Today we learn that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a strong expected candidate for mayor in 2009, has her very own budget scandal! Turns out that Madam Speaker was earmarking Council monies to pretend nonprofits at the beginning of the year so she could keep the funds at hand to give to other groups later, according to the Post. The tabloid claims that she was using this slush fund “to thank or pay off politically important allies or cooperative council members.” Quinn says that allocating cash this way, which allows more flexibility throughout the year, has been a tradition among speakers since the eighties, but that she ordered it to stop last year. She says that when she heard her staff hadn’t obeyed that order, she reported the practice to authorities. We can’t tell yet how bad this will be for Quinn’s image or how it will affect her chances in next year’s mayoral race. It’s just been so long since a New York politician had a scandal that wasn’t tawdry and personal, we’ve lost all perspective.
THIS HERS FOR THE TAKING [NYP]
Update: Quinn made a statement about the issue today, which can be read here.