Liu Still Voicing Criticism of Quinn

Although it seems like the pressure on Christine Quinn over the problems with City Council’s finances has eased, at least one council member is only partially satisfied.

John Liu, who has been one of Quinn’s most vocal critics since news of the speaker’s slush fund became public, gave an interview to WNBC’s News Forum in which he said of her new reforms, “I’m not sure how much good it actually does, but at least they don’t do any harm.”

He also continued to be critical of her original handling of the problem.

Here’s the transcript, which was sent over by the network:

“Councilman LIU: Well, one of our major newspapers revealed it. There was no one who stepped up and said, `Hey, we have fictitious organizations,’ a newspaper broke the story. That’s the first time I found out about it. I believe that’s the first time 90 percent of the councilmembers in the body found out about it. The fact is that part of the story became worse when a set of so-called reforms were proposed. I think that was on April 11th.

Those were not reforms because it did not address the real issue. And about last–I think last week, another set of changes were proposed, far different from the original set of so-called reforms. I have no problem with the current set of proposed changes. They don’t do any harm. I’m not sure how much good it actually does, but at least they don’t do any harm.

[skip]

When–to have a press conference to announce so-called reforms and to focus not even on the whole big picture, but really just on your own colleagues and trying to distance yourself from the colleagues that you’re supposed to be the speaker for, the leader of, I–it’s just very unbecoming and it does not lead to good democracy. It’s not better for the people of New York to unilaterally weaken the legislative body without–while giving the executive body a free ride.

And as we have all seen this week with the revelation of millions and millions of dollars of mayor’s discretionary funds, the truth becomes–the truth becomes clearer. I think that we absolutely need to reform the budget process in the city council, and we’d be leading other legislative bodies and other levels of government. But we need to make it more accountable, more transparent and that means looking at all of the budget items, not just the city council discretionary funds. We have to look at the executive discretionary funds, which far–they dwarf the amount of city council discretionary funds.”

Liu Still Voicing Criticism of Quinn