Charles Foster Powell
Kevin Powell 11,046 32.84%Edolphus Towns 22,586 67.16%
----The Voters of the 10th CD 9/9/08
“That is why I am proud to say I will be a candidate for Congress again in 2010. The campaign has already begun because of you”
---Kevin Powell 9/12/08
“Anybody else, I'd say what's gonna happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're gonna need more than one lesson. And you're gonna get more than one lesson.”
--Boss Jim Gettys in “Citizen Kane”
This is the second time (here’s the first) the opening of one of my pieces on the political travails of Hip-hop philosopher and boy genius Kevin Powell has contained a quote from the cinematic legacy of Orson Welles, a man whose talent for genius had much in common with Kevin Powell’s ego; both were exceeded only by their owner’s talent for self-destruction.
I came across the Powell nugget this weekend on his website, but suffering from post-primary burnout, I was not eager to put pen to paper concerning local politics. Moreover, I’d scheduled a Powell-post mortem drink with pro-Towns blogger Silent Firecracker and Powell Web Guru Michael “Diaperman” Spitzer-Rubenstein (it’s OK Mike, it’s a P-Funk reference. Really), who promised me he would be drinking Boylan’s Birch Beer. Since the bar room conversation is intended to be friendly, I vowed I’d not shoot at the sitting duck Powell had posted--announcing his candidacy for another (as the narrator of the newsreel in Kane puts it) “ignominious defeat,”-- until after our little tete a tete.
Unfortunately, Powell’s golden shower of hilarity has subsequently been discovered, requiring that I put up or shut up posthaste. Sorry Mike, but the first round is on me.
So, let me get right to the point. Most challenges to incumbents are about the incumbent, Kevin, but this race was about you.
The last time Ed Towns had a primary, he couldn't manage a majority against an ideological fanatic (who pretty much denied the humanity of about 40% of the district's population) and a convicted criminal. In the prior decade, I'm not sure Towns ever cracked 53%, despite twice running against an opponent saddled with the disadvantage of an Harvard education. But despite having endorsed and stuck with Hillary Clinton, Ed Towns cleaned your clock. And the issue was YOU.
Perhaps you can do some self-deconstruction while I do the same to your defiant call for a rematch.
Let’s go to the videotape:
“If Mr. Towns has done little to nothing for the district during his 26 years in office, we seriously doubt that he is suddenly going to change now.”
I note this sentence only because it is the first of Mr. Powell’s numerous uses of the “Royal We”. When it comes to “Royal Wee“, Powell just can’t hold it in.
“We know the people of neighborhoods like East New York, Bed-Stuy, Fort Greene, Midwood, and Williamsburg deserve representation that is accessible, visible, and reliable on a consistent basis. Mr. Towns has a history of only helping selected areas and groups in the district, the people he knows are most likely to vote on primary day every two years because he caters to them only.”
To whom is Mr. Powell referring perchance?
TRANSLATION (courtesy of Lou Reed):
“I wanna be black, wanna be like martin luther king
As I previously reported, Powell had high hopes for Hasidic Williamsburg, and some local gonovim had high hopes for the cash Powell was supposed to be capable of raising.
Future council candidate and longtime contemptible cur, Isaac Abraham, sort of, kind of, conveyed Powell a quasi-endorsement (complete with a joke about violence against women, because Abraham apparently considers violence against women a joke), but seemingly failed to follow it up with the fifty votes that he is capable of delivering. And hungry for cash-Rabbi Leib Glanz, who is capable of delivering 20 times that amount, decided that State Senate candidate Dan Squadron was his kosher cash cow and that Powell was strictly trief.
Glanz’s dumping of incumbent Senator Marty Connor for Squadron barely made a difference in that race. The two wings of Satmar were each forced to prove that they were the ones who could deliver, something which never would have occurred had they hung together. As a result, the Hasidic vote nearly tripled, and while Connor’s percentage in the area dropped from 90% to about 2/3rds, the much increased vote count left his vote margin in the area almost intact.
But while the volumes of money put on the street in the State Senate race resulted in a near-wash, all that effort did inure to the benefit of one person.
Supported by both Satmar factions, Towns tripled his Williamsburg margin without out any additional effort. No wonder Powell complains about Towns’ relationship with “the people he knows are most likely to vote on primary day every two years because he caters to them only.”
Geez, without the Hasids, Towns would have only managed about 62%.
“And we know that all the voter intimidation, manipulation, and suddenly broken voter machines were not mere coincidence.”
That’s right because Towns’ operation knew exactly where Kevin was strong.
Hey, Kevin, did you even manage to carry one election district anywhere in the 10th?
“Nor were the attacks on my character that appeared in certain newspapers and websites.”
That’s right Kevin, Ed Towns owns me, that’s why I've written pieces like the one on this link.
“So we will never know, for sure, what the real vote count was, because this was never a fair campaign from the very beginning.”
Translation: As they said in “Citizen Kane”: “FRAUD AT THE POLLS” (God, the parallels are uncanny; both Powell and Kane also have mother issues).
Humbling is surely a new experience for Kevin, but one most exquisitely delivered not by phone, email, text message or snail mail, but rather by the means of an old fashioned voting machine.“ Sometimes when you are in the middle of a very serious campaign for political office, you have no idea how many people care, how many people want you to win, how many people believe in you and your team and the desire to see a movement for change across America.”
I know exactly how many: 11,046.“And I am especially grateful to the multicultural army of younger people who worked on our campaign, who voted, who told me this is the first time they actually took politics seriously.”
Yes, Barack Obama couldn’t make them take politics seriously; only Kevin Powell could muster the requisite amount of dignity necessary for that purpose.
“We the people are the leadership we are waiting for in Brooklyn“
And, it‘s eloquence like that which sets Powell apart from poseurs like Barack Obama.
“Just as Abraham Lincoln lost nearly a dozen political campaigns before becoming president of the United States, just as Barack Obama lost a Congressional campaign in 2000 before becoming the Barack Obama of today, we are going to take this 2008 campaign as a necessary step toward victory in 2010.”
What was it Bert and Ernie used to say? “One of these things is not like the other; one of these things doesn’t belong…”