Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Quinn Decommissions Diversity

In a move that is surely going to inspire the ire of opponents of congestion taxing, Liz is reporting, and the NY Sun is also, that Speaker Quinn will be appointing Kathy Wylde, an aide to Floyd Flake and someone from among our friends over at the Drum Major Institute as her reps to the Congestion Commission. So much for diversity of point-of-view; we don't know much about where Ed Reed stands (Flake's aide), but the inimitable KW has been the most outspoken proponent of the mayor's plan, and DMI has also staked out a vigorous position in favor of the concept.

According to Liz, there is much discontent over at the Council with the Speaker's choices, as there should be, because if Quinn is going to preserve even the perception of fairness she won't be able to if she puts pro-congestion tax ringers, in kangaroo court fashion, on the commission. Ironically, by doing so, she allows the legislative opponents of the taxing scheme to place pure political will over other mitigating factors-and thus actually finds herself in the position of aiding and abetting the foiling of the mayor's scheme.

In the process, she simultaneously manages to alienate many of her key leadership colleagues in the council, and weakens her effort to cultivate political support for her expected mayoral campaign, This is called putting all of your political eggs in the Bloomberg basket. With any pretense of fairness apparently eschewed in favor of a stacked deck, Chris Quinn helps to underscore the shakiness of the mayor's congestion policy: it simply can't withstand review and evaluation by anyone other than ringers.