Looking into the Backroom of the Speaker's Race
January 6th, 2006

The New York Times this morning explores the back room dealing that secured Christine Quinn her new spot as speaker of the City Council. Quinn spent considerable energy courting the leaders of Democratic organizations; her rival Bill de Blasio, by contrast, campaigned for the post by trying to convince individual members to join his side. Once the leaders went Quinn’s way, reports the Times, de Blasio’s efforts were fruitless.

Charles Barron, the only council member not to vote for Quinn’s appointment as speaker, argued that this indicates a flawed process. He described Quinn as “a hard working, progressive council member”, then abstained from voting.

Today, John Avlon of the New York Sun agrees with Barron, arguing that, with all the talk of Quinn as the first woman speaker or the first gay speaker, her effective appointment by political bosses is also a continuation of New York’s anti-democratic business as usual.

“Influential party bosses like Tom Manton in Queens and Vito Lopez in Brooklyn care far more about exerting control over their selected leaders, rather than what demographic box their candidate might check off in a civic census,” he writes.

By on January 6, 2006, 7:48 am
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