2:20 pm Mar. 30, 20122
The New York Times reported today that Christine Quinn appears to have created a loophole in a draft "living wage" bill that would benefit the developers working on a portion of the Hudson Yards project on Manhattan's far west side.
The bill would require some recipients of city development subsidies to pay their employees at least $10 an hour.
This doesn't look great for the Quinn, obviously. She's going to be running for mayor next year based on her record as speaker, and was already likely to come under attack from her primary opponents, as they make their appeals to organized labor, for her grudging support for living wage legislation in the first place.
But it seems to underscore a piece of the Quinn strategy that has nothing to do with support from unions or even from regular voters, for that matter, which is her willingness to accommodate the needs of business leaders, who have generally enjoyed having Michael Bloomberg as mayor and have come to regard Quinn as the Democratic successor of choice.
The Hudson Yards project is being built by Related Companies, which famously nixed plans to turn Kingsbridge Armory into a mall a few years back, after the City Council demanded that the developer's retail tenants pay living wage.
They would be the obvious beneficiaries of an exception built into the current bill.
Related hasn't contributed to Quinn recently, according to campaign finance records, but company executives have a relationship with her going back to at least 2007, when Related staff, including C.E.O. Stephen Ross and president Jeff Blau, donated more than $30,000 to her campaign.
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