The rose garden strategy is officially over for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as the Democratic candidate for mayor teared into her rivals in an NY1 interview Tuesday, the latest sign that the primary battle is tightening and turning into a tough fight for the one-time front-runner. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is usually the one under attack, but now, the Democratic candidate for mayor is going on the offensive, as she blasted two of her rivals Tuesday in an exclusive interview with NY1.
"Bill de Blasio is desperate," Quinn said. "He is stuck in the bottom of the polls, and he's desperately and, quite frankly, sadly attacking an institution I am incredibly proud of, an institution he was a member of and in the leadership of for eight years."
Quinn was responding to the public advocate's charge that the city's Department of Investigation needs to probe the city's 911 system, since the City Council, under Quinn, is too cozy with the mayor.
"By and large, the City Council has been manipulated by the mayor, especially via Speaker Quinn," de Blasio said.
"I just think it is sad that Bill is manipulating a very serious situation to try to deal with his sagging poll numbers," Quinn said.
A spokesman for de Blasio said Quinn has caved repeatedly to special interests while de Blasio is fighting to lift more New Yorkers out of poverty.
Quinn's own poll numbers have taken a recent hit, which might help explain her new fire. Up until now, she has refused to pick messy fights with her opponents, but that seems to be changing
In her interview with NY1, she turned on former City Comptroller William Thompson, blasting him for not doing more when he was comptroller to stop the fraud and cost overruns at the city's payroll system, known as CityTime.
"His most basic responsibility is to audit. He didn't do that. He was asleep at the switch," Quinn said.
Thompson's campaign fired back, saying that Quinn has no standing to talk about oversight and responsibility. Thompson's chief strategist noted that Quinn presided over the slush fund scandal in the council and accused her of using member items to dole out favors. He said she sold out any pretense of oversight by giving the mayor, and herself, a third term.