Thursday, April 23, 2009

Will Quinn Face a Challenge?

The Crain's Insider speculates this morning (subscription) on just how City Council Speaker Chris Quinn might get ousted come this November: "A Democratic operative says it might be possible for an enterprising City Council member to cobble together 25 colleagues and oust Christine Quinn from the speakership after the fall elections. Realistically, the chances are slim, one council member says, because “inertia is an incredibly strong force” and no one on the council seems inclined to plot a coup."

Of course, you would need 26 votes, but why quibble? The road to an ouster, as Crains points out, would have to go through Brooklyn: "But if someone does, says the operative, he or she would begin with a coalition of Bronx and Brooklyn members. Brooklyn has a fairly united delegation that generally takes direction from county Democratic leader Vito Lopez, who appears to have become increasingly unhappy with Quinn and is on good terms with fellow assemblyman Carl Heastie, the new Bronx Democratic leader."

But there is a long time between now and then-and who knows what the political landscape will look like at the time when a leadership decision will have to be made. In our view, however, the perpetuation of one man rule in the city needs to be changed; and the only way that will get done is if the city council becomes a real check on mayoral excess-something that won't happen under the current regime if it were to be perpetuated.