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Christine Quinn - I just want to slap her face
Why do New York liberals support conservative Christine Quinn?
She could be the city's first woman and openly gay mayor, but her record doesn't line up with most progressives
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has announced her bid to become the first women and the first openly gay mayor in New York City history. She's widely assumed to be the favorite in the primary, which means she's favored in the general election, too. But I have to admit, I'm surprised that progressives support Quinn so much – I've never thought of her as much of a liberal.
Her presumed advantage largely consists of support from liberal New Yorkers, who make up about 50% of the primary's electorate. Quinn, per the latest Marist poll, is winning 43% of them in the primary, her best numbers among any ideological group. Those strong figures help put her at 37% overall – just three points away from the 40% required to avoid a runoff.
At a glance, this all makes sense. She's openly gay, and was so long before a majority supported gay marriage, and long before any sort of legal unions between same-sex couples. I can't deny that there's something quite progressive about that.
Yet on the whole, Quinn's positions are not liberal for New York City. She's been an ally to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's defeated three Democratic candidates in a row. Nobody would call Bloomberg a conservative on social issues, though he's certainly an economic one. Quinn, meanwhile, has almost always supported his causes. That bill that let Bloomberg run for a third term, even though voters had voted for term limits? Quinn helped usher it in. Of the 333 bills brought before the city council in 2011, Quinn and Bloomberg disagreed on only 5% of them.
To gauge her record, an academic scorecard would come in handy, but they don't exist for New York City politicians like they do for state legislatures or Congress. There are, however, advocate group scorecards, which capture legislators' positions fairly well.
The Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center (HRP) publishes an annual report of all New York City councilmembers, in which they grade politicians' records on rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social. A high score indicates a progressive record, while a low one says the opposite. All the Republicans on the 2011 scorecard received a C or worse. The average Democratic score was a B-.
Christine Quinn received a D+ in 2011 from the HRJ, which was tied for the worst score of any Democrat on the council. The 2012 scorecard (in which she did not receive a score) described her thus:
[quote]"[Quinn] delayed hearings, stalled votes and restricted the passage of legislation … inhibiting the advancement of human rights in New York City."
Perhaps most famously, Quinn has stalled the paid sick day bill, which would give employees five paid sick days if they work for a company with five or more employees. It's sponsored by 36 of the 51 council members, more than enough to overcome a Bloomberg veto. Quinn, however, won't let the bill come up for a vote. She claims "given the current economic reality, now is not the right time for this policy."
Her Democratic competitors are in favor of the bill: Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu received scored a B and A, respectively, in their last years on the city council. Both voted against Bloomberg's extended term limits.
Not convinced by the scorecard? Look at who has endorsed Quinn. Before he passed away, former mayor Ed Koch called her a "liberal with sanity … [which is] exactly my philosophy". Ed Koch, of course, backed George W Bush and the contentiously elected Republican Bob Turner, and lost his own bid for a fourth mayoral term because liberals abandoned him.
- Quinn has also received support from the Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro, of the Conservative Party. For those that don't know, the Conservative Party is a third party in New York, founded because the state's Republicans were seen as too liberal. It was the banner under which conservative icon William Buckley ran for mayor in 1965.
So again, I have to ask: why are liberals backing Quinn?
Part of it has to be name recognition – she's simply better known than her competitors. Even a volunteer at her kickoff event admitted:
[quote]"I don't really know very much to be honest. I really only know about Quinn."
Maybe Quinn isn't the most liberal, but just liberal enough. I find that a little hard to believe, though, since whoever wins the Democratic nomination will probably win the general election with ease.
The other possibility is perhaps more intriguing: some might see the mere act of voting for a gay, female public official as a progressive statement. The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBT advocacy group, has backed Quinn, even though some have critiqued Quinn for not being liberal enough on HIV/AIDS issues. Quinn's opponents in the Democratic primary, on the other hand, have been very strong on gay rights.
Emily's List, a group dedicated to electing Democratic women, has also thrown its weight behind Quinn. This comes as many liberal women, from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to feminist Gloria Steinem, have rallied for Quinn to back the sick day bill. Steinem has even threatened to withdraw her endorsement if Quinn doesn't bring the bill to vote.
For whatever reasons, Christine Quinn seems to have a strong hold over the primary right now. The record suggests, however, that once voters tune into the race, Quinn's standing might not be as solid as it looks.
- True, when we could have a hero like Giuliani again.
Shoot yourself in the foot, asshole.
- She is a scam artist and just as much in cahoots with big business and real estate tycoons trying to turn the city into Luxury Condo City as Bloomberg has been. It kills me that so many liberals support her just because she is gay and spews the right buzzwords.
- She was on one of the news shows this evening saying it was OK to change the term limit law because the economic crisis was an "extraordinary time."
She is so incredibly smarmy.
- In Private Quinn Displays a Volatile Side.
- Yes, we know:
- When the King of the Liberal Newspapers, The New York Times bashes her that's reason enough not to vote for her.
- Wow. I've only read the first page and she sounds rather unhinged.
- Typical self-serving phony, will say anything to get elected, both hands in the pockets of landlords and real estate developers, pretend progressive, lying cunt of a politician.That is the real Christine Quinn. Why does that surprise ANYONE who lives in New York? Oh wait. I forgot Bloomberg's human hemorhoid. Put that on her impressive resume'.
- Non New Yorkers do not care one way or the other about her.
Therefore: most people in America do not care one way or the other about her.
- I wouldn't vote for her. It's ironic how liberals rightfully criticize conservatives for voting against their own self interest, when they do the exact same thing when they vote for these fake dems.
- Having an unhinged lesbian as mayor of one of the most (if not the most) important cities in the country should be of interest
- She would be a bigger bully than Giuliani or Mayor Bloombito. That would not be good for the city or it's citizens. She doesn't listen. She commands. And threatens to de-ball her opponents. Charm. Nothin' but charm.
- Let me at her, OP.
This sounds like a job for me!
- When she speaks, it always sounds like a badly rehearsed lie. Its like she's been coached to try and smooth out the rough edges but its not working. The hand gestures and the vocal inflections seem so fake and make her appear condescending.
Non sequitur. She was doing this publicity event for Groundhog Day, holding the groundhog up for all to see. She had on big gloves and you could tell she wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted it to attack her so much. Not because of my dislike of her, just because it would have been funny.
- She's a bitch who thinks she's going to use identity politics to sail into Gracie Mansion. Wrong.
- Can an article this damning by the NYT sink her chances at the mayor's office? The comments to the story selected by the Times were uniformly negative (except for a couple saying that male politicians wouldn't get called out on it).
- The fat bitch finally stopped blocking mandatory sick leave for workers in NYC. Glad she finally has a conscience...when her duplicity receives national attention.
- She's a cunt. If elected she probably start shouting at people left and right.The article makes point of her going after those that don't play her game. The bitch actually stopped money going to someone's district because of a perceived slight? What a silly stupid woman she is.
- Identity politics are a dangerous game. Defeat Quinn NYC!
- Read the other thread that r6 links to, if you haven't already.