City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn came out against a bill Wednesday that would prohibit the Police Department from profiling on the basis of race, religion and gender—but for the very first time in her tenure, said she would nonetheless allow the controversial plan to go to vote.
During a speech outlining her public safety agenda on the Upper East Side, Ms. Quinn said she could not support the bill because of a provision that would allow individuals to sue the department if they believed they were wrongly targeted.
“I believe this presents a real risk,” said Ms. Quinn, who described a worst-case situation in which multiple state court judges issued confusing, overlapping rulings, wresting policy decisions away from the mayor and Police Commissioner.
Rivals of City Council Speaker and mayoral frontrunner Christine Quinn released their second attack ad Wednesday morning, this time slamming Ms. Quinn for failing to halt the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital.
The 30-second spot, courtesy of the new political committee New York City Is Not for Sale, begins with grainy images of an emergency Read More
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that he, too, had his doubts about a plan to boost the age on purchasing cigarettes, until those tony folks in England tried it first.
“I was always skeptical,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters following a press event Tuesday announcing a deal to build what officials touted as the largest ice complex on the planet at the stalled Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.
“But it was actually done in England recently and it really did work,” he said.
Earlier today, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Health Commissioner Tom Farley unveiled new legislation to raise the city’s minimum age threshold for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21 years. The move was applauded by smoking advocates, including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Lung Association of the Northeast and more, but not everyone was happy with the bill.
Notably, Jim Calvin, the president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, argued that the vast majority of underage smokers obtain their cigarettes from older relatives and friends–not by over-the-counter purchases–rendering the legislation ineffective.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn rolled out more endorsements for her mayoral campaign today in order to launch “Women for Chris”– highlighting the historic nature of her bid to become the first female mayor of New York City. Among those to announce their support for Ms. Quinn were former Comptroller Liz Holtzman, former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, comedian Whoopi Goldberg and others.
“I am proud to be supporting the candidate I feel most represents the heartbeat of this great city—Christine Quinn,” Ms. Goldberg said in a statement.
Anthony Weiner’s possible entry into the mayoral race is being thoroughly mocked by the New York Post and late-night comedians, but for the candidates already in the field, it’s not necessarily a light-hearted affair. Mr. Weiner, once the leading mayoral contender, tumbled out of the spotlight in 2011 thanks to a digital sex scandal and the ensuing cover-up. But as the former congressman still has a full campaign war chest and strong name recognition–and the fact that electoral politics is a zero-sum game–the question rises: which of his hypothetical rivals would be most impacted by his decision?
Speaking to various operatives involved in the race–usually off-the-record or on-background–three central arguments emerged: Mr. Weiner would hurt Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Chris Quinn or, possibly, no candidate at all.
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, a relatively small union known for punching above its weight when it comes to electoral politics, has picked their candidate in the race to replace Council Speaker Chris Quinn: West Side community board chairman Corey Johnson. Josh Gold, HTC’s political director, told Politicker that the race of particular importance to the union due to the growth of hotels there in neighborhoods like Midtown South and the Meatpacking District.
“Corey Johnson has been a community leader on the West Side for over a decade,” Mr. Gold added in a statement. “He has fought for quality jobs, permanent affordable housing, community-minded development and raising the quality of life for residents in the neighborhoods he seeks to represent.”
Yesterday, vandals burned close to a dozen mezuzahs–religious artifacts affixed to doors–in front of Jewish homes in Williamsburg, drawing widespread outrage both in the local community and among candidates for higher office. This morning, several such pols were among the officials at a press conference blasting the perpetrators.
“Today all of us are Jewish and all of us celebrate this wonderful community,” Councilwoman Tish James, a candidate for public advocate, proclaimed. “But I’ve come here today to say that the individual or individuals that is responsible for this most heinous crime will be prosecuted … You will be caught and it is in your best interest to turn yourself in. In fact, I urge you to turn yourself in before anyone in this community gets their hand on you. It’s in your best interest.”
Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral bid suddenly found itself under attack last night when The New York Times reported that a $1 million, “A.B.Q. — anybody but Quinn” ad campaign has been started up to oppose her. But Ms. Quinn is pushing back, and in an email to her supporters this morning, she accused her opponents of undermining the public campaign finance system by letting an independent expenditure do their dirty work.
“This attack ad, funded by those closely aligned with my opponents, is an all-out effort to undermine New York City’s public campaign finance system, the most progressive system in the country and one I have worked hard to strengthen. What a disgrace,” she wrote. “But I’m not backing down, I’m standing up. And I need you to stand with me.”
It hasn’t even been a full day before Councilman Dan Halloran was arrested on corruption charges, but he’s already become a political football in the mayoral race. Accordingly, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and former Councilman Sal Albanese released a statements this afternoon reminding everyone about the City Council’s old “slush fund scandal”–where individual legislators were caught abusing their discretionary funds–and using it to try take rival mayoral contender Council Speaker Christine Quinn down a notch.
“These charges are extremely troubling, particularly because they involve the use of taxpayer dollars to advance corruption,” Mr. Thompson declared. “These most recent developments are the latest in a history of corruption and a broken system that, despite claims to the contrary, has clearly not been adequately reformed under the Speaker’s leadership.”