TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE: Bribery & Fraud Scheme Is Emblematic of the Proliferation of Corruption Under Christine Quinn’s Leadership of the NYC Council & Quinnberg’s Three Terms at City Hall
“The arrests this morning point to a culture of corruption that permeates our city and state — corruption fueled by career politicians who put personal advancement before public service,”
- John Catsimatidis, Republican Candidate for Mayor
John Catsimatidis may be right when he points to the ‘Culture of Corruption’ being responsible for the latest bribery and fraud scandal involving the effort of Senator Malcolm Smith to get on the ballot in Queens and the Bronx in the 2013 Mayor’s election. The scandal may seem on the surface to be a Republican scandal, since it has ensnared mostly Republicans, including a political operator with ties to the Greek American super market magnate and philanthropist, almost making ‘Slush Fund Queen’ and ‘Crony Capitalist’ enabler Boss Quinn, the woman who has had full time white collar criminal counsel seem clean in comparison. But New Yorker’s actually paying attention know better.
John Catsimatidis or simply ‘CATS’ is strong, earnest and sincere man a true New Yorker with a genuine heart and a love for New York City. Political party does not always matter when you are standing alone inside a voting booth trying to choose an honest leader. Despite my Democratic registration, I do believe that Cats might ultimately gain the respect of those who would take the time to sit down and break bread with him. Those who know Cats, know a warm, friendly and generous man with an open heart. He cannot be painted as a caricature of a politician. He is a man who made it here in New York City from humble roots and without a silver spoon in his mouth. Whether one supports him or not, it would be hard to argue that he is in earnest is running to try to lead New York City. Catsimatidis is not a corrupt, malicious or bullying man. He has and continues to support thoughtful leaders on both sides of the aisle. And whether you agree with his vision or not or have another horse in the 2013 Mayor’s race, his vision for the future of New York City is more inclusive than exclusive and more principally thought out than Quinn’s platitudes on the campaign trail which show a rather unsophisticated understanding of how to create economic growth and prosperity for a wider segment of the population throughout the city, including the Outer Boroughs. QUINN IS NOT FOR QUEENS: or the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island or even Upper Manhattan. Quinn’s policies [See: The Brooklyn Rail: The Quinning Strategy] seem to have a root in the politics of self enrichment or crony capitalism [where the singular purpose is to 'git r done' for her sponsors] more than they do in sound economic theory and actual capitalism; and/or in the belief that it actually leads society to the same place. It does not. Quinn’s special brand of crony capitalism undermines the fabric of society and confidence of the general public in their business and political leaders; the wheels of capitalism ought not to run through one politico’s sticky fingers.
There is simply no getting around the fact is that these emerging scandals and investigations, can and ultimately should be tied back to and reflect more on the character and fitness for office of Speaker Quinn, who is far from detached from the existing political reality in New York City, than it should John Catsimatidis who was likely simply duped by an associate. Christine Quinn is in the eyes of many observers, the embodiment of the culture of political corruption in New York City and thus very much the source of inspiration for the sea of corruption that has sprouted under her leadership as Speaker of the New York City Council. As a Registered Democrat I can better vouch for the character and integrity of the Republican John Catsimatidis than I can the Democrat, Christine Quinn. It really is that simple.
THE QUINNBERG POLITICAL MACHINE has been in control of City Hall and the NY City Council for 12 years, not content with that legacy they are reaching for control of the next 12 years. This scandal is but a swamp in a sea of political corruption inspired by and during Boss Quinn’s corrupt reign of the New York City Council. As pointed out by the outspoken artist, activist and genuine New Yorker – Suzannah B. Troy, even the ‘NY Post Editors [who] Protect[ed] Bloomberg for Years Now Giving Him Hell’ in a recent headline (after this blog was initially published) pointed this out with the story: ‘The Price of Bloomberg Shortcuts.’
THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION has been seeded and fueled by the persistent overreaching of Bloomberg and Quinn over the last 12 years and especially the last 5. They are now focused on effectively blocking and taking out any would be challengers to their rule over New York City. The Bloomberg Machine may want and prefer an autocratic leader like CHRISTINE QUINN for her ability to BULLY people, including Democrats and those who express dissent into corners, even if it means skirting the law. For example, Bill Thompson is not autocratic but seen as more of a consensus builder and Bill De Blasio and John Liu are likewise thoughtful reasonable men who are not hostile to democratic principles of governance. BUT, the crony capitalists behind QUINNBERG want a BOSS or BULLY and QUINN, the self proclaimed ‘pushy broad’ is eager to suppress democratic principles and process to “get things done” for her sponsors.
From the Defeat Christine Quinn Facebook page:
“Quinn’s former “legislative researcher” was arrested this morning for taking bribes. Three of Quinn’s Council Members have been imprisoned, and another, Dan Halloran [See, NY Times: "Daniel J. Halloran III, a Queens councilman, boasting that he could extract tens of thousands of dollars from the City Council to be used as a bribe."], was arrested yesterday. And, even though Quinn’s “office” assigned millions in the Council budget to fake charities, which Quinn used as a slush fund, she has not been indicted and imprisoned with the others. Why is she being protected? Did Bloomberg call off the Department of Investigation’s probe [of Quinn] after Quinn overturned term limits?”
“Quinn shares blame for a system that all but begs pols to go rotten — namely, the “member item” game, which lets council members dole out public funds (i.e., pork) at their discretion. . . Member items are inherently corrupt. They let pols buy loyalty and votes. They also tempt them to steer taxpayer money to themselves and folks of their choosing. . . Quinn herself saw fit to grant Bronx Democrat Larry Seabrook $350,000 in pork, even as he faced federal charges of funneling it to phony groups he controlled.”
“At issue is Ms. Quinn’s oversight of a pot of Council funds, worth nearly $400 million in 2012, that she doles out to lawmakers each year, to use largely at their own discretion to finance programs in their districts. The system has provided the speaker with leverage to reward and punish lawmakers as she sees fit; she chooses how much money each lawmaker gets to allocate. But at one period during her tenure, in 2008, misuse of the funds led to a federal investigation and the arrests of several council Members and aides.
The earmarks, often referred to as member items, have been criticized by civic groups, and Mr. Halloran’s suggestion that he could exploit the system was quickly seized on by Ms. Quinn’s opponents.
“This has reached an unsustainable point,”Bill de Blasio, the public advocate and a Democratic mayoral candidate, said at a news conference where he called for the earmarks to be eliminated. “The system is broken beyond the ability of small reforms to fix it.”
“These things happened on her watch,” Mr. de Blasio added
Feigning shock and dismay, deeply corrupt City Council Speaker and 2013 Candidate for Mayor stated:
“These allegations represent a reprehensible abuse of the public’s trust,” City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said in a statement. “If true, then the full weight of the legal system should be brought to bear on all parties implicated.”
“After trying for months to distance from Quinn because their close relationship could hurt her in the Democratic primary, Bloomberg publicly describes her as “a person of enormous integrity.” Taking a leaf out of Quinn’s book, Bloomberg is trying to have it both ways. If and when Quinn is indicted for corruption, will Bloomberg rescind the many public comments he has made about Quinn’s “honesty” and “integrity?” -
As stated further in the Perdido Street School blog:
“I don’t see how the billionaire mayor with the questionable integrity and his billion dollar slush fund/PAC coming in to defend the City Council speaker with the questionable integrity and the slush fund helps Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary.
Doesn’t it just remind people of how scummy Quinn has been with the slush fund and how scummy Quinn has been in overturning term limits?”
WHO THE FBI MAY HAVE MISSED IN THEIR POLITICAL STING OPERATION IN QUEENS: BILL RUDIN & CHRISTINE QUINN
CRONY CAPITALISM = INSURANCE AGAINST FREE MARKET FORCES PROVIDED BY POLITICIANS (Christine Quinn) WHO PROVIDE FAVORS FOR MONEY TO SELECT PEOPLE (Bill Rudin) TO INSURE ONE BUSINESS MAN’S SUCCESS (Bill Rudin) OVER HIS WOULD BE COMPETITORS (Other NY Real Estate Families)
There is a very real perception that a man who is a special friend of the outgoing Bloomberg Administration is working behind the scenes to install the next administration at City Hall. The man sponsoring the Slush Fund Queen to become the next Mayor of New York City may just be either one of the most coincidentally fortunate men, a highly effective lobbyist, developer and philanthropist or in the alternative one of the most corrupt men in city politics; or perhaps even all of the above. So who is political fixer Bill Rudin? And are he and his family guilty of ‘influence peddling’?
Questions to consider:
- Is “influence peddler” – Bill Rudin the Jack Abramoff of Democratic City Politics?
- Has NYC replaced Chicago as the most corrupt city in America? FBI investigation definitely leads us to think so.
- Do NYC Democrats Understand the risk of the Appearance of Criminal Impropriety of the Rudin/Quinn Alliance? : Do Democrats know and understand that the Rudin/Quinn alliance of rigged schemes and blatant pay 4 play city politics creates the appearance of corruption that causes an erosion of the public trust and in the end may cause the collapse of the local Democratic Party? And as postulated by Suzannah B. Troy, possibly lead to an increase in anti-Semitism?
- Have we ever elected a Mayor who had full time white collar criminal counsel from their activities in one office while running for higher office?
Bill Rudin is the leader of the Rudin Real Estate dynasty. He also leads a non-profit front organization called – Association For A Better New York, ”a coalition of business, labor, non-profit and political leaders focused on exploring and implementing ideas that keep the city moving forward” and otherwise “dedicated to the constant growth and renewal of New York City’s people, businesses and communities” – according to the organization’s website. Given its activities in recent years ABNY under Rudin has blurred the lines between advancing the interests of Bill Rudin and the Rudin Real Estate Family, its member organizations and that of all New Yorkers. How does a private business man’s influence peddling advance the interests of New York City if in uses this creative alliance with select politicians to create or solidify business opportunities for his own eroding empire? It does not. All it does is to thereby create the impression, in the wider public, of Rudin simply being a beneficiary of backroom deals and rigged schemes that fortify his own clan’s financial fortunes at a time when the bottom is falling out for many of his fellow citizens. This is not capitalism, nor is it the purpose of non-profit organizations but instead it reeks of Crony Capitalism, which in effect undermines confidence in the system as a whole.
Witness the courage of artist, citizen and activist Suzannah B. Troy who confronted Bill Rudin about his St. Vincent’s Condos and perhaps even spooking him in reminding him to his face that the character exhibited by Rudin in his dealings with St. Vincent’s may lead to a rise in anti-Semitism.
You cannot consider the ‘Surreal Shutdown of St. Vincent’s’ without also considering the ethics and morality of those who targeted, collapsed and ultimately gutted, via willful destruction no less, St. Vincent’s Hospital Chapel along with St. Vincent’s Hospital. This seems to have been done all in the name of feeding one man’s Real Estate Empire in the face of widespread community opposition, and with the assistance of certain societal elites and politicians who turned a blind eye towards the community. In its hour of need, this man gained inside access to St. Vincent’s Hospital posing as a friend and business savior who would build a new mixed use residential/medical facility modernizing the hospital to make it more efficient and profitable while building a revenue generating luxury residential component on the property.
Simultaneously, however, through the creative use of PR, this same man and forces aligned with him waged a war against the character, integrity and continued necessity of St. Vincent’s Hospital which led to its total collapse. Once collapsed, through his cronies on local zoning board, Rudin was able to get a waiver so that ALL the land long zoned for community use, could be converted to luxury condos against the will of the West Village community. Quinn’s Sponsor was thus perhaps able to insure a timely long term stream of revenue to the spendthrift Rudin clan which was rumored to be on the ropes financially, according to certain unnamed societal sources.
IF IT LOOKS LIKE A CROOK, SMELLS LIKE A CROOK….
The question is when will the FBI turn turn its investigation to Bill Rudin and Christine Quinn and not simply those swimming with her in the political swamp which is New York politics? Because you see: if it looks like a crook, smells like a crook, has white collar criminal counsel like a crook and her co-conspirators (whether Democrats or Republican) start dropping like flies – tell you what, I am pretty sure that she is a big fat freaking crook.
EPILOGUE – AT WHAT PRICE: CHRISTINE QUINN
At what price are some establishment New York Democrats, Emily’s List and Human Rights Watch supporting Christine Quinn against overwhelming evidence of her total lack of character and integrity, corruption and abandonment of core democratic principles of equity, fairness and the Common Good in our society? Is there in fact a double standard if you are a GAY WOMAN? Is ‘Identity Politics above all else the motivating reason to ignore legitimate and principled grassroots opposition to Quinn’s candidacy from the LGBT Community, Good Government proponents and Animal Rights activists? Do we risk further destabilizing and making more volatile this city by putting in office a woman there is tremendous resistance to by rank and file New Yorkers? Are we unnecessarily seeding a combustible environment?
Few can or should be hoodwinked by Boss Quinn’s self serving agenda and sponsorship by influence peddlers. Or is it just that in your estimation, in the SEA OF CORRUPTION INSPIRED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE CITY COUNCIL DURING HER REIGN, even as indictments and prosecutions swirl about all her cronies, you will put your head in the sand to delude yourself that Christine Quinn must actually be honest and clean? Or is she in your estimation the least dirty in the CESSPOOL of NY Political Corruption? The Citizens of New York City deserve a damn answer or none of you stand for what you propose to stand for.