The Community Outreach Unit of the New York City Council, a taxpayer-financed office that has organized rallies to protect student subway discounts and sponsored adult education fairs, frequently functions as something else as well: a publicity and public relations machine for Christine C. Quinn. Read more : City Council’s Outreach Unit, Run by Quinn, Mainly Benefits Her Campaign
The New York Times described the Community Outreach Unit, a taxpayer-financed group of many political operatives, as almost entirely focused on propping up Speaker Quinn's political image, which would benefit her mayoral campaign.
"Inside the community outreach office recently, there was a photograph of Ms. Quinn handing a plaque to Whoopi Goldberg. Below, a dry erase board bore reminders about two coming events the group helped organize: a breakfast for women of faith and a celebration of Irish culture. Ms. Quinn was the featured speaker at both. At the Irish event, the unit’s workers escorted to their seats prominent Irish-American families, including relatives of Thomas Manton, the former chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, whose backing was crucial to Ms. Quinn’s election as speaker," The New York Times reported.
This isn't the first time Speaker Quinn has been accused of using taxpayer money for her campaign.
A former deputy chief of staff to Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn who recently served as a top aide to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s re-election effort has been fined for violating city law by soliciting campaign contributions for Ms. Quinn while working for her.
In announcing the sanction on Monday, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board said in a statement that around April 2007, the former aide, Maura Keaney, made between six and a dozen phone calls to union representatives to ask them to be on the host committee for a fund-raising event for Ms. Quinn’s re-election bid. The ethics board, which fined Ms. Keaney $2,500, noted that serving on the host committee required a campaign contribution. (NYTimes : Ethics Panel Fines Ex-Aide to Speaker)
Moreover, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, a nonprofit group, which has publicly supported Speaker Quinn's campaign platform for several years, requested $100,000 in City Council slush funds for each of the past three years to advocate for Speaker Quinn. By admission of the office of Speaker Quinn, these funds were granted by Speaker Quinn. (WSJ : City Grants Aids Quinn Campaign)