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Barron Will Challenge Quinn for Council Speaker

Monday, December 07, 2009

Brooklyn councilman Charles Barron says he's challenging Christine Quinn for the title of Council Speaker, while hoping to reform the position. WNYC's Arun Venugopal has more.

REPORTER: Barron and Quinn have clashed before, namely when she fired his aide for making inflammatory remarks about another council member. He brought up that history at a rally yesterday, but says this isn't about his personal interest in becoming Speaker as much as the need to end Quinn's reign.

Barron derisively called Quinn the deputy mayor, in reference to her frequent alignment with Mayor Bloomberg on issues like term limits. He also says that as Speaker, Quinn can decide whether legislation is voted on or dies in committee, and which members are appointed committee chairs.

The reforms he's proposing along with outgoing councilman Tony Avella would end that concentration of power, he says. And ensure that council members are less beholden to the Speaker. For WNYC, I'm Arun Venugopal.

REPORTER: Calls and e-mails to Quinn's office for comment over the weekend, were not returned.

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