City Council Speaker Christine Quinn accused her opponents Tuesday of pandering to please voters when it comes to trash, policing and circumcision.
During a stop on WOR’s John Gambling show this morning, Ms. Quinn was asked again about her high-profile spat with former Comptroller Bill Thompson over the controversial Upper East Side waste transfer station. Ms. Quinn, who supports the project, drew attention when she used the words “environmental racism” in slamming Mr. Thompson, an opponent of the plan and the only African-American candidate in the mayor’s race.
Ms. Quinn used the opportunity today to pile on Mr. Thompson and her other opponents on various issues–a sign the race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now in full-gear.
“You know what else is wrong, John? Going into communities and pandering and telling them what they want to hear just so you can get their vote,” she said. “That’s not leadership and that’s not being a mayor.”
Mr. Gambling cautioned his guest. “Careful, Madame Speaker. Because there’s a lot of that going on right now,” he warned.
But Mr. Quinn continued the lecture and ticked off other controversial issues she is unafraid to state her position on.
“You gotta say, ‘fair’s fair,'” she said. “And it won’t make people happy, and I get that. But whether it’s the Upper East Side transfer station or going into a synagogue–as I did last week–and saying that practices around circumcision that are done in particular ways that are unhealthy for children aren’t gonna continue without proper notification. You just have to stand up sometimes, even if gets you booed, as supporting Ray Kelly has done for me in some places and as has supporting the Inspector General bill has done for me in other places–’cause you have to lead, not seek votes.”
Ms. Quinn went on to elaborate on her enthusiastic support for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, known to draw more than a few of his own critics, after a weekend of shootings rocked neighborhoods across Brooklyn and The Bronx.
“I’ve said whoever the next mayor is would be lucky to have Ray Kelly stay on,” she said, crediting him with helping to drive down crime. “And, not just traditional crime—I don’t mean to minimize it that way, but also look what he’s done in the fight against terror. He thwarted at least a dozen attempts against the city–most of them without average citizens even knowing him and his men and women are out there doing the work.”
Ms. Quinn noted she isn’t able to hire Mr. Kelly for additional years of service just yet, however.
“I haven’t offered him the job, ’cause I don’t have any jobs to offer,” she added, “but I’ve long said whoever the next mayor is would be lucky if he stayed on and I would absolutely make that offer.”