Christine Quinn, fighting to stay alive in next Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary, Wednesday attacked front-runner Bill de Blasio's credibility as a critic of stop-and-frisk and a champion of tenants.
Another Democratic contender, Bill Thompson, piled on. His campaign attacked de Blasio for "strongly supporting" Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initial decision last year not to postpone the New York City ING Marathon in superstorm Sandy's aftermath. An email to reporters asserted that de Blasio removed from the public advocate's website a press release that had declared his initial support for running the race on schedule.
In response, de Blasio called calling Quinn's tactics "desperate" and defended his initial stance on the marathon.
With the primary five days away, de Blasio leads in polls, with Thompson, a former comptroller, in second place and Quinn, the City Council speaker, running third.
Quinn criticized de Blasio for, according to a published report, raising funds from building owners on his worst landlords list. She also said she deserved more credit than him for housing repairs because most were made thanks to a Safe Housing Act she passed.
"If you want a mayor who's someone who sees bad landlords as an ATM for campaign cash, Bill de Blasio is your man," Quinn said at a news conference in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Her campaign released a television ad accusing de Blasio of "double-talk." It uses a clip of de Blasio calling stop-and-frisk "a valid policing tactic" and slammed him as "not what he says he is."
De Blasio, at a campaign stop in Chelsea, said Quinn took the clip out of context. "Her ad is misleading, it's false and it's desperate," he said. "She takes footage from the interview on stop-and-frisk and cuts out the crucial part where I talk about the changes and reforms we need."
He said he has "taken on" bad landlords and did not accept their donations while they were on the "worst" list.
As for the marathon, de Blasio had an explanation for his stand, if not for the alleged website-scrubbing.
"I said in the days after, that I hoped we could find a way to have it, because -- let's face it -- it's such an important part of our economy and the economy was going to be hurt so badly because of Sandy," he said. "But the more I toured affected areas, the more I came to the conclusion it was impossible."