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Friday, August 19, 2022

Quinn Pro Quo

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City Council Speaker and Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn wants furthering monitoring of the NYPD
City Council Speaker and Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn wants furthering monitoring of the NYPD
How does a mayoral candidate, perceived by many as being buried deep in the pockets of wealthy individuals and corporations pander to liberals and poor and working class minorities? If you answered – by supporting a bill that if voted into law, would install an inspector general to monitor the NYPD – you win an envelope full of crisp hundred dollar bills from Christine Quinn’s slush fund, or if you happen to be mayor of New York and you want a third term, she’ll make that happen for you.

It’s not easy being an openly gay, female, New Yorker, while gaining a reputation as someone as blindly self-interested, politically motivated and out of touch as a straight, white billionaire Republican, but Quinn has managed to do just that.

Despite her support for gay marriage, Quinn’s liberal street cred is suffering. Her backing of Jamestown Properties in their bid to build on top of the Chelsea Market in her own neighborhood despite fierce opposition from her own constituents, her deflection of issues related to tax increases for the rich, her refusal to allow a city council vote on issues like paid sick leave, her role in closing St. Vincent’s Hospital and then selling it to developers at Rudin Management, who then contributed to her campaign, are only a handful of reasons she’s been dubbed Bloomberg 2.0. Her receiving the lowest scores in the city council on human rights and animal protection legislation by the Urban Justice Center and the League of Humane voters isn’t helping her curry favour with liberals either.

Quinn’s walking and talking tours across the five boroughs, waving the populist flag, have fooled few and done little to repair her anti-liberal, pro-business reputation. In a city divided by severe wealth inequality, she needs to do something to separate herself, at least superficially and temporarily, from the class of the overprivileged she’s been loyally serving during her time as speaker. Whether the NYPD actually needs to be policed by an inspector general seems less a concern for Quinn than the political capital she gains from publicly supporting the bill. Her faux clashes in the media with Bloomberg and Ray Kelly on the issue only serve to further the perception of distancing herself from the Bloomberg 2.0 sobriquet, and her insistence that she has the votes to override Bloomberg’s veto of the bill makes one wonder whether if and when it comes to that she’ll conveniently change her stance like she did on mayoral term limits.

Quinn needs Bloomberg and his friends, along with the piles of money they’ll throw at her campaign, and the last thing the mayor of New York needs is a police department hostile to her. Instead of paving the way for real estate moguls to make even more money, or giving out millions of dollars in member items to phantom groups to hold and then dole out off the books, Quinn is now wheeling and dealing in the currency of illusion. If she can deceive enough liberals and poor and working class minorities into believing she’s really playing for their team and just using the Bloombergs of the world to get elected, so she can ultimately do what’s right, she’ll likely be New York’s first female and openly gay mayor. Unfortunately for Quinn, Bloomberg 1.0 is a lot better at playing the “I’ll do what I want and the rest of you can go to hell” game than she is. Buying an election with your own money instead of other people’s affords you that luxury.

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