From the NY Post:
In a move that has infuriated some City Council members, lawmakers' new Progressive Caucus will use taxpayer money to pay annual dues -- a privilege not granted to any other caucus, The Post has learned.
Each member of the 12-person group, which comprises the most liberal council members, will pay $2,500 annually to hire a staffer and buy office supplies, sources said.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is not a member of the caucus, approved the new arrangement, but refused to lend the progressives an employee from her own staff, as she does with the Black Latino & Asian Caucus, the sources said.
"Why don't they just use their [existing] staff? Why are they double-dipping?" fumed one member who is not on the Progressive Caucus. "They're using taxpayer money to support a liberal viewpoint."
Quinn spokesman Jamie McShane said, "The pooling of individual expense budgets by members for legislative work in accordance with council procurement rules is appropriate."
In other words, we taxpaying schmucks are paying their tweeding fees. The Queens members of the caucus are Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras and James Van Bramer.
Here's an editorial from the NY Post:
Now, how exclusionary, race- and ethnicity-based "caucuses" qualify for tax dollars is a mystery; one needn't wonder how willing Quinn would be to fund a White Caucus to understand that.
Not at all, is the answer -- and she'd be correct.
But she shouldn't be ponying up to assist ideological separatism, either -- especially since the subsidy, like the progressive caucus itself, is meant to underwrite partisan political activity.
Again, the money is so small it really isn't the issue here.
But the principle is important: If council members feel the need to form little cliques, they should pay for them out of their own pockets.