More Penner Thoughts
Former New York City Comptroller and 2009 losing Democratic Party Mayoral candidate William Thompson is a profile in courage for resigning as chairman of the Battery Park City Authority. He is now free to run full time for Mayor with no conflicts of interest. Contrast his courage with the four cowardly lions — New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. They all lack the moral courage of Thompson and continue to hold one public office while openly campaigning for the upcoming 2013 Democratic Party Mayoral Primary. The lines are clearly blurred between their day job and new job they each seek. All have been actively working the Pay for Play fundraising circuit, along with visiting every local and county Democratic Party clubhouse on day one after lame duck Mayor Bloomberg took his last oath of office in January 2010.
Quinn, Liu, de Blasio and Stringer start out with many advantages not available to ordinary challengers. During their respective terms of public office, each incumbent has daily television, radio and newspaper exposure, press conferences, newsletters, guest columns in newspapers, letters to the editor and speaking engagements on a regular basis. Don’t forget the perks of public office, including announcements of member items (many of which taxpayers consider local pork-barrel projects) which are used to raise name recognition and assist in greasing the wheels of re-election or attempt at a higher new office.
If Quinn, Liu, de Blasio and Stringer are serious about running for Mayor, they should resign their current office today. End the charade by being honest enough to run full time on their own time and dime. Allow citizens a Special Election to elect a replacement who can represent them full time. It is time we elected someone who is not using one public office as a stepping stone to another.
Hardworking municipal civil servants who work full time can’t campaign part time during the day as Quinn, Liu, de Blasio and Stringer do. They would have to either take a leave of absence or quit their day job.