Albanese: Ban City Council Member Items

Responding to media reports that City Council members fear Speaker Christine Quinn will short their member items if they don't endorse her for mayor, former Bay Ridge City Council Member and Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese called on the Council to ban member items.

Calling them a waste of taxpayer dollars, Albanese urged the Council to abandon the "corrupt political tradition" of member items. During his time in the City Council, he said, he never accepted them, believing he was elected to exercise independent judgement.

You can't make independent decisions when you're taking lulus, he said.

Albanese urged New York to join cities across the country that have banned member items.  If it does retain the practice, he said, it should at least distribute the money equally among the council members, so that no one is pulling down a publicly-funded bonus stooging for the speaker.

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