Friday, August 17, 2007

More on the Sunshine Band

The fall out from the booing of former mayor Dinkins continues, with Liz Benjamin commenting on the fracas in a post today on her Daily Politics web site. The gist of her commentary is that Dinkins remains "unintimidated" by the reception; but in our view DD is besides the point, as we have already pointed out.

The real issue, as one community resident said in a posted response, is the way in which Columbia is trying to use its political muscle to bogart the opposition-even while its spokesman tells the press that Columbia wants to negotiate a compromise. A side issue is the amount of money being paid to Bill Lynch for lobbying on the university's behalf. Liz points out that the Lynch firm has been paid $285,000 in the six month period beginning last January; a good $40,000 more than first reported. And, of course, no one knows just how much publicist Ken Sunshine is getting to aid and abet the Lynch operation.

The question here is, what is all the money actually being used for? We have pointed out that the Lynchites have been waging a scurrilous campaign against Nick Sprayregen, and at the community board the other night scores of folks from some kind of drug treatment facility apparently were bussed in to provide an amen chorus for Columbia. Someone should demand an accounting here.

And for those who may be curious about the Lipsky lobbying retainer it is for $6,000 a month. Our experience over twenty five years only reinforces the observation that it doesn't pay as well to battle Goliath; but it generally is a good deal more satisfying.