Teachout targets Quinn for helping Cuomo
Zephyr Teachout targeted Christine Quinn on Tuesday for her work on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo's new women-focused ballot line, echoing criticism of the former Council speaker from last year's mayoral campaign.
"I heard that Christine Quinn and Kathy Hochul were at another event this morning. This is ironic," Teachout said. "Because Christine Quinn was the one who stood in the way of paid sick days for millions of women in New York City."
Bill de Blasio made Quinn's opposition to paid sick leave a key component of his campaign last year, on his way to a big victory in the Democratic primary for mayor.
Quinn has mostly avoided politics since then, but explained in an interview with the Daily News how she was recruited by Cuomo to help launch his Women's Equality Party.
Standing with Zenaida Mendez, president of New York State's chapter of the National Organization for Women, and Tim Wu, her running mate, Teachout said, "there are several ways in which Quinn has repeatedly abandoned core Democratic values."
"She was Mayor Bloomberg's staunchest ally. And unfortunately she represents the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, one that is not fighting for all of us," Teachout said, calling the new ballot line "a sham party."
"It's not a real party," she said. "Astonishingly, on the Women's Equality Party line, seven of the people running on it are men, and only four are women."
Teachout, who several times called herself "a lifelong feminist," addressed the press at 72nd and Riverside Drive, by the statue of Eleanor Roosevelt. (Teachout joked: "What do you think? Do I look like Eleanor Roosevelt?")
She said that the Women's Equality Act would have passed if Cuomo had not governed with a Republican State Senate.
"So Christine Quinn can start a fake Women's Equality Party and Andrew Cuomo can run on it, but it doesn't change the fact that Governor Andrew Cuomo is the man to blame for the failure of the Women's Equality Act," Teachout said.
"I believe that voters are paying attention," she said. "They are not going to accept or buy this fake Women's Equality Party that Christine Quinn is selling. It can't cover up the failure of his administration."
While the press conference was ongoing, Hochul's campaign announced that she had been endorsed by Emily's List, a group focused on electing pro-choice women.
UPDATE: Quinn responded in a statement: "With all due respect to recent New York transplants, I don't remember seeing them standing with us as we passed a clinic defense act, passed a bill outlawing so-called crisis pregnancy centers, or passed laws that banned discrimination against pregnant women in New York. These are all things I accomplished for New York women while leading the City Council and before some had a New York zip code."