Quinn avoids more debates; Questions linger on The Villager debate/debacle

City Council Debate, 3rd District
Sponsored by The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Hudson Guild Elliot Center (441 West 26th Street)
September 8th at 6:30 PM
Yetta Kurland - to attend
Maria Passanante Derr - to attend
Quinn - will not show

Just like Quinn. In a December 2002 press conference opposing the Jets Stadium and Olympics, Christine Quinn cowered inside City Hall, afraid to come out and stand with her constituents from Chelsea and Clinton. In 2009, she is avoiding debate scenarios that she can't control. (more after the jump)

In addition to the GVSHP debate she's avoiding, West Side education advocates report they have been trying to sponsor an Education Debate, but Quinn would not appear.

There are many questions to be asked that Quinn rather would not answer: term limits, why she thinks she is above everyone else, Slush Fund, massive developer and landlord campaign contributions. Why is she falsely portraying herself as a tenant advocate? What is her real record on schools, hospitals, traffic, and so on. Why has she been missing-in-action since 2001 and why does her staff ignore constituent complaints.

No Question, the Villager and other papers owned by Community Media are political off-shoots of the Duane-Quinn machine. When we first heard that The Villager would be hosting the one-and-only debate between Christine Quinn and her two challengers, our eyes rolled. What once was a paper worthy of respectable journalism has turned into a puff-piece factory for Quinn, Duane and other assorted horrible hacks.

We have seen and heard many stories about the Villager debate a few weeks back. Whether or not there actually was collusion between The Villager ownership, editor Lincoln Anderson and the Quinn campaign, it certainly has a long history of being soft on Quinn and publishing Puff Pieces. Anderson on occasion hangs out with Quinn staffers. That allows us to view the charges with a degree of credibility (even if some of those making the charges are themselves at times out-to-lunch).

A good number of the debate issues revolve around what Quinn did and her involvement, not only in her job, but also in controlling the one previous debate. Why were her Council staff members allowed to stand in line for the debate as early as 3 PM on Thursday August 13th when they should have been working? Was this like the Quinn petitioning process where the evidence strongly suggests (as the Village Voice reported) Quinn violated the law in allowing (ahem, "pressuring") those working for her to leave their jobs on city time and collect signatures for her?

Or how was it that some Quinn supporters were given tickets instead of others waiting in line for the debate? Why were others forced into the overflow room, or never got in at all? And why was it that Quinn was allowed to pick the venue and format?

With so many questions, we wonder if she also got to approve the questions ahead of time, making sure they were just a little dangerous to be credible, but not really hard-hitting? Was that Lincoln Anderson going soft on Quinn again?

And why has the Villager's post-debate coverage (including that of Gay City News, Downtown Express and Chelsea Now, all owned by Community Media) been in pieces designed to promote Quinn or enhance the weaker challenger, Maria Passanante Derr (who many believe has no reasonable chance of winning) at the expense of Yetta Kurland (who many believe is a viable challenger).

The Quinn campaign does not want to debate, period. They could not avoid the one debate, but any others are not considered. When Quinn first ran for Council in 1999, there were about ten debates in a much shorter campaign period. It seemed like every tenant or block group had their own debate. Quinn went on record. She had a good record at that point.

She still has a record, but one that she must defend. And when you scrutinize it, it's indefensible.

It's criminal for her to not show up.