So Little Time, So Many More Worthless Endorsements
Queens Borough President: Helen Marshall. In late October or early November of 2001, our City still reeling from the horrors of 9/11, at a time when my work assignments were expanded to include attending meetings on rebuilding Lower Manhattan both physically and emotionally, and putting on rubber gloves everyday to inspect the mail for suspicious packages before it was opened (a task which at least once led to a visit to our office by men wearing protective space suits), I accompanied a date on a evening of Musical Comedy held at a Bulgarian restaurant in Sunnyside. It was there I first encountered Borough President Marshall’s main opponent, Marc Leavitt, whose performance as a roadshow version of Mark Russell I was attending.
Although the smoked fish platter was excellent, the evening would not have been worth it, even if I had gotten laid. It was not the lameness of Mr. Leavitt’s attempts at levity I most strenuously objected to (although, make no mistake about it; I objected on those grounds as well), but rather his attempts at political commentary.
Most specifically, I objected to a song called "We’re on Different Sides." In the song, a duet between George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden, the two leaders are portrayed as each other’s moral equivalents.Even now, after having published scathing criticism of Bush’s handling of these events and their aftermath, I find myself with cold chills at the thought of that chirpy little song. Just to refresh everyone’s memories, this was just after we’d undertaken the well-justified invasion of Afghanistan, and well before the idiocy of Iraq.
Thus, I must conclude that Mr. Leavitt is either unspeakably stupid, or just unspeakable. While I understand that a victory for Mr. Leavitt would accomplish the worthy goal of curtailing his performance schedule, I find it a moral imperative to call for his defeat each and every time he attempts to seek office ever again.
3rd Councilmanic (Manhattan): Yetta Kurland. Ms. Kurland seems a reflexive far-leftist of the most annoying sort, and in an election for an open seat I doubt she’d be better than my third choice. However, she is the better positioned of the two challengers to take out Speaker Christine Quinn. Though in many ways a credible leader, and perhaps a recipient of more blame than she deserved for a “slush fund” she inherited, the time has come for Ms. Quinn’s replacement with another member who will be more interested in standing up to the Mayor than lying down for him. Hell, Chris, the Mayor has his own slush fund, why does he need access to yours to push through his programs? Frankly, as a leader of the Democratic Party, isn’t Ms. Quinn obligated to endorse the Democratic Party candidate for mayor? Wouldn’t a race for Speaker be fun? YES!
11th Councilmanic (Bronx): Oliver Koppell. Alongside one of my favorite Assemblymembers, Richard Brodsky, the incumbent, Mr. Koppell, may be one of the most vain, pompous and obnoxious people ever to seek public office in this state (although Koppell’s wife Lorraine does come close). During the course of his long career in public life, Mr. Koppell went from being NYS Attorney General (where he personally retired the avuncular style of his predecessors Louis Lefkowitz and Robert Abrams, for the stick up the butt mode also favored by Eliot Spitzer) to membership on a Community School Board, perhaps leading to their abolition. He is one of the Council’s smartest members–just ask him. I don’t like Mr. Koppell, and I’m not alone, but his defeat would result in a significant reduction in the Council’s aggregate IQ, and that is just too high a price to pay.
12th Councilmanic (Bronx): Anyone But Seabrook. The Bronx needs a good local blogger/sherpa so outsiders can better understand the lay of the land; as such, I cannot recommend the best candidate against Larry Seabook (I‘d call him a scandal waiting to happen, but it‘s already happened again and again), suffice it to say that practically anything but a local Chuck Barron will do.
19th Councilmanic (Queens): Steve Behar. Do we really need another DINO member of the Vallone family sucking up to the Mayor? Steve Behar seems in the best position to stop this.
23rd Councilmanic (Queens): Mark Weprin. The less annoying Weprin brother. Good guy.
35th Councilmanic (Brooklyn): Letitia James. Please note, Tish is an enrolled member of the WFP. Nonetheless, Tish once said I was a black man in another life, so I guess I have to return the compliment. Unlike her WFP compatriots like Bertha Lewis, Tish has not been bought off by Bruce Ratner, and, as a result, bought herself a primary. Voting for Tish is another way of saying “no” to pay for play. Plus, she’s smart, which makes her a member of an underrepresented minority group.
42nd Councilmanic (Brooklyn): Carlos Bristol. This six way race makes a good argument for more restrictive ballot access laws. I’ve written so much about Charles Barron in the past, that I probably don’t have to put in a link. Beating him would be such a public service I’d endorse the combined candidate of the WFP and the Independence Party (if such a beast--a good term for it-- existed) just to do it. Of the five challengers, Mr. Bristol seems among the two best placed, and of the two best placed, he seems the less likely to be a scandal waiting to happen.
Male District Leader 64B (Manhattan): John Quinn. Earlier today, I endorsed Quinn’s running mate, Alice Cancel (who doubles as his wife), because she’s running against a lunatic. After some thought, I decided that anyone who teams with a lunatic was also worthy of defeat. Plus, I realized, if I didn’t endorse Quinn, he might get angry, and believe me, you don’t ever want to be in the same room with him when that happens.
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