27th SD: I like Tom Duane, least of all because he’s a fan of this column, but the ring and run nature of his sudden departure from the Senate, which left his friend, Brad Hoylman, as the only candidate prepared for a run, leaves a bad taste, especially since some of Hoylman’s loudest supporters in the LGTB community have been hurling an accusation of similar shenanigans elsewhere in the political world without one shred of evidence.
It appears that someone was playing the game according to Hoylman, rather than according to Hoyle, man, and I wanted to hurl, man.
Nonetheless, neither of the other candidates, bar owner Thomas Greco (who would be the third present or former tavern owner to currently hold office in Manhattan) or teacher Tanika Inlaw, can match Hoylman on either substance, or on his record of community service.
Gatemouth endorses Hoylman.
31st SD: As should be clear to regular readers, I am not the biggest fan of Adriano Espaillat, but as I’ve also noted, he has not been a bad legislator, He mostly votes right, and has shown some courage on environmental issues. I could say similar things about his opponent Guillermo Linares, who also seems to be a more pleasant sort than Espaillat, although one must also note that Linares’ efforts to portray himself as some kind of process reformer are made laughable by things like his Bronx-like effort to replace himself in the Assembly with his daughter and by his vote in favor of the egregious reapportionment bill.
In the end though, this comes down to politics. In 2002, Linares was part of a Republican effort to stock the Senate with Democrats who would vote to support Joe Bruno as Majority Leader. These days, Linares is supported by Dean Skelos’ prime moneypot, the City’s CEO, his honor, Bloomie, and it is an open secret that Linares is likely to support Skelos’ continued rule. The Sen Dems are no great shakes themselves, but at least they afford truth in labeling. I suspect voters hear would prefer the Democrats to control the State Senate.
The best way to do that is to vote for Espaillat.
Gatemouth endorses Espaillat.
72nd AD: Except for perennial candidate Ruben Vargas, who is not really a factor, this may constitute the prettiest field in the City, but although Melanie Hidalgo does have some community credentials, she has also not established she is worthy of serious consideration.
Having just criticized Guillermo Linares for running his daughter, it must be noted that Mayra Linares is one of the two credible candidates in this race; the other is Gabriela Rosa, currently an aide to Assemblyman Denny Farrell.
Neither of these candidates is going to deliver political independence. Rosa has shown courage in supporting congestion pricing, but seems a bit too eager to tear down Mayoral control of the schools, which, whatever its faults, needs to be mended, not ended.
While both these candidates have records of public service and have held positions of responsibility in public life, the edge must go to Ms. Rosa, whose positions were a product of her own initiative rather than primogeniture.
Gatemouth endorses Rosa.
74th AD: Incumbent Brian Kavanagh, who has a credible record of service, faces Juan Pagan, a perennial candidate obsessed with father’s rights. Gatemouth endorses Kavanagh,
Surrogate: Two sitting judges, Barbara Jaffe and Rita Mella, face off against each other. Both appear to be qualified. However, Jaffe has far more experience on the bench, including serving as an administrator. Gatemouth endorses Jaffe.
I don’t generally believe in heroes and villains, but making distinctions in the Bronx is perilous.
There are several distinct alliances to watch out for in the considering the Bronx.
The first is the self-serving incumbency protection racket of the County Organization.
There is nothing good to be said about the Organization. Although several of their incumbents are good, or at least acceptable on their own personal merits, many of the organization candidates seem little better than political lowlifes.
The second is the friends of State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., who is supporting socially conservative candidates in several races.
Although Diaz's candidates otherwise vary in quality and ideology, Diaz’s efforts represent the opportunity to expand the Bronx footprint of what I call, ”The New Tolerant Intolerance”, a national effort to use social conservatism as a means to change the political affiliations of minority voters.
Despite his economic liberalism, Diaz is a fair-weather Democrat at best, and there is evidence that the conservatism of at least one of Diaz’s candidates, Mark Gjonaj, extends far beyond the social sphere. Therefore, these candidates are not to be preferred.
The third is the Rising Voices Coalition (RVC), a loose aggregation of anti-organization folks led by perennial candidates Richie Soto.
Unfortunately, being against the organization is about all you can say in favor of most of the RVC’s candidates. RVC has no real unifying ideology besides being outside. At times, this has led to dubious alliances with the likes of Pedro Espada.
Many, but not all, of the RVC candidates, are nuts who run every year. Many RVC candidates swing right, and are former Republican or Conservative candidates who still run on those lines as well as contesting Democratic primaries (some are even former members of those parties). Some, this year, are also in alliance with Diaz, although this is probably more by coincidence than design.
Although a candidate himself this year (as well as in most others), Soto is actually involved in managing other races. Some have alleged that he makes money off of RVC, but others tell me he “just likes stirring up shit.”
The fourth is Charles Barron’s Freedom Party, which circulated petitions for three positions, but only managed to qualify one candidate.
Anyone who backed Charles Barron to be Governor is more acceptable as a candidate for psychotherapy than public office.
This leaves a lot of races where there is no preferable choice.
For instance, in AD 77, incumbent Vanessa Gibson, who is socially conservative enough to have opposed same-sex marriage, and who previously worked as Chief of Staff to the socially conservative and ethically challenged Aurelia Greene, is opposed by RVC candidate Anthony Curry, who ran in Dem primaries for City Council in 2001 and Assembly in 2004, as well as as an Independence Candidates for Council in 2001, a Republican candidate for Assembly in 2004 and 2008 and a Conservative candidate for Assembly in 2006.
In AD 78, incumbent Jose Rivera, who has gifted public office with his two children Joel and Naomi (who herself seems to be the gift that keeps on giving), is being challenged by one of the more credible RVC candidates, Ricardo “Ricky” Martinez, a former boyfriend of Naomi’s who Jose installed as the area’s Democratic State Committeeman.
Martinez is allied with the Diaz supported Manny Tavarez, who is running a homophobic race against one of the better Bronx electeds, State Senator Gustavo Rivera (who, by a miracle, is no relation to Jose).
Jose is widely believed to be planning to retire in the middle of his next term so he can pass the seat along to his term-limited son, Councilman Joel, in a special election where Jose will control who gets the Democratic line.
In AD 84, incumbent Carmen Arroyo, who has bestowed upon us a daughter who “serves” on the City Council, and a grandson who copped a plea to stealing from a not-for profit financed with public money by his aunt and grandmother, is opposed by Barron’s candidate, a retired postal worker named Maximino Rivera, and the RVC’s Charles Serrano, a former cop.
In addition to contesting a Democratic primary for Assembly in 2000 and 2002 (and perhaps other years as well—my prime source, “http://www.ourcampaigns.com/,” is not comprehensive on primaries), and running in a special Council election in 2005, Serrano was ran as a Conservative candidate for State Senate in 1990 and Assembly in 1998 and 2002, and as a Republican for Assembly in 2008 and 2008.
In the 86th AD, the incumbent is Nelson Castro. In 2008, in a disgraceful attempt to circumvent democracy which occurs far too often, then incumbent Luis Diaz got himself a new job after petitions were already filed, and a Committee on Vacancies (a mechanism that makes a County Committee vote look democratic) picked Castro to run in his pace. Castro received subsequent notice for his laudable voter registration drive--15 voters alone in his own apartment!
Castro is opposed by the aforementioned Richard Soto of RVC, who, in addition to running in a Democratic primary for Council in 1997, ran as a Conservative for Council in 1997 and Assembly in 2000. He also ran his brother for Assembly against Castro in 2008 (Gatemouth actually endorsed him).
I cannot say that I can bring myself to endorse any of the aforementioned candidates.
Though Jose Rivera has, at times, rendered credible service over the course of his long career, I think those days have past.
If I could vote for any of them, it would probably be Arroyo, who for all her flaws, had the guts to really get into Ruben Sr’s face about same-sex marriage. Perhaps “feisty but corrupt” is a bargain we can live with.
33rd SD: Gustavo Rivera, one of the best the Bronx has to offer, is being challenged by Manny Tavarez, who travels around in a van supplied by Ruben Diaz, Sr.
Gatemouth endorses Rivera.
80th AD: Naomi Rivera, who Bob Kappstatter has compared to Snooki, is opposed by three candidates.
The RVC’s Mark Gjonaj, is an anti-gay, anti-choice social conservative who rides around in a van supplied by Ruben Diaz, and who has been a financial supporter of conservative Republicans in the past. Irene Estrada Rukaj is a socially conservative minister.
Gatemouth reiterates his endorsement of Adam Bermudez, a bright and funny (albeit eccentric) political operative with a promising future.
If my endorsement of Bermudez, helps Rivera by costing Gjonaj votes, there are worse things in the world. If it costs Rivera votes and helps elect Gjonaj, I wouldn’t be happy, but the possible superiority, of a Rivera victory is so debatable that it seems a shame in this instance not to vote for the best candidate.
AD 82: Mike Benedetto is an OK Assembly member with a long record of community service. He is opposed, as he is in most years, by Egidio Sementilli. Sementilli has been running for Assembly, Senate and City Council almost every year since 1994, in Democratic primaries sometimes and as an Independence candidate. He also runs for party office (usually with his wife as a running mate).
Egidio is so crazy, it appears that the RVC won’t even endorse him.
Gatemouth endorses Benedetto.
AD 87: Luis Sepulveda is actually one of Ruben Diaz Sr.’s better candidates, and is also the organization choice for this open seat. However, his victory would still increase the size of Ruben Sr.’s already formidable footprint.
Luckily, Sepulveda’s opponent, former Assembly aide Danny Figueroa, is not only a social liberal, but also has superior substantive credentials.
Gatemouth endorses Figueroa.
State Senate 17th SD: The incumbent, Republican David Storobin, is a strange young man with a quasi-authoritarian ideology who thinks nothing of stirring up hated to get votes, and is at ease with making up lies out of whole cloth.
He must go.
Neither contender for the Democratic nomination is a social liberal, and it seems neither probably qualifies as a liberal economically. Both seem ready to support Dean Skelos’ continued leadership of the state Senate.
That being said, Abe Tischler is a kid without a clue—he is little better than Mindy Meyers in pants.
By contrast, Simcha Felder, a former Councilman, is bright, hardworking, and thoughtful. He is adept at the legislative process, and at bringing home the pastrami. Moreover, Felder inspires confidence. You would trust him to hold your wallet.
Felder is also one of the most funny and charming politicians in the city, for what it’s worth. And to me, it is worth something, maybe even a lot.
Felder is focused both globally and locally. Although a supporter of tuition tax credits, he genuinely appears to be concerned with improving the quality of education in our public schools, even if his family does not itself use them. And he is not incapable of taking an unpopular position.
Finally, though Simcha Felder is very socially conservative; he is also an apostle of decency. Though he will surely speak out on these issues on the Senate floor, he will almost certainly never stir up hatred about them to advance himself politically. And because of that, in the currently poisonous atmosphere that pervades much of southern Brooklyn politics, he is being attacked as some sort of betrayer of his religious principles.
Gatemouth strongly endorses a vote in favor of civility and common decency. Though I agree with him on practically nothing, Gatemouth strongly endorses Simcha Felder against the forces of L’shon Hora embodied by the likes of David Storobin.
Storobin also faces an Opportunity to Ballot in the Conservative Primary. Simcha Felder is a real conservative, while Storobin is a crypto-Phalangist.
Write in Felder.
SD 18: In many ways, this is a proxy primary about giving a blow to Vito Lopez (perhaps not the best choice of words).
By his efforts to run his son against Nydia Velazquez, Marty Dilan has certainly earned this primary, and I hope he is losing some sleep over it. He deserves to.
The question is whether he deserves to lose his seat.
On the whole, I think Dilan has been a useful member of the Democratic minority, because he is a sharp political player in a conference that could use a few more, rather than a few less.
Dilan’s opponent Jason Otano, shows a lot of promise, but loses points by attacking Dilan for voting for a Rent Stabilization Bill, which, for all its flaws, was the only one being allowed on the floor, and which, if it failed to pass, would have resulted in the program’s abolition, endangering thousands of tenancies.
For shame, Jason.
I don’t blame anyone who decides that Otano is the better choice, but Gatemouth endorses Dilan.
42nd AD: As I’ve said more than once before: Rhoda Jacobs is a lovely person and a great humanitarian, who may be the last Jewish pol to have formed her ideals in the Labor Zionist and Civil Rights movements. She stands, and has always stood for, all the right things I was taught to believe in as a child. She survives in an overwhelmingly black district, without putting on free concerts or dressing in an ice cream suit, because she cares and everyone knows it. Someday, some opponent will make the case against her, but so far no one has.
This year, it might be argued that that day has finally come. Rodneyse Bichotte has decent credentials and is thoughtful. Moreover, as Jacobs only opponent, she has a real shot.
I understand the case for empowerment, but the loss of unique personalities from what has become an increasingly bland polity is somewhat troubling to me, and I find that, despite a not uncompelling argument for Bichotte, I cannot bring myself to call upon people to dump Rhoda Jacobs.
Gatemouth endorses Jacobs.
45th AD: I’ve been harshly critical of incumbent Steve Cymbrowitz, not so much for his social conservatism, but because of the shameless and embarrassing pandering which accompanies it. Further, like the African-American community in the 42nd AD, the Russian community here has empowerment issues of its own.
I was not going to endorse in this race, but articles like this one from the Times, have caused me to rethink.
The article describes how Allowey Ahmed, a Yemeni immigrant, loved Sheepshead Bay for its tolerance, until he tried to avail himself of his First Amendment rights as an American and build a house of worship.
Now, he is shocked by his neighbor's fury:
“I wish we could do something to make them like us...but thank God our rights aren’t subject to people whether they like us or not. We have guaranteed rights, and that’s what makes this country wonderful.”
One can almost shed tears of pride about Ahmed’s patriotic embrace of our American values.
Thankfully, owing mostly to the First Amendment, efforts to stop the house of worship became futile, and the protests and open intolerance have now died down to a level verging upon insignificance.
But leave it to cynical and unscrupulous politicians running in districts that don't even include the area where the mosque is being built, to keep raising a ruckus, telling lies and stirring up hatred in order to keep the issue alive so that it can inure to their political benefit.
The politicians I speak of are State Senator David Storobin and Cymbrowitz’s opponent, Ben Akselrod.
I would call then “human garbage,” but the first part of that phrase might be giving them too much credit.
Steve Cymbrowitz has every reason not to take a position on a zoning matter outside his district, although some moral outrage might be nice. Then again, if someone as politically safe as Chuck Schumer runs the other way when given the opportunity to condemn Akselrod’s bigotry, it should hardly be surprising that Cymbrowitz does the same.
Gatemouth endorses Cymbrowitz. Scum like Akselrod need to figuratively have their brains bashed in at the ballot box, so others will eschew their example.
There is also an Independence Party Opportunity to Ballot where one can write in either candidate, or Republican Russ Gallo, who may be more detestable than Akselrod.
Gatemouth endorses Cymbrowitz there too.
AD 46: There is a GOP primary to lose to Alec Brook-Krasny.
Gatemouth endorses Lucretia Regina-Potter, who comes from the marginally preferable anti-“Jig is Up Atlas” wing of the Party.
AD 48: Abe Tischler’s younger brother Mitch, an ally of Tea Partier Joe Hayon, challenges incumbent Dov Hikind.
Though both are social conservatives, issue by issue, Hikind is probably a bit superior.
However, Hikind, who also serves as a Democratic State Committeeman, is a national nuisance, who regularly wields his kosher stamp against Democrats (most recently in the Turner-Weprin race) and raises money for dozens of Republican Congressional candidates around the country.
Hikind’s holding public office as an ostensible Democrat only amplifies the value of his microphone against us.
It would take years for Tischler to be able to grow into such a nuisance.
Gatemouth endorses Tischler.
AD 54: With no discernable electoral reason to do so, incumbent Rafael Espinal still seeks the Conservative line, and still is found acceptable by their Executive Committee.
Gatemouth endorses Juan Rodriguez.
AD 55: Even without a pending indictment, Junior Boyland is at best a waste of valuable real estate which someone else should occupy.
Unfortunately, Boyland has six opponents.
However, I do not buy that this makes Junior unbeatable. In a seven way race in 2009, Darlene Mealy managed to beat Junior’s daddy. Frank, 47% to 19%, because opposition coalesced around her as the most likely to beat the quasi-incumbent Boyland.
It appears to me that David Miller might be the best opponent, but it also appears that Tony Herbert is the one with the best shot at victory.
I have my problems with Tony, including his opportunistic stint as a Republican But I also must acknowledge Herbert’s credible record of community activism, and his superiority to Junior.
The case against Boyland is so compelling that I am willing to swallow the lesser evil with the best shot in order to beat him.
Gatemouth endorses Tony Herbert.
AD 57: This district is the heart of Brooklyn’s black intellectual and artistic elite; it is also rapidly becoming occupied by a rather similar white population (which has always been present in smaller numbers).
The Assemblymembers occupying this seat in the past decades, Hakeem Jeffries and Roger Green, whatever their flaws, have always been thoughtful and cerebral, reflecting their district’s population.
There are three good candidates here, all of whom are African-American (one of them literally so).
The front runners, Walter Mosley and Olankie Alabi are both smart political players, and both have credible records in the community.
Mosley’s experience as a legislative aide gives him a slight edge in one aspect of the job, but Olanike Alabi’s talents as a community organizer and somewhat more independent streak would give her a slight edge over Mosley in a two way race.
But it is not a two-way race, and the edge is so slight that it must yield before a superior candidate, even if that candidate is something of a longshot (though a bit less so today in light of her New York Times endorsement).
I speak of Martine Guerrier, who did an outstanding job as the City Department of Education’s Chief Family Engagement Officer, and also served as an aide to former Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott.
Guerrier’s CV, which includes commendable service on the local School Board (back when they existed), and her own record of activism on other issues, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, just overwhelms that of the others.
And, to put it frankly, Mosley (whose mother has long been an important force in Brooklyn politics), though young, represents the politics of this district’s past, while Alabi is less reflective than Guerrier of where the district is going in the future.
The 57th is now only 51% African-American and dropping fast. In order for it to continue as a seat represented by an African America, it is going to have to be represented by an African American in tune with the Buppies, Yuppies and artists who populate it and will soon dominate its politics. Martine Guerrier is the candidate best suited to represent this population.
Martine started this race late and a lot of people who would have supported her already made their commitments. She also raised far less money that she is probably capable of doing.
Though she is the only candidate here to have held an elected public office, she did show a bit of naiveté in this race. She is more a policy wonk than a pol.
But the Assembly has enough smart pols, and could use a few more wonks.
Gatemouth endorses Martine Guerrier.
AD 58: Challenger Terry Hinds is a promising candidate, but I’m giving incumbent Nick Perry a free-pass this year for his courage in changing his position on same sex marriage.
Gatemouth endorses Perry.
AD 60: The incumbent is Inez Barron, who will probably run for the City Council in the hopes of doing a switcheroo with her husband, the despicable Councilman Charles.
Let’s end the Barron family’s reign of bean-pie eating ideological terrorism and hatred.
Gatemouth endorses Christopher Banks.
1st Municipal Court District: Two very qualified candidates face off against each other in a race in which one side has propounded unfounded accusations which verge upon libelous and the other has fulminated about silly matters of insignificance.
Supporters of Richard Montelione have accused opponent Lara Genovesi of having inside information about a last minute vacancy and have even printed such accusations on the campaign’s Facebook page (though the initially fury of what was printed there appears to now have been edited somewhat).
The accusation is that the vacancy was not posted on the Office of Court Administration website until July 2, and that Genovesi already had petitions on the street that day. The implication is that something evil and corrupt occurred.
What they omitted to mention is the crucial fact that the Board of Elections posted the vacancy on June 30, which was enough time to get some petitions printed. In addition, the vacancy had been rumored for a year, and both candidates had already formed committees.
Further, since the Judge in question, Sarah “Sallie” Kraus did not have warm relationships with the County Democratic Organization, which did not initially back her election, and did not support her efforts at advancement (she, in fact, once took the unusual and brave step of challenging the County choice at the Party's Judicial Nominating Convention with the support of many of Montelione’s most prominent supporters and against Vito Lopez’s wishes), I have to believe that Kraus’ retirement, which nearly occurred a year before, was timed based on her personal reasons, and it seems unlikely that there any thought given to politics.
In addition, it should be noted that in 2004, some of Montelione’s most prominent supporters made an effort to nominate Kraus for Supreme Court the year she had already won the nomination for re-election to Civil, a move which would have allowed the local County Committee, which they controlled, to designate a candidate without the trouble of having to run in a primary.
This makes their criticism of Genovesi, who is facing a primary, the height of hypocrisy.
Further Montelione supporter Allen Roskoff sent out a press release attacking Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries for supporting Genovesi.
The release said, among other things:”Chuck Schumer was handpicked by Tony Genovesi to run for Assembly in 1974…”
As many here know, I’m no fan of Chuck Schumer’s, but this is a straight out falsehood.
The release also said: "Vito Lopez backed Hakeem Jeffries early against Ed Towns and the boss of Brooklyn's power base is the Thomas Jefferson Club in Canarsie where Lara Genovesi served as law chairman so we know Assemblyman Jeffries had no choice but to endorse Lara Genovesi."
Would that be the same Hakeem Jeffries who was an early endorser of Lopez’s archenemy, Lincoln Restler?
Why do Montelione’s supporters insist upon insulting the integrity of Hakeem Jeffries? Did they prefer Charles Barron (that is intended as a joke—with the possible exception of Chris Owens, who refused to take sides publicly, I’m pretty sure they didn’t).
And as for her Canarsie connection, Genovesi is a longtime resident of the Judicial District, unlike her opponent (not that it’s relevant).
I should note that Genovesi’s supporters weren’t above circulating a Mindy Meyers level silly story about Montelione supporters offering a discount on beer at a party in exchange for signing his petitions. I don’t blame the press for printing it—I wouldn’t touch it, but when I got the email from a Genovesi supporter, I couldn’t resist sending it to a few friends myself.
But none of this is relevant.
The only relevant thing is who would make the best judge. And I don’t have anything but an educated opinion on that matter.
Lara Genovesi serves as Law Clerk to Jeffrey Sander Sunshine, the State’s Chief Matrimonial Judge, and an outstanding jurist. She is diligent, hardworking and scrupulous about professional ethics. She would make a great judge.
While Montelione has what appears to be an outstanding record as a litigator, Gatemouth endorses Genovesi.
5th Municipal Court District: Three well qualified candidates face off here.
Charles Finkelstein, is an Orthodox Jew out of Dov Hikind’s stable, but back in 2007, when he ran an aborted race in the same area, then District Leader Alan Fleishman, a longtime LGTB activist, told me Finkelstein was “a good guy.”
Another good guy is my longtime friend, Steve Mostofsky, a family law expert who though an activist in Orthodox Jewish circles, stuck his neck out way far to defend Lew Fidler in his race against David Storobin.
Steve is a real humanitarian who has been active in all sorts of good works and has always recognized the importance of backing politicians who support a strong social service safety net.
Unfortunately, Steve got into the race too late to appear before the Party’s screening panel, and this Department has a policy of not endorsing candidates in a Democratic Primary who did not appear before the Party panel against those which the panel has approved (I should note that Steve was found qualified by every group he did appear before).
However, I do not apply this rule to general elections and reserve my right to consider endorsing Mostofsky in the general when he will be appearing on other Party lines..
The third candidate is another longtime friend Theresa Ciccotto, a Law Secretary to Judge Kathryn Freed and a long time activist in the Woman’s Bar Association and other legal groups.
Ciccotto has also been a longtime Democratic activist in an area of Brooklyn which sometimes elects Republicans. Like Mostofsky, she has fought the good fight many times.
Finkelstein and Ciccotto both were approved by the Party Screening Panel. In a race between qualified judicial candidates, tie goes to the candidate who best shares my values.
Between the two, Gatemouth endorses Ciccotto.
District Leaders: I’m not making endorsements in every race, but a few are merited.
In the 42nd, Gatemouth endorses Rodneyse Bichotte, as a consolation prize for refusing her the Assembly endorsement.
In the 45th , Gatemouth would be endorsing Ari Kagan (who seemed to be a decent guy and offers the Russian community some long overdue empowerment) against incumbent Mike Geller (who continually violates his fiduciary duty to the Party by endorsing Republicans), but Kagan has endorsed the repugnant Ben Akselrod for Assembly, which leads me to question what other scum he might back in the future. Write someone in.
In the 50th, despite their frequent differences, Gatemouth endorses Lincoln Restler, who helps keeps the boys honest.
In the 52nd Joanne Simon, who serves the same function, faces an opponent who dropped out of the race, but is still on the ballot. Simon gets Gatemouth’s vote.
In the 55th Junior Boyland faces three opponents. Gatemouth endorses David Miller as a consolation prize for not endorsing him for the Assembly.
In the 60th incumbent Earl Williams, who has the best chance of beating Charles Barron, gets the Gatemouth nod. In the same AD, it may be possible that convicted former Assemblywoman Diane “House of the Rising Sum” Gordon may be the strongest candidate against Inez Barron, but Gatemouth endorses Nikki Lucas as the better alternative.
10th SD: As I’ve noted, the choice here is too depressing. If you live here, I recommend that you move.
15 SD: Councilman Eric Ulrich faces off for the GOP nod to face incumbent Joe Addabbo. Since Ulrich is the far stronger candidate, Gatemouth endorses Reyes (though those Republicans interested in substance would probably prefer Ulrich).
16th SD: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; over the years I’ve written many times (here’s a fairly early example) about how part of the State Senate Republicans' strategy for keeping power in the face of demographics involves finding candidates to run as Democrats who will vote to maintain them in power out of ideological affinity or plain opportunism. They've even had them maintain their own official (IDC) or unofficial (Amigo) caucuses.
One of the Senate GOP's perpetual targets is Toby Stavisky.
Two years ago, the GOP candidate in the Dem primary against Stavisky was Isaac Sasson, a self-financing Orthodox Jewish doctor from Syria who made most of his considerable fortune by winning the lottery. The socially conservative (for “traditional marriage” and tuition tax credits for Yeshivas) Sasson generally runs for any seat which is open in the primary and then endorses the Republican in the general.
Sasson's challenge to Stavisky was run by Jay Golub, a Republican activist and operative.
Two years ago, there was also a third candidate, John Messer, whose campaign was targeted almost exclusively to voters unlikely to support Sasson, and who campaigned on a platform to help middle-class homeowners, even though he once headed a firm embroiled in a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud and identity theft ring that targeted vulnerable, middle-income New Yorkers. Messer’s company was also involved in dozens of foreclosure proceedings against Queens homeowners.
Messer‘s response to all this was "I was a victim," which took self pity to a whole new level. Given the circumstances, Messer’s last name was almost Dickensian in its accuracy.
Well this year, Sasson is backing Messer (who used to be an enrolled Republican) and Golub is running Messer's campaign.
And, Dan Halloran showed up at Messer's campaign kickoff.
Unlike Sasson, Messer refuses to articulate a position one way or another on same-sex marriage, a cowardly move.
It is telling that Messer, who claims to be a de facto Asian because he is married to one (if the criterion of being an Asian American is sharing a bed with one, then Strom Thurmond qualified as black), also refuses to say whether he supports Halloran or Grace Meng for Congress (apparently an Asian woman's place is in the home but not the House).
Even more telling is this Facebook post:
Court Rules in David Storobin’s Favor, Orders Contested Ballots to Be Counted www.politicker.com . LikeUnlike · · Share · May 8 at 5:08pm ·
John Messer likes this.”
If Dean Skelos wants to come after Toby Stavisky, let him do it in a general election.
Incumbent Toby Stavisky is has a good voting record and cares about her serving her constituents.
Gatemouth strongly endorses Stavisky.
25th AD: Nily Rozic's legislative experience and independence trumps Jerry Iannece's community credentials, especially given that his community group has abused it's tex exempt status by its blatant and ugly involvement in this race.
Gatemouth endorses Rozic.
33rd AD: Michael Miller, a decent enough incumbent faces a challenge from Etienne David Adorno.
Mr. Adorno’s major concern seems to be that Miller “doesn’t know what a cocotazo is.”
I’m sorry, but that is not enough. While in a minority district, a tie goes to the minority, Adorno hasn’t even gotten a base on balls (though he is base, and balls he seems to have in excess).
Gatemouth endorses Miller.
AD 38: Barbara Clark has a questionable record on member items, involvement with a questionable post-Katrina “charity,” and made an argument on the Assembly floor against same sex marriage which was rampant in its irrelevant stupidity.
Her opponent, Clyde Vanel, an attorney, seems smart and a decent sort. It is hard to see how we could do worse than Clark.
Gatemouth endorses Vanel.
AD 40: Candidates Martha Flores-Vazquez and Mysungsuk Lee seem to lack even the most minimal credentials for office, while Yen Chou permanently disqualified herself for office in 2009, when during a primary for City Council, she got caught running hate lit against a Jewish primary opponent which warned Chinese voters that waiting until the general election to support Chinese Republican Peter Koo, rather than supporting her in the primary, was “…equivalent to indirectly giving the throne to the Jews.”
Of the two acceptable candidates, Ethel Chen and Ron Kim, Kim seems both more knowledgeable and more energetic. As a bonus, he will be the Assembly’s first Korean member.
Gatemouth endorses Kim.
AD 61: Incumbent Matt Titone, a breath of fresh air, faces his GOP opponent, Paul. Saryian in a primary for the Independence line.
Gatemouth endorses Titone.