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Congestion Pricing

Will Pro-Pricing Council Members Suffer for Their Votes?

Should City Council members who voted for congestion pricing fear for their political futures? According to a story in today's Daily News, some do.

City Council members, pressured to approve Mayor Bloomberg's plan, are left to wonder whether their votes will come back to haunt them.

In the days leading up to the vote, members were promised special projects for their districts and even fund-raisers during sitdowns with City Hall staffers, insiders said. Those who opposed it received not-so-veiled threats.

Several Queens members, including Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) and Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), voted for the plan after initially opposing it. Other members of the Queens delegation who voted for the plan were John Liu (D-Flushing), chairman of the Transportation Committee, James Sanders and Thomas White.

Thing is, none of the council members above are quoted in the story -- except lukewarm Liu, who says many of his colleagues "were thrown under the bus" by being "forced to make a hasty decision" (after a year of countless hearings and constant debate).

Liu said he was unhappy with the way negotiations were handled. The Council was promised it would only be asked to vote if state lawmakers were committed to taking up the issue.

Aside from Liu, who seems to favor something along the lines Albany's brand of decision-making, the article hinges its thesis on anti-pricing reps like Tony Avella and this anonymous pol:

[O]ne Council member angrily noted that even those who "sold out" their districts by voting for the plan will reap the rewards, whether it's a fund-raiser with Bloomberg or a special project in their district.

"I guess they got their 30 pieces of silver," the Council member fumed.

Sounds more like someone who didn't vote for pricing and now wishes s/he had.

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