Christine Quinn Catches Heat Over Fast-Food Owner’s Donation

Quinn accepted money from restaurateur while rallying for workers

Wikimedia/David Shankbone
Christine Quinn says the donation was irrelevant and she stands firmly with the fast-food workers.

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By Elizabeth Licata
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New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn caught flack from her opponents this week when she appeared at a rally for fast-food workers just a day after accepting a large donation from fast-food mogul Dennis Riese.

Riese’s corporation owns 75 francised restaurants in New York, including outposts of KFC, Pizza Hut, Tim Hortons, and T.G.I. Fridays. On Wednesday, Quinn accepted a donation of $14,850, the maximum allowed amount, from Riese and his wife. But Thursday she showed up at a rally for striking fast-food workers who are seeking increased pay and the ability to unionize.

According to Gothamist, one of Quinn’s opponents, Bill de Blasio, released a statement today pointing out that Riese has faced “multiple law suits for wage theft, employment discrimination, and workplace safety violations.”

Quinn has been an outspoken supporter of the fast-food workers and maintains that the Rieses’ donation is not relevant to the campaign.

"Christine Quinn stands strong with fast-food workers, period,” said spokesman Mike Morey. "Her contribution from the Rieses is as irrelevant as the fact that Bill de Blasio attends an annual St. Patrick’s Day party at the Reises’ restaurant.”

In 2007 the Rieses also contributed to candidate Anthony Weiner, who was also at Thursday’s rally.


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