Meanwhile, Quinn kept herself in the public eye. She brought a plate of waffles to City Hall in 2004 to tweak the mayor's refusal to take a public stance on marriage equality. And she could be counted on to hold press conferences and attend rallies whenever an LGBT New Yorker was physically assaulted. "From the day my career began, as a housing organizer to the council, my focus has always been to get things done," she tells the Voice. "To deliver to the people I was serving."

Her detractors point to 2006, when her peers elected her speaker, as the moment when she sold out her progressive base. Quinn went from having an adversarial relationship with the mayor to what Duane describes as "working with him when she could, improving what he put forward." Others consider it, more prosaically, as sucking up to a man whose endorsement would help smooth her way into the mayoralty. Two years after becoming speaker, Quinn led the council in overturning two voter referenda on term limits, enabling Bloomberg—and City Council members—to run for a third term.

That single action is likely to define her career, and it exposed fault lines in how people view her. If she does lose the primary or a run-off, it will certainly come back to haunt her. "Among everyone I know, the first thing they say is, 'She betrayed us on term limits,'" said LGBT rights activist Louis Flores.

Christine Quinn in Manhattan on April 26, 2013
Caleb Ferguson
Christine Quinn in Manhattan on April 26, 2013

Quinn defends her term limits decision as "the best decision for the city. I made a decision in 2008-2009, at a moment in time that was the worst economic crisis we've faced since the Great Depression, to give voters consistent leadership or make change," she says. "I know some New Yorkers are not able to vote for me. I respect those who feel strongly. I respect their decision. I hope others will look at the rest of my issues."

Term limits, however, are only the first item on the list of progressive grievances. Detractors call her record one of increasingly cynical maneuvers with one eye toward the city's business elite and the other on right-of-center voters. "She's used the fact that she's a woman, that she was an activist, that she is a lesbian, to justify this doctrine that it's OK to move to the right," says Donny Moss, a filmmaker and animal rights activist who has spent more of his time and money fighting Quinn than anyone else in town. Moss believes she has turned into another opportunistic politician who happens to be gay. "She has betrayed the LGBT community when expedient," he says.

The biggest cloud hanging over Quinn's mayoral campaign remains a secret slush fund that enabled her office to dispense cash either to reward or punish other councilmembers. By appropriating millions to fictitious organizations, her office was able to funnel one-quarter of the total to her own district, with the rest going to projects put forward by her allies—and none to her enemies. Quinn has said that as soon as she was made aware of the slush fund, which was in place before she took office, she tried to stop it. But seven months after the scandal was uncovered, Quinn led the council in voting to let the mayor to run for a third term, a move some saw as a stall so she could rebuild her base and live to run another day. A formal probe cleared her of any wrongdoing, but the investigations and mud-slinging continue—as do the City Council's payments to the law firm handling the matter.

Quinn's close relations with the police department are similarly cited as proof of her lack of ideological purity and how, on key issues involving police-community relations, progressive critics believe she is on the wrong side every time. Those ties date back to her years at AVP, but it is her recent support of stop-and-frisk that has drawn the most heat. Tensions in minority communities were already high over the policy, which allows officers to search citizens without formal probable cause. (Statistically, those citizens are mostly African-American and Hispanic young men.) And when the police shot 16-year-old Kimani Gray on March 9 in East Flatbush, igniting a series of violent street demonstrations, Quinn's slow response infuriated her would-be liberal base.

Gay men of color are just as affected by stop-and-frisk as anyone else, notes Fordham University political science professor Christina Greer. "Even though the face of the LGBT community in New York City is white men, that's not the makeup," she says. "If you're black and gay, stop-and-frisk may be a primary issue." Unlike her three Democratic rivals, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Bill Thompson, Quinn has refused to make a blanket condemnation of stop-and-frisk.

Then there's condom-carry, an issue particularly troubling to those fighting the ongoing AIDS epidemic. As the Voice has reported, the city vigorously supports and promotes condoms through the Department of Health, but allows police to arrest alleged prostitutes found to be carrying them. Transgender women complain that the NYPD targets them simply because of the way they're dressed. Quinn reportedly sent staffers to a key meeting on the issue instead of attending herself.

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32 comments
ErectWeiner
ErectWeiner

CQ will never be mayor. I'm voting Weiner all the way. At least this guy got character. CQ is as boring as her pantsuit. Good god, her voice alone disqualify her.

justin_s_sullivan
justin_s_sullivan

I used to have a lot of respect for Tom Duane, but having read this article, I now have zero respect for him. Duane, as well as Pinter,Jevis and Holyman are just a bunch of white, privileged apologists who will say anything to protect one of their own. And they have the gall to call themselves progressives? They're nothing of the kind. They are just centrists following the neo liberal doctrine. And Weinstein is under the assumption that Quinn has the gay vote locked. What a load of crock. TheLGBT communities are not monlithic. No more than any other group. They have the same concerns as everyone else. (jobs,environment,poverty etc.) Or does he thinks there is a litmus test on "gay issues."

chris.london
chris.london

QUINN'S CORRUPTION not her ideological purity on her relative 'gayness' or on progressive politics in general is the central issue undermining Quinn's standing and support. This piece sympathetic to Quinn's cause by Steve Weinstein here in the Voice not only ignores the existing reality regarding the rationale for the increasing aversion to Christine Quinn but is also part of the ongoing effort by 'Mainstream Mediaites' to foster a false narrative about the character, makeup and extent of the Citywide Grassroots Movement to Defeat Christine Quinn.By implying that the movement is either fringe or made up of LGBT radicals attempting to hold Quinn up to some impossible ideological purity standard on issues either solely relevant to the LGBT Community or to Progressivism in general is a disservice to the import of the resistance and the electoral process in general. Citizens have filled in where the mainstream media has gone AWOL in exposing Quinn.

hjo4
hjo4

She's unfit to be Mayor,when she ignored the Term limit laws and made it possible for Bloomberg to run and win by a microscopic margin.  That did her in, she doesn't respect the will of the people she wants to elect her to Mayor.. Does she really believe NYC voters are stupid.

dancolliergay
dancolliergay

Just because I'm gay doesn't mean my concerns aren't aligned with those who are interested and concerned about NYC? My homosexuality is not all I am.

einnor111
einnor111

Why should my tax dollars pay for this. Our Billionaire mayor uses our tax money like it's his. Like his secret slush fund he was using along with his best pal Ms. Quinn to get what they wanted out of the city council. Blacks appointment was more about celebrity than capability. Telling Billionaireberg she'd ask Oprah to let her on her show to help calm peoples outrage over her lack of knowledge with star power. This should alone get someone locked up

suzinne751
suzinne751

What does it say that Christine's own people openly reject her?  It says a lot to me, and the message is simple.  We do NOT want her as mayor.   

chris.london
chris.london

LGBT Activists involved in the Defeat Christine Quinn Campaign if anything are just regular New Yorkers, some of whom happen to be gay and/or reside in Quinn's district. They are not so much adminstering any kind of ideological purity test about her relative 'gayness' as they are holding up a mirror to the deception of her barren identity politics and the underlying deception of her candidacy, and an agenda which is hardly progressive. The Defeat Christine Quinn campaign has held up a light to Quinn;s lack of ethics, character and integrity in performing her duties as Speaker of the City Council. Quinn has been a poster child if not the source of inspiration for the widespread political corruption in New York State.FACT is that Christine Quinn is NOT palatable to mainstream Registered Democrats every bit as much as she is also not palatable to the mainstream LGBT Community. Quinn's candidacy largely appeals to Manhattan Societal Elites whose agenda is not at all concerned with what has happend to NYC's eroding middle class, but is instead about the symbolism of electing a "Gay Woman" as a deception or front for how progressive a society we have become.

jondavwal
jondavwal

Steve, baby, you are getting slammed here.  I told you on the phone, nobody likes this b++++

jondavwal
jondavwal

I resent this article.  I will never vote for her because of the term limit betrayal and because she's a horrible vindictive person who doesn't even care enough to hide that fact with a smile.  She's, quite frankly, disgusting.

jondavwal
jondavwal

I resent this article.  I will never vote for her because of the term limit betrayal and because she's a horrible vindictive person who doesn't even care enough to hide that fact with a smile.  She's, quite frankly, disgusting.

murdoch
murdoch

Opposing Quinn isn't a matter of ideological purity. Her politics of the possible, as many point out here, serve to benefit herself. Corporate interests have filled Manhattan with Luxury Housing, driving out ordinary people, small businesses, and artists (and they're now encroaching on Queens). 

Congressman Joe Crowley also is followed by protesters condemning his corporate friendly votes in DC. I tell them that they have a point, but if they're serious, they must organize and oppose him politically. As head of the Queens Democratic Party, Crowley supports more than a half-dozen progressive office-holders in his district and excellent judges. He rallied the entire Queens Democratic slate to support marriage equality, including a couple of reluctant persons. We support Crowley while pressing him to take some of his local liberalism to Congress.

With Quinn, we have a choice -- more corporate welfare and militarized policing, or a turn to a more liveable New York City. John Liu has the personality and policies to be an outstanding mayor, and as Comptroller, he's taken on city policies of handing out millions to connected consultants with little return. Progressives in the City Council would have no trouble working with him. But the money is behind Quinn, and Liu's weakness may be his organization. Quinn is all over us asking for support; Liu needs more effective workers on the ground.

Quinn could be another Guiliani, always in the headlines. A couple of her opponents look like more effective mayors. Too bad that so many are running that she's likely to get a plurality. (Is that an accident?)

eyoung2005
eyoung2005

I think this article is excellent. It points out the obstacles and differences Quinn has had to overcome to get things done. A purist couldn't win. That's politics. LET'S GET REAL FOLKS... I like the below which is a quote from the article.

As speaker, Quinn has to deal with every issue affecting the entire city. That means working with 50 other councilmembers who span the political spectrum. "She's the most progressive speaker we have ever had," Duane says. "She's brought people from South Brooklyn to Staten Island to the Northwest Bronx together—not just the liberal West Side of Manhattan, but throughout the city."

janpford
janpford

I think Steve Weinstein overlooks something very important about the LGBT defection.  It is not just about allegiance to purist issues, and in fact that may be the lesser point for some members of the community.  I understand that there are many who know Ms. Quinn personally, who have worked with her, and who agree that she has neither the depth of character and wits nor the temperment to run the largest city in the United States.  Why does the article presume ideology is at issue?

littlebearnyc1
littlebearnyc1

Steve Weinstein - is this reportage or an op-ed piece? If reportage it is shock full of wrong assumptions and mistated facts. 

Also, some of us 'older' gays who are opposed to Quinn are 'old' and wise enough to understand the limits of single issue voting and politics. As a Jew should  I vote for Eric Cantor because he is Jewish? We old gay activists understand that the spectrum of issues that Quinn has flip flopped on are vital to the future of NYC, and that Quinn herself has no political moorings other than the obsession with  getting her elected Mayor afte enabling Bloomberg for the past 11 years. We witnessed her transformation from scrappy organizer to political hack and feel that a candidate who could sell out her own principles for political expediency will not benefit any NYers- gay or straight. We ancient activists see the connections between causes and the overall fight for economic equality and jsutice- younger gays just 'celebrate' the diversity of an ever growing acronym denoting 'differentness' as opposed to real sexuality.

You seem to dismiss these concerns and allow Quinn's pitiful excuses to speak for the story. Again- label it opinion and I only have problems with the stated opinions. Treat it as reportage and this article belongs in a Murdoch publication.

djdj
djdj

It's not because she "moved to the right." It's because Quinn is the worst sort of corrupt political hack. Her cronyism, her lack of ethics, and her petty, vengeful temperament are the problem, not her relative conservatism. She has no vision for the city, just an insatiable thirst to be in charge of it.

smandez
smandez

This article is all over the place. Headline reads like another mouthpiece for "gay only one way" radicals, then it jumps in to mock that very gay establishment which is comprised primarily of wealthy gay white males who favor eurpean socialism. Then it segues into trying to appear impartial by suggesting her being "right wing" has nothing to do with disliking her. Next we get the 'we're only concerned with moral politicians" rant while I've never once read a piece in the Village Voice denouncing corrupt Democrats. Finally, the piece ends with concern for big powerful government. LOL! What a ride that was!

valmont2
valmont2

I'd sooner vote for "the rent is too damn high" guy.

donnymoss
donnymoss

This article totally misses the point. The vast majority of us - gay and straight - who are opposed to Quinn are protesting her lack of ethics, her autocratic rule and her consistent pattern of violating the public trust - not her move to the political right.

SuzannahBTroy
SuzannahBTroy

Wow an article that hints at community outrage at Chris Quinn over St. Vincent's Hospital.  Google Christine Quinn talking points and Christine Quinn Chuck Meara.  Wow article references a few straight people...hardee har...any bi? Gay or straight her own district is voting against her and the Hospital was a deal breaker.  

sjames6621
sjames6621

the ones outside are fools.  Prrobably not gay , just imposters - the latest game of the religious extremists

Nothing is more important then political power to continue the change in our society toward equality for gay people.  

And like any other group, there are people in the gay community - not many   who dont know anything about politics

endaidsnow
endaidsnow

To read this article and see the SPIN that Brad Holyman and Tom Duane say the lauds on Christine Quinn show how corrupt this current political scene  is in NYC.  As Community Board 2 Chair, Brand Holyman herded the Community Board to silence the community wishes for a NEW HOSPITAL with their part in the NYC process with Jo Hamiliton.  They destroyed the the laws they put on place for the non profit hospital in height for buildings as a Profit Organization now for Luxury Apartments.  Tom Duane worked with Rep Nadler to do a "Needs Assessment" which was manipulated against what the community said "We need a Hospital."  Tom Duane also told me in a NYS Committee that he was going to call for a New Hospital when LI Jewish proposed to them the Urgent Care Center in OToole. He Lied and called for the Urgent Care Center and gave his approval as NYS Senator. Two days before the NYC Council voted on the Rudin Plan for SVH, Quinn met with Community Members. She refused to allow tape or video of the meeting. She commented that the Lost of St Vincent's Hospital would be her downfall.   She promised the group in the meeting a copy of the work she claimed to do to Save St. St Vincent's Hospital that never happened.  Her staff would not provide their names in the meeting.   And two days later she led the community into the balcony, while she opened her arms to hug Bill Rudin and family that were allowed to sit just behind her on the Council Floor.  Recently at a LGBT Mayor forum she turned after debating ended and did not address the audience of the stacked audience of her supporters and left the stage with not looking at the audience.  Backdoors are her fashion. And to top it off this is political machine, where Duane resigned, Holyman got the NYS Senator Seat without opposition. And Quinn is their sister, who they want as Mayor.  She is not fit to be Mayor of New York.  I call on Village Readers to read the facts on each candidate for Mayor of New York. VOTE ABC   Anybody But Christine.   

Pinkjohn
Pinkjohn

The LGBT community has HAD a place at the table since at least 1990 when Deborah Glick won her first Assembly race.  Quinn was a beneficiary of all the fighting we did, never a leader in it.  As for the AVP, she DID run it into the ground.  She fired the most qualified staff people because they questioned the wisdom of some foolish management decisions.  And these were people who had literally invented their fields and pioneered services in same-sex domestic violence, crime victim services and police community relations.  After purging them, she hired flunkies who were the boyfriends of rich donors and board members. Oh yeah, let's not forget that she let her girlfriend at the time run her successful campaign for City Council and then dumped her once she won.  On the issues, there are a whole lot of LGBT's who could have benefited from the Living Wage bill had she not gutted it, and we also need paid sick leave as much as anyone else.  But frankly, it is her utter inability to listen to voices other than her own, and her big, fragile ego that make her unsuitable to be mayor.

paulinepark
paulinepark

"Quinn became head of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, an advocacy group that speaks out against gay-related crimes and provides support to victims. It is widely acknowledged that Quinn turned AVP into a model for how to work with police on such crimes while treating victims with respect and sensitivity..." Really? I would say the opposite; I've spoken to her predecessor & successor as executive director and they both told me that Chris Quinn ran the agency into the ground; she ran it for one purpose & one purpose only, and that was as a launching pad for her first run for City Council. That reference to AVP is only one of many problems with this profile of Quinn, which gives more than the benefit of the doubt to her supporters. (I might add parenthetically that the author never actually contacted me for an interview; he simply took a quote from me that he'd found elsewhere.) The main problem with this piece is that the author buys into the whole narrative of Quinn's election as mayor being a historic victory for women & LGBT people regardless of whether she'd actually make a good mayor. Well, isn't the point of an election to elect the best possible person...? Margaret Thatcher's death earlier in the month should have reminded all of us that electing a woman as the first executive (in her case, the first British prime minister) could be a symbolic victory but a practical defeat. We need to move beyond the infantile identity politics of voting for & supporting someone simply because she's a woman or a lesbian~!


chris.london
chris.london

QUINN IS TOO CORRUPT. It is not just her abandonment of progressive values but her abandonment of reason, principle and the Constitutional Rights of New Yorkers that make Christine Quinn unpalatable to a wide swath of Democratic voters. ABQ For Mayor of NYC in 2013; Anybody But Quinn is how the Democrats can win.

skeetervt
skeetervt

@ErectWeiner You're going to vote for an idiot ex-Congressman who quit Capitol Hill under threat of expulsion over his sexting and posting raunchy photos of himself on the Internet? 

You're going to vote for a stubborn bullheaded fool who's too full of himself to realize that he hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected dogcatcher, let alone mayor?

Geez. And I thought the Tea Party zealots inthe House Republican Caucus were ideologically blind to reality . . .

wbourne
wbourne

@chris.london Just to be clear: The "purity" invoked in our cover line was not about her sexuality or her position on LGBT issues, it was about the "purity" of her progressivism. In retrospect, the language could have been clearer, but the point of the line was: Some LGBT NYers are rejecting CQ because she is seen as too much of a compromising—even corrupt—machine pol and not a pure, doctrinal progressive. Thanks for reading. WB

chris.london
chris.london

@janpford It is true that "there are many who know Ms. Quinn personally, who have worked with her, and who agree that she has neither the depth of character and wits nor the temperament to run the largest city in the United States." This is something I have heard from some folks who have cornered me and have preferred to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution by Quinn should she somehow snag the mayoralty. Quinn is a horror show.

littlebearnyc1
littlebearnyc1

@smandez  Please introduce me to the rich gays who favor european socialism - something that does not even exist anymore in the now Conservative led European market policies!

The 'rich gays' the article is referring to is made up of moderate-to-liberal capitalists -some of whom I have gotten into arguments about socialism with and certainly don't believe in socialism, universal health care, or real economic equity. Thety mocked us activists in the 1970s and only came out when it started to seem safe. They have taken over the LGBT movement and obtain us 'corporate sponsorship' from the piggiest corporations. BUT, since they support Obama, and Obama is a socialist in Idiot America's head.....

Will Americans ever understand that liberal corporatists are not socialists- you give us real Commies a bad name!

janpford
janpford

Chris, I am not at City Government anymore, so I have less to be concerned about. Thank you for your reply.

 
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