Thursday, September 4, 2014

Like a young Richard Nixon, Christine Quinn trying to make a political comeback

PUBLISHED : THURS, 04 SEPT 2014, 05:05 PM
UPDATED : THURS, 04 SEPT 2014, 09:10 PM

Political bloggers fear that Christine Quinn is organizing a come-back into politics after the electoral thrashing she received last year. After Richard Nixon lost embarrassing campaigns in 1960 and 1962, he finally won in 1968 and again in 1972.

Last September, almost 85% of Democratic Party primary voters cast their ballots against Christine Quinn

After former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn suffered a humiliating defeat in last year's mayoral race, she has been in relative hiding, licking her wounds, plotting her political comeback.

During that time, she's limited her public appearances. She reportedly turned down a job offer to lead the troubled AIDS services organization GMHC, and she has tested the waters by joining the boards of a couple of nonprofit organizations, an area she exploited over two decades ago to launch her political career. Although to some degree Ms. Quinn has become politically radioactive, due to a long record of community betrayals and allegations of corruption, she has managed to latch onto another failed politician, who has similarly become the target of voter anger : Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In exchange for fluffing his sagging reelection campaign, Gov. Cuomo has apparently promised to Ms. Quinn a way around the wrath of angry voters by offering her a rumored appointed commissionership after Ms. Quinn made statements to the press, offering superficial validity to the governor's astroturf political party, the Women's Equality Party. Ms. Quinn's propaganda confers to the governor some hope of tricking some voters to cast their ballots for him on the politically-expedient Women's Equality Party line. Gov. Cuomo has faced a tough reelection battle ever since his administration began a downward political following the launch of an investigation by federal prosecutors into alleged obstructive acts by the governor's office to thwart the corruption-fighting work of the now-defunct Moreland Commission after the panel began looking into some of the governor's political allies.

To further Ms. Quinn's political reset, she deleted her old Twitter account and began anew, erasing the Twitter history of her failed political past.

For her part, Ms. Quinn is no stranger to controversies about her political ethics. Activists and the media have drawn attention to the corruptive role of big money campaign donations in government, but no meaningful legal reforms ever came about during Ms. Quinn's 15 years in public office. In a 2008 report published by The New York Times, the two largest real estate contributors to the candidates expected to run for mayor in 2009, of which Ms. Quinn was one, were the owners of Rudin Management Company, who would become entangled in a protracted real estate battle over the fate of St. Vincent’s Hospital, and people tied to the Related Companies, one of the final two developers selected to work on the Hudson Yards project. When activists demanded that the local district attorney investigate the shady closing of St. Vincent’s, talk of an investigation went nowhere. Former Council Speaker Quinn approved the Rudin luxury condo conversion of St. Vincent’s, she approved decreased affordable housing requirements at the Hudson Yards project, and she exempted the living wage bill from applying to parts of the Hudson Yards project. Credible information exists about how a former campaign donor of former Council Speaker Quinn got access to a meeting involving the creation of legislative proposals and about how discretionary City Council funds from a secret reserve fund were steered to groups in former Council Speaker Quinn’s district. But when established patterns of political activities spanning for years potentially rise to the level of violations of law involve the potential for prosecution of significant political or government individuals, who may pose special problems for the local prosecutor, no federal prosecutor sees a special need or purpose to bring an federal indictment necessary for a successful prosecution of the government’s case against these individuals. An overhaul of this broken system is impossible when there is no fear of prosecution to create the political will to end the exploitation of this broken system. It’s a catch-22.


Back in Politics, Quinn Will Be Adviser on Abortion-Rights Strategy (The New York Times)

''Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn'' by Louis Flores (Scribd)

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