From DNA Info:
Many City Council members are wary of endorsing candidates in the 2013 mayoral race until after budget season because they're afraid a vengeful Speaker Christine Quinn will cut their share of $50 million in discretionary funds, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.
The funds, which are controlled by the speaker, are dished out to members each summer to fund constituent-pleasing services, such as community centers and seniors programs. While Quinn’s office has long insisted that the money is allocated based on districts' needs, it’s no secret that members on Quinn’s good side tend to profit — while those who cross her get their budgets slashed.
And many Council members now worry that endorsing a rival in the mayor's race, where Quinn is widely perceived as the front-runner, will result in the same fate.
“I definitely think that discretionary funds will be wielded as a weapon in the fight for endorsements,” said one Democratic Council member, who, like nearly a dozen others who spoke to DNAinfo.com New York, asked for anonymity to avoid angering Quinn.
“Certainly, that is the elephant in the room,” another member said.
“It’s a legal form of blackmail," still another member said.
To avoid retribution, some Council members are weighing postponing their endorsements until July, after the budget is adopted and Quinn no longer has sway over the money.