After an insult to the mayor, Quinn storms out of a ‘living wage’ press conference

after-insult-mayor-quinn-storms-out-living-wage-press-conference
Quinn, before she left. (Dana Rubinstein)
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After a "living wage" supporter called Mayor Michael Bloomberg a "pharaoh," Council Speaker Christine Quinn stormed away from a press conference.

Quinn had just finished introducing all of the councilmembers in attendance at the event, which had been called to hail an imminent vote on the living wage legislation she helped broker, in defiance of the Bloomberg administration's wishes, when one of the people standing in the background yelled, "Pharaoh Bloomberg!"

Quinn, who had been preparing to begin her remarks, turned around and said, "That's not appropriate."

"In democracy, people have the right to have different views and they do not, we do not, have the right to then call them names," she said. "So I would just ask, if that's what this press conference is about, I'll go right back inside and continue the work of business."

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Then she asked for an apology, said she was "not gonna participate in name calling," and stormed away.

The press conference continued without her.

Asked afterward why he had yelled, the living-wage supporter, a volunteer and Co-op City resident named Carlos Pacheco, said, "Why? Because, they were political leaders in Egypt and they had the little people build their pyramids and today we can relate to that."

Asked why he thought Quinn left, he said, "Well, I think she left because she was never really a part of the cause .... She was playing her politics."

At a separate press availability shortly afterward, Quinn opened by saying, "Let me be clear. I couldn't disagree with Mayor Bloomberg more on the substance as it relates to the living wage bill."