Christine Quinn & the NYC Council Slush Fund Scandal

Christine Quinn crosseyed

Christine Quinn, Speaker of the NYC Council

Christine Quinn & the NYC Council Slush Fund Scandal

When her fellow New York City Council Members elected her Speaker in January 2005, Christine Quinn became the first openly lesbian or gay person elevated to that position. For many in the LGBT community in New York, the symbolism was clear: Quinn’s election signified the community’s coming of age. But the scandal now enveloping Speaker Quinn is becoming an issue for the LGBT community in New York as well.

“City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office hid millions of taxpayer dollars by allocating grants to phantom organizations as a way of holding the funds to dole out political favors later — bogus bookkeeping that is the subject of city and federal probes,” Frankie Edozien reported in the New York Post on April 3. Granted that the Post is a right-wing homophobic mouthpiece for Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch. But it is not just the Post that is asking tough questions of the Speaker; it is also the entire New York media, including the New York Times, the New York Daily News, Newsday (the leading daily on Long Island), and the local network affiliates.

And it is also Gay City News, the leading LGBT weekly in New York. “It is crucial… that the full details are spelled out at the earliest possible date,” GCN insisted in an editorial in its April 10 issue, calling the Post’s revelation of the slush fund “a stunner.”

“More troubling is the fact that 24 percent of the distributions in fiscal year 2007 went to Quinn’s district, though… many of the recipients, including the LGBT Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and the American Folk Art Museum, serve a citywide constituency,” the GCN editorial continues.

Many in the LGBT community have applauded Quinn for using her position as the second most powerful person in city government to help fund the LGBT Community Center and many other LGBT community organizations — many of them based in her own district — the third Council district, which includes Greenwich Village and Chelsea.

“Is this a gay issue?,” GCN asks, pointing to “the symbolic role Quinn plays in our community” and concluding that “When, as expected, she runs for mayor next year, she will not get every LGBT vote, but it would be the rare queer New Yorker who would not in some sense feel she is carrying the aspirations of all of us on her shoulders as she enters the field. Christine Quinn has brought a compelling story of achievement by an out lesbian to New York’s public life. Putting this matter quickly and convincingly behind her is something we should all be insisting on.”

Indeed. Questions will now inevitably be asked as to whether those LGBT community organizations were funded through the scheme that has now come under investigation and that may even result in criminal indictments, and it is all the more important that the slush fund scandal now engulfing the first openly gay Council Speaker not taint the the LGBT community as a whole.

Chris Quinn has established a close working partnership with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — widely rumored to be possible vice-presidential running mate for either the Democratic or Republican nominee — and her position as a superdelegate and as the New York City LGBT community’s most prominent supporter of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton means that the emerging scandal could have national implications.

This piece originally appeared as a blog post on VisibleVote08.com on 10 April 2008.

2 Responses to “Christine Quinn & the NYC Council Slush Fund Scandal”

  1. Paul Priore says:

    Re: NYC City Councilmember/Council Speaker Christine Quinn:
    I have known Christine Quinn for several years and she is currently the front runner to be the next Mayor of the city of New York in 2013.
    I strongly disagree that Miss. Quinn has what it takes to be the next mayor of the New York City, how can we trust and expect her to run the city of New York as Mayor if she can’t even control her councilmembers from getting in to trouble, she has a tendency to look the other way when it involves her councilmembers.
    Miss. Quinn also has a tendency to make empty promises and give false hopes to people in need., she really talks out of ass.
    Some of her current councilmembers have been involved with stealing discretionary funds for their own personal use and have either been found to be guilty and who are currently in jails, she has also distributed those funds to fictions organizations.
    Miss. Quinn’s track records for overturning the will of the people by allowing certain elective officials to continue running for the same office when the voters have spoken about term limits
    Miss. Quinn’s platform was to clean up City Hall, but to date has done nothing to keep her word; she is too involved with making a name for herself and rubbing shoulders with business people, the very same people who are ripping off taxpayers every single day.
    Miss. Quinn has stated several times that she was going to put a stop to the member items and pork slush funds but today hasn’t done a damn thing about it, she continues to align herself with corrupted, unscrupulous people and then there was her promise to protect each and every voter and give everyone a say in policies, but I guess that changed, because when she decided to push down the throats of the voters by forcing Gay Marriage, she has violated her trust and her duties, Miss. Quinn says that everyone has a say but when it involves something that efforts, her, then everyone else has no say in anything.
    Miss. Quinn has violated the trust of the Gay Community and the voting public, she say one thing but does another, Miss. Quinn can’t be trusted with anything, she is nothing more than a lying, two face career polician, whose only concern is for herself and her image.
    If the people of the New York City are smart, they would not cast their vote for Christine Quinn, but rather for someone else who they can control to make sure that those people put in office will actually do what the voting public wants and needs, Miss. Quinn is nothing more than a pathological liar like the rest of all the other elective officials , I have only met two elective officials who actually have the voting people’s interest at heart, unlike Miss. Quinn who has been known to flip-flop on everything she says.
    I can personal tell you that she has made me empty promises and false hope when she said she was going to help me when I had my lawsuit against the New York Yankees, the very same organization that Miss. Quinn has sucked up to for money and tickets.
    Don’t vote for Christine Quinn for mayor, you will be making the biggest mistake of your lives.
    These are my own personal opinions and beliefs from seeing Miss. Quinn in action.
    Thank You.
    Sincerely,
    Paul Priore

  2. Paul Priore says:

    To All Concern:
    As a gay man, I strongly support Rick Santorum stance on Gay Marriage and I strongly believe and feel exactly what he is, Mr. Santorum is right, Gay Marriage will the destructive fall of the United States and the world in the near future, we must eradicate Gay Marriage, Civil Unions and Gay Adoption now before it is too late.
    These are my own personal opinions and belief based on what I have seen and experienced in Gay Life.
    I don’t apologize for speaking the truth.
    Thank You.
    Sincerely,
    Paul Priore

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