party on the city's Board of Elections.

As if that weren't enough, the Editorial Board found it appalling that City Councilmembers, who are overseen by Speaker Mark-Viverito, further decided to retaliate against a fellow member for blowing the whistle about the shady closed-door meeting. Apparently, one of the Councilmembers has been leaking information to The New York Daily News political reporters, and City Council officials have set out to identify and punish the whistleblower. In an act of retribution, the Manhattan Councilmembers circulated a memo of unspecified origin "stating that the leaker would be expelled from the delegation if identified," according to The New York Daily News editorial.

That Councilmembers are having to conduct the public's business in an environment of secrecy, political hostility, and likely retribution means that the City Council hasn't change much since it was governed by former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who famously strong-armed the City Council to do her political bidding.

This isn't the first time when self-appointed progressive members of the City Council have tried to use secrecy to subvert the public's business of running city government. Late last year, during the race to select the next City Council speaker, members of the Council's Progressive Caucus briefly considered voting by secret ballot to select their choice for City Council speaker. The Progressive Caucus, then co-chaired by Councilmember Mark-Viverito, was trying to finagle ways to rally support for her speakership campaign without agitating big money campaign contributors, who were then coalescing around her opponent in the speakership race, Councilmember Daniel Garodnick. The brief flirtation with the idea of a secret ballot was abandoned after government reform activists pointed out the hypocrisy of self-styled progressives flagrantly violating government transparency. Councilmember Mark-Viverito eventually won the speakership race, after she reportedly violated city ethics rules and possibly campaign finance laws, triggering previous condemnations by the Editorial Board of The New York Daily News.


For Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, a Vote of No Confidence (The New York Daily News)

Manhattan Council members make Board of Elections pick in closed-door, split vote (The New York Daily News)

Manhattan Dems, City Council on Board of Elections power-struggle/collision course ? (The New York Daily News)

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