Bigger Fish to Fry (NOW UPDATED)
BINGCHESTER (at the “Albany Project” on 7/12/11): There's a lot of work to be done. Progressives in Brooklyn have a chance to send shockwaves in the Jesus Gonzalez race. Judges and District Leaders are being elected in Manhattan. All of us are starting to gear up for 2012 (and even 2013). I want David Weprin to win the seat, but asking me to care or to spend an ounce of my time supporting him is a big ask. If things are looking really precarious in August, then I'll probably do it. If necessary. Otherwise, sorry Gatemouth, but we've got bigger fish to fry than Bob Turner.
BROOKLYN POLITICS: Magellan Strategies BR today released the survey results of an automated survey of 2,055 likely voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District. The survey was conducted September 1st, 2011 and has a margin of error of 2.16%.
Of course such ostrich-like curiosity about reality, which enables “progressives” to pontificate about their “knowledge” without regard to inconvenient things like recent election results is par for the course at the Albany Project where Bing represents the pragmatic wing, in that unlike some imbeciles there, Bing begrudgingly hopes for a Weprin victory.
The more dogmatic believers in magical thinking like Phil Anderson insist Weprin is a 10-1 favorite for victory, but secretly hope he will be defeated, forcing Obama to go left.
This is sort of like going to the Gowanus Canal for the waters.
Drink up, Phil. It tastes just like Kool-Aid.
The idea that Vito Lopez, however bad he may be, is somehow a greater evil than John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the Tea Party is just unfathomable to me, as is the thought that a race between three candidates who will vote the same way 97% of the time is somehow worth more effort than the chance to make a difference in a race between a moderately liberal Democratic and a Tea Party Republican, which if we lose, will be a right wing propaganda victory of monumental proportions to be used across the nation as a bludgeon against Health Care Reform and Same Sex Marriage.
Well, at least there is a cognizable (albeit wrongheaded) rationale for caring more about Jesus Gonzalez than David Weprin.
But Bingchester's comment about those Judges and District Leaders in Manhattan is worthy of Charlie Sheen in its level of pure delusion.
There’s one contested Judicial race is contest for Civil Court Judge on the Midtown West Side between a Housing Court Judge (Sabrina Kraus) and a Law Secretary (Tony Cannataro)--this year’s primary line-up of choice (Brooklyn’s Countywide race features a similar line-up). The ideological differences between the candidates are so small that Carl Kruger’s integrity couldn’t fit between them. The Law Secretary is the candidate of the Party establishment, the Housing Judge is the candidate of consultants Jerry Skurnik, and Michael Oliva (though in what me be a first for the feisty rooster Oliva when managing a female judicial candidate, he appears not to be clucking defiance). The Judge appears to be marginally more qualified credentials and experience wise, but suffer from a duel residence, and the Times has also raised an ethical issue.
In other words, either is probably adequate to the task, but nothing to get excited about.
Please wake up; there’s more.
As to the District Leader races Bing so fancies, mostly they feature the same Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood characters re-running races they’ve run a dozen times before.
This could hardly be what’s peaked Bingchester’s interest.
Bing’s probably interested in those Lower Manhattan contests between good and evil, fighting that Satanic reactionary, Shelly Silver (AKA, “the Last Liberal in the Albany Room”).
At the time Bing wrote his piece, there were several contests in the 64th AD in which rebels of various sorts were running against Silver allies.
Naturally, Bing was salivating, and why not; behold the wondrous Lower Manhattan insurgent “progressive reformers”:
In AD 64, Part B, incumbent Alice Cancel was initially challenged by Norma Ramirez, a delusional psychotic who once beat Cancel a year when she was sleeping. This year, Ramirez filed a petition with one sheet containing about ten signatures and was bounced from the ballot.
In AD 64, Part D, the great “progressive reform” hopes are Paul Lee and Jin Mei Chen, who are challenging Herbert Kee & Jenny Lam Low, two pretty dedicated community types.
Paul Lee is a three dollar bill, three card monte hustler most notable for helping Republicans in Brooklyn, including but not limited to State Senator Marty Golden. In Golden’s 2002 race, where he ousted a Democratic incumbent, immeasurably strengthening Joe Bruno’s power bases of corruption and reaction, Lee was Golden’s prime operative in the district’s large Asian community.
So much for “progressive reform.”
Gatemouth chooses two from Column A and endorses Kee and Low.
In AD 64, Part C, there’s a genuine “reform” incumbent, Paul Newell, who’s been a real thorn in Shelly’s side.
As much as it’s getting harder and harder to be harsh on Shelly’s Albany role, except concerning certain process reforms, I think Newell’s helps keep Shelly honest (in a relative sense), and that's good.
Before moving on, I think Newell and company deserve a small slap for making an issue of some forged signatures on the opposition’s petitions.
When a dead person’s purported signature appears on a petition sheet, there are three possibilities.
The first is that the signer forged the name, without the subscribing witness even knowing it (this disqualifies the signature); the second is that the subscribing witness had knowledge, but not the campaign, who the witness was trying to dupe (which disqualifies that witness’ entire work product); the third is that it was done with the campaign’s knowledge (which disqualifies the culpable candidates).
Newell and company launched a full bore attack bordering on libel on their opposition, implying they were slime, and couldn’t prove his allegations. The only reason I don’t make a bigger deal about this is that Shelly’s folks would have done the same thing if given the opportunity.
What this means is that Newell, who rails about ballot access while challenging his opponent’s petitions, is not as special as he claims to be, but that doesn’t mean he does not serve and indispensable role.
Newell also earns points for going above and beyond the call of duty in support the free exercise rights of the Islamic community. That alone merits his re-election.
However, I have a hard time finding a rationale for dumping Newell’s co-leader, and now adversary, Linda Belfer, who’s been liberal and involved in the community for years.
Gatemouth endorses Newell and Belfer.
Finally, just outside Silver City, in AD 66, Part B, incumbent David Reck- –a mess of a man with the most Dickensian name in Manhattan politics-- is being challenged by “progressive reformer” John Scott.
Until recently, Scott was a part of the much investigated Working Families Party Executive Board, and his first loyalties are not to the Democratic Party.
As someone who’s called for the removal from part office of Democratic Party officials (including Dov Hikind, Laurie Garson and Inez Barron) who’ve endorsed candidates in general elections other than the winner of the Democratic Primary, I am appalled to hand a Party Leadership position to someone whose loyalties lie elsewhere.
Any candidate for Democratic District Leader who’s told people to vote on a different line in the last Gubernatorial Election (which determines Party ballot status, ballot positions, and weighted votes in party affairs) deserves to get their brains bashed in at the ballot box.
Gatemouth endorses Reck.
But the truth is, I really have a hard time caring about who wins any of these races.
If Bingchester really think these contests are more important than holding the 9th CD for the Democrats, then the fish metaphor is perfect.
Trusting the judgment of “progressives” like Bingchester and Phil Anderson is a sure way for liberalism to flounder, and we should regard their rare moments of clarity as nothing but a fluke.
UPDATE: Wow, Bingchester graciously and without reservation concedes my point.
A couple of small notes.
Despite Bing’s assertion here to the contrary, I didn’t mention Cheryl Gonzales’ race for Judge here by name (because I was bringing up only the races Bing had mentioned in his piece, and he didn’t mention the Brooklyn judicial race, only Manhattan).
Someone should do a piece on that race, but that someone will probably not be me, as I can only take so much abuse. However, to be clear, I will be voting for Gonzales, because she appears to be somewhat more qualified, and that, more than who’s backing who, is how judges should be chosen.
And Bing is wrong. I do care that Dan Quart wins on the Upper East Side. I even understand that the District is marginal--Harry Wilson carried it last fall.
But Wilson had the New York Times and Bloomberg, and so does Quart.
This district may be the last place in the City where Bloomberg's endorsement (as opposed to his money) is still an asset. Democrats endorsed by Bloomie don't lose in the 73rd AD (and if they were going to lose, they wouldn't have Bloomie's endorsement).
But, if it'll make Bing happy, Gatemouth endorses Dan Quart.
Bing is actually quite nice in not comparing Weprin with Martha Coakley, who I will note won a hotly contested primary to get that nomination. As I famously noted, Weprin appeared to be the strongest candidate here on paper. The only one comparable was Rory Lancman, and maybe he should have been chosen,
I suspect though, that even a gaffe-free candidate would be having a hard time here in what is a very bad year, under very bad circumstances, in a district which had seen extreme demographic shifts.
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