BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Just as Bill de Blasio is enduring a blistering television attack from Christine Quinn challenging his progressive credentials on housing and stop and frisk, a video has surfaced showing the public advocate campaigning with a top real estate industry lobbyist.
A September 6 story from CapitalNewYork.com reported that James Capalino, who worked for Rudin Management during its push to redevelop the former St. Vincent’s Hospital campus into luxury condos, recently campaigned with de Blasio in Stuyvesant Town. The video shows Capalino, a former Koch administration official who has lobbied for other major developers as well, holding a signing reading “Come Meet Bill.”
The loss of St. Vincent’s and Rudin’s redevelopment of the site have been major beefs against the City Council speaker during her mayoral run. Last month, de Blasio held a rally outside the former hospital site charging Quinn, who represents the district where it was located, with failing to do what she could to save the hospital. The speaker has consistently said she fought hard but that the hospital’s board of directors, saddled with the massive debt of a once-sprawling Catholic hospital system citywide, did not level with public officials and was to blame.
The Quinn ad, released in the wake of recent polls showing a surge in support for de Blasio, charges that the public advocate has accepted campaign donations from companies on his own worst slumlord list and is exaggerating the differences between his critique of the NYPD’s stop and frisk record and those of other Democrats, including Quinn.