No longer content to just hit her for overturning term limits, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral rivals are now blaming her for the various ills of Mayor Bloomberg’s third term because she let it happen.
“You broke it, you own it,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, blaming Quinn for the leap in small business fines over the last few years and questioning her “tortured logic” for justifying the extension of term limits but saying she’d worked against excessive fines.
“You can thank Speaker Quinn and those who believed in giving Michael Bloomberg a third term by changing the term limits law for the fact that small business was under attack for the last four years, especially in the outer boroughs,” he said at a forum on business issues hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
Former Controller Bill Thompson sounded a similar note. “Those penalties and fines have accelerated in the third term, they’re backdoor taxes, and that’s exactly what the Bloomberg administration is doing - and to be honest about it, Speaker, we have you to thank for that third term,” he said.
Asked to respond, Quinn initially ignored the term limits issue and touted her business record, including a recent bill to study what business fines could be turned into warnings, and the creation of a business owner’s bill of rights.
“It is easy for everyone to identify what the problem is, and I agree that small businesses have been hit too hard with fines and penalties. But I’ve done something about it, not just talked about it,” she said. “This isn’t the overall solution, there’s more that needs to be done, I’m clear, but these are tangible steps that...have made things better, and thats what our job is about, fixing problems, and when I’m mayor I will go even further in this area.”
Pressed on the term limits extension, she repeated her explanation that it was the right thing under the economic circumstances. “I believed at that moment in time given the very extreme challenging economic times we were in - I hope we don’t see those again - that it was appropriate to give the voters a choice,” she said.
That defense - the times were so tough, we just had to give voters a choice for Bloomberg Mach 3 - must sound hollow even in Quinn's ears.
They certainly rang hollow to one of her fellow candidates:
City Controller John Liu scoffed at her comments. “If you go around the city and ask small businesses if they think they’ve gotten a break in any way these last few years, I dare you to find one small business owner in this city who will say that the City Council got together with the mayor and made changes that made life easier for them,” he said.
I dunno what Weiner is going to do, but without him in the race, Quinn is fading badly.
Maybe that's why Weiner is making noises about getting back into the race.
Maybe the oligarchs running the city are worried their real estate/big business candidate isn't going to win without some help.
In any case, Quinn is having a rough time these days, her poll numbers are dropping and she's getting beaten up on the campaign trail.
I mean, how many candidates for mayor had a crowd jeer them and chant "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" at them?