(NYC Elects Editorial). This morning, Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio called for a permanent end to the member items doled out by the City Council.De Blasio conceded that he distributed member items to organizations in his district during his eight years on the Council, but chose to focus instead on the time since he had graduated to public advocate."When I was in the City Council, people weren't going to jail," he said. "And the problem has gotten worse and worse."
"I do not think this is a reason to conclude that member items should not be given," Quinn responded today."In the case of Dan Halloran, this senior citizen group did nothing wrong," she continued. "Why should they become the victim of an alleged criminal's activities?"
Which brought us to take this opportunity and pen a call, on behalf of the various continents who might find this troubling, to Mr. de Blasio, in the form of a letter.
Dear Mr. de Blasio,
While there's no doubt that the discretionary funds were abused by some of our corrupt lawmakers in a disgusting way that has betrayed the trust of the public with the abuse of power, nobody doubts that the reliance of communities, organizations and those in need on the City's funds is constructive in some measures that the Public advocate has been advocating about during his mayoral campaign.
We certainly agree on the statement that "the discretionary funding system has led to bribery, political blackmail and a boatload of big legal bills paid for by taxpayers."Hence, those acts are largely driven by corrupted politicians who would seek any way to twist the system and are caught and charged at the end of the day. As the Speaker, Christine Quinn, rightly said today: "There are people in this world who are criminals, who steal things. They steal lots of things from lots of different places."
There's nothing illegal with discretionary funds, or as we call it "member items". Nothing. The itemized spending has worked well to fund important local organizations that depend on City Council funds.
The idea that government should dictate the way of living, and more aggressively prevent constituents and those in need to get the necessary funds to carry on with their lives that their council member brings home at the end of the day, is reprehensible.
What is questionable, immoral if not illegal is to coincide debt-defraying donations from donors who have maxed out at the same moment contributing to the campaign. And this has been reported as a 'stinking to high heaven' act, especially by the campaign of a candidate who has been a vocal advocate of campaign finance reform.
Speaking about discretionary funds, would you, Mr. de Blasio, be straightforward to share with New York voters your share of discretionary funds you managed to recap in your last year as councilman?
As Matthews 7:5 reads: "First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Don't lay your hands on our seniors, children and those in needs, Mr. de Blasio, in order to advance your own political distinct between yourself and Speaker Quinn, who recently dispatched an intensifying political problem by striking a compromise on paid sick leave.