The early front-runner in the mayoral race, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, is finding herself subject to new attacks. She is the subject of the first attack ad of the campaign, and she does not like it one bit.
The 30-second spot, created by the independent group NYC Is Not For Sale, attacks Quinn for her stance on progressive issues including the living wage and sick leave bills.
The ad's provocative statements include, "Virtually all of Christine Quinn's decisions were made in rooms just like this with her friends in the 1 percent," and "How can you support her?"
On Monday, shortly after the ad started airing on NY1, Quinn's mayoral campaign called on Time Warner Cable and Cablevision to pull the ad, warning the stations could lose their license.
"Your station need not air the subject ad. If you choose to do so, however your station bears responsibility for its content," Quinn's lawyer writes to NY1 executives.
The ad also faults her for changing term limits, saying "She is always on the wrong side. On living wage."
Quinn's lawyer says she passed the measure, so she can't be on the wrong side. However, she delayed the vote and passed a watered-down version.
NY1 caught up with Quinn Monday night, and she said she's sticking with her story.
"You're not allowed to just put up false ads that have incorrect information about candidates," she said. "That's simply not what you're allowed to do in an election context, and we're making that clear to the news media out there. It's also just wrong for there to be anonymous ads out there. They have no place in our system."
Time Warner Cable says that Quinn's letter is under corporate review.
The speaker's campaign team is clearly stung by the spot, which they have accused rival Bill de Blasio of masterminding.
The public advocate gave a heated retort, saying, "It's an absolutely inappropriate allegation and I resent Speaker Quinn and her spokespeople putting that out."
To mark the ad's launch, members of NYC Is Not For Sale gathered on the steps of City Hall on Monday morning and chanted, "ABQ," meaning "Anybody But Quinn." Their ad takes advantage of a Supreme Court ruling from 2010, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows unlimited funds for non-candidates.
"We live in a world of Citizens United whether we like it or not," said Arthur Cheliotes, who belongs to the anti-Quinn group and Communication Workers of America.
Those behind the ad would not disclose all of their donors, but NY1 learned one individual wants to ban horse-drawn carriages, replacing them inside with vintage cars in a potentially lucrative business move.
Carriage advocates said the group is but a front for tourist entertainment in Central Park, a charge it denies.
The group behind the ad says it has pledged more than $1 million to the campaign and is spending $250,000 for the initial television advertising.
Meanwhile, Quinn did her own attacking. Her campaign has pointed to a remark de Blasio said in 2005, when he said he wanted the City Council to overturn term limits, for the council only.
He said at the time, "I think we should move forward with an additional four year-term through the legislative process."
De Blasio now blasts Quinn for the one-time term-limit extension for city elected officials.
Quinn's campaign said her opponent was for term limits before he turned against them.
De Blasio said he wanted a long process, the "exact opposite" of what he says happened when Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg changed term limits three years later.