In Part One, I wrote skeptically about the efforts of a group of “Reform” political clubs from portions of white Brooklyn calling themselves “The Brooklyn Reform Coalition”’ to form a coalition to clean up the County’s Democratic politics.
Speaking of one of the clubs named, I wrote:
Even with their good intentions, too many in Bay Ridge Dems are too institutionally tied to trod anyone’s toes outside their major turf.
Like clockwork, today their President announced:
“Bay Ridge Democrats were unaware of this coalition and I was surprised that we were mentioned as part of the story…My club has only one focus and that is to elect forward-thinking Democrats who truly represent our community…“We are not interested in being considered an anti-County club and we are not interested in waging war on Vito Lopez or the Kings County Democratic Party,”
A Brooklyn Democratic club more interested in fighting Republican than other Democrats?
I’d say the “Reformers” could learn a lesson from this, but in reality, Vito Lopez probably needs to learn this lesson even more.
Anyway, I ended my prior chapter by saying:
Then there is the mess called IND.
It is my considered opinion that, because of internal divisions, IND may this year end up ceasing its existence, or, if it does not, it may no longer end up an ally of “reformers.” Even should it survive in some form as a reform club, its County Committee slate will surely contain a substantial portion of Lopez allies.
But, that is a discussion I will leave for part two.
It is now part two, but as is so often the case, I’d like to digress.
The most delightful political operative I ever encountered was a gentleman named William Jonathan Gelfond.
In a world where people’s knuckles often bleed from dragging on the ground, Billy was a witty sophisticated, well traveled intellectual.
He was revered as a sage.
In 1994, a year after Billy’s death, I remember another operative named Dave Keisman describe his hatred for then Governor Mario and how he was thinking of voting for NAP anti-Semite Lenora Fulani in the primary.
“There’s only one reason I won’t. I keep picturing Billy Gelfond telling me ‘that would be wrong.’”
Billy could make people incapable of feeling guilt feel guilty.
Mostly though, he made people laugh.
Someone once suggested Bob Morgenthau deserved a primary.
Billy, who’d once been put through the mill by Morgenthau, answered. “Yes he does, but remember you feel that way because you’re in politics, and when people fuck you, your natural response is to give them a primary. Mr. Morgenthau is in a different business, which is putting people in jail. I suggest you consider what his natural response would be.”
For years, Billy was Marty Connor’s right arm, which mostly consisted of screaming at Connor and saying “you have to do this!”
Billy had a voice perfect for screaming.
I will always be grateful for his compiling for me a list of the best books about politics which included “The Godfather.”
When he died, I remembered this poem from “Spoon River Anthology.”
Jonathan Swift Somers*
AFTER you have enriched your soul
To the highest point,
With books, thought, suffering, the understanding of many personalities,
The power to interpret glances, silences,
The pauses in momentous transformations,
The genius of divination and prophecy;
So that you feel able at times to hold the world
In the hollow of your hand;
Then, if, by the crowding of so many powers
Into the compass of your soul,
Your soul takes fire,
And in the conflagration of your soul
The evil of the world is lighted up and made clear—
Be thankful if in that hour of supreme vision
Life does not fiddle
I think of him today for reasons more prosaic.
Back in the 80s, Billy would ask every new acquaintance:
“Are you a member of a political club where you vote?”
I then belonged to the Garson Crime Family’s version of the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club, which had one voting member, which meant that could Billy ask me to join the Brooklyn Heights based West Brooklyn Independent Democrats (WBID).
The only requirement of my membership was that I come to meetings about once a year to vote, and WBID had a rule that you could not vote there if you were a voting member of another political club.
WBID had started as a leftie club which came out of the Reform movement and the Anti-War movement. Virtually all its members were left/liberals, but they divided into two distinct factions, 1) those who threw rocks at the halls of power because they wanted in, and 2) those who threw rocks at the halls of power because they liked throwing rocks. Billy had nothing against a well placed rock, but he was more interested in getting behind the closed doors.
For year, State Senator Marty Connor, District Leader Joan Millman and others used WBID as their powerbase, but every year they had to battle the true believers within their club. They won every year, until Billy finally got tired of fighting the fight and said he wouldn’t do it any longer.
I submit there is a lesson here, which I will come back to later.
En masse, Marty, Joan and company left the club and moved their operations to the Carroll Gardens base of their running mate, Assemblywoman Eileen Dugan, the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND). Two reform clubs existed in the area by virtue of the 72 reapportionment which had merged two ADs. The 82 reapportionment added a Bay Ridge based club as well.
Meanwhile, WBID dwindled down to a few lunatics, led by the late Lonnie Leavitt Cachione, the daughter in law of Brooklyn’s Communist City Councilman during the 1940s. INDer’s referred to Lonnie as WBID’s “President for Life.”
As I noted in 2006, There has always been a great debate among the “progressive” cognoscenti about whether IND really qualifies as a “reform” club. For years, the club was run as Assemblywoman Eileen Dugan's personal fiefdom, with rewards and punishments meted out in an arbitrary and capricious manner, while she personally supervised who sat with whom at club dinners (this was a point of pride). New applicants had to be approved by an executive committee she kept in her back pocket next to the ring she required visitors to kiss. The best that can be said is that she was a benevolent tyrant who had the implicit consent of the serfs she lorded over.
In 2006 I said “These days, IND is mostly about supporting it's electeds, which it does with varying degrees of competence, depending upon who's paying attention. If one is animated by a desire for remaking America as a social democracy, then IND is probably the wrong place to hang your hat. If one is animated by the desire for “good-government” process “reform”, you could do worse; IND is animated by a desire for certain “reforms” at certain times, subject to change. They got all self righteous about supporting Margarita Lopez-Torres for Surrogate, but like Major and Chris Owens, they were also all gung ho for lifetime hack Mike Feinberg as well. They are usually pretty damned liberal, but they are full of “reform” in phases; the moon is sometimes full too.”
There is a certain level of schizophrenia here. IND’s Assemblywoman votes a liberal line and goes the extra mile to appear to be a reformer, regularly getting Shelly’s permission to go off the reservation, and sometimes ticking off her County Leader, who mostly suffer her because he can’t beat her, and because the alternatives are even less palatable.
IND’s female leader, Jo Anne Simon, was also their candidate for City Council in the District they most overlapped, which infuriated Vito Lopez, who successfully ran his Chief of Staff, Steve Levin, who won because of a split left/liberal/reform vote in a fragmented field.
As a District Leader, Simon had not been a reflexive Lopez enemy. As far as Vito was concerned this was not a good thing. Reflexive enemies didn’t think, and were incapable of building useful coalitions. Nothing was more dangerous than someone who was with you some of the time, on what they thought were the merits, rather than out of loyalty. One could not abide that, because it might set a bad example to others..
Worse, Simon not only needled, questioned and fought Vito behind closed doors, which was bad enough, but sometimes took her concerns public, which was unforgiveable.
Jo Anne Simon is a brilliant lawyer and has been an effective civic activist for decades. As a social friend, she is for some an acquired taste, who’s mastered the art of being sarcastic without being funny; but she works hard and gives the District what it wants from a political leader.
The Brooklyn Democrat’s Executive Committee needs at least a few members to raise questions and fusses, to keep the boys honest, and to, when necessary, raise a public stink when private ones don’t work.
This is what this District wants and expects from its District Leader. Jo Anne Simon can say honestly she has fulfilled that role and will continue to do so.
Which is why Vito Lopez keeps giving her primaries.
But there’s another side to IND.
I call it the Buddy Side.
Pardon me if I repeat things I’ve said before—I’m merely trying to channel the self proclaimed Mayor of Carroll Gardens, the Merry Mortician, Salvatore “Buddy” Scotto.
Once again IND is forming a circular firing squad as it puts itself into civil war footing, and as usual, at the center of the war is this gregarious but somewhat annoying old man.
We’ve all heard Buddy’s stories a million times; like how Buddy Scotto stood up against organized crime in Carroll Gardens at a time when doing so was an invitation to a premature funeral (which probably would have been the first mob-related funeral in the Scotto firm’s history--the Wise Guys mostly use Raccuglia, sometimes Cusimano or Guido, but never Scotto), and that Buddy has had, at least once, to go into exile for his efforts.
Everyone knows this story--at least everyone who’s ever had the misfortune to spend ten minutes with Buddy with no polite way to exit. He usually tells it right before the one about Nelson Rockefeller calling him up to convince him to vote for Ford at the 76 Republican Convention.
Buddy goes back a long time. He was born in October of 1928, his birth foreshadowing by a year the great depression to come.
Over the years, Buddy has been the recipient of literally thousands of proclamations, resolutions, citations, commendations, letters of praise, letter of tribute and other multi and various honors, many of them sincere, commending his good works, such as they are; these honors have for many years provided the Scotto Funeral Home with ample wall decorations, insulation and scrap paper which, if burned, could power the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel into the next millennium.
Buddy has lived his entire life in his home neighborhood of “South Brooklyn” (as it was then) leaving only to visit his modest summer home in Bay Ridge. Distressed to learn the area was really in northern Brooklyn, Buddy worked tirelessly to rectify the matter, earning the undying respect of area realtors, including most of his own family, by renaming the neighborhood “Carroll Gardens,” thereby making it safe for Young Upwardly Mobile Professionals who think Sicily is town in Alaska and Naples a place in Florida to which their parents retire.
For decades, Buddy was the leading force in the effort to clean up the Gowanus Canal, Founding the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC), with the twin goals of improving neighborhood conditions and eliminating a major source of cut-rate competition to his funeral business. Now, with the operation of the Flushing Tunnel Buddy is largely responsible for putting back into action, and his other efforts to improve the area, the neighborhood has become far more attractive for development from which Buddy’s family can profit.
There is even a rumor that Buddy is in the process of creating a Gowanus Canal Fishing Fleet, to provide local stores and restaurants with homegrown Brooklyn delicacies, thereby revitalizing the local economy and creating new customers for his family business.
Buddy is also the founder of the Carroll Gardens Association (CGA), another local development corporation. For years, Buddy has solemnly promised that one day, CGA will initiate a project that is actually in Carroll Gardens. For years, CGA ‘s name and Buddy’s talent for smoke and mirrors were responsible for deceiving local elected officials and the press into believing that the area had a functioning civic association. When the pressure to actually create one of those finally became too much, Buddy helped to create one of them as well.
More recently, Buddy has become the leading force in the effort not to clean up the Canal, putting lie to those who claim that Buddy is incapable of embracing new ideas.
Buddy has been an effective political leader, starting out in politics as a Republican who supported Democrats and ending up as a Democrat who supported Republicans (unless those persistent rumors that he‘s become a Republican again are actually true), a man who always remembers his friends, for at least five minutes, if not twice that long.
Buddy’s advocated for such causes as banning waterfront uses from the waterfront, rebuilding the Berlin Wall around Carroll Gardens (and charging admission to enter) and replacing the Gowanus Expressway with a tunnel with an entrance, but no exit, so like the Roach Motel and the Scotto Funeral Home, customers can check in, but they can’t check out [Unlike the joke about the fishing fleet, all of these proposals pretty much reflect Buddy’s actual views].
Buddy is a compassionate man, for whom there is no task so large, or favor so big, that he won’t ask someone else to do it. He’s a proud family man, and a successful businessman who prospers in the face of stiff competition. Buddy is the life of every party, a man who is as comfortable cutting a rug as he is in wearing one.
As Bill Maher would say, I kid Buddy Scotto, but I do it with love.
The man is a giant.
Back in the late sixties and early seventies, Buddy Scotto saw what was happening to his neighborhood and didn’t like it, and who could blame him? He correctly perceived it was on a downhill slide and he made efforts to preserve and restore its housing stock, assist its local businesses and address other neighborhood ills at a time when the elected hacks from the Regular Democratic Club largely ignored such concerns. His efforts drew a front page Jack Newfield article in the Village Voice entitled “Saving Brooklyn a Block at a Time.”
During this time, Buddy decided that political change was needed and threw in with the local Reform Democrats, embodied by their local club, IND.
The fit was never very comfortable. The district was dominated by two neighborhoods which were polar opposites, Brooklyn Heights (rich White Anglo Saxon Protestants and Jewish Anglo Saxon Protestants) and Carroll Gardens (working class, socially conservative Italians and Irish). The electeds, folks like Mike Pesce (a native of Italy), Eileen Dugan and Steve Dibrienza (both South Brooklyn natives), all learned to talk the liberal talk ,while walking the ethnic walk. Be for choice and the gays, but don’t go mentioning it south of Degraw Street. Mike, Eileen, Steve and Marty Connor all were passionate liberals, even on social issues; Buddy went along for the ride, and his programs and projects prospered, especially in the 90s, when Dugan and Connor wielded real power.
The IND folks may have started out as reformers, and they never lost their base convictions, but they learned to compromise and play the game. That’s why the WBID refugees joined them.
Buddy learned too, but his game was a different one. Never a social liberal, he backed anti-gay Susan Alter for Congress against Ed Towns. In 2005, when someone at IND proposed sending Marty Markowitz a letter expressing concern over his endorsement of Mike Bloomberg, Buddy not only led the fight to oppose such a letter, but proudly bragged of his support for Bloomberg and other Republicans.
But conservatism didn’t motivate Buddy; he was goal directed. His models have always been other late 1960s-early 1970s vintage community organizers of Italian-American origin, who combined Alinsky-inspired tactics and programs with techniques reminiscent of the old time Italian-American padrones, mixing old-fashioned empire building with a radical world view. These were people like North Newark’s Steve Adubato, the South Bronx’s Father Louis Gigante and the pre-elected official version of Vito Lopez.
In their fiefdom’s, these visionary men administered a local, warm and paternal version of democratic socialism and opposed their communities’ reactionary elements, but at the same time, they sometimes seemed ruthless in their methods, and had no qualms about making alliances based solely upon accumulation of power, without regard to ideological principles.
I should note that liberals who excused the likes of Steve Harrison for endorsing Republicans to further a zoning proposal in middle class Bay Ridge really have no business in criticizing those who do the same to help obtain money for programs to help the poor and working class. Buddy’s neighborhood may have been richer than the North Ward of Newark or Bushwick, but it wasn’t always that much so, and is so today in large measure because of Buddy’s efforts (which also benefited the much more impoverished neighborhood of Red Hook). But Buddy never achieved the power wielded by these other men because, truth be told, he was always too much of a lovable goofball to be ruthless. Still, his politics were only part of IND’s by fiat.
And they sometimes got ugly.
In 2003, a group of lowlife vermin (a description, not a value judgment) got wind of an effort by the Asian-American Women’s Center to locate a Domestic Violence shelter (a facility which requires a secret location) called Rose House in Carroll Gardens. They proceeded to start a campaign to stop it, engaging in veiled racist attacks, while publicizing the facility’s address, and threatening to circulate fliers with the address in Asian neighborhoods.
The one hope we had of putting a stop to such abominable behavior was that someone with Buddy’s standing in the community would take a principled stance. Instead, afraid of losing his constituency, Buddy joined with the Rose House opponents. This was surely not a matter of social conservatism, as Cecile Cacace, another community leader far more socially conservative than Buddy, supported Rose House saying, "in a choice between God and the Devil, I choose God."
Scotto’s daughter Debra explained to me that the people opposing Rose House just didn’t like to location on a residential street and wanted it moved to a commercial strip like Court Street. She may actually have believed this, but my guess is that the guy on President between Court and Smith did not have a “Stop the Shelter” sign in his window because he wanted it moved closer to his house. Still, I will credit Buddy and Debra for repeating their spin so often that they actually started to believe it.
Buddy could never even be bothered to call for an end to disseminating the facility’s location (a tactic which only ceased after Joe Hynes threatened prosecution), though he did write a letter to the paper accusing the Rose House’s supporters (I was their leader) of “name calling” which “never furthers civic discourse,” when all we had done was accurately describe the tactics the opponents had engaged in. I note that when one of the anti-Rose House leaders called me "sub-human," Buddy’s silence was deafening.
Please note that this one-sided call for an end to “name calling” came from a man who once said that Jerry Nadler’s position on waterfront usage stemmed from Nadler's being “either stupid or corrupt,” and who later paternalistically proclaimed that residents of Red Hook Houses who supported a development project Buddy opposed (back in the days when Buddy still opposed development projects) “lacked self-esteem” (hundreds of those residents now work at the Ikea and Fairway Buddy opposed, surely improving their “self esteem” with every paycheck).
These days, there’s not a development project Buddy doesn’t support, and he’s been rewarded in dozens of way. His tiny block of First Place has more members of Community Board Six, per capita, then any in the district--this from a Borough President who, in the same board, has sometimes left unrepresented entire housing projects with thousands of residents (while having his staff tell the press it’s OK, because he’s got the legal power to do so). Buddy’s daughter Debra, coincidentally, a developer and her business partner both serve on Board Six, as does the wife of one of Buddy’s employees. That employee also has a part-time job with Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Buddy once ran him for City Council.
His name was John Heyer, who was pro-life and anti-same sex marriage. .
Heyer was unelectable in Brownstone Brooklyn. The gentrification that Buddy Scotto helped to give birth to in order to save his neighborhood for people like himself has pushed people like himself out.
The truth is that the Buddy Scotto constituency is no longer a factor in the Democratic politics of Carroll Gardens. Barack Obama crushed Hillary here in the primary. Heyer ran third in Carroll Gardens, running first only in the “Buddy Zone” around the Scotto Funeral Home.
Yes, many old-timers survive, but they are an important constituency mostly at the funeral home, and many of those who still live and breathe have tended so long to vote Republican that they largely ignore Democratic primaries, even if they are still eligible to vote in them. And, even among those who do vote, a good third of them are old time Regulars who've never forgiven Buddy for his trespasses during the 70’s.
In truth, as Marty Connor discovered, Buddy has no influence outside of maybe 100 people, not all of whom are enrolled Democrats, but all of whom have joined IND to be able to vote at its endorsement meeting. As a result, Heyer was the endorsed candidate of this liberal, reform club, a fact which was effectively used against Simon in her own Council race.
“Buddy” actually uses a fleet of hearses to ship many of his elderly supporters to IND endorsement meetings, perhaps in the hope that some of them wouldn‘t survive the trip home. Sometimes some don’t follow their instructions and scream remarks they’ve gotten off the Limbaugh show.
For her uncomfortable strategic silence in the Heyer manner, Simon is now being rewarded with a Vito Lopez backed primary from Debra Scotto, which will likely be financed largely by pro-development forces.
I happen to like Deb, whose morning walk to Law School back in the late 90s coincided with my daily walk of shame, back in the days I was providing serial stud service to young staffers to a local member of Congress. She’s pretty smart, and unlike Heyer, she’s not a social reactionary.
But she should not be representing reform oriented Brownstone Brooklyn on the County Party’s Executive Committee.
That will truly be the death of dissent and the banning of the disinfectant known as sunshine.
The Scotto’s big concern, outside of their love and admiration for Lopez, is the Gowanus Canal. Simon is sometimes a watchful critic of the Superfund process for cleaning the Canal, which is as it should be.
But Simon supports the Superfund process.
By contrast, the Scotto Real Estate Industrial Complex and their allies see the Superfund process as an impediment to their vision of neighborhood development, which happens to coincide with their pocket books (though they’d probably have the same position even if they didn’t stand to benefit).
As someone who put all the money he married into what ¾ of a million will buy in Brownstone Brooklyn--an ugly shotgun shack with an indoor pool every time it rains, half a block from the Canal-- I cannot say I was delighted by having a Superfund site declared in my neighborhood. If my son has been exposed to toxins, it is probably already too late to correct it. It was hard to see an upside.
“But think about the long run,” say Superfund enthusiasts.
I’m 54, at least 20 pounds overweight and drink far too much. The cleanup process may take 25 years. For me, there likely is no long run.
Many in my neighborhood who share my lack of delight oppose the Superfund; they are utterly clueless.
The Federal Government has now declared the Canal a site worthy of a toxic waste cleanup. Do Superfund opponents actually believe this assault upon their property values will be remediated by stopping the Superfund process? Imagine the impact on property values of a site declared worthy of the Superfund, which will never be addressed in that manner.
Are they nuts?
At his point, the smart move for property owners is to acknowledge the bad news, move forward with the Superfund, but monitor the damned thing (sort of like what Jo Anne Simon is doing) , and try to get the Feds to allow some of the less heroic efforts to improve in the Canal to continue in the meantime.
Those who think stopping the Superfund process from going forward will protect their precious development projects and the profits they hope to yield from them are probably smoking crack,
But this, plus the unending efforts of Vito Lopez to stifle dissent, are the reasons we are having a primary for District Leader.
And Joan Millman, who helped Heyer, in consideration of his years of service as an aide (and the fact the Council doesn’t have a vote on abortion and marriage), though she supports Simon, has gotten tired.
I am reminded of this passage from Robert Caro’s Robert Moses bio, “The Power Broker”:
Long after La Guardia died, Walter Binger recalled for the author a conversation he had with the ex-mayor in 1946…
“La Guardia was eating alone in the corner…I noticed he was looking very gloomy, and after lunch I went up to him and I said, “How’s things Major?”
“He said he had just been thinking about the city, and then he said “Moses has got too much power up here now.”
Binger…says that La Guardia looked so unhappy while he was saying this that he was moved to put his arm around the little Mayor’s shoulders. But he couldn’t resist asking as he did so, “Well, Major, who gave it to him?”
“At that…La Guardia looked even sadder. Finally, he said, “Yes, but I could control him. Now no one will be able to control him.”
The first part of the ex-Mayor’s statement was not completely accurate. The second part was.
Eileen Dugan could often control Buddy Scotto, give or take. Joan Millman can no longer do so, and therefore can no longer control IND, and she has finally given up.
IND will not be making an endorsement this year for Female District Leader, because, if they did, they would likely endorse a Vito Lopez-backed real estate developer against their reform incumbent.
I submit that the sine qua non of being a political club with any hope of having an impact on reforming your party is to run candidates for Party leadership positions and win them.
Instead, IND is essentially taking a dive for Vito Lopez
But just because a dive has been taken doesn’t mean we won’t have a floor fight at this club.
It will be done by proxy.
Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez, a strong Lopez opponent, who is also an important supporter of the Superfund cleanup of the Canal, is being challenged by Vito Lopez’s candidate, Councilman Erik Dilan, as well as two bozos, whose votes will come entirely from Velezquez (and at least one of whom is likely a Lopez plant).
Here’s what Buddy said about Nydia and the Superfund.
A federal lawmaker is selfishly supporting a proposal to designate the Gowanus Canal a Superfund site to keep out future voters who might not cast their votes her way, an influential local activist is charging.
“She is absolutely committed to preventing the development of housing for people who ordinarily wouldn’t vote for her…She thinks that even affordable housing is even too expensive for poor Hispanics and poor Latinos and she is committed to saving poor Latinos. I’m not suggesting that is not worthwhile — she is totally and utterly committed to serving the Latino community and she doesn’t think our concept of development along the canal will be her natural voting bloc.”
In Scotto’s view, designating the canal a Superfund site will extinguish any hope of ever seeing new development built along the waterway. “How can you possibly justify investing money in luxury apartments next to a Love Canal,” he said, referring to the infamous toxic site.
A Velázquez spokesperson responded “For Congresswoman Velázquez, the restoration of the Gowanus Canal has always been about what is best for the community, not politics. Unfortunately, Mr. Scotto has taken a closed-minded approach in suggesting that her views are solely based on the fact that she is Latina. Congresswoman Velázquez’s position is shared by a broad array of elected officials and, as shocking as this may be to Mr. Scotto, many of them are white. The reality is he would rather attack someone’s race than answer questions regarding the shortcomings of the city’s proposal, which he supports.”
As is often the case, the truth is the polar opposite of what Buddy is saying. Nydia knows her votes in Carroll Gardens are anti-development, pro-clean the canal Yuppies, and anyone who would say otherwise is an ignoramus or a liar, or some combination of the two.
Buddy has a history of making patronizing comments about minorities that verge upon the insulting, not because he’s a hater, but because he’s paternalistic. Recall what he said about IKEA and “self esteem,’”
Debra Scotto, calls Velázquez “totally anti-development…I think the constituency that she has along the canal — the manufacturers, the artists and the radical environmentalists — does not want development, and I think she’s feeding right into that.”
That’s the sort of Democratic Leader the 52nd wants, a developer who complains about “radical environmentalists.”
Returning to Velazquez, let me opine that Nydia actually cares about national issues, and is sometimes an articulate spokewoman for the public good. She’s also been very aggressive on behalf of the neighborhood she represents. I have my difference with her, but she’s a solid member of Congress.
Erik Dilan, who is with the Scottos on the Superfund, is a nice enough guy, with a very pretty wife, and a pretty shrewd daddy, who has been accused of gaming the system for his own advantage. His major virtue as an elected is that he’s loyal. This is mitigated by the fact of who he’s loyal to. His legislative accomplishments appear to be written in invisible ink.
This is what a FRIEND of his said about him to me:
There are few people who are lazier in the world than Erik Dilan....”
I am not reflexively anti-Lopez. I am supporting Lopez’s choice, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries against Ed Towns, the anti-Lopez incumbent.
I support the best candidate.
The best candidate is Nydia Velazquez.
From any measure IND professes to care about, including pragmatism, Velazquez is the best candidate.
But IND is likely to endorse Dilan.
This, unlike John Heyer, cannot be excused out of sentiment.
If IND endorses Erik Dilan, it is time for everyone to follow the example of Billy Gelfond and take a walk and leave the club to President for Life Buddy Leave-it Cacchione.
We could start Brownstone Independent Democrats and let attrition and the actuarial table wear away at the shell that will be left of IND.
I have more to say about the Congressional race, and about the Leader’s race in the 52nd (which Simon will likely win by a lansldie), but this will be enough for today.
Suffice it to say, to try to build a reform coalition which includes IND seems kind of silly.
Even if Velazquez is endorsed, IND’s County Committee slate, for some unfathomable reason the sine qua non of this Coalition’s goals, will include a full complement of Scotto loyalists, which means Lopez loyalists.
Which completes my series about why I am skeptical about the “Brooklyn Reform Coalition.”