As the first target from outside attack dog groups,City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is calling on her rivals in the mayor's race to condemn any spending by outside groups.
In a letter to all of the candidates running for City Hall, Quinn wrote, "I am asking you to join me in a pledge to condemn and reject all independent expenditures in this race. New Yorkers deserve to hear from candidates directly, not through SuperPACs attempting to circumvent our New York Public Finance system."
At a mayoral forum this morning, Bill de Blasio rebuffed Quinn;s latest attempt in creating a unified front against outside spending, Celeste Katz reports. "Independent expenditures are legal. Let's differentiate. If we are going to work for bigger reforms and this goes to the federal effort as well, I would join any effort for bigger reform. But I am not going to say that people don't have a legal right to do, what they obviously did," he said.
Sal Albanese, who released this morning a call to Ms. Quinn to oppose IE groups or deal with the consequences, welcomed Ms. Quinn's letter, calling it better late than ever.
"Four months ago, Speaker Quinn pushed a bill to throw the doors open to corporate and outside spending in local elections. Now that the money is being spent against her, she cries foul," Mr. Albanese's statement from the morning read. "If she really opposes independent expenditures, she should say so unequivocally and forbid her backers from using them this year," he added
As a response to Ms. Quinn's letter, Mr. Albanese released another statement taking credit for Quinn's letter. "It's sad that it took more than three years of living in a post-Citizens United world for Speaker Quinn to join me in recognizing the problems that shadowy money poses to the democratic process.... While the Speaker's letter is a step in the right direction, it is hardly enough. Given her role in overturning term limits and abusing member items, we need to see real action. On Friday, I called on her to introduce a bill to better regulate who can contribute to political campaigns. Only with meaningful legislation, not opportunistic campaign rhetoric, can we get big money out of politics once and for all."