Friday, March 22, 2013


City business leaders opposing paid sick leave are sending Speaker Christine Quinn big checks

More than 180 people signed a letter saying a mandate for paid sick leave would be costly for small business last summer, and many of them are Quinn donors. Her campaign finance chair, Sally Susman, is one of them.

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Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013, 2:30 AM



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Marcus Santos /for the New York daily News

Council Speaker Christine Quinn is lining her pockets with money from business owners who opposed paid sick leave legislation. She has so far stopped the bill from making it to a vote.

Business leaders opposing paid sick leave legislation have raised or given nearly $370,000 to the mayoral campaign of the person who has blocked a vote on the bill: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Daily News has learned.
The business leaders were among the 180 people who penned an open letter to Quinn last summer arguing that mandating paid sick leave would be prohibitively costly for small businesses. They called themselves the “Coalition for a Healthy Economy.”
At the time, the Daily News reported that several of the letter’s signatories were major Quinn donors, including her campaign finance chair, Sally Susman.
But a review of the latest campaign finance reports reveals just how much money those donors have pumped into Quinn’s mayoral campaign.
Susman, an executive at Estee Lauder, had raised more than $126,000 for Quinn through last week. And Christine Taylor, of the holding company MacAndrews & Forbes, has raised more than $48,000 for the speaker.
RELATED: QUINN BOOED BY LGBT GROUPS AT MAYORAL FORUM
Quinn says that while she supports the concept of paid sick days she believes the city should wait until the economy is stronger before requiring it.
Although a majority of Council members support the bill, Quinn has refused to allow a vote. Instead, she scheduled a hearing on the issue on Friday that will likely grow contentious.
SICK22N_2_WEB

Handschuh, David, New York Daily

Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of CB Richard Ellis, has raised $33,500 for Quinn and given the maximum personal contribution of $4,950.

Her campaign denied that her refusal to bring the legislation to a vote was motivated by the wishes of her big-money donors.
“The speaker has made crystal clear she supports mandatory paid sick leave and that its not a matter of if paid sick leave is enacted, but a matter of when,” said campaign spokesman Mike Morey.
“The only thing that guides the speaker’s stance on this, or any other piece of legislation, is how it impacts small businesses, a struggling local economy and middle class New Yorkers.”
RELATED: PAID SICK LEAVE: SMART AND HUMANE
Quinn has long been in a quandary over the paid sick legislation.
She needs the support of some of the bill’s advocates, including several large labor unions, in her mayoral bid. But she also has courted the city’s business elite, who view her as the candidate most likely to continue Mayor Bloomberg’s pro-business policies.
Two Democratic rivals for mayor — Controller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio — have repeatedly slammed her refusal to allow a vote on the bill. Former Controller William Thompson supports a compromise bill with a one-year delay before businesses are forced to comply.
“With a million New Yorkers working without paid sick days, Speaker Quinn should have allowed a vote on this bill years ago,” said de Blasio. “No one should have to worry about losing their job or their paycheck every time they get sick."
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Graphics by Isaac Lopez/New York Daily News

And Thompson said, “I hope Speaker Quinn will finally do the right thing and stop blocking paid sick leave so mothers and fathers no longer have to choose between earning a living and taking care of their children.”
RELATED: PAID SICK LEAVE: ANOTHER BIG BURDEN
Some of the business leaders who signed the letter opposing the mandatory sick leave legislation and supported Quinn’s campaign have hedged their bets by also making donations to candidates who support the paid sick leave bill.
Mary Ann Tighe, the chief executive officer at developer CB Richard Ellis, has raised $33,550 for Quinn and made the personal maximum contribution of $4,950 to her campaign.
But she also donated $2,000 to de Blasio and $500 to Thompson. And Stephen Nislick, head of Edison Properties, raised more than $26,000 for Quinn but also donated $4,000 to de Blasio.
Quinn has not said if Friday’s hearing could lead to a vote on a future date.
jlemire@nydailynews.com
Big donors to Quinn
$126,000 Sally susman
$48,000 Christine taylor
$26,000 Stephen Nislick
$33,550 Mary Ann Tighe
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