Since we first reported that City Councilmembers were being promised prominent committee chair positions in order to vote a particular way on the Council Speaker race, more news continues to bubble.
*While Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s preferred candidate, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, continues to tout her victory, rival Dan Garodnik has kept up a “wait-and-see” approach. The Manhattan councilman reportedly has 20 votes backing him for speaker and is looking to add the six more needed to give him control.
Sources have confirmed to QConf that a number of those who have said that some of Mark-Viverito’s supporters could be willing to switch their votes to support Garodnik. These councilmembers, however, do not wish to reveal their hands too soon before the Jan. 8 vote, out of fear of pressure from the new Mayor.
Last week, QConf reported on a number of potential committee chairs being handed out. This week, sources have told us that Mayor de Blasio could name Dan Squadron as his Taxi and Limousine commissioner. Squadron took new Public Advocate Letitia James to the limit in the Sept. 10 primary, forcing a run-off in October, which James won.
While debates rage behind the scenes, another player entered the fray this week.
Numerous reports have stated that Queens native Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is opposed to Mark-Viverito as speaker. While Cuomo has denied these comments, it seems as though the Governor is attempting to avoid overtly going to war with the new Mayor over the Speaker issue.
There is only one week left beforte the City Council votes on the new Speaker. If Gov. Cuomo exerts his power to push more votes over to Garodnik, he could be sending a message to Mayor de Blasio as to who has the real political muscle in New York State.