From the Daily News:
About half of the City Council’s 51 members say they disagree with Speaker Christine Quinn’s blatantly wrong practice of giving cash bonuses, called lulus, to favored members.
The lulus, in theory assigned for committee chairmanships and the like, range from the yearly $28,500 Quinn pockets down to $4,000. That’s over and above the very healthy $112,500 the pols earn in salary for their part-time positions.
It’s not only wasteful, it’s corrupting — because it gives one elected official undue influence over her colleagues. No wonder that outside New York, every other legislature in America, local, state and federal, pays its members equally.
The cash comes twice a year (Jan. 18 was payday), so we present the semiannual list of who is naughty and nice and who lives by his or her word.
Stellar, as always, are Daniel Garodnick and Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Brad Lander. On principle, they refuse the money.
On the other side of the ledger are a quintet of hypocrites, members who have gone on record as opposing the practice yet keep the cash: Sara Gonzalez and Diana Reyna of Brooklyn, Helen Foster of the Bronx, Margaret Chin of Manhattan and Danny Dromm of Queens.
Then there are 15 members who take the lulus and claim to donate the money to charity. New to this list is Peter Koo of Queens. He just got a lulu for the first time and he says he is giving it away.
The other donors from Queens are Julissa Ferreras, Karen Koslowitz, Eric Ulrich, Jimmy Van Bramer and Ruben Wills. In Manhattan, it’s Gale Brewer and Rosie Mendez. Plus, Staten Island’s Debby Rose, Fernando Cabrera of the Bronx and Mathieu Eugene, David Greenfield, Letitia James, Steve Levin and Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn.
Unmentioned by name here are the 22 others who join with Quinn and who happily and shamelessly pocket thousands of dollars they think they are entitled to.
Oh come on, let's name names. The unmentioned from Queens include Dan Halloran, Jim Gennaro, Mark Weprin, Leroy Comrie, Elizabeth Crowley and Peter Vallone, Jr. The last one has a JD degree and is partners in a law firm (the all-important business experience we keep hearing about), but has been going around College Point begging for votes this September with the reasoning that he "has kids and needs a job". So while the lulus may be infuriating, think just how much members of government must collect in unreported perks since Vallone's behavior points to that being more lucrative than winning million dollar settlements and charging clients hundreds of dollars per hour...