Saturday, February 4, 2012
Quinn and her lobbyist pal
From the NY Times:
Over the two decades of their friendship, each woman has become powerful — Ms. Quinn is the speaker of the City Council, while Ms. Giske is one of the best-connected and most popular lobbyists at City Hall and in Albany. And now, as Ms. Quinn seeks to solidify her status as a leading contender in the 2013 campaign for New York mayor, their close but complex relationship poses a challenge to both women, in a contemporary twist on a perennial political story line that will test Ms. Quinn’s leadership abilities if she is elected mayor.
Lobbying City Hall is a significant business for Ms. Giske’s firm, Bolton-St. Johns. In recent years, the company has reported earnings of $2 million to $3 million annually while lobbying the city government, billing its clients nearly $15 million in the six years since Ms. Quinn was elected speaker.
Ms. Quinn has presided over multiple Council deliberations of concern to clients of Ms. Giske’s firm, over issues like whether businesses should be required to provide paid sick leave, the disbursal of city budget money to nonprofit groups, and land-use matters along the Brooklyn waterfront and elsewhere.
At the same time, Ms. Giske has advised Ms. Quinn at key moments in her career, including her contested bid to become speaker and her controversial decision to back a one-time lifting of the city’s term limits.