2:04 pm Jun. 29, 2012
After his congressional candidacy came to an end this week, Charles Barron eased back into his more familiar role as the City Council’s most prominent dissenter, casting the sole "no" vote on the budget.
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Barron said, in response to a question about how the Council's generally unsupportive posture toward his congressional campaign affected relations with his colleagues. “They never endorse me, they never support me, you know, and when they can, they do. So I didn’t expect any other councilmembers--remember I was up against the entire political establishment. Where in the annals of New York State politics have we ever heard of somebody reducing the governor to robocalls?”
Standing in front of the Council offices at 250 Broadway yesterday, Barron said he had to contend with opposition from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, borough presidents, county leaders, as well as corporate elites, hedge funds and super PACs, all of whom were supporting Jeffries.
Barron said the press was against him too.
"The media, The New York Times, the Daily News, the New York Post, Crain’s, you know, the Washington Post. All of them supporting [Jeffries]. And not only supporting him, but I mean, demonizing me. Particularly the Post and the Daily News, it was just incredible to have all of that. What were they afraid of? To me, it’s a compliment in terms of who we are for them to have to align the corporate elite, the political establishment, the media, all of that, a bunch of unions to stop Barron. It wasn’t so much about Jeffries, It became more a ‘stop-Barron’ campaign.
"I was reading articles where it says ‘Schumer joins the Stop Barron campaign’ by endorsing, you know, Jeffries, so I think it’s a compliment to who we are and what we’re about that they fear us to have to go to that length to stop us.”
He said he’d voted against the budget because of the lack of summer youth-employment slots and the elimination of the Peter Vallone scholarship for CUNY students.
“You know, it goes on and on and on and on," Barron said. "So the budget should be for the people and this budget isn’t.”
Barron, who is often among the councilmembers receiving the least in discretionary funds, said that money is doled out based less on community needs than on politics.
“Because to me, this is not a democracy, it’s a dictatorship of the speaker and the speaker has an inordinate amount of power,” he said, referring to Christine Quinn. “If you’re in good with the speaker, you get more capital and more expense money for more programs. If you’re not in good with the speaker, you get less. It’s not based upon the needs of the community.”
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