Quinn gets things done – for landlords, not for you

From TenantNet

“No I haven’t and no, I won’t,” was Christine Quinn’s response to a question posed in 1998 at a neighborhood debate when she was first running for the council seat she still holds. The question from a local tenant to the candidates was, “has anyone taken any campaign contributions from developers (corrected to include landlords and real estate organizations), and would you do so in the future?”

As most voters know now, Quinn broke that promise early on, and she has amassed one of the largest landlord-developer funded campaign war chests in the city’s history. To say she is owned by landlords and developers is an understatement. She is their biggest cheerleader, and because of that Christine Quinn is the singular force in NYC, along with Mike Bloomberg, in large-scale evictions and displacement.

The money came in droves because she made it clear to landlords and developers she would do Bloomberg’s bidding when it came to rezonings, large-scale developments and favors for developers.

Her friends include Extell, Two Trees, Vornado and Related Companies, and many others. Look at Hudson Yards, Atlantic Yards, the NYU and Columbia expansions, 125th Street, Willets Point and many, many other projects pushed by Bloomberg and Quinn. In each case, her landlord friends benefit enormously. Tenants and neighborhoods are hurt, and in some cases, irreparably.


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When You Vote, Remember the Subway Kittens

While Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota may not care about the lives of two small kittens who found themselves on NYC’s subway tracks, we must remember it has been Christine Quinn who put all of us – human and feline – in harm’s way ever since she took office in 1999. Every vote for Quinn would Kill a Kitten!

We predicted what Quinn would do to NYC’s kittens back in 2009:

For those who might get upset and accuse us of plagiarism, no, we didn’t create the original. So get a life. (more after the jump)

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

Cable News channel NY1’s The Call, a viewer-call-in show running weeknights at 9 PM, is usually filled with a lot of nonsense, like the guy who thought Anthony Weiner and Bill de Blasio were essentially the same and interchangable.

But it was the comment in the video above that turned our attention. Like host John Schuimo, we thought it was a prankster. But she said she was sincere. Was it a plant, or are people that stupid in 2013? Well there’s a lot of people who think Christine Quinn is a progressive, that she cares about communities and that she fights for tenants, so that answers that.

Towards the end, when asked who she’s voting for, she says she’s leaning towards Quinn, and … listen closely … you can hear host John Schiumo say under his breath, “of course you are.”

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(Just like Quinn) Billionaires back Margaret Chin for City Council

by Sean Sweeney

Voter beware! In a move that surprised few, a consortium of real-estate developers, landlords, investment firms and bankers have endorsed Margaret Chin for City Council (Chin currently represents District 1 in Lower Manhattan), pledging a share of its $10 million war chest to elect the embattled councilmember.

The Real Estate Board of New York, a.k.a. REBNY, a pro-real estate, pro-development, lobbying association of the city’s biggest real-estate developers, is spearheading a political action committee, or PAC, cynically named “Jobs For New York,” deceptively claiming it is seeking affordable housing and jobs for the middle class. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Although candidates for the City Council can generally spend only $168,000 on their campaigns under strict Campaign Finance Board regulations, recent rulings now permit private-expenditure groups to spend basically an unlimited amount of money to influence an election’s outcome.

The bulk of the $10 million that this new PAC is promising will go toward direct mail, TV and radio advertising. The group plans to spend $2 million on voter identification and field-targeting in 25 City Council races. The PAC also suggested that it would run negative campaign ads against Chin’s opponent, civil-rights attorney Jenifer Rajkumar.

Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause, a government watchdog group, indicated that the multimillion-dollar effort is a significant shift in city politics that might alter the nature of campaigning on the local level.

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Quinn ‘kin’ denies campaign cash wrongdoing

by Gerard Flynn
July 16, 2013

Queens City Councilman James van Bramer finally went public last week about $8,000 in campaign contributions he has received from family members of 5Pointz developer Gerald Wolkoff.

Campaign finance records show that van Bramer, who represents Council District 26 in western Queens, received $2,750 each from the developer’s sons David and Adam Wolkoff, the maximum amount allowed under campaign finance rules for a candidate for City Council. A spouse of the former, Stephanie Wolkoff, who runs the Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, donated the final $2,500, early this year.

Wolkoff Sr. plans to raze the 5-story, 200,000 square foot mural-covered warehouse on Davis St. in Long Island City.

Since the mid-1990s, Wolkoff had been allowing aerosol artists from the neighborhood and around the world to use the famed site as their spray canvas. In 2009, a serious accident forced him to shutter its interior from artist use, but the exterior walls remain a globally known graffiti landmark – and significant tourist attraction for Queens.

Wolkoff intends to replace the building with two residential towers. Zoning rules allow for a bulky development, as-of-right, which would add more than 600 residential units to the immediate area. Long Island City’s real estate market has been flourishing with upscale condos and rentals since the area was rezoned by City Hall in 2004. More after the jump…

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Term-Limits Decision Taking a Toll on Christine Quinn in Mayor’s Race

Wall Street Journal
Many Voters Oppose City Council Speaker’s Actions to Lift Term Limits
by Andrew Grossman
June 30, 2013

It has been almost five years since City Council Speaker Christine Quinn helped change a city law so Mayor Michael Bloomberg could run for a third term in office, but many voters are still holding it against her.

Now that Ms. Quinn is in the thick of her own campaign for mayor, the lingering anger over that move has been stoked by her opponents and has already put some Democratic primary voters out of her reach.

In more than two dozen interviews last week with registered Democrats who participated in a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist College poll that showed Ms. Quinn dropping to second place in the primary field, many volunteered that her handling of the term-limits issue led them to rule her out.

“I’m not voting for Quinn because I voted for term limits and they repealed them,” volunteered Robert Shells, a 65-year-old hospital chef who lives in upper Manhattan, when asked why he was considering voting for former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former city Comptroller Bill Thompson but not Ms. Quinn. “It’s going to come back to haunt her.”

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Quinn loses another 5%; Weiner in front

Wall Street Journal
Poll: Weiner Leaps to Front of Pack
Representative Who Resigned in Scandal Now Is Frontrunner in Mayoral Primary

June 26, 2013
by Michael Howard Saul

Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner captured the frontrunner’s mantle in the race for the Democratic mayoral nomination, leading City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for the first time and running neck-and-neck with her in a potential runoff, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll.

Just two years after a sexting scandal derailed his career, Mr. Weiner garnered 25% of registered Democrats polled, compared with Ms. Quinn, who had 20%, marking her lowest level of support since polling of the race began. Trailing them were former Comptroller Bill Thompson, at 13%, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, 10%, and city Comptroller John Liu, 8%. Fewer than one in five Democrats are undecided.

Mr. Weiner also has made gains in an all-but-certain runoff election expected to determine the Democratic nominee. In a potential runoff matchup, Ms. Quinn leads Mr. Weiner, 44% to 42%; a month ago, the margin was much wider, with Ms. Quinn winning 48% to 33%.

“Things are changing­the race has been scrambled by Weiner’s candidacy,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Weiner’s candidacy has gotten more acceptable to voters since he announced, [and] Quinn’s having a difficult time reversing what has been a slow but steady decline in her numbers.”

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But Wait!: Quinnipiac Poll Posts Weiner in Second Place

The Politicker
by Colin Campbell
June 26, 2013

Don’t call him “front-runner” just yet.

Only one day after Marist College foundformer Congressman Anthony Weiner with 25 percent of the mayoral race’s Democratic vote–5 points ahead of his closest opponent, Christine Quinn–a new Quinnipiac University survey found Ms. Quinn ahead and a third contender, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, nipping surprisingly close to their heels.

According to Quinnipiac, Ms. Quinn now has 19 percent of the vote, Mr. Weiner has 17 percent and Mr. Thompson has 16 percent.

In the firm’s May 22 poll, the three candidates had 25 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent respectively, so despite her current lead, Ms. Quinn’s numbers continue to move in a downward trajectory. Just a few months ago, the City Council speaker was approaching the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff election, but the race appears to be more and more of a dogfight as the candidates sprint towards the September 10 Democratic primary.

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Is Quinn Backing A Hypocrite For Her Council Seat?

Queens Politics
June 25, 2013

Birds of a feather…

Alleged Quinn-backed candidate’s record of deception and hypocrisy revealed.

Rumor has it Corey Johnson is Quinn’s pick for her Council seat, and while her endorsement could be in the making, that hasn’t stopped a bevy of Quinn’s allies circling the wagons around Johnson’s campaign for her council seat. But that’s not the main issue. Eyebrows are being raised as what seems to have been overlooked in the media is Corey Johnson’s record of deception, hypocrisy, and outright lies.

Luckily, the community cannot be bought off with cheap campaign rhetoric. So here’s the scoop.

The word hypocrite applies to a person who pretends to be something he is not. Corey Johnson seems to fit the bill. On Corey’s campaign website you’ll notice an entire section glorifying his role in creating affordable housing, but this could not be further from the truth.

In fact Corey worked for a billion dollar real estate company, GFI Capital, which has made a habit of evicting poor and middle class workers and replacing SRO’s with luxury hotels and condos. His former employer has even been sued by the Department Of Justice Civil Rights Division for discrimination.

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Quinn and Markowitz Con the Voters – with taxpayer money

It’s pretty simple and it happens all the time. A political hack like Christine Quinn (A) provides taxpayer funds to another political hack, like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (B). Money goes from A to B, and some time later an endorsement comes from B to A, the latter of whom is seeking higher office.

They deny any connection. They say the endorsement is because of her “overwhelming competence and accomplishments.”

It’s like politicians who facing a sex scandal and who resign to “spend more time with their families.” Everyone knows it’s crap, except maybe the press who seem to accept the excuse as fact.

It is telling that before he was Borough President, Markowitz — a state senator — was known as “Mr. Tenant” from his unyielding support for tenants.

That came to an end once he was elected Borough President. Same too for Quinn. Before she entered City Council, she had a record as a tenant advocate. Like Marty, that ended once she had access to money and her ambition ramped up.

And while Markowitz will be out of office by the end of the year, you can be certain he’s thinking about becoming a City Commissioner in a Quinn administration.

How many others are in the same relationship with Quinn?

Look at Tom Duane, Quinn’s predecessor in City Council and for the last fourteen years, a state senator. He resigned last year allowing Brad Hoylman, the former General Counsel for the Partnership for New York City (the landlord and developer trade association), to become the new state senator without any serious opposition. You can be sure Duane is looking for a job with Mayor Quinn.

In City Council you can almost count the participants in this incestuous type of bribery by the members of the body itself.

Indeed, it is just like the Slush Fund for which Quinn so far has escaped accountability.

For council members, the fear is well documented and real. If you don’t agree to endorse Quinn, not only will you not get the goodies she can bestow on your local political cronies, you might also get punished by having funds withheld for seniors and youth programs in your district.

Those who haven’t played Quinn’s game, and who have suffered include Tony Avella, Charles Barron, Betsy Gotbaum, Peter Vallone, Jr. and Elizabeth Crowley. Many more have been threatened.

After the jump, see how Crains New York detailed Quinn’s bribery of Marty Markowitz.

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