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Christine Quinn goes on attack against mayoral rivals

Christine Quinn is the first female New York

Christine Quinn is the first female New York City Council speaker and is considered a leading candidate to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the 2013 election. Credit: AP

Mayoral contender Christine Quinn Monday sharpened her attacks on Democratic rivals and defended her support of a controversial Upper East Side marine waste transfer station.

She said the facility is part of a plan to make each borough responsible for its waste, adding that she can weather critics booing a stance she believes is right as "the price of leadership."

She did not mention any opponents by name, but alluded to former Comptroller Bill Thompson as unwilling to pay that price and continuing "to pander to residents of the Upper East Side -- or side with their lobbyist donors." Thompson and a campaign backer, former Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, oppose the so-called East 91st Street transfer station.

The City Council speaker has for much of her campaign attempted to focus on her own platform and avoided criticizing her rivals, even as they've lobbed insults at her as a front-runner. But her jabs Monday come with three months to go until the Sept. 10 primary and as her poll numbers fell with last month's entry of former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

Quinn delivered what her team billed as a "major speech crystallizing the choice for mayor" at the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence.

She slammed Public Advocate Bill de Blasio as having "flip-flopped" his "way to the right position." De Blasio voted for the station as a city councilman, reconsidered at the start of the mayoral campaign season and now supports it again.

She also referenced Weiner and his "Keys to the City" proposals, saying she offers "comprehensive solutions to complicated problems, not 4-year-old position papers dusted off for a comeback attempt."

Thompson's campaign said he would stay focused on what the city needs: "Speaker Quinn has sided with rich Manhattan interests at the expense of the working people of the city. But her attacks today won't solve the challenges facing working New Yorkers."

De Blasio's campaign manager Bill Hyers said in a statement: "Speaker Quinn's accomplishments include giving Mayor Bloomberg a third term . . . and blocking key progressive legislation for years to placate big business." He said de Blasio seeks to raise taxes on the wealthy, and the race is "about who you are fighting for."

Weiner's spokeswoman, Barbara Morgan, said he continues "to wage a campaign of ideas . . . in order to keep New York the capital of the middle class."

Quinn said that despite her critics: "I do what I think is right. I do what I think is best for New York. That's it."

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