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Quinn, Thompson accuse de Blasio of being a flip-flopper

Democratic candidates in their final debate. (Andrew Hinderaker

Democratic candidates in their final debate. (Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal-POOL) Credit: Democratic candidates in their final debate. (Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal-POOL)

In the final Democratic mayoral debate last night, former Comptroller Bill Thompson and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn concentrated their attacks on the front-running candidate Bill De Blasio and tried to paint him as a serial flip-flopper.

Thompson accused de Blasio of “saying one thing and doing another” and Quinn slammed him for “talking out both sides of his mouth.”

They were criticizing him for taking $54,000 from building owners who were on a slumlords watch list he had established as public advocate, according to a published report, and for taking various positions on term-limit extensions.

Quinn also hit him on switching positions on whether City Council members should get to allocate “member item” funds in their districts.

“He will say anything depending on whose votes he’s trying to get,” Quinn said.
De Blasio said landlords donated the cash “after they did the right thing” and made repairs.

He touted an endorsement from Tenants PAC.

The debate was held one week before the Sept. 10 primary. De Blasio, Quinn, Thompson, former Rep. Anthony Weiner and Comptroller John Liu sparred for an hour on WNBC-TV and 30 minutes more on a webcast-only segment.

Weiner jumped to de Blasio’s defense at one point in the debate, saying he “has been very good on standing up to slumlords” but should be attacked on term-limit extensions.

“Mayor Bloomberg wanted a third term, and you gave it to him,” Weiner said. “That’s the real crime.

Quinn herself was targeted in the debate for a City Council slush fund scandal that came to light in 2008. She said “no” when asked if she ever used a member item for political leverage.

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