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RACE TO CITY HALL

With Sluggish Polls and Weiner Joining Race, de Blasio Hits Quinn

“And allow me to be clear and say we have Speaker Quinn to thank for the Bloomberg third term.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio

“Bill de Blasio is getting more and more desperate,” the Christine Quinn campaign has charged, as Public advocate has lately intensified his direct attacks at Ms. Quinn, more increasingly since Weiner’s candidacy has been looming over the Democratic mayoral field.

“As Mr. Weiner, a scandal-tarred former United States representative from Queens, considers jumping into the race, Mr. de Blasio has gone sharply negative, as if trying to establish his position as Ms. Quinn’s chief liberal challenger before a better known, if somewhat notorious, hopeful usurps that role,” writes Kate Taylor in the NY Times.

Last week, as the first televised debate on public safety draw to conclusion, Mr. de Blasio seized the remaining 60 seconds to accuse Ms. Quinn of changing her position on policing issues, and engaging in “revisionist history” about her views.

“The fact is, you only moved on stop-and-frisk because there was tremendous public pressure — you weren’t willing to challenge Ray Kelly previously,” Mr. de Blasio said, adding, “Let’s be clear and not act like this is something you’ve been committed to long term.”

Days earlier, at a forum on public housing, Mr. de Blasio criticized her even before she arrived over her support for Mr. Kelly, Taylor notes. Later, discussing a proposal to raise money for the New York City Housing Authority by leasing parking lots and playgrounds to private developers, Mr. de Blasio brought up Ms. Quinn’s role in lifting term limits and allowing Mr. Bloomberg to run for a third term.

“It is part of what has become a final year of a third term that never should have happened to begin with,” Mr. de Blasio said of the housing authority plan. “And allow me to be clear and say we have Speaker Quinn to thank for the Bloomberg third term,” he continued, to more cheers.

At another event last week, organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Mr. de Blasio used small-business fines, to lash out at Ms. Quinn. “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 businesses were under attack for this last four years,” Mr. de Blasio said.

On Wednesday, Bill de Blasio ramped up his criticism of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on accusing his rival of being “Bloomberg-lite” on police issues. “She came very late to the dance on the Inspector General,” de Blasio told WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer. Adding that “out of the candidates running and focusing on the issues, I am the only progressive alternative to Speaker Quinn.”

In a seprerate press release, Bill de Blasio released the following statement: “Reform without meaningful results is no reform at all. Speaker Quinn should be clear with voters – does she think current levels of stop-and-frisk are acceptable or not? We know she wants to keep Commissioner Ray Kelly and that she opposes legislation to stop the NYPD from using racial profiling — is she now declaring mission accomplished on stop-and-frisk too?”

“Bill de Blasio is getting more and more desperate,” Mike Morey, a spokesman for Ms. Quinn’s campaign, told the NY Times. “While his attacks get angrier and angrier, Chris Quinn will keep talking about her record of getting things done and her ideas for how to help middle-class New Yorkers get ahead. That’s what the voters want to care about.”

Douglas Muzzio, a professor of public affairs at Baruch College, pointed to Ms. Quinn’s recent drop in the poll, and the airing of two television ads by a group opposing her candidacy,as a given reason Mr. de Blasio has sharpened his attacks. “There’s a sense of weakness,” he told the Times. “It’s the sharks and the blood in the water phenomenon.”

About the Author: Jacob Kornbluh is described as an up and coming Orthodox Jewish Blogger, writing about Local, national and Israeli politics, and a freelance reporter for various publications. Kornbluh's work has been featured in Haaretz, the NY Times, local blogs, and on local Jewish Radio, Kornbluh also covers the NYC 2013 mayoral race in general and a focus on the Jewish vote in particular at: http://nymayor.blogspot.com. Follow Jacob on Twitter @jacobkornbluh and his daily blog: jacobkornbluh.com


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