You might’ve already seen this little snippet released by New York City Is Not For Sale 2013 (that’s a mouthful).The video opens to a “smoke-filled room” with four stools in it, where the viewer would assume the City Council Speaker makes shady deals with business-type folk. She’s charged with a pseudo-liberal appeal that is more rhetoric than substance.
It’s a part of a million dollar “A.B.Q.–Anybody But Quinn” campaign, which has been put together by the union forces left over from Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election. It’ll be on major cable networks in the days to come as the first notable attack campaign launched thus far (and this early) in the mayoral race. Also, it represents the political landscape of a City Hall race post-Citizens United, where money and politics are two sides of the same shitty sword.
The electoral aim of the video is Quinn’s worst fear: to be painted as Bloomberg Jr.
Explained Arthur Cheliotes of CWA Local 1180: “Speaker Quinn has shown time and time again that she shares Mayor Bloomberg’s vision of New York City, only addressing the needs of New Yorkers on crucial issues such as livable wages, paid sick leave and working conditions when forced to by protests, bad press and spiraling approval ratings.”
The main line of attack is political theatrics–Quinn was recently criticized for her strategy, in which she is faulted with all-too-convenient flip-flops on issues. For example, last week, she came around on the paid sick leave bill, which even the mayor described as a move made for an election cycle. It was also reported that she’s been playing with members’ items like chess pieces, rewarding those who help her and punishing those who do not support her.
As of now, Quinn has matched the maximum contribution level posed by public finance in the Democratic primary. But, according to Politicker, she has used the video as fodder to ask her donors to donate even more to her campaign. Moving beyond that, Quinn spokesperson Mike Morey charged the video with having ties to Quinn’s main rival in the mayoral race, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio:
“This ad is paid for by a special-interest group, with strong connections to Bill de Blasio, working to circumvent the New York City campaign finance system. … If Bill de Blasio is the progressive he claims to be, then he should oppose this effort to undermine the most progressive campaign finance system in the country.”
That said, a recent New York Times interactive shows that the Speaker has already raised $6.58 million in the 2013 election cycle, 34 percent of which is coming from outside of New York. This number is nearly Bill de Blasio’s.
So, as much as the Speaker can defend herself against “Anyone But Quinn” and the Hizzoner tendencies it evokes, the frontrunner seems to be facing a numbers problem, whether she likes it or not.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 9, 2013