New York, NY (PIX11) – Perhaps this could be chalked up to a failure in planning. A rally for a mayoral candidate who failed to save a hospital in her district – in front of the hospital that was shut down, to praise her for the albeit failed effort. Not the perfect venue to support Christine Quinn.
The rally Monday was ugly from the start then got uglier as one anti-Quinn man slapped a couple of Quinn supporters. George Capsis publishes a community paper called West View which has made an effort to keep residents posted on St. Vincent’s Hospital developments even three years after it was closed down. Leading the charge against politicians on hand, chants drowned out speakers including NY State Senator Thomas Duane, a long-time Quinn ally. Capsis, livid, directly confronted Duane as he tried to speak, “no one wants to hear what you have to say, go away!” Capsis screamed. Quinn was not present.
Standing next to Duane was fellow State Senator Brad Hoylman, looking towards the ground as Capsis chastised Duane, the man then turned to Hoylman and appeared, in an upwards motion, to slap Hoylman’s chin saying “look up!” As a few people tried to move Capsis to the side, an unidentified Quinn intern in sunglasses put his hand around Capsis’ shoulder and was slapped with both hands simultaneously several. A witness said he saw the intern crying afterwards.
The anger is predictable for a neighborhood that knows the cost of losing a hospital and emergency care to luxury condominiums. City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christene Quinn oversees the district where many feel she was unwilling to put up the necessary fight to save St. Vincent’s Hospital which was deeply in debt. A community that later felt betrayed to learn the developer, the Rudin Company was a significant donor to the Quinn campaign. Separately, every single executive of the Rudin Company donated the maximum $5,000 a piece to Quinn – unlikely to be view as pure coincidence.
St. Vincent’s is one of 14 hospitals to closure during the 3 terms of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The raw real estate that hospitals sit on is worth more than the businesses of treating patients – and City Hall has favored developers. Two Brooklyn hospitals are fighting to stay open, a rally was held for them today – and like the fight to save other hospitals – it is a subject neither Mayor Bloomberg nor City Council Speaker Quinn seem interested in.