Despite Mayor Bloomberg's staunch opposition to the city council's proposed living wage bill, Council Speaker Christine Quinn came out defending the mayor when a heckler shouted "Pharaoh Bloomberg" at a rally on Monday.
The event, held to commemorate the upcoming vote to override Bloomberg's recent veto of the bill, took a sharp turn when Quinn appeared on stage, only to be quickly interrupted. Rather than ignoring, she responded:
Now, look. That's not appropriate. You stand here talking about democracy and wanting people to listen. In democracy, people have the right to have different views and they do not, we do not have the right to then call them names. So I would just ask, if that's what this press conference is about then I'll go right back inside and continue the work of business. But this is not democracy — calling people names who don't agree with you. So whoever said I'd ask that you apologize.
Quinn then ended her appearance, "Congratulations on the bill. I'm not going to participate in name-calling."
The swift defense comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the mayor recently compared the living wage bill to communism, scoffing, "The last time we really had a big managed economy was the USSR and that didn't work out so well. You cannot stop the tides from coming in."
The incident proves that despite an effort to distance herself from the mayor and recent cool relations, including differences over the city's homeless policy and childcare cuts, the two politicians remain respectful of one another.
Bloomberg is well known to be a fan of Quinn's and is likely to endorse the council speaker's mayoral run in 2013.
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