Shining bright lights on backroom deals in the NYC body politic.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's Rainin' Ducket$

Real Estate Ducket$, That Is

In August of this year, Lincoln Anderson of the The Villager ran a story that all but indicted Speaker candidate Christine Quinn for being on the take of the city's real estate interests.

In the piece, Anderson took Quinn on a journey through various contributions made to her by real estate developers, and attempted to connect those contributions to her hurried stance on Far West Village rezoning efforts. The story concluded with Quinn defending herself this way:

“A developer by definition is not a bad thing, is not the devil or a disreputable profession,” Quinn said. “The reason not to take money from people is if you feel beholden to that, and my record speaks for itself — I’m not beholden to the people that give me money.”

Subsequent letters to the editor expressed a good bit of rage, and continued to raise doubts of Quinn's defense.

Rachel Chanoff, a community activist, had this response:

Of course a politician isn’t necessarily in the pocket of her campaign benefactors. But Quinn needs to do more than point out that she has disagreed in the past with some of her financial supporters. The fact is that a long list of people who have given Quinn money are integrally involved in efforts to undermine, outflank and bulldoze the campaign to downzone and landmark the West Village.

And then a group of 11 other West Side activists, had this to say:

Quinn effectively bulldozed half of the Clinton and Chelsea neighborhoods for her ambition to be Council speaker. To create an illusion of concern, she created a developer-driven fake grassroots (a.k.a. Astroturf) organization, financed and run by developers, not the community. While they were against the stadium, they were pushing for all the office towers. The public wasn't told of her lie.

But, in all fairness, to Quinn's aid did come one George Comiskie, President of the Westbeth Artists Residents Council. Here's what he had to say:

For the record, I contributed $100 to her campaign. Does this suggest I am trying to buy influence? No. I am trying to help keep an excellent councilmember in office.

(To review Backroomie's pursuit of the candidates' money trails, click here ... Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn, Leroy Comrie, David Weprin, Joel Rivera, Lew Fidler, Melinda Katz)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not surprising at all. Also, if she's not "beholden" to those who give her money, who is she "beholden to"? She certainly won't be "beholden" to Queens if they help deliver her to speaker.

11:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does this not surprise me?

1:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah...the old lib dem argument that only a moveon style fundraising effort is morally justified.

seems like quinn gets hit again for being a realist and, well, effective.

10:58 AM


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