Markowitz likes Quinn’s ‘moderation,’ not de Blasio’s ‘strange’ horse-carriage opposition

Markowitz and Quinn. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz took a mild jab today at one of the mayoral candidates from his own borough, saying that opposition to horse-drawn carriages was "strange."

The only major mayoral candidate who has said he would ban horse-drawn carriages is Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who lives in Park Slope and represented the area from 2001 to 2009 while on the City Council.

Markowitz made the comment to reporters after endorsing Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Democratic front-runner.

The endorsement was reported beforehand in the Daily News, so media turnout at the formal announcement event at Brooklyn Borough Hall was light.

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"Now, rather than let process override results, there are people, believe it or not, in my profession [who believe] process is more important than getting things done," Markowitz said, occasionally glancing down at sheets of paper he held in his hand. "Christine understands that process is important, but getting results is more important."

For weeks, de Blasio has attacked Quinn for stalling a vote on the bill to mandate "paid sick time" for employees, which she held up for three years before striking a deal on a scaled-down version of the legislation.

Quinn today talked about her track record at the Council and said it was distinguished her from her rivals. 

"No one else running for mayor can tell you they delivered 10,000 new pre-kindergarten seats, full-day seats," she said. "Nobody else can tell you they introduced legislation in Albany and the same year got it passed, that makes kindergarten mandatory."

And "nobody else can tell you that when there was a real threat of 4,100 school teachers of losing their jobs, that they stopped it from happening," she said.

 

 

Afterward, Markowitz spoke to reporters on the steps of Borough Hall as Quinn posed for pictures with some union supporters.

I asked Markowitz, who endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg twice for re-election, whether Quinn was the closest thing available to a continuation of Bloomberg's administration.

He didn't answer directly, but said he and Quinn were both moderates.

"I don't consider myself left or the right. I just consider myself probably a little bit more moderate," he said. "And I think Christine Quinn on most issues that matter to me reflects what I see as moderation, in terms of her approach to government and on issues that I think are important."

Unprompted, Markowitz went on to say "some of the recent positions" taken by the other mayoral candidates were "strange. The opposition to the horses, the carriages in Central Park. I'm sorry. I mean, we can take this to the extreme. So my approach is more moderate and I think she reflects that moderation."

De Blasio has repeatedly characterized himself as a "progressive alternative" to Quinn, highlighting his displeasure with the scaled-down "paid sick time" bill she endorsed, the narrowly focused living wage bill she passed and her refusal to support higher taxes on high-income earners to support government programs.