City Council speaker Christine Quinn's director of community outreach Tony Simone gets abrasive

By Gatecrasher, Daily News Staff Writer • Monday, July 18, 2011

Christine Quinn needs to rein in her director of community outreach Tony Simone.

The City Council speaker's office has issued an apology after Simone reached out to protesters outside a Quinn fund-raiser last Monday by lobbing a few F-bombs their way.

Documentary maker Donny Moss tells us that the protest outside the Dream Downtown hotel, which drew close to 30 people, was one of several that he and others will organize "between now and the mayoral election," to urge voters to "look beyond" Quinn's "identity" as a gay politician "to her actual record."

Moss addresses the issue in a 10-minute YouTube film called "Christine Quinn: Behind The Smile," in which he outlines a number of instances where, he contends, Quinn has "betrayed the gay community behind the scenes since becoming speaker."

Perhaps that's why Simone didn't have anything good to say when he encountered the protest at the Dream Downtown on Monday night where Quinn was having an $11-a-head fund-raiser for her 2013 mayoral campaign. (Quinn avoided her critics by using a back entrance to the hotel.)

According to Moss and another witness, Simone—who's a former Goldman Sachs portfolio analyst—approached the demonstrators, who were stationed on 16th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves. outside of the hotel's entrance.

There, Simone asked one protester if Moss was present. Told that the filmmaker was indeed among the group, Simone responded: "Tell him to go f--- himself."

Moss says Simone then spotted longtime gay rights activist Allen Roskoff and shouted "F--- you" at him before heading inside to the fund-raiser.

Roskoff, who's also been critical of Quinn, is president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and co-author of the nation's first gay rights bill.

When we ran this story by Quinn's office, her communications director Jamie McShane told us Simone had gone to the fund-raiser "on his own time," where he was "repeatedly verbally abused by protesters. Tony lost his cool and should not have. He apologizes for his actions."

"That's a patent lie," replied Moss, who insisted "no one even recognized" Simone until he hurled his epithets.

"I didn't even say a word to him after he said I should go f--- myself," said Moss. He added that he and Roskoff were "mesmerized" by the city employee's behavior and said nothing.

Moss said he also didn't react when, he claimed, Simone approached him at another protest in summer 2009 and "shouted in my face, 'Loser!'

"I'm more interested in exposing Quinn's record than engaging with people who are invested in her success," he said.



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