Foul Treachery In The 40th Assembly District
A note for readers not familiar with Room 8NY. A prominent, and well-respected blogger, Gate-Mouth takes issue with the fact that I praised Councilman Charles Barron for refusing to include indicted assemblywoman Diane Gordon on his palm cards on Election Day. The story begins with quotes from my article “Yvette Clarke & Charles”
Yvette Clarke & Charles
“Finally, once more, Charles Barron showed his integrity by refusing to carry an indicted elected official on his palm cards. He did it in 2004 when he was the only elected official to support a challenge to Clarence Norman. And he did it again this year.”
Maurice Gumbs (9/14/06)
“The Daily News made the 40th AD election a contest between Ken
Maurice Gumbs (9/10/06)
GATEMOUTH RESPONDS BELOW TO MY COMMENTS:
Actually Maurice, my position on this race was similar to that taken by Barron. I refused to endorse, so did he. Maybe this was an act of integrity; maybe it was an act of cowardice. Here’s what Rock Hackshaw had to say:
“Charles Barron is not supporting Ken Evans. He never has. Last time Ken ran against Diane, Barron took a pass even though Evans did his petitions in 2001. This is one of the reasons why I called Barron a COWARD publicly. It's also one of the reasons why I haven't returned any of his phone calls in over a month. The DA called Barron in to view ALL of the Gordon tapes (I will say no more on this). I am getting out of this game because it STINKS.”
I don’t know who’s right about Barron; my inclination is that you are both wrong, but regardless, one thing is clear. You cannot hail Barron for not taking sides, and then excoriate me for doing the exact same thing. If anything, Barron, an elected official who seeks votes from the public, must be hold to a higher standard that I.
I look forward to your carefully nuanced explanation. I look forward even more to Rock’s response.
Submitted by Gate (not verified) on Fri, 09/15/2006 - 7:34am.
I'd still like to here your response, but I just picked up this great tidbit from Errol Lewis, which makes the whole argument a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing:
"I was also interested to see, on a visit to Barron's headquarters, stacks of Diane Gordon palm cards just waiting to be picked up and distributed by Barron's volunteers."
Please correct your article accordingly.
AND BELOW IS MY RESPONSE TO GATE-MOUTH:
Gates. Glad you are still concerned about your position on Diane Gordon and Charles Barron. In attempting to justify it, you have probably made it worse.
Let’s start with Errol Lewis. I am assuming that this Daily News reporter told the truth about seeing stacks of Diane Gordon palm cards just waiting to be picked up and distributed by Barron’s volunteers. I wonder why Errol would want to leak this information through you rather than present it himself.
If Errol gave you one of those palm cards I would like to see what it looks like. Or maybe Errol himself can scan those palm cards and can indicate here just when he saw them at Barron’s headquarters. Errol can also state whether he knew for a fact that the cards were waiting for distribution by Barron’s volunteers, or not just left there to be thrown in the garbage. And again, ask Errol tell you on what day and around what time he saw those palm cards there? That would be helpful.
As you know I spent a couple of weeks in the 40th, including Election Day. Candidates distributed many variations of palm cards. However, I am not aware that Barron distributed the palm cards you refer to. I assume that these “stacks of Diane Gordon palm cards” carried not only Diane Gordon’s name, but also Barron’s. Otherwise, it would be absurd for Barron’s volunteers to be asked to carry them. Correct?
No one to my knowledge reported sighting a Gordon/Barron palm card on Election Day And although it is possible that Gordon may have generated such a card, no one reported seeing Barron’s workers distributing it. If Errol can produce evidence that Barron distributed pro-Gordon cards, I will most definitely condemn Barron. If he cannot, then I think you will agree that this is a dastardly attempt to smear Barron, and both you and Errol will need to apologize.
It is true that Charles Barron did not endorse Ken Evans. I met Charles at a candidates forum one morning, and he informed me that he would not be endorsing any of the Assembly candidates in the 40th AD. That was no surprise to me, and in fact I felt this was a decision that was completely acceptable by Evans.
Ken Evans had been affiliated with Ed Towns for many years and had been a loyal supporter. In fact, both Ed and his son Darryl referred to Ken Evans as family. All of this was fairly public information. And the fact is that Evans never asked Charles for his endorsement because it would have been ludicrous under the circumstances.
Up to a few days before the election, Ed Towns was in contact with Evans assuring him(and me) that he(Towns) would not be carrying Diane Gordon on his palm cards, and urging Evans to include him (Towns) on all his palm cards. And the fact is that I myself did a little project for Ed as part of inducement to support Evans.
Ed Towns was carried on every single one of the palm cards that Ken Evans distributed on Election Day. And in addition, Towns, after switching from Robin Sheares and Pia Woods, persuaded Evans to carry Earl Williams and Jacqueline Williams on his palm cards. Towns used Evans to win some points with the County Leader. As a reward for his absolute loyalty to Towns, Ken Evans was stabbed in the back. Diane Gordon was carried on the official palm card distributed by the Ed Towns campaign. I have a copy in my possession. It says “paid for by the Committee To Elect Ed Towns.”
The truth is that if Evans knew that Towns would have been supporting Gordon, he never would have gone into this race. It was bad enough that Evans was expecting substantial support from the Congressman, and received virtually ZERO.
As for me. Had I known that Towns would carry Diane Gordon on his official palm card, I would have aggressively urged support of Barron. It was absolutely ridiculous for Evans to be carrying Towns on his palm cards(that Towns didn’t pay a penny for) when he (Towns) was carrying Diane Gordon. The real story here for Errol Louis is that Congressman Towns made a complete sucker out of a candidate that the Daily News endorsed. This was a complete Towns con-job.
As for you comparing yourself with Barron, Gatey… you can only identify yourself with Charles Barron if you had something of value to gain by endorsing Gordon, and something to lose by remaining neutral in the matter. To my knowledge you had no material investment in Gordon’s success or defeat, did you? You had nothing to lose.
On the other hand, Charles Barron had much to lose. The default mode is for incumbents to support incumbents even when they are indicted. The County Leader expects this and demands this. Just before Election Day, we understand that Vito Lopez read the Riot Act to all incumbents on this matter.
Charles evidently chose to defy the County Leader. That was an act of Courage. He showed the same courage in 2004 when he supported a candidate who was not a real threat to Clarence Norman. Just on principle. He endorsed that candidate, and worked hard for him. I believe he would have done the same for Evans this year. But I think you recognize that it would have been absurd for Barron to endorse Evans when Evans was supporting his opponent. I repeat this. Charles Barron could not endorse Evans when Evans was carrying Towns on every one of his palm cards.
I am positive that you can and will find other issues on which to challenge Charles. So may I. But I don’t think Courage is one of them. You may take Rock as your guide and guru on the matter of Charles’ character. But you know I absolutely condemned Rock’s statements when they were made. And by the way, I am at a loss to understand why you(or someone else) would refer to Charles as the “Black Barron.” Can’t we just leave it at “Barron.?” Innocent adjectives can often be misinterpreted as pejorative.
This is an unfinished story, Gate-Mouth. My prediction is that Diane Gordon will be convicted at her first trial in less than 6 months. There will be a Special Election to replace her. My information is that Charles Barron defeated Towns in the 40th AD. Charles should choose and elect the new Assemblyperson in the 40th AD. And it won’t be that difficult. As long as he doesn’t threaten to slap someone for his mental health. Moreover it will be the first leg of his 2008 Congressional campaign.
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