The New York Daily News reports that a group opposing NYC’s pending bill to mandate paid sick leave has donated $370,000 to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign.
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.
Even though a majority of the City Council supports the bill, Quinn has blocked it from coming to a vote, saying that while she supports the concept, the city’s economy is presently too weak for employers to take on the cost. On Thursday a spokesman for Quinn said that she has made it “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.” Two of Quinn’s mayoral rivals testified yesterday at yet another City Council hearing on the bill, which has the backing of several major labor unions. Quinn reportedly left the hearing before its conclusion.
Quinn has maintained a commanding lead in all recent mayoral polling. Thus far the sick leave bill has dominated criticism of her candidacy, with the slush fund scandal of 2008 rarely mentioned except by the LGBT group that has dogged Quinn at personal appearances for years.
On Monday newspaper publisher Tom Allon, one of Quinn’s most vocal detractors, dropped his long-shot bid for mayor. Back in January, Allon made headlines when he published an incendiary ad claiming that Quinn had “bet the lives” of New Yorkers in the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital, which is being demolished for 350 luxury condos. Allon was backed by the Liberal Party, which says it is now seeking another candidate.