WATCH: Activists Protest Out NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn

Protest against Christine Quinn at Victory Fund Brunch by connaissable

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn just might be the next mayor of New York City after Michael Bloomberg steps down in 2012. But while Quinn has been a staunch advocate for the city’s gay community—and is engaged to girlfriend Kim Catullo—some liberals are out for her blood.

Outside a Sunday brunch for Quinn at the Mandarin Oriental—hosted by the Victory Fund, a nonpartisan group that provides support to LGBT candidates—protestors carried placards and shouted slogans accusing Quinn of everything from union-busting and toadying to Mayor Bloomberg to dipping into secret slush funds and working to turn beloved St Vincent Hospital into co-ops.

It’s not likely this movement will bring Quinn’s campaign’s crashing down, but they certainly have been persistent. At an earlier protest in April, one man gave Quinn an unsolicited strip tease. The folks at Christine Quinn Sold Out got the video.

If she wasn’t gay before…


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  • Hyhybt

    I know it’s a side matter, but if that hospital is beloved, why is repurposing the building spoken of as a bad thing? The hospital went out of business. There are pretty much only three options: 1) let it stand abandoned, gradually decaying into an eyesore; 2) tear it down; and 3) use it for something else. Of those choices, surely #3 is the best?

  • Tony

    She’s a Bloomberg puppet and has done nothing for the working poor of New York City. St. Vincent’s Hospital was a mainstay of the West Village and provided vital services to the gay community through its infectious disease clinic. Now they want to make it into luxury houses. For who? The stroller set or the tight ass queens who only give a shit about themselves.

  • Hyhybt

    @Tony: So again: what would you do with the place? Keeping in mind that turning a hospital into anything else is going to be an expensive endeavor, and therefore that something else needs to bring in enough money to justify it.

  • Donny Moss

    The people participating in these protests are asking NYC voters to look beyond her identity as a gay woman to her actual record. Many in the LGBT community appear willing to give Quinn a pass or turn a blind eye b/c they (we) like the idea of having a gay Mayor. But how can we look past the way she has run the City – overturning term limits against the will of NYers who voted twice to keep them, allocating tens of millions of dollars to fake charities in the City budget and doling them out in exchange for political favors, using 31 City Council staffers to campaign for her in the 2009 election, using discretionary funds and bonus money to exert absolute control over the City’s legislative agenda, killing bills in committee that have a veto-proof majority of sponsors in the Council, misleading and lying to the public time and again to advance her political career. In the most recent example, she publicly declared the living wage bill the “most impactful in country” after she watered it down so much that it only impacts 0.01% of the workforce. She has the second to lowest score on human rights issues in the Council, and she has killed every meaningful animal protection bill introduced at City Hall since she became Speaker in 2006. The list is very long, as is the list of people who are signing up to help vote her out of public office for good.

  • Naomi Semeniuk

    Christinne Quinn is an abysmal failure on all issues & has disqualified herself from being Mayor. The protesters are exposing her corruption, her deceptions & her betrayals to the people of New York. Yes she should have been in jail a long time ago. What’s happened to the millions of dollars allocated to fake charities? Why hasn’t she been brought to justice & shackled on her way to jail? She’s got a political power empire protecting her but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Why has she gotten away with so much abusing discretionary funds etc? She’s power hungry & must be disempowered by these important demonstrations that expose her for what she really is a fraud & a deceiver.

  • Ben Strothmann

    As a gay man, I am just outraged at all the support Christine Quinn gets from the gay community. I’ll admit — I used to be one of those gays that thought “Yay! She’s gay! That’s great, let’s vote for her.” Then I learned more about her actual record.

    What has she done for us?

    Although she was arrested TWICE in her youth for protesting the anti-gay St. Patrick’s Day parade, now she not only MARCHS in it, but she actually directs FUNDS toward it (that’s right, she takes OUR gay taxpayer dollars an gives them over to a parade that has historically and consistently excluded gays!)

    Can someone explain how this is in the best interest of the gay community???

    She opposed the HASA for All Act, which seeks to provide affordable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS.

    Can someone explain how this is in the best interest of the gay community???

    In 2008, dozens of middle aged gay men were being entrapped and falsely arrested for prostitution in HER district. Many of these men were tourists who simply stopped into an adult book store, were hit on by a cute undercover copy half their age, and on the way out of the book store, the cop muttered something about wanting to pay THEM for sex. And BAM! These men were arrested for prostitution. Christine Quinn remained SILENT and did NOTHING to challenge the NYPD for profiling our community. To prevent a protest, she called a meeting with the activists who were threatening to take action. Not only did she NOT SHOW UP to this meeting, but she later had one of her staffers pressure the man facing charges to call off the protesters and get them to drop it. Today this man is still trying to get this false prostitution charge cleared from his record.

    Again — Can someone explain how this is in the best interest of the gay community???

    Just because she is a lesbian does not mean that she has anyone’s best interests at heart but her own. She is absolutely a wolf in sheep’s clothing and we would be better off with ANYONE ELSE for mayor!

  • Mickey Kramer

    Hyhybt: 2 things regarding the hospital: 1- Christine Quinn has a lot of power and did nothing to try and help keep the only hospital in a 2+ mile area- IF she wanted, she could’ve tried to negotiate a deal of some kind… Instead, the property is being developed by the Rudin real estate family, and surprise, surprise, the Rudin family has given C Quinn over $29,000 in campaign contributions- coincidence? Not likely, and there are MANY instances where real estate developers get property and she gets lots of campaign money- it’s one of the many thing sshe does that makes her unfit to lead this great city…

  • Hyhybt

    @Mickey Kramer: I can’t help noticing you didn’t answer the question, or even address it beyond some vague implication that she didn’t magically stop the organization that used to be housed in that building from going out of business.

    Again, there are only three possibilities, and the other two are tearing it down entirely or letting it rot empty, unless you can think of another that’s economically viable.

  • Julia

    The Gay community appears to be backing Christine Quinn simply because she is gay. How could it be for any other reason? What is wrong with the lot of you? It is shameful and ignorant.

    Isn’t there more than one dimension to your thought process? Other than the eloquent comments here by two gay men, most of you can’t look beyond her sexual identity.

    This is a woman who sold out all of us by killing term limits. That alone should have gotten her driven out of town on a rail. This is a woman who pretended to know nothing about the “slush funds,” managing to get the investigation into her dealings killed. This is a woman who had the law requiring animal shelters in each borough repealed. This is a woman who bends to unions like the Teamsters.

    She is owned by the real estate industry. She has been a “deputy mayor” to Mayor Bloomberg because she wanted his blessing for this race. She is tied into the Tammany Hall politics of the Queens Democratic Party.

    Is this the best you can do?

    Shame on all of you.

  • Kyle412

    Like most politicians they start out in their youth wanting to make the world a better place but as time passes they sell out. Under King Bloomberg’s reign Quinn became the biggest hypocrite. She fought for turn limits and then some under handed back room dealings occurred that had Quinn supporting King Mike for a third term. When this happened I lost all respect for Quinn and she lost any future vote I would give her. I would love a femake mayor, a gay mayor (we had Koch) or a combo of both, but NOT Quinn.

  • Hyhybt

    @Julia: Not everybody likes term limits. If someone is doing a good job (or at least is better than anyone else running) I want to be able to keep them regardless of how long they’ve been there. And if they’re not, there’s nothing stopping people from voting them out of office.

  • Matt R

    NYers voted twice in public referenda to keep term limits. What was the point of those referenda if Chris Quinn could simply force (through the threat of withholding funds for member items) the City Council members into voting to overturn them. It’s how Quinn mishandled (to be polite) the situation that has triggered so much voter outrage. I’m with the others on this blog who say that Quinn has betrayed and lied to her constituents far too many times. She gives all politicians a bad name. Some of my acquaintances have a sense of how unethical Quinn is, but they are willing to overlook that in order to have a gay mayor. Others aren’t going to give her a free pass.

  • Rina Deych, RN

    Please, people, look beyond Ms. Quinn’s sexual orientation and see her for what she really is: a TYRANT and a FRAUD. As the dictator of the City Council, she has completely intimidated its members in order to force her way. Hyhybt, your liking or not liking term limits is irrelevant. Quinn and Bloomberg usurped the democratic process by reversing term limits and allowing Bloomberg to run for a third term.

    Regarding the hospital, other politicians like Yetta Kurland tried to save it, but Quinn did nothing. Clearly, she was more concerned with the financial support from the Rudins than she was about the health and well-being of the community.

  • Hyhybt

    Wait a minute: the only hospital within 2 miles!? That’s an awfully small distance.

    Anyway, I apologize; I know about these things mainly what I’ve read here, but nonetheless will question inconsistencies and bad premises if I think I see them.

  • B

    As a California resident, I’ll make two comments.

    1. Queerty or someone showed proper restraint in cutting the video just before the
    guy took his shirt off. Let’s just say he will not jump start a career as an A&F

    2. At least the video showed good taste in music. Hard to go wrong with J.S. Bach!
    Thank heaven for small favors?

    (Obviously NYC politics in general is none of my business, but if they want to get my attention with a stripper, at least use a stripper worth looking at.)

  • Rosemary Kuropat

    Activits aren’t “looking for blood;” instead, we hope to educate New York voters to Quinn’s record of self-serving choices that were in her own best-political-interests but not in the interests of the communities she is supposed to serve. Public office is public service; those who hold them should be making decisions that are at very least informed by the communities they were elected to represent.

    I am a out, loud and proud lesbian and have been for 35 years. Although I would like to see lesbians in high office, they must first be people of integrity and character. Christine Quinn doesn’t meet that standard.

  • Jon Winkleman

    Donny Moss who posted here and is a key organizer of these protest is actually a one issue person namely radical animal liberation. He does not work on LGBT equality issues, good government, community health care needs EXCEPT when using other people’s causes to attack Quinn because she doesn’t support the absolute ban on carriage horses that Moss desires.

    What angers me as a 28 year LGBT/ AIDS and pro-choice activist is that Moss is so quick to lie about these other non-animal liberation issues to pursue his vendetta against Quinn. The best example is in his video “Christine Quinn: Behind the Smile,” that alleges Quinn’s “betrayal” of the LGBT community. Robert Pinter, a gay man who was a victim of police entrapment and has since become the leading activist on this issue, was approached by Moss to appear in the film. Pinter has repeatedly said that without Quinn’s immediate and forceful attention tithe issue his lawyer would have never been able to meet with the DA’s office or the Civilian Complaint review board. So Pinter declined to be involved with the film. Moss who has never lifted a finger on this issue, marriage, transgender equality or HIV, used Pinter anyway and intentionally distorted his previous conversation with Pinter to intentionally mischaracterize Pinter are being critical of Quinn and placing blame for the arrests on her office.

    Moss has repeatedly been proven to be a liar who is fixated on Quinn over carriage horses. He lies about LGBT and other important issues because he knows very few NYC voters will drop support of a candidate over his single issue of extremist animal liberation.

  • Donny Moss

    Dear Mr. Winkleman.

    Last night, I was a sponsor of the Lambda fundraiser at the Chelsea Piers. I have been a supporter of their efforts to advance LGBT equality for many years. Here’s the link: http://www.lambdalegal.org/events/nla-2012/event-sponsorship

    Starting in the 1990s after I was the first person in my community to come out of the closet, I volunteered at GMHC as an intake coordinator. That’s how I spent my Saturdays. I also volunteered with Steven Gendin’s AIDS Prevention Action League. In the late 1990s, I was the volunteer chair of the Media Watch Committee of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Here is one my letters published in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/28/nyregion/l-loneliness-of-gay-elderly-holds-a-vision-of-hope-008710.html

    In 2005, I did volunteer work for the Marriage Equality website, even though I was living abroad.

    Most recently, I have worked on the campaign to restore a full service hospital to the lower west side of Manhattan, an uphill battle. I live near the former St. Vincent’s Hospital and saw first hand how Quinn betrayed the community to repay her real estate donors.

    As a kid who was bullied in high school, I feel an obligation to speak out for those who are abused and have no voice. That is why I also work as an advocate for animals and why I have joined the fight to support the bill to take carriage horses off of the streets of NYC – a bill that Quinn killed in committee for political reasons even though a majority of NYers support it, according to the many polls that have been taken. That is one of many, many reasons I work on the campaign to educate NYC voters about her record.

    Finally, about 50 middle-aged gay men were entrapped and arrested for prostitution (many in Quinn’s district) in the City’s effort to shut down porn shops by issuing nuisance abatement violations. Because she didn’t want to speak out against the NYPD, Quinn was virtually silent until the threat of embarrassing protest forced her staff (she didn’t even show up) to meet with the activists.

    Donny Moss

  • Natasha

    Christine Quinn has the lowest civil rights record of anybody in the city council. What more do you need?

  • Jon Winkleman

    Mr. Moss:
    There you go again. Any Google search of your name shows only two recent activities, radical animal liberation and attacks on Quinn stemming from her position on an absolute ban on carriage horses.

    RegardIng the false arrests, you lied about Pinter’s dealing with Quinn.

    You were not arrested and have not been one of the activists working on the issue trying to get the records of the arresteed expunged for good and to get a real investigation launched. Quinn did exactly what Pinter, other arrestees and their lawyers wanted. You were not falsely arrested. You do not have a record for being arrested for prostitution. Who should Quinn be listening to, the victims of the false arrests or someone obsessed with carriage horses? You still don’t address your intentional mischaracterization of Pinter in your video to suit your agenda not the truth about the false arrests.

    Also you are now spreading misinformation regarding St Vincent’s closure. St. Vincent’s was a private hospital owned and run by the Catholic Church not the City of NY. Before you even deigned to speak about the issue, Quinn, Tom Duane, Dick Gotfried and the local community boards did a great deal of heavy lifting for years to try and help the financially troubled hospital. This includes getting everything in place to allow some of the more solvent Jewish hospitals to take over. However the Catholic Church pulled out of the deal. When the church wanted to sell the building before the real estate/ financial crash in 2008, Quinn and the community board moved mountains to make a deal viable where the developer would put base the operating hospital and the small clinic across the street. They would be able to turn the aging St Vincents which badly needed renovation as a hospital, into condos and the developer would build a large modern hospital on the site of the clinic. However the Catholic Church unilaterally withdrew from that deal as well without reason. No one had any idea the church would suddenly file for bankruptcy and shut the hospital so suddenly. When they did, there was no more hospital and the building remained not in control of NYC or Quinn but bankruptcy court and the debtors St Vincent’s and the church owed.

    However I have never heard you attack the actual owner of St Vincent’s, the Catholic Church, who actually had the power to prevent bankruptcy and reorganize to keep the hospital open. Once again Donny Moss lies and distorts. Also some of the newspaper headline graphics in Behind the Smile were altered to better suit Moss’s agenda rather than the truth.

    By any journalistic or documentary film standards of ethics and honesty, Donny Moss would not be considered a credible person. I stand by statements that Moss lies about non-animal rights issues in his obsessive personal vendetta against Quinn over carriage horses.

  • Bernard Katz

    Whoever is Jon Winkleman, he had a serious problem with free speech. One of the reasons, why activists have withdrawn their support from Quinn and now organise protests against her, is because Quinn passed the protest permit law, which clamps down in freedom of assembly (much like Obama’s Anti Protest Bill does, but not as severely). If only Jon would do his research on Quinn, instead of burning his head in the sand, then he’d be able to engage in a real debate, instead of attacking the character and integrity of activists, like Donny Moss.

  • Tess

    Christine Quinn is the most corrupt politician that I know, and that’s saying a lot. We all know about politicians doing underhanded things, but she takes the proverbial cake. Since coming to power as Speaker of the City Council, she has used and abused her substantial power to punish City Council members who get on her wrong side, and also to reward those who do as they’re told. She has control of the City coffers, and can dole out discretionary funds to Council districts, and also give or withhold chairs of committees to those she likes or doesn’t like. When the slush fund scandal happened, she swore that she had no knowledge of taxpayer money being given to fictitious charities. Then who was in control of that money, Mickie Mouse? Of course the slush fund scandal was conveniently swept under the rug.

    She intimidates other Council members to vote the way she tells them to, as when she told them to vote to extend term limits for her buddy, Mayor Bloomberg. New York City voters had voted twice not to extend term limits, in 1993 and in 1996. Of course, the will of the people meant nothing to Quinn, even though she had previously pledged to never overturn term-limits. Quinn is used to getting her way, one way or the other, and is not going to let other legislators, or voters, stop her from her agenda. Not since Tammany Hall has there been seen such corruption in New York City government. MAYOR Quinn? God help us!

  • Jon Winkleman

    On civil rights, Quinn was a force behind passing the Dignity In All Schools Act (bullying) while Gifford Miller was speaker, she also was a force behind the Equal Benefits Bill (same sex spousal benfits offered to city contractor employees), she has been to Albany more than any other NYC elected official in municiple office to lobby for marriage, she was a force behind changing the horrible transphobia and homophobia at Covenent House which does all of the intake for NYC homeless youth, during every budget negotiation she preserves funding for SAGE, AIDS services, youth services and other LGBT non-profits, when Queer Rising had their first arrestbatbthw marriage bureau the NYPD (controlled by mayor not the speaker) were going to hold the activists through the weekend, Quinn intervened and had two staffers working until they activists were released that same night, when the NYPD and the Zuccotti Park landlords were going to evict Occupy early on Quinn interceded and urged them to wait which they did but unfortunately not long enough.

    LGBT people support Quinn because of her LGBT record.
    To quote Sen. Patrick Moynehan, “you are entitled to your opinion, you are not entitled to the facts.”

  • January Wayne

    When do we find out if Cristine Quin will get indicted for misappropriating taxpayer money into a politicized slush fund ? How much jail time could she get if she is charged with official misconduct ?

  • Lottie Botts

    Christine Quinn didn’t do anything to save St. Vincent’s Hospital. I hope Yetta Kurland runs against Christine Quinn again. I would vote for Yetta again !!!

  • Suzy Smith

    Why didnt Christine Quinn do anything about stop-and-frisk ? Does Quinn approve of Blacks and Hispanic men getting stopped and harassed by police ? In the newspapers, it said Quinn likes the job that Ray Kelly is doing as NYPD commish. I hope Occupy Wall Street find out how Quinn approves of police brutality.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Hyhybt: You were answered rather specifically. You did the standard online routine of ignoring the answer, and continuing to pretend not to see why people have a problem her. I also am not a fan of her. This whole situation underscores gays are no better than any other group when it comes to voting on identity rather than substantively looking at a candidate.

  • Hyhybt

    @UsualPlayers: Yes, I was “answered rather specifically.” But the supposed “answer” given, however specific, was not an answer TO THE QUESTION I ASKED. My question was very simple: which of the three possibilities that exist for vacant buildings whose former occupants have gone out of business is preferable in this case. Nothing about whether this woman *could* in the past have done something to save that business or not, or whether she has ties to those who have taken it over, answers the question I actually asked. Those are, of course, relevant to the larger thread, but it’s dishonest to claim that they legitimately qualify as an answer to the question I asked.

  • Jake

    Over the course of the last few years, Quinn has administered “discretionary funds” through the New York City budget that totals $2 billion. Sadly, none of that money has gone to end the LGBT youth homeless problem in New York City. How can Quinn call herself an LGBT leader ?

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