I am a huge fan of Christine Quinn. She is one smart cookie. As I have watched her over the years it is apparent that she truly understands how to navigate the political arena. She is also incredibly charming. This week, I am not sure how well she navigated those rough waters.
In the last few days it has come out that the City Council hid millions of dollars each year in the budget by allocating them to organizations that didn’t exist. Then over the course of the year they would dole this money out to pet projects or one could say political favor money. It appears that Quinn found out about this when she became the Speaker of the City Council when she put out her first budget. What she did is interesting.
Quinn told her office that squirreling money away under phantom names was not happening on her watch. She attempted to go to great lengths to stop this practice. She later found out that this behavior was continuing to take place regardless of her desire to cease this practice. So, she went to outside council to investigate and she went public.
On one hand, she could have gone public the moment she found out that this type of behavior had been going on back to Miller and Vallone. How much farther back? Was it bigger than a normal slush fund that most agencies keep? If she went public, how politically wrong would it be to cast bad light on the past two City Council Speakers the minute you get into office? Probably not so great. Instead, Quinn tried to stop it herself. After realizing she couldn’t, she went public and asked people outside the Council to investigate.
In many regards, Quinn was put in a situation that she did not foresee when entering the job. She did what her political instincts told her to do which is to fix it herself as she does with everything else she has ever run. So now what? The vultures are all over this one. I would hope her transparency will come to light and she will come off as a shining star. A delayed star but one nonetheless.
Why is it that more and more illegal activities are starting to come out daily in politics? This one had extra-marital affairs, this one slept with a prostitute, this one paid off that one, memos were secretly written to protect that one. It is just interesting that a can of worms seem to have opened. What next? It is certainly time to clean the house of business as usual. The Bushies are high on the disgust list and local politics aren’t looking so good these days either. Very interesting times.
Christine is someone we want to get to the other side. She is the type of politician I see as the new generation. Young, motivated, politically aware with a deep understanding of the issues that face New Yorkers. She just gets it and isn’t afraid to put her stamp on what she believes in. Did she play with the budget….I’d find it hard to believe. Did she make a mistake with not telling New York the illicit practices in the City Council the moment she got there? Perhaps but politics has always been about how to walk that fine line. I hope we find more people that get in to office have the balls to be honest about what they find the second they get there. It appears Cory Booker did in Newark but he also walked into a city that was imploding so politics were different in that arena. Sharpe James has been called out in the courts. Where the trial ends we have yet to see but I can’t imagine the verdict is going to be pretty. We need more politicians to be held responsible for their actions in a court of law instead of the wall of secrecy behind the golden door. When does America call Bush and his gang out to the courts?
Enough is enough.