Gate's Last Minute Endorsements: 2010 Edition
This grab bag of leftovers brings to an end my 2010 primary endorsements.
MORE CONGRESS (5th CD): I didn’t realize until today that Gary Ackerman had a primary. I’ve had my differences with Ackerman, but he plays a unique role in Congress, staking out the sort of First Amendment free speech and religion issues no one else has the guts to touch. He’s also been that rare unyielding supporter of Israel who’d stuck his neck way out in support of a Two State Solution and other pro-peace measures, which given the large number of Orthodox Jews he represents, takes real guts (compare Anthony Weiner and weep). Most importantly, Ackerman has a savage wit, which he uses to puncture the Republican balloon with more bravado than anyone but Barney Frank.
Gatemouth endorses Ackerman.
MORE 52nd AD: Forgot to mention that Vito Lopez’s outside army of occupation is running candidates for County Committee and Delegates and Alternates to the Judicial Nominating Convention.
Does Vito Lopez really need more control over the Judicial Nominating Convention than he’s already got?
The only homegrown alternative to Vito’s slate is the one run by the Independent Neighborhood Democrats (their first Delegate name is Ira Cure, their first alternate is Jocelyn Wills). Gatemouth endorses the IND slates for Delegate, Alternate and County Committee, with the proviso that one also sends a message of protest by not casting a delegate vote for reactionary John Heyer (if one feels it necessary to use all one’s votes, show Hope Reichbach we appreciate her hard work and perseverance by instead casting a vote for her mother, Ellen Meyers).MORE STATE SENATE (31 SD): Last year, I declared a Modified General Fatwa. during the primaries on candidates endorsed by the Working Families Party in their priority races. This year, another equally suspect cabal, the Bloomberg financed Philanthrogovernmentalists has also reared its ugly head in earnest. Both factions have spread their wings with such force that it is no longer possible to boycott either; one just has to consider their malevolence as one more factor to be considered among many others.
The best solution is to pick the best candidates and try to balance one faction with another when other viable choices are not available.
However, I think we can draw the line with balancing those factions with the same person. When a candidate in a primary is the choice of both the WFP and the Bloomies, one seems best advised to run for the hills.Other than being the choice of both pillars of NYS political malevolence, Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat seems to be running for the State Senate largely on the basis of ethnic cheerleading while using his member items to finance a local development corporation which essentially functions as his political clubhouse and extended family (sometimes literally).
His best and most viable opponents seems to be Mark Levine, who also seems to be intelligent and capable of thinking out of the box, and has a good record in the community.
Gatemouth endorses Mark Levine.ASSEMBLY (24th AD): As I’ve made clear, I don’t care all that much for David “Rupert Pupkin” Weprin, although his CV probably trumps everyone else’s in the Assembly.
However, as I’ve pointed previously, his opponent Bob Friedrich is a Republican plant put there to help Frank Padavan’s re-election. I don’t think a few more Republicans in the Assembly can do that much harm, but I prefer that they run under their own party line and not mine.But what clinches my endorsement is the that Friedrich has put out what must be the single most disgusting piece of campaign literature of the season not associated with Carl Paladino, a gross 9/11 exploiting anti-Muslim hate piece. By contrast, Weprin, an Orthodox Jew, has supported the right of the Islamic community to construct Community Center.
Weprin is a mensch; Friedrich is reprehensible.
Gatemouth endorses Weprin.
ASSEMBLY (26th AD): In this open eastern Queen seat, the entire Democratic establishment, in virtually all its factions, has rallied to support Edward Braunstein, a nephew of mega-lobbyist Brian Meara and a former aide to Speaker Sheldon Silver. Seems like a good place to send a message, no?
As to Braunstein’s opponents, first a little history.
Back in 1982, Carl Kruger first came to the favorable attention of the Senate Republicans, when, as an Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee staffer, he gave aide and comfort to a Republican State Senator as part of a “successful” scheme to elect Tom Duane’s brother, John, to a Queens Assembly seat.
Collectors of New York political memorabilia still pay valuable money for a copy of the famous photo of Kruger and the late Bernie Catcher proudly posed with broad smiles (a rarity for Kruger, who prefers scowling) in front of a polling place before a large sign illustrating for voters how they could vote for both Democratic Assembly candidate John Duane and Republican Senator Frank Padavan (running against a brilliant attorney named Nick Garaufis, who is now a federal judge).
Sadly, this was far from being the campaign’s most despicable act, and had the virtue of being perfectly legal. On the other hand, a series of phony “dear neighbor” letters (many fomenting and exploiting bigotry), as well as other related activities (apparently done without the candidate’s knowledge), resulted in multiple investigations for charges such as mail fraud. No indictments ever resulted, apparently since the only crimes which could be proven were those against human decency.
As a result, “successful” candidate Duane, who had literally lost control of his campaign to Kruger and company (and confessed to such in a conversation with Garaufis), was besieged by embarrassing headlines before he had even been sworn in, spending one term in Albany as “Dead Man Walking”, before the Republican he’d defeated was vindicated by the voters, and the hapless Duane retired from politics, bearing the entire brunt of someone else’s disgrace.
Ironically, Duane who’s campaign was launched and ended by the overreach of the Assembly Dem’s campaign apparatus, is now seeing his attempt at resurrection thwarted again by the 2010 version of those same forces.
It’s a bit sad, but so is attempting to be Lazarus 26 years later.Another candidate, Elio Forcina, a former aide to convicted felon Anthony “Tony Fats” Seminaria, has disqualified himself with piece of lit almost as disgusting as Friedrich’s, even if it is also almost totally unfathomable.
That leaves Steve Behar, an outspoken critic of Silver, who will surely bring some fresh air into the conference.
Gatemouth endorses Behar.
ASSEMBLY (28th AD): Normally, I don’t endorse sight unseen, but the events underlying incumbent Andrew Hevesi’s elevation to the Assembly led to someone’s felony conviction, and Hevesi’s dad, once my political hero, turned the state Comptroller’s office into a fire sale. I deeply resent having my illusions shattered and my heroes revealed as common criminals. Alan Hevesi has not yet suffered enough for his sins.
Gatemouth endorses Joe Fox.ASSEMBLY (35th AD): Jeff Aubrion , one of the Assembly’s smartest members, who for years fought the good fight for Rockefeller drug law reform and other worthy battles faces an ethnically based primary in his changing district from Anthony Miranda, a Monserrate protégé otherwise most notable for using his not-for-profit organization for campaign purposes. Miranda’s main issue is that Aubrion helped drug dealers.
Gatemouth endorses Aubrion.
ASSEMBLY (40th AD): The one “Silver” lining to the cloud of having Charles Barron’s wife in the Assembly was that she was supposed to drive the Speaker nuts.
The other thing we were promised was that she would be “progressive.” To me, that’s a mixed blessing at best. Then, Barron voted against same sex marriage.
So that hasn’t happened either.
Ken Evans has a good civic record and gets along with people of all shades.
Gatemouth endorses Evans
ASSEMBLY (42nd AD): Two years ago I wrote: “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.”
The fact Jacobs turns out to be collecting a pension and salary the same time for the same job is not a point in her favor. However, the taxpayers would not save one red cent if she only collected her pension, and Michele Adolphe collected the salary instead, so Adolphe must still make the case that she would do better in Albany or at home.
There are probably a dozen people in the District who can make that case, but Adolphe is not one of them.
Gatemouth endorses Jacobs.
ASSEMBLY (68th AD): El Barrio is like a nightmare where old names like Rodriguez and Rosado never go away. One candidate here, Evette Zayas, works for and is the choice of the incumbent, Adam Clayton Powell, which might be a bad harbinger, even if she is less likely to get arrested for rape.
My sources tell me that John Ruiz is the sort of old fashioned neighborhood based pol who provides constituent services and turkeys for Thanksgiving without benefit of a member item to finance it. I’m also told his idealism often makes him an irritant to the County organization, who nonetheless respect him for his large following. Ruiz seems committed to improving services in his area, and is allegedly smart and funny, practical and pragmatic. That seals the deal in my book.
Gatemouth endorses Ruiz.
ASSEMBLY (72nd AD): Former Assemblyman Nelson Denis is independent to a fault. The Assembly needs a few more members who don’t toe the line. Yes, I know that I did not endorse Doug Biviano and Andre Soleil, but I said independent, not insane. Denis is at least arguably sane, and as a writer myself, I think the Assembly should include at least one playwright.
Gatemouth endorses Denis.
ASSEMBLY (73rd AD): As I explained the other day, Jonathan Bing, a smart, independent, reform-minded liberal faces a primary almost solely owing to his willingness not to march in lockstep with public employee unions. The defeat of Jonathan Bing will send a loud and clear message that will surely quash any further acts of independence by any other state legislators.
This would be a bad thing.
Gatemouth endorses Bing.BRONX DISTRICT LEADERS: Trying to sort out the good and bad guys in the Bronx County Democratic Organization’s power struggles is like trying to chose between Costello and Luchessi. Therefore, I‘ll support anyone independent of either side, even if they‘re certifiably insane. In that spirit, I’m endorsing totally bonkers State Senate Candidate Mark Escoffery-Bey for Male Leader in the 77th AD.
Use E-Bey to send them a message.In the 76th AD, incumbent Leader Kenneth Padilla is being challenge by State Senator Ruben Diaz. The enemy of an Amigo is by definition my Amigo.
Gatemouth endorses Padilla.
In the 82nd AD, Part A , Gatemouth endorses anyone but Larry Seabrook.QUEENS DISTRICT LEADERS: Gatemouth is elated that South Asians in Queens are finally getting one of their own as District Leader, but Al Baldeo is a slug, so in AD 38, Part B, Gatemouth endorses Harpeet Toor for Male Leader.
In the 22nd AD, Part B, the incumbent Female Leader is Julia Harrison, a former Assemblywoman and Councilwoman. Julia, at 127 (or however old she is) has become a senile crank perennially running as the "anti-Asian" candidate. Julia used to be quite a liberal; got into politics to support Gene McCarthy. Made an inspiring speech in 86 in support of the gay rights bill (and outed her late brother in the process). But, then senility set in and she turned into David Duke crossed with Tom Tancredo. Same thing happened to Arthur Katzman and Mary Pinkett, two other great Council liberals who previously lacked a prejudiced bone in their bodies; very sad indeed.
The neighborhood where Julia lies in her vegetative state is called Flushing, which would be the perfect way to handle Julia.
For Female Leader in the 22nd AD, Part b, Gatemouth endorses Mabel Law.
STATE COMMITTEE MANHATTAN (AD 69): In 2000, former Democratic State Committeeman Bob Ginsberg violated his fiduciary duty to his Party by endorsing Ralph Nader for President. He lost his seat two years ago; now he’s trying for comeback. Fuck him! The name of Ginsberg’s opponent is Daniel Cohen--that’s all I need to know.
Gatemouth endorses Cohen.
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