Monday, December 31, 2012

Activists Demand That Christine Quinn De-Fund Stop-And-Frisk

Quinn pressed on NYPD frisk policy

From The New York Post :

Dozens of activists blasted the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program yesterday and called on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to reform it.

“We expect her to share the sensibility that people in this community have when they are being targeted based on the color of their skin and who they are and their identity,” Louis Flores said before a march in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Quinn, a leading Democratic hopeful for mayor next year, has called on Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to reform the controversial practice. She has not yet taken a position on the four bills before the council to curtail it.

The group called on Quinn to cut the NYPD’s budget in order to do away with stop-and-frisk.

Although she negotiates and must approve the city budget every year, she can’t tell Kelly which programs to drop for lack of funds.

Critics decry as racist the practice of cops searching individuals they deem suspicious; Bloomberg and Kelly insist it has led to the city’s dramatic drop in murders.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

#OWS Ustream of Stop Stop and Frisk March in Jackson Heights

#stopstopandfrisk march
Video streaming by Ustream
Video streaming by Ustream

Protesters March Against City Funding Of NYPD Stop-And-Frisks

The artist and blogger Suzannah B. Troy dressed up as New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and marched with activists.

Protesters March Against City Funding Of NYPD Stop-And-Frisks

Approximately 40 protests gathered in the Jackson Heights plaza for a speak-out against the city budget that fully funds the NYPD program called stop-and-frisk.

Activists from several groups worked in collaboration to demand that if the New York City Council does not pass the Community Safety Act, then the City Council Speaker Christine Quinn should defund the NYPD of the resources that go to pay for the continuation of stop-and-frisk.

After activists denounced stop-and-frisk, activists then marched from 73rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue all the way to 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, and then activists marched back to 74th Street.

In the time that Christine Quinn has been Speaker of City Council, over 3.7 million New Yorkers have been stopped-and-frisked.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christine Quinn Will Probably Keep Funding Stop And Frisk

The Hunted and the Hated: An Inside Look at the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk Policy

A secret audio recording of a stop-and-frisk in action sheds unprecedented light on a practice that has put the city's young people of color in the NYPD's crosshairs.

Read the full story at : Stopped-and-Frisked: 'For Being a F**king Mutt' [VIDEO]

Last summer, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn attended a ''stop-and-frisk'' rally at the Stonewall Inn, where she was hoping to put on a photo op about caring about ''stop-and-frisk.'' But once there, she didn't count on Steven Thrasher actually holding her accountable.

''Nobody wants to hear the truth.''

When Speaker Quinn says that she is critical of stop-and-frisk, as she has sometimes said, it sounds as authentic as when she says that she is critical of the St. Patrick's Day Parade that runs along Fifth Avenue.

Speaker Quinn likes to complain about how the St. Patrick's Day Parade excludes openly identified LGBT groups from participating in the parade, but yet Speaker Quinn keeps using New York City taxpayer money to keep funding the discriminatory parade.

In other words : if talk is all you get, then talk is cheap.

Dr. Andrew Fagelman Receptionist Office Mgr Assaults Suzannah B. Troy

The blogger and artist Suzannah B. Troy was assaulted by Delita Hooks, and the NYPD made the assault disappear by coercing Ms. Troy into dropping the charges. This is how the NYPD fixes the crime statistics into creating an illusion that New York City is becoming a safer city under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

March Against Christine Quinn and Stop-And-Frisk Featured On NYCGA.NET

The March against Christine Quinn and Stop-And-Frisk is being featured on NYCGA.NET.

Join us on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. at 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.

View March Against Christine Quinn/Stop-And-Frisk in a larger map Photobucket

A Failure of Leadership

Nothing has come of the proposed law known as the Community Safety Act, and, under New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, probably nothing ever will. We need to defund the NYPD of the resources that go into allowing the police force to carry out the practise of stop-and-frisk.

If the City Council won't pass the Community Safety Act, then it needs to begin to defund the NYPD of our tax money. How can tax money be legally used to discriminate against citizens ? Title III of the Civil Rights Act prohibits state and municipal governments from denying access to public facilities on grounds of race, color, religion or national origin. Yet, isn't that exactly what the NYPD are doing ? Are they not denying us peaceful access and peaceful enjoyment to public spaces solely based on prejudices about race, color, religion or national origin ?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mental Healthcare Crisis In New York Caused By Spree Of Hospital Closings

Still no holiday wishes from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to the communities affected by all the hospital closings in New York City, but here's an update from The New York Times : Hurricane Shows Fragility of City’s Mental Health System

Push-Pull Relationship With NYPD In Jackson Heights

There's a push-pull relationship going on with the NYPD in Jackson Heights. Some neighborhoods are policed to the satisfaction of business owners, like 82nd Street, but others not, like 74th Street.

Some neighborhoods are over-policed, because so many innocent people are being subjected to stop-and-frisk, like Roosevelt Avenue, but others not, like 34th Avenue.

It seems that prejudice is what drives these disparities, and, for some unmentionable reason, this situation is acceptable by decision-makers. I'm only mentioning the few blocks around where I live. I wonder what the experience is like on the other side of 74th Street, on the other side of Roosevelt Avenue, and on the other side of 82nd Street ?


Join us on Sunday at 1 pm in Jackson Heights for a protest against one of the chief political enablers of the "stop-and-frisk" policy : March Against Christine Quinn and Stop-And-Frisk.

Josh Isay Spin Described As ''Silliness'' By The New York Times

Monday, December 24, 2012

PBA Run Advertisements So They Won't Have To Change NYPD Culture, Stop-And-Frisk, Ticket-Fixing

All of a sudden now, the NYPD are worried about their "public relations." They are worried enough to pay thousands of dollars for advertisements, but not worried enough to change the policies, which give them the bad reputation that they have.

Our demand is that the City Council defund the NYPD of the resources that allows police to carry on their unconstitutional and discriminatory policy of using "stop-and-frisk" unfairly and illegally towards minority communities.


Join us on Sunday at 1 pm in Jackson Heights for a protest against one of the chief political enablers of the "stop-and-frisk" policy : March Against Christine Quinn and Stop-And-Frisk.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Intentional Fire Set To Occupy Sandy Hub In Brooklyn

A two-alarm fire that started around 4:30 a.m. outside the Church of St. Luke And St. Matthew at 515 Clinton Avenue appears to have been deliberately set, NY1 reported. Occupy Sandy volunteers and members of the congregation were worried about hurricane relief supplies and Christmas gifts for New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, thousands of volunteers, included members of the Occupy Sandy movement, have used the Church of St. Luke And St. Matthew as an important hub for hurricane relief efforts.

Here's a look at some of the compelling and heroic volunteer efforts of Occupy Sandy activists, which at times has been the only direct assistance available to hurricane survivors :

Rev. Christopher Ballard told The Wall Street Journal that two gas canisters, which had been being stored outside the church, might have been used to start the fire. The Rev. Ballard said he was told by police that it "appeared someone had taken gas and poured it on the entrance and all along the facade and lit it on fire."

"By Sunday afternoon, the fire at St. Luke And St. Matthew remained under investigation and a $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest," NY1 reported.

The suspicious fire at the church came just hours after it was revealed that the FBI was spying on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Redacted FBI information showed that there were reports, which the FBI kept confidential, that there were plans to use snipers to assassinate leaders of Occupy Houston. Because the Occupy movement continues to push for social, legal, and economic reforms, activists involved with Occupy obviously remain the target of harm.

Political Spouses And Gender Roles

From City & State :

Earlier this month, a miniscandal erupted over a story with a lurid headline: “The Lesbian Past of Bill de Blasio’s Wife.” The central thesis seemed to be that Chirlane McCray (a.k.a. Mrs. de Blasio) is somehow duplicitous, because as a married woman with two children, she once identified as a lesbian.

Anyone who lived through the sexual revolution or received a liberal arts degree in the last 30 years might have failed to grasp the inherent conflict. Nevertheless, the sensational article strongly implied the existence of a public fraud.

Read more : Mrs. De Blasio And The Pigeonholing Of Political Spouses

Friday, December 21, 2012

NYC Economic Development Corporation Demands Secrecy Pacts With Public Officials And Their Staff

Is the New York City Economic Development Corporation violating sunshine laws ?

In her holiday newsletter, Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick reveals that the New York City Economic Development Corporation asked her office to leave the Civic Center Taskforce, because the Hon. Assemblymember and her staff refused to sign "secrecy pacts."

The New York City Economic Development Corporation is now coercing confidentiality agreements from any public official, who takes part in some of its meetings, hearings, or discussions.

This includes the staff of public officials.

When the Hon. Assemblymember and her office declined to sign a confidentiality agreement with the EDC, the EDC asked that the office of the Hon. Assemblymember leave the ECD's Civic Center Taskforce !

The EDC puts on the pretense that it is a transparent quasi-government institution, which uses public resources to push economic plans that are creating major deals for giant corporate interests. The EDC takes credit for helping to keep JetBlue's headquarters in New York City. But if this institution is going to be using taxpayer money for its corporate deals, what is it doing ring-fencing information away from the public about the public's business ?

Here is a link ( to the ECD's "public documents" page. No where on this link does any information appear that the EDC demands confidentiality agreements from public officials.

How can we have a transparent government that is accessible to its citizens, if the government is demanding that public officials enter into "secrecy pacts" that deny voters and taxpayers information about our government's business ?

Were confidentiality agreements the tool used by those with vested financial interests in the billion-dollar luxury condo conversion deal for St. Vincent's to silence our politicians and their official staff ? We may never know.

Here is the portion of Assemblymember Glick's holiday newsletter, which addresses the EDC's demands for secrecy pacts :

That Which Must Not Be Mentioned

In a shocking and anti-democratic move, New York City's Economic Development Corporation has required anyone participating in the Civic Center Taskforce, as well as the Seward Park Taskforce, to sign a confidentiality agreement that essentially serves as a gag order. Because I believe in open government and transparency, I along with my staff refused to sign this agreement, and my office was asked to leave a Civic Center Taskforce Meeting we were participating in and denied the ability to participate in any future meetings.

I understand the importance of having local representation, such as members of the Community Board, in the room and why some Taskforce members felt compelled to sign the agreement. However, presenting members with the option of maintaining complete secrecy or being denied a place at the table is on its face coercive and outrageous. There may have been some who thought it was no problem, and the fact that after ten years under the Bloomberg administration these types of secrecy pacts are viewed as standard operating procedure is perhaps even more disturbing.

My office will not be party to community taskforces that do not allow for conversation with the community, and we are hopeful that the City will resume its work as a democracy in the near future.

Read also : Editorial: City Must Bring Transparency Back to Seward Park development site (SPURA)

Happy New Year From Grumpy Cat and Christine Quinn

Hurricane Sandy - Bellevue, NYU, and Coler Hospital Evacuations - Political Accountability

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Grumpy Cat Meme

Hurricane Sandy - Bellevue, NYU, and Coler Hospital Evacuations - Political Accountability

Christine Quinn Living Wage Minimum Wage Conundrum

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Influence Does Carolyn Ryan Have Over Metropolitan Political Articles That Are Biased Against Joe Lhota ?

After having gone on a spree of Tweets ridiculing Joe Lhota's campaign for mayor, The New York Times metropolitan editor Carolyn Ryan's metropolitan desk then publishes a critical article of Mr. Lhota's campaign. Coïncidence ? Probably not.

Notice how The New York Times article of Mr. Lhota's campaign did not disclose that Kathryn S. Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City, was editorialised as the "city’s premier business association," and how it was not disclosed that Ms. Wylde is invested in the campaign of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Furthermore, the article allowed Josh Isay, Speaker Quinn's campaign consultant, to openly criticize Mr. Lhota over MTA fare hikes. “Joe Lhota announced his resignation the day before the Lhota fare hike gets voted on,” Mr. Isay, the campaign spokesperson for Speaker Quinn's campaign, told The New York Times. “He may think he’s pulled a fast one, but voters are too smart for that.”

But the article did not mention the litany of criticisms that Progressives have with Speaker Quinn's political ethics -- ranging from the change in term limits, the spree of hospital closings, including of St. Vincent's Hospital in Speaker Quinn's very own City Council district, the reckless approval of the expansion of New York University, and the disruptive zone-busting development plan for Chelsea Market. Meanwhile, The New York Times chose to portray Speaker Quinn as a "presumptive front-runner for the Democratic nomination," even though that editorial qualification was not attributed.

If you were not aware, an average voter would read this article and think that Mr. Lhota was not a viable candidate, instead of the fact that biased reportage was portraying Mr. Lhota as such, according to predetermined agendas of the people involved in this article.

Follow us on Facebook : We Protest Media Bias In The New York Times

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Does Josh Isay Spread Lies For Christine Quinn ?

Christine Quinn MTA Fare Hikes Term Limits St. Vincent's

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's paid political consultants are already attacking MTA Chairman Joe Lhota over impending mass transit fare hikes.

But voters will also remember the way that Speaker Quinn extended term limits in spite of two voter referenda, and the way that Speaker Quinn approved the luxury condo conversion plan for St. Vincent's before Hurricane Sandy destroyed three East Side hospitals.

Christine Quinn Wedding Registry

Given how many zone-busting real estate development deals that New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has approved through the City Council -- from the billion-dollar luxury condo conversion deal for St. Vincent's Hospital, to the destruction of the character of Chelsea Market by approving twin hotel and office towers atop the former cookie factory, and the reckless NYU expansion plans around Washington Square Park -- Speaker Quinn is looking for gifts from the Real Estate Board.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lhota Entry Into Mayoral Race Upsets Carolyn Ryan Over Quinn Tumble From Grace

Now that Joe Lhota is running for mayor, Twitterverse is in apoplexy over Carolyn Ryan's nervous breakdown. That's right, Ms. Ryan is worried that her favourite candidate, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, now will not be such a shoe-in to become mayor. Ms. Ryan is concerned that the business community will abandon Speaker Quinn in favour of Mr. Lhota.

Ms. Ryan recently had lunch with former Mayor Ed Koch, to talk about Speaker Quinn's election strategy.

Indeed, Ms. Ryan has begun a schmear campaign against Mr. Lhota over Twitter. I wonder what her superior editorial bosses at The New York Times have to say about this ?

Whereas Ms. Ryan's reporting may be factual, it is not objective for an editor to be attacking a mayoral candidate over Twitter, when she must supervise and edit the reportage of objective reporters. How is that possible ?

Follow us on Facebook : We Protest Media Bias In The New York Times

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unions Strategise to Target Quinn

There's a notion among Progressive groups that New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn makes legislative decisions based on political calculations, a charge that her paid campaign staff deny.

Crains reports that, "... left-leaning council members allied with the labor-backed Working Families Party will push a bill to curb the Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk tactics. (Ms. Quinn has expressed support for scaling back stop-and-frisk but has yet to sign on to any legislation.) In addition, several big developments, including a Queens soccer stadium and a Governors Island project, will need council approval in 2013. And the city will have to close its $635 million budget deficit as public-sector unions -- all working on expired contracts -- watch over Ms. Quinn's shoulder."

Read more : Labor to squeeze council speaker : Unions have leverage on sick days, other hot issues as Quinn seeks mayoralty in 2013.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Protesta contra "parar y revisar" -- y Christine Quinn


Desde que se hizo la presidenta del Concejo Municipal, más de 3,7 millones de neoyorquinos se han pasado por el programa de policía de "parar y revisar." ¿Por qué es esto aceptable?

Únase a nosotros para marchar y exigir que el Concejo Municipal reduce los recursos proporcionados a la policía de Nueva York que permite a la policía para continuar con su práctica inconstitucional de "parar y revisar" a personas inocentes.

Traiga pitos. Nos reuniremos en la calle 74 y la Avenida Roosevelt. Entonces, nos marcharemos a lo largo de la avenida Roosevelt. Y soplamos nuestros pitos contra la programa de "parar y revisar."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Occupy Sandy Protest Near Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Mansion

"Two months after Superstorm Sandy the disaster is not over and relief needs are still great. Homes are uninhabitable with black mold taking hold, heat and sanitation are still absent in many places. Yet the government response has been glaringly absent."

Several hundred citizens affected by Hurricane Sandy, healthcare professionals, activists, and members of Occupy Sandy relief effort participated in a rally and march near Fifth Avenue and East 79th Street to protest what organisers said was a lack of care and concern by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Hospitals that were evacuated due to hurricane damage have not reopened, and hurricane survivors are dealing with mold, no heat, no hot water, and no electricity in the winter. Healthcare professionals describe conditions that could lead to a public healthcare crisis. Yet, rally participants kept asking, "Where is Mayor Bloomberg?"

It wasn't confirmed, but many people speculated that Mayor Bloomberg could be spending this weekend in his palatial compound in the tropical island of Bermuda.

This independent video was made in solidarity with rally organizers to educate the public about Mayor Michael Bloomberg's lack of care and concern for survivors of Hurricane Sandy, and this video includes information about Bill Rudin : another billionaire, who also bears responsibility for some of the issues raised by some rally participants.

Read also : Nurses Will Picket Mayor Bloomberg's Mansion

For more information about hurricane relief efforts, please visit :

March Against Christine Quinn and Stop and Frisk


Since she became Speaker of City Council, over 3.7 million New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked. Why is this acceptable ?

This is a sign of leadership failure.

Join us as we march and make the demand that City Council defund the NYPD of the resources so that the police can no longer continue their unconstitutional practice of stopping and frisking mostly innocent people of color.

Bring whistles. We will meet at 74th Street and Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights, Queens. We will then march along Roosevelt Ave. -- and blow our whistles on stop-and-frisk !

Speaker Quinn seems to play a budget game with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which follows tactics that scare people into thinking that the mayor will cut the NYPD budget. But it is all a game to score political points with voters, and it has nothing to do with real public safety or protection of our civil liberties and civil rights.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stop and frisk in NYC: A decade of rising numbers

NEW YORK (AP) — The police practice known as stop and frisk has been part of the New York Police Department's crime-fighting strategy since the early 1990s, but the number of stops shot up in the last decade. The vast majority of those stopped have been black or Hispanic.


Since she became Speaker of City Council, over 3.7 million New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked. Why is this acceptable ?

Take a 5 seconds to like us on Facebook : Queers Against Christine Quinn

A look at the numbers:


Number of stops: 97,296


Number of stops: 160,851

Demographics: 54 percent of those stopped were black, 31 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 313,523

Demographics: 55 percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 398,191

Demographics: 54 percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 506,491

Demographics: 53 percent of those stopped were black, 29 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 472,096

Demographics: 54 percent of those stopped were black, 31 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 540,302

Demographics: 53 percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 581,168

Demographics: 55 percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 601,285

Demographics: 54 percent of those stopped were black, 33 percent Hispanic.


Number of stops: 685,724

Demographics: 53 percent of those stopped were black, 34 percent Hispanic.

2012 (first six months)

Number of stops as of June 30: 337,434

Demographics: 53 percent of those stopped were black, 32 percent Hispanic.


Source: New York Police Department and New York Civil Liberties Union

Related : Quinn Says Next Mayor Would Be ‘Lucky’ To Have Kelly Stay As Commish

I Support The Aclu panel print (Google Affiliate Ad)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grumpy Cat Living Wage Meme

Christine Quinn Campaign Crisis Management Mode

Serious Questions About Electability Of Perceived Front-Runner In Mayor’s Race

From The New York Times :

After months of maintaining a cool, above-the-fray approach to the 2013 mayoral race, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker and presumptive candidate-to-beat next year, is enduring the first bumps of what may be a pockmarked road to the Democratic primary.

This week, Ms. Quinn was criticized for a campaign finance bill that opponents — including her most important ally, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — said would tear a loophole in New York City’s election spending rules.

On television, there was Alec Baldwin, the temperamental actor, telling Piers Morgan’s national audience on CNN that Ms. Quinn had “blood on her hands” for supporting Mr. Bloomberg’s successful bid to circumvent term limits.

Read more : Hints at Steeper Road to Victory for Perceived Front-Runner in Mayor’s Race

Adrian Schoolcraft Whistleblower Retaliation Update - The Snake Pit

Queens District Attorney Rules That No Crime Took Place When NYPD Retaliated Against Whistleblower Cop Adrian Schoolcraft By Throwing Him In The Psych Ward Of Jamaica Hospital. Only In New York, Kids, Only In New York.

From NYPD Confidential :

Neither the NYPD nor Jamaica Hospital committed a crime when they forcibly took whistleblower cop Adrian Schoolcraft from his home and held him in the hospital’s psych ward against his will for three days.

If you are a whistleblower, how the NYPD treats you is by labeling you an emotionally disturbed person [EDP], and then, in a supreme act of retaliation and cruel and unusual punishment, by throwing you in the Snake Pit.

So says Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, whose office conducted a criminal investigation of the incident together with the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

According to a draft report, which was obtained by NYPD Confidential, Brown concluded that both the police and the hospital doctors acted reasonably because they believed Schoolcraft to be an emotionally disturbed person [EDP]. ...

Read more : DA: No Crime to Throw Cop Whistleblower in Psych Ward

No word, yet, if New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has an opinion about the injustice facing Mr. Schoolcraft. :'(

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quinn Retreats on NYC Version of Citizens United-Like Law

Christine Quinn Delays Hearing on Campaign Bill

From The New York Times :

Christine C. Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, has delayed action on a bill that would loosen regulations on spending by unions and advocacy groups in New York City elections, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg denounced the measure as “a terrible idea” and “really not good for democracy.”

... The measure would allow advocacy groups like unions to work directly with candidates on political communications with their members, who often make up influential voting blocs in city races. The costs for those activities would not be counted against a candidate’s spending limit, leading critics to argue the bill would unleash a torrent of unchecked spending by outside groups. ...

Tom Allon, a candidate for the Republican mayoral primary, said he was opposed to Speaker Quinn's weakening of the city's campaign finance laws, and he sharply criticized Ms. Quinn in an interview with The New York Times.

Read more : Christine Quinn Delays Hearing on Campaign Spending Bill

Free Political Advice For Christine Quinn, For What It's Worth

The not-so-mighty Quinn

Isn't is strange how political pundits say that New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has to "distance" herself from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as opposed to saying that Speaker Quinn needs to "return to her roots" ?

From The New York Daily News : The City Council speaker is ahead in the polls, but she needs distance from Mayor Bloomberg if she wants to occupy City Hall

It didn’t take a political mastermind to know Mayor Bloomberg’s one-man “Hillary for Mayor” crusade would never amount to anything. If you had a leading shot at the presidency, would you ditch it to hit the Brooklyn political clubhouse circuit for nine months, for the honor of maybe debating Joe Lhota in October?

Yet as ill-fated as his failed recruitment of Secretary of State Clinton may have been, Hizzoner's gambit was notable for its momentary snub to his loyal ally and wanna-be mayor, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Indeed, sensing that his leaked entreaty to Clinton might damage the bid of his favorite city official not named Ray Kelly, Bloomberg hastily reaffirmed his respect for the Speaker the day the story broke, telling reporters, “This woman has made an enormous difference in this city ... If you want to start a fight between me and Chris Quinn, you’re not going to do it.”

A fight or not, the episode put front and center the political relationship between Bloomberg and Quinn, and highlighted the complicated role the departing three-term mayor will have on the race to succeed him. Specifically, while his support would help Quinn’s candidacy in many ways — particularly, in a general election — it could ultimately stop her from getting there.

This is a reality with which the onetime housing activist must reckon — freeing herself to articulate an independent vision for New Yorkers without constant fear of crossing him.

If early surveys are to be believed, the Speaker enters the race as the clear front-runner in the primary, with a recent Quinnipiac poll showing her leading the Democratic pack by more than 20 points. Clearly, she starts the race as the candidate to beat.

In addition to the historic nature of her candidacy as potentially the city’s first female and gay mayor, much of the Speaker’s early lead — for now — owes to the trappings that come from a mutual arrangement with the man whose job she covets.

Rather than serve as a counterpoint to Bloomberg’s agenda, Quinn has largely used the speakership as a partnership with City Hall — something she and the mayor depict as effective governance, and which her opponents will relentlessly attempt to paint as a lack of independence and commitment to progressive principles.

Most famously, when the mayor sought to overturn a public vote and suspend term limits so he could stay in office, Quinn reversed her vocal opposition and led the Council to pass it. And when the mayor opposed a paid sick leave bill that could help working New Yorkers better care for their children, the former activist blocked it from coming to a vote — even as it was supported by more than 80% of New Yorkers and the vast majority of the City Council.

In return for her loyalty, Quinn has reaped some benefits from the still-potent third-termer.

She has inherited much of his political apparatus, including some of the most skilled operatives in the city. And she gets equal billing in many mayoral announcements — whether it’s sharing headlines in press releases or getting to stand with the mayor during press conferences.

And Bloomberg, for all his warts, still has a sizable number of Democrats who like him. According to another recent Quinnipiac poll (possibly inflated because it was conducted post-Sandy, when most elected officials got boosts), 6 of 10 Democrats approved of the mayor’s performance.

Two subgroups of the Bloomberg Democratic base are moderate voters in boroughs like Queens and Staten Island, and those who might identify as the “pro-business” community.

The former is a key swath of voters who may well view an alliance with Bloomberg as an appealing attribute in Quinn. The latter may be a smaller voting bloc, but is useful for locking down elite opinion and reaping their financial, political and media support. And while New York’s diverse labor community might split its loyalties between different candidates (i.e., Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Controller John Liu and Quinn herself), Quinn’s supporters believe the Bloomberg Democrats will tend to be more united.

For all these strengths the friendship brings, however, come a seemingly endless track of hurdles that threaten to obstruct Quinn’s path to November.

From a messaging standpoint, her role as Bloomberg’s partner will be castigated by opponents as something very different: an enabler more akin to a deputy mayor than a needed check on a famously imperial chief executive. At a time when progressive leadership was needed to curb a business-minded mayor’s ambitions, her opponents will argue, Christine Quinn was instead a rubber stamp.

Anger over these facts was expressed in its rawest form by liberal stalwart Alec Baldwin Thursday night. On CNN, the actor told Piers Morgan that Quinn is “untrustworthy.” He called her “Bloomberg’s hand-picked successor,” saying she has “blood on her hands” for her role in the term-limit turnabout.

In less histrionic terms, this is Quinn’s day-to-day problem: As a result of the Bloomberg alliance, Quinn is constrained from challenging the incumbent to the degree a typical candidate might. While her opponents wake up each morning looking for ways to criticize and differentiate themselves from the current mayor, the Speaker has to engage in a much more careful and, at times, awkward balance.

Most recently, when the mayor was receiving criticism for wanting to hold the marathon in the middle of the post-Sandy recovery, Quinn could only watch while her opponents ripped him to shreds.

On policy issues, this self-imposed balance may prove even more excruciating. In the same recent poll that shows Bloomberg winning approval of 6 in 10 Democrats, a still higher percentage opposes the Police Department's stop-question-and-frisk practice.

A series of bills proposing reforms to the police and its practices has been submitted for consideration in the Council, but Quinn has prevented them from coming to the floor.

To be fair, the Council has recently held hearings on the issue, so the jury is still out on whether action will be taken. But given the mayor’s sensitivity to the issue, you can be sure that Quinn’s high-wire balancing act will imbue the process with an abundance of caution — for which her Democratic opponents will feel no such compulsion. And they’ll do everything they can to make her pay for it with Democratic primary voters.

On the issue of providing workers with a living wage to earn enough to survive in New York, Quinn tried to split the difference between the wishes of the Democratic primary electorate, who strongly supported it, and her pro-business political patron, who did not.

As a result, she comically spent months nipping and nibbling on the bill to the point where just 400 to 500 low-wage workers in the city annually will be affected, by her own estimate. You can bet voters will be reminded of this in the months to come.

Then there’s Bloomberg’s mixed educational record. While Quinn has joined her Democratic rivals in articulating a critical posture towards the schools’ status quo, it won’t be easy to position herself as the most credible reformer on one of the race’s central issues if she’s viewed as Bloomberg Lite.

The fact is, voters do not want a fourth Bloomberg term. In a poll taken two years ago during a particularly high point in the mayor’s term, city voters gave him a very impressive 61-27 approval rating. Yet this same pro-Bloomberg electorate still said by a 3-1 ratio that it would not vote for him if he sought a fourth term.

So while the mayor’s relative popularity will be a boon for Quinn with some segments of the city, opponents may benefit if they can convince voters that her mayoralty would just be the latest effort by Bloomberg to impose his will.

And there’s a limit to what a Bloomberg endorsement can actually deliver. Barring the use of a super PAC, which brings its own headaches, this race will be a rare occasion in which the mayor’s money will be essentially irrelevant, as Quinn will easily reach the spending cap imposed on candidates participating in the city’s campaign finance system regardless.

Furthermore, Bloomberg is not a mayor in the vein of an Ed Rendell, whose endorsement brings you his undivided attention, political expertise and bodies on the street. While Bloomberg essentially hand-picked Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan to run on the Republican line for attorney general in 2010, he stayed relatively hands-off during the race and his candidate failed to connect in the city or anywhere else.

So, for all of the benefits that come with a close Bloomberg partnership, Quinn will also have to navigate real challenges. It’s a unique set of circumstances whereby a mayor who himself never appeared in a Democratic primary will cast a large shadow on the one held to succeed him.

In the end, if you’re Christine Quinn, the key takeaway from the mayor’s diss this week should not be that it was an embarrassing betrayal (though, on some level, it was). It’s that for all the benefits his alliance brings, having some proof that you’re not necessarily his hand-picked heir might not be such a bad thing after all.

Blake Zeff is a former presidential campaign aide to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Those who are part of the movement

‎"I have never considered myself a candidate. I have always considered myself part of a movement, part of a candidacy. I considered the movement the candidate. I think that there's a distinction between those who use the movement and those who are part of the movement. I think I was always part of the movement. I wish I had time to explain everything I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the gay movement."
-- Harvey Milk

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quinn Wants NYC Version of Citizens United

Will Quinn's Weaker Campaign Finance Bill Lead To Her Very Own Private Watergate ?

Finding loopholes to funnel unlimited amounts of unregulated campaign cash to influence elections was the scandal, along with the break-in and cover-up, that lead to Watergate and President Richard Nixon's resignation.

When given the chance, why does New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn fight progressive campaign finance reforms ? Why is less campaign finance regulation better ? In the aftermath of the dangerous Citizens United court ruling, which unleashed unlimited corporate spending in political campaigns, why would Speaker Quinn want to go down that route ? What role does campaign money play in her political decisions ?

From The New York Times :

Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker and an expected candidate for mayor next year, is supporting a change to New York City’s campaign finance rules that would significantly expand the ability of unions, corporations and advocacy groups to spend money on behalf of local candidates. ...

Critics said the measure, introduced nine months ahead of what is expected to be a closely contested mayoral race, would effectively outsmart the city’s stringent campaign finance system, which tries to rein in spending by interest groups and candidates alike. ...

[C]ritics of the legislation said it would create a new and weaker definition of “coordination,” a change that the Campaign Finance Board says would make it virtually impossible to prove that a mailing was illegally coordinated with a candidate. ... (The New York Times : Quinn Supports Loosening Rules On Campaign Financing By Corporations)

From The Wall Street Journal :

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a likely contender for mayor next year, has riled the agency that administers the city's public campaign-financing system by pushing new legislation that opponents contend would significantly expand the power of unions, corporations and other groups in local elections. (The Wall Street Journal : Quinn Lashed On Campaign Legislation)

Remember, Speaker Quinn is the one, who despite criticism, continues to use slush funds and lulus to thwart the democratic process in City Council.

Are self-serving choices, like supporting weaker campaign finance regulations, one of the reasons why Alec Baldwin said that Speaker Quinn is ''untrustworthy'' ?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Great Scorched Hospital Campaign By Quinn-Cuomo-Rudin


Update Hospital Activism in New York City Following Hurricane Sandy Aftermath, Berger Commission Scorched Earth Campaign, and Medicaid Redesign Team Destruction

The latest article about the hospital closings in New York City caused by Hurricane Sandy shows that the irresponsible Berger Commission and Medicaid Redesign Team actions to close down hospitals is endangering public health.

The math is unforgiving: people get sick, and they now have nowhere else to go, a problem exacerbated by the shutdown of St. Vincent’s hospital in the West Village. Last year, emergency rooms at the city’s Bellevue Hospital Center and the private NYU Langone Medical Center saw nearly 150,000 patients combined, according to state Department of Health data. In November alone, the third busiest month for both hospitals, more 14,000 patients received care. And the lion’s share are now being cared for by Beth Israel. (The New York World)

Note : the closing of St. Vincent's wasn't only tied to the attitude up in Albany to close hospitals under the severe safety net-shredding Berger/MRT austerity budget cuts, but also due to the self-seeking motivations by politicians, such as New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Some of the St. Vincent's activists have launched a letter-writing campaign to newspapers ; Gov. Cuomo ; and to Dr. Shah, the health commish.

Urgent care needed
Manhattan: Rep. Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner’s guest column on the need for a hospital to serve the Rockaways, especially after Sandy, points up the need for a safety net everywhere (“The Rockaways, on solid ground,” Nov. 28). The lower west quadrant of Manhattan has had no hospital since St. Vincent’s closed. In addition, several nearby hospitals were forced to shut down temporarily because of Sandy. We need well-constructed, full-service hospitals in good strategic positions to serve communities and avoid storm damage. -- Carol F. Yost

Despite Public Health Risks Caused By Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo Is Still Dangerously Obsessed With Closing More Hospitals.

Meanwhile, given the dire hospital situation in Brooklyn (Interfaith Files For Bankruptcy ; Half of Brooklyn hospitals on life support), nobody knows if the healthcare money from Hurricane Sandy aid will be used to make sure that we equally meet the healthcare needs of patients across all five boroughs.

When Hurricane Sandy struck, NYU Langone was in the middle of fundraising for a $3 billion renovation/upgrade. Few hospitals have those kinds of resources.

But of the first $200 million in federal aid receive for hurricane relief, Langone received $114 million. (NY Daily News) * How are politicians prioritising which medical centers get funded ? Based on need, or based on the corruptive influence of special interests ?

No word yet on whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo will set aside some of the billions in hurricane relief aid to fund a healthcare system that will equally meet the healthcare needs of patients across all five boroughs of New York City, much less the resumption of operations at Bellevue and Coney Island hospitals.

Alec Baldwin : Christine Quinn is "very, very self-seeking"

Video: Alec Baldwin Says Christine Quinn Is "Untrustworthy," Has "Blood On Her Hands"

Alec Baldwin dropped by CNN's Piers Morgan program last night and he said that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is "untrustworthy." Unfortunately, Mr. Baldwin didn't mention the post-Hurricane Sandy risk to public health following closing of St. Vincent's Hospital, but he did say that Speaker Quinn has "blood on her hands" from the over-turning of term limits. (read more : The Gothamist)

Piers Morgan : The last time we spoke, you were flirting with the idea of possibly running for mayor of New York. Are you still flirting with it ?

Alec Baldwin : No, because to do so - I mean, I was convinced, and people told me - although it was something that I would have loved to have done, truly, you would have to take about a year and a half of your life to do nothing but to raise money. And I didn't have time, because I'm doing the TV show now, and I have other commitments. But I'm very interested in what the post-Bloomberg New York will look like.

Piers Morgan : Who would you like to see of all the names you have heard in the frame outside of yours ?

Alec Baldwin : Probably Bill de Blasio. Right now, I'd have to say Bill de Blasio.

Piers Morgan : Why ?

Alec Baldwin : Well because, first of all, I start looking at the other candidates, all of whom have good qualities. The thing that concerns me most is obviously about Quinn. I've been very outspoken about Quinn, who's a lovely person. But she certainly is Bloomberg's hand-picked successor. And I resent that to some degree that Bloomberg feels he needs to control the fate of City Hall and of Gracie Mansion beyond his term. He already over-turned a voter-approved referendum that had term limits for two terms. Quinn has that blood on her hands. She was the one, who single-handedly killed the voter referendum at Bloomberg's behest and gave him a third term. And I was very, very upset about that. And I just don't think that Quinn is trustworthy. I think that she's a very, very - she's a very nice person, I've met her. But in terms of her political aspirations, she's a very untrustworthy person. She's very, very self-seeking.

Does Hunter Walker's Response To LGBTQ Critics Reveals Heterosexism ?

Does Hunter Walker's response to LGBTQ critics reveals that he's a heterosexist in denial ?

Following a barrage of comments questioning the motivations and competency of Hunter Walker's article, Mr. Walker posted an inadequate response to his critics. Consider firstly how Mr. Walker claims that he wrote his story about Ms. McCray as a "political figure in her own right," but notice how Ms. McCray was subjugated as "Bill de Blasio's wife" in the original article's headline. Secondly, Mr. Walker avoids expressing any arguments as to why Ms. McCray's exploration of her sexual orientation should be political news in respect of the 2013 mayoral race. How did he intend to use "news" about Ms. McCray's sexual orientation ? What was his purpose to focus so much attention on Ms. McCray's marriage to Mr. de Blasio ? What do you think ?

Mr. Walker criticises the de Blasio-McCray marriage because of Ms. McCray's lesbian writings, but Mr. Walker never explains what kind of conforming wife a lesbian should be, to make her suitable for marriage ? Do you think that Mr. Walker comes across as a heterosexist in denial ?

From : "The Lesbian Past of Bill de Blasio's Wife" :

This article has generated many responses, including from some who have suggested it was inappropriate to cover this or that I have displayed a misunderstanding of human sexuality and the fluidity of sexual identity. One of the main issues raised by those who were not pleased with this story is that it is somehow not newsworthy and/or that family members of politicians should be "off limits."

There is no question in my mind that this story is news. Ms. McCray is a political figure in her own right. She is a top advisor on her husband's campaign, regularly speaks at his events, has taken a leading role on many political initiatives with him and writes regularly on the campaign site. Additionally, both Ms. McCray and Mr. de Blasio regularly write political columns together and have given several interviews about political aspects of their personal life. She has chosen to be a public, prominent figure on his campaign and in the New York City political world in general.

Furthermore, this story is not about digging into her private life. As outlined in this article Ms. McCray's past life as a lesbian involved being a fairly prominent lesbian activist. As this story notes, Combahee River Collective was a landmark group. It is incredibly interesting that Ms. McCray and her husband's campaign have (rather actively) omitted mentioning this aspect of her past including the characterization of the CRC as simply a "feminist" group. I do not think there is any question that identifying the past activism of a prominent political figure is news. It adds to her biography and raises interesting questions about why she and her husband's campaign have strenuously avoided noting this part of her past.

Critics of this story have cited the sentence where I said, "It is unclear how she transitioned from a self-described lesbian who was confident that she 'had always been more attracted to women, both emotionally and physically, than to men' to a political wife in a heterosexual marriage." It has been suggested that this displays some fundamental misunderstanding of the fact that people's sexual identities are often subject to change. That is not the case at all. Most people have evolving and individual concepts of their sexuality. I would have loved to discuss this with Ms. McCray and to have heard about how her identity evolved directly from her. I made many attempts to do this and would still be very interested in a conversation. Without speaking to Ms. McCray, making any definitive statements or assumptions about the evolution of her sexual identity would not have been respecting the fluid and changing nature of human sexuality. It would have been the exact opposite.

Lastly, and I debated whether to even dignify this with a response and give it further attention, some people have suggested this article is somehow "shaming" Ms. McCray and/or criticizing her and her husband. I defy anyone to point to any passages here that imply in any way that there is anything wrong about being homosexual. Those who would suggest that pointing her past activism and self-identification out is somehow "shaming" her are the ones implying being gay is something to be ashamed of, not me.

Many dissenting messages were also delivered to Mr. Walker via Twitter. Check out his @hunterw Twitter feed for the period of December 5-7, 2012.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is Hunter Walker Sexual Orientation Profiling Chirlane McCray ?

The reporter Hunter Walker from The New York Observer wrote an article that was published today that sensationalises Bill de Blasio's wife's sexual orientation. The tabloid headline was : "The Lesbian Past of Bill de Blasio's Wife." Mr. Walker seems to want to make an issue of Chirlane McCray's exploration of her sexual orientation. Why does Mr. Walker believe that Ms. McCray's sexual orientation is a campaign issue ? In Mr. Walker's small mind, is Ms. McCray's sexual orientation an impediment for Mr. De Blasio to do his job, or to run for public office, or to continue his work for the citizens of New York City ?

Mr. Walker seems to have forgotten that marriage equality is now the law in New York State. He also seems to think that sexual orientation can only fit into a false social construct of a binary world of either heterosexual or homosexual. How does Mr. Walker's binary worldview inform his discriminatory and sensationalistic writing ? Do bisexuals not deserve to get married and have children ? You decide.

Look at some of the hate that Mr. Walker's article has already inspired : "Born That Way" -- Not !

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Hospital Crisis Grows

From True News From Change NYC :

Closing of NYU and Bellevue Hospitals Because of Sandy Should Have Been A Wakeup Call That NYC Has A Hospital Crisis.

New Yorkers are Getting Sicker and Even Dying (esp. the poor) Because of A Hospital Crisis Made Worse by the Floods . . . Where is the Pols, Media and Activist Outrage?

Nobody Notices Hospital Crisis Or Sandy's Wake Up Call

With Some Hospitals Closed After Hurricane, E.R.’s at Others Overflow (NYT) Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn had 1,100 more emergency patients last month than in November 2011; the increase was mostly attributed to a hospital shut by the storm. * Hospital in Brooklyn Files for Bankruptcy Protection (NYT) Some New York medical centers are adding extra shifts and converting offices and lobbies into space for patients as emergency room visits surge. * Half of Brooklyn hospitals on life support | Crain's New York Business

The Angry New Yorker's Who Demanded Their Rights is Gone

Where are the Mayoral Candidates on the Hospital Crisis?

Why Is There No Movement To Save These Hospitals Like There Was in 1980 Against the Closing of Sydenham Hospital? 3 hospitals closed in Queens, St Vincent's murdered for a Co-op in Manhattan, 5 hospitals in trouble in Brooklyn. The activist and progressives are all over Facebook and twitter demanding pay for fasttfood workers because it is being pushed by unions looking for membership. It is very stranged that these same activists are silent on the health care needs of many of these workers who depend on the hospital system for all their health care needs. Could it be that the help unions provide the reason the activist are supporting their issues?