Speaker Quinn has too much power
Nov 02, 2010 | 4928 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's role in defeating the sick leave bill for employees of small businesses was nothing to cheer about, when you look into the details. [It was praised in this section in a letter by the Queens Chamber of Commerce October 21].

Past supporters of Quinn have been disappointed over the years as she changed from being a liberal independent reformer to seasoned Democratic party machine leader. 

Her method in defeating this legislation was to deny 50 other members of the city council the right to vote up or down on the proposed legislation.  Wasn't Quinn elected to represent voters of her West Village district and not all five boroughs? 

Her actions denied almost 8 million New Yorkers a direct say on the issue regardless of which side they stand on. 

To maintain control of the council, Speaker Quinn continues handing out lulus to loyal members from $4,000 to $28,000 per year for chairing committees.  She tolerates members with potential conflicts of interest by allowing income from outside second jobs and campaign contributions from  pay-to-play contributors, including unions, real estate, businesses and political action committees.

Many of these are looking for favors in return at taxpayers expense. 

She allows council members to use their administrative budgets to pay for personal office items.  Travel to foreign countries used to curry favor with ethnic constituents is also funded, at taxpayer-expense. She also supported allocating millions of dollars in member items for local pork barrel projects.

Perhaps all of the above is why the so-called Progressive Caucus has been so silent on this outrage.  They appear to practice the credo never bite the hand that feeds you. 

Quinn has yet to announce support for an honest reapportionment of district boundaries after the 2010 census to promote real competition for future contests.   

The city's five Democratic county bosses have never cared if you are liberal or conservative, gay or straight, man or woman- just play ball like Speaker Quinn and you become one of the boys in the smoke-filled clubhouse back room. 

Quinn is cut from the same cloth as past Speakers like the late Tom Cuite, Peter Vallone Senior and Gifford Miller, who ruled the Council in a dictatorial style.


Larry Penner

Great Neck, Long Island
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