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Thursday, April 18, 2013

With Millions In Non-For-Profit Pocket, Brooklyn BP Crosses River To Endorse Quinn for Mayor

It only took a river to cross for marty Markowitz, outgoing brooklyn Borough President, to turn his back on Brooklynites Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson  in favor of Manhattan resident Christine Quinn, the Daily News Jonathan Lemire first learned this morning. 

“I think the goal is to elect to most qualified person to be mayor, regardless of where they live,” said Markowitz. “And I think it is time for a woman to be mayor of New York City."

Markowitz cited Quinn’s help after her Hurricane Sandy and her commitment to reviving the Brooklyn Navy Yard as the deciding factors in his endorsement. “I mean no disrespect to the other candidates. But I think she is the right choice,” he said.

Not related, of course, Ms. Quinn has directed more than $1 million to three nonprofits closely tied to Mr. Markowitz and his office over the past three city budgets, records show according to Chris Bragg of The Insider.

In 2013, $175,000 went to Best of Brooklyn, one of the nonprofits, and since 2011, another $400,000 went to the Martin Luther King Jr. concert series. And since 2011, another $450,000 has gone to the Seaside Summer Concert Series. All the member items are designated as being from the "Council," which in essence means they were under the speaker's direct control. 

In response, Mr. Markowitz released the following statement: "My endorsement of Speaker Quinn is reflective of her overwhelming competence and her long list of accomplishments as City Council Speaker. The City Council's support for these non-profit organizations helps to improve the lives of tens of thousands of Brooklyn residents and businesses—from boosting tourism to providing free concerts. I commend not just Speaker Quinn, but the speakers before her and the entire Brooklyn City Council delegation for their role in this funding and all funding for Brooklyn non-profits."

While Markowitz, the first borough president to offer an endorsement, is a fellow Jew who represents the city’s most populous borough and remains popular in Brooklyn, it’s not clear how much influence he’ll have on the race. The Daily News points to 2009, when Markowitz endorsed Mayor Bloomberg instead of supporting Thompson, the Democratic nominee, but Thompson went on to carry Brooklyn, with an exception to Borough Park, on election day.

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