As a mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio called for a complete ban on city council member items. It’s a view not widely shared by council members then or now. Member items are a modest portion of the overall city budget, but a flashpoint with the potential for significant disagreement between the mayor and council.
In this April 2013 press conference de Blasio issued his call for a ban and addressed his own tenure as a council member who sought and received member items. Then-council member Dan Halloran and NYS Senator Malcolm Smith had been arrested the day before on a variety of corruption charges and then-Council Speaker Christine Quinn was regarded as the front runner in the race for mayor.
Here are selected excerpts from de Blasio’s press conference:
Full Press Conference:
Here is de Blasio’s full press conference, which runs about 15 minutes.