A closer look at the “arm-twisting” tactics of Bloomberg-Quinn

Interesting article today at the New York Times site about Council Member Darlene Mealy (Brooklyn) who close to two weeks ago was at a press conference with Comptroller William Thompson (a Mayoral candidate) speaking out against City Council overturning of term limits.

The article “How a City Councilwoman changed her mind” is pretty much about how Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn changed her mind. Charles Barron (Brooklyn) states that Mealy was under enormous pressure from Bloomberg-Quinn. In other words, they smelled weakness. When asked whether she had been “threatened” by Bloomberg or Quinn by the Times, she answered, “I don’t want to discuss it.”

From the article:

What could have transpired in such a short time to convert one of the strong voices of the opposition to a supporter the mayor’s bill?

Some of her colleagues have charged that Ms. Mealy was the subject of a high-pressure effort from either the speaker of the mayor. In fact one Council member reported seeing Ms. Mealy emerge from City Hall late last week in tears, saying that she was the subject of intense pressure.

They put unbelievable pressure on her in a way that may have been unethical,” said City Councilman Charles Barron, who represents an adjoining district to Ms. Mealy in Brooklyn and who was a strong opponent of the mayor’s bill.

“She has said that she was under intense, intense pressure,” Mr. Barron said. “I think it merits some kind of investigation, to be quite honest.”

And in the New York Post, David Seifman writes:

“Mealy, considered mercurial, was under constant watch by Quinn aides from the moment she entered the council chambers to the moment she left. When she was summoned out of the council chambers at 2:45 p.m., there was a flurry of speculation. It turned out to be a routine break.

When Mealy left a second time, at 3:10 p.m., Councilwoman Diana Reyna (Democract, Brooklyn), a Quinn ally, was hurriedly dispatched to find her and insure she stayed in the fold.”

Quite incredible, isn’t it? Partly that it’s all so out in the open (which is … great?) and largely that this is how Bloomberg and Quinn do their bidding.