From the Queens Tribune:
The show, the Queens scenes and the food held my interest until around 2:20 p.m. when a “Diversity” commercial was aired. “Hello, this is Council Speaker Christine Quinn” or something like that said the recognizable voice of the council boss and Mayoral wanabe. It was a 30-second, multi-cultural lovefest with terrible production values – as bad as you ever see on network television. But the message of “Love Love” and “Hate Hate” is of course a seller in our great city. At the end of the painfully bad commercial with a solidly good message, was the City’s logo (NYC) taking ownership for the spot.
The Speaker of the City Council was elected by one district out of 51 in the city. She represents 1/51 of our population. She is not our public spokesperson, the Mayor is. She is not to be lavished with promotional funds to spread her name around our city. She should not be the beneficiary of taxpayer funds or City-owned property to elevate her image as she prepares to run for Mayor. Not on our backs, Chris.
Eleven years ago, Queens’ Peter Vallone Sr., then Speaker of the Council, showed up at my office as a Mayoral candidate with more than a half a dozen city staffers – besides a driver. I challenged the use of City resources on a campaign stop. Vallone asserted his right. I opposed him. The people rejected his candidacy – he finished third in a field of four and did not make the run-off.
In 2005, four years later, the story was somewhat the same. Then Council Speaker, Gifford Miller, had used the council mailing budget to put his name and face in the mailboxes of almost the entire city. He caught it from me and many others in the press. The people agreed and Giff finished a poor fourth in a field of 4 (Ferrer, Weiner, Fields, Miller). In the General Election, Bloomberg beat Ferrer again.
Now, we have the third Speaker in a row running for Mayor. She too apparently thinks it’s okay to use City resources to try to get elected. There is still plenty of time for her to recognize she was wrong in using City money to put her name and voice on a TV commercial. She can apologize, reimburse the city and pledge to only use campaign funds outside of her district.