The Real Deal New York

Council speaker suggests city dump Trump contracts

Business groups pushed back against the proposal

December 10, 2015 10:44AM

046 City Council speaker se FINAL.indd

From left: Melissa Mark-Viverito and Donald Trump

City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito lambasted GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump, calling for the city to revoke its concessions to his companies.

Mark-Vivertino, responding to Trump’s recent call for a ban on Muslims entering the country, told an interfaith rally outside City Hall he was a “disgusting, racist demagogue who has no business running for president.”

Trump manages two ice rinks and a carousel for the city in Central Park, as well as a golf course at Ferry Point in the Bronx, the New York Post reported.

“It’s about what do we uphold as a city. What are our values as a city? That’s something that is very real,” she said. “We have values. We uphold that. And this individual doesn’t believe in that, then why should he profit, right?”

But business groups and observers expressed skepticism.

“It’s always a mistake to mix business and politics in terms of public procurement,” Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, told the Post. “Government doesn’t have that discretion.”

Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, agreed, telling the Post, “Unless there’s something in the contract that addresses extraneous speech, you can’t do anything about it. That would be highly unusual to have in a city contract.”

Earlier this week, Dubai-based Damac Properties said it wouldn’t break its relationship with Trump over his proposal. [NYP]Ariel Stulberg