Bam! Pow! Smash!
Mayoral rivals Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson are officially going at it, trading blows at an increasingly furious pace as Primary Day–just over a month away–quickly approaches.
Yesterday, Ms. Quinn hit Mr. Thompson for an Ireland investment that went awry while he served as comptroller. The Thompson campaign quickly responded by blaming the City Council speaker for the 2008 slush fund scandal, in which public funds were stored in fictitious organizations–or in the words of the Thompson campaign, “using a corrupt slush fund to park taxpayer dollars in phony charities to buy political support.”
But the back-and-forth was not over.
In a blistering email sent out this morning, the Thompson campaign stayed on the topic of the council cash and called for additional City Council records to be released from the era.
“She used a corrupt slush fund to park taxpayer dollars in phony charities to buy political support and ran the City Council budget in a way that rewarded her friends and punished those who disagreed with her,” Thompson strategist Jonathan Prince wrote. “Then, under federal investigation, Chris forced taxpayers to pay for her criminal defense lawyers … And now she is refusing to release the documents her city-funded lawyers used to keep her from being indicted.”
The Quinn team was not amused. Reached for a response, they hit back by pointing to a critical New York Post report today that scrutinized Mr. Thompson’s record of distributing funds while serving as chair of the Battery Park City Authority.
“This is a transparent attempt by Bill Thompson to avoid addressing a damning report today that uncovered he was warned by the Inspector General to stop using funds from the Battery Park City Authority to dole out favors to campaign contributors, but continued to do so anyway,” said Quinn spokesman Mike Morey.
“Instead of attacking his opponent in this race,” Mr. Morey added, “he should disclose why he gave out this money against the advice of the inspector general and the IG’s finding that the practice was unlawful.”
Ms. Quinn currently leads the public polls but Mr. Thompson and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio are in strong contention to make it into the Oct. 1 runoff.
Mr. de Blasio may not mind his two rivals bloodying each other up.