Quinn Consultant Says She’s a Reformer

In the face of a weirdly mixed (but definitely not positive) reaction to the Post‘s revelation yesterday that the Council has been stashing away money through appropriations to phony organizations, Christine Quinn’s people have pushed the notion that she actually deserves credit for trying to stop a long-standing practice in the City Council and say that it actually bolsters her credentials as a reformer.

I chatted late yesterday with Josh Isay, a Democratic consultant who has advised Quinn regularly, and he told me, “The speaker dealt with this issue in a manner above and beyond the call of duty. She’s done the right thing in this and in her role as speaker in general. And I think the people of New York respect that.”

When asked about the strategy for communicating her role in what happened—and holding a nearly 20-minute-long press conference yesterday—Isay said, “Chris’ whole M.O. is about transparency and good government. And she wanted to talk to reporters and the people of New York and answer every question. And she did. Nothing to hide.”

When asked how this may affect her political future, Isay said, “Again, I think it reflects positively on her as speaker and an elected official. She saw a problem and she’s working to fix it.”

It’s still not clear to me why, if this was a whistle-blowing exercise, Quinn didn’t talk to reporters and the people of New York a lot sooner—like when she first found out that this presumably shocking practice was going on. Her display of transparency would have been lots more effective if she decided to do it before the Post broke the story rather than after.

Quinn Consultant Says She’s a Reformer