Has the Vann Klan Made An Ass Out of Yassky?

Our prediction here is that David Yassky’s chance of victory in the 11th Congressional District has been severely diminished if not altogether wiped out.  But whether he wins or loses, David Yassky will always be remembered by name as the White candidate who tried to hijack a Congressional seat that belonged to “people of color.” His colleague City Councilman Al Vann didn’t just  plaster the label on Yassky right here in New York City.

Vann tagged Yassky as an enemy of Black Empowerment in allegations circulated in the Press and sent directly to Black elected officials and leaders across the United States. No doubt Vann had in mind the goal of  raising funds and endorsements for the Vann Klan’s  own candidate Carl Andrews, and their support group.

When  Councilman David Yassky decided to change his address to and run in the 11th Congressional District, he knew that there would be some people who would call him a carpet-bagger. But Yassky was willing to take that risk.  The reason was simple.  Term limits will soon bring an end to his gig on the City Council.  Looking around, Yasky sees a bunch of  bright and promising former Councilpersons wasting away on the city’s political garbage heap, and hustling to make a living . That’s not the Councilman’s vision of himself. Yassky fancies himself as either a United States Senator, or Governor of New York State. Maybe even a vice-presidential candidate. And clearly the only logical way to avoid the approaching dumpster was for the soon-to-be-terminated Councilman to run for Congress.  The 11th Congressional District was the only one which offered an empty seat. And Yassky looked forward to joining Anthony Weiner as the second Congressman to come out of Chuck Schumer’s office.

Nothing in the political atmosphere of Brooklyn  could have led Yassky to anticipate that he would be caught up in the middle of a Racial storm with city-wide and national overtones.  If he had seen it he probably would have remained in his home on Joralemon Street rather than moving to nearby Schemerhorn Street in order to establish a residence(not necessary for Congress) within the Congressional district. .And he definitely would not have supported John Sampson against Joe Hynes in last year’s contest for Brooklyn District Attorney.

Now, if his City Council colleague Charles Barron had planned to run in the 11th CD,  Yassky would have known what to expect.  He knew, and all of New York City knows what Charles would say.  Straight up,  “NO OFFENSE DAVE. . I THINK YOU’RE  A NICE GUY BUT TOO MANY WHITE MEN HAVE POWER ALREADY. “ Charles wouldn’t be hiding under the skirts of Assemblywoman Annette Robinson and Councilman Al Vann, and sniping at Yasky from under cover.  And Al Sharpton wouldn’t be called in to do his dirty work for him. 

Yassky was probably sure that his three opponents, Chris Owens, Carl Andrews and Yvette Clarke would not, could not,  play the Race Card since they are depending for victory on the support of  White voters in Crown Heights, Park Slope and Prospect Heights.  In fact even now, Yasky knows that  Carl and Yvette have their people furiously working on deals to lock up 1500 Crown Heights Hasidic votes. Because  that could determine the winner.  Inside information is that Crown Hasidic leaders are ready to support Carl because Elliot Spitzer, the New York’s next Governor has asked them to do so.  All that may be left is a contract from Spitzer confirming a Hillary Clinton style Kiryas Joel  $$$$$ deal  for Crown Heights. The Nominating petitions will soon disclose the truth.

With all of this in mind, it must be difficult for  David Yassky to believe that  Councilman Al Vann,  Assemblywoman Annette Robinson and the Vann Klan would promote Carl as  Central Brooklyn’s Great Black Hope to defeat the White Man, and maintain Black Empowerment.

Yassky was probably the first person to review Carl’s Campaign Finance Report filed with the Federal Election Committee, and found on the Internet.  And sooner or later friends of  Yvette Clarke and Chris Owens will distribute these reports so that residents of the 11th  CD will see who owns which candidates. Yassky  knows that 80% or more of Carl’s contributions has come from White contributors…real estate men, investors and lobbyist who don’t even live anywhere close to the 11th CD.  Yassky also probably suspects that  former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller and his White partners at Bolton St John managing Carl’s campaign are raising most of this money for Carl…and giving the signal to White contributors that they will be leading the new Congressman  by the nose. 

So Yassky has to be asking himself whether Vann and Robinson will now demand that Carl return all White money?  Or whether it will be okay with the Vann Klan if Carl has one message for Bed/Stuy and another message for downtown Brooklyn,  Park Slope, Prospect Park, and Kingston Avenue.

But what has to be most painful to Yassky is the John Sampson deal.  When Yassky entered the contest for Brooklyn District Attorney last year, we never thought it was a serious challenge. It seemed to us  a calculated ploy for the Councilman to pick up some name-recognition and exposure beyond his City Council District in anticipation of a Congressional run.

Similarly we think that Yassky’s withdrawal from the DA race in February last year and his endorsement of John Sampson rather than Joe Hynes were just as carefully orchestrated.  A sophisticated politician like David Yasky is not in the business of “charity endorsements” or endorsements on principle or ideology.  For politicians like David Yasky an endorsement is negotiated to provide future benefits.  There’s always a “quid pro quo.”   Especially when he knew that his support of Sampson would infuriate some of his White supporters, there’s little doubt that the Councilman must have been promised some incentive for his support.

Going back to last year.  State Senator John Sampson was  County Leader Norman’s  DA candidate. An absurd choice since Sampson was a just a minimal lawyer. But for  Clarence,  Sampson was much more than a candidate.  He represented the County Leader’s  last hope to escape jail.  Clarence was betting his life on him.  Sampson, in turn made a public commitment.  Ignorant of the Law, he promised that if he became the new Brooklyn prosecutor he would discontinue trials against Clarence and Jeff Feldman if in his judgment they were not justified.  The County Leader and his team were convinced that most of the Yasky vote was an anti-Hynes vote. They anticipated that close to 75% of the Yasky voters would either pull the lever for Sampson or not vote for a DA candidate. They needed that endorsement desperately.

Yasky’s withdrawal and endorsement of  John Sampson brought joy not just to Clarence but to Jeff Feldman, also on trial, and to Carl Andrews, Clarence’s best friend.

This statement came from Daily News columnist Frank Lombardi, reporting on Yasky’s withdrawal last February:
“Brooklyn political insiders said Yasky's decision to bypass the district attorney race could actually end up hurting Hynes' reelection prospects……

"The more crowded the race, the better for Hynes," offered Bob Liff, a consultant for the Brooklyn Democratic Party. "So the thinning of the field doesn't work to Hynes' benefit."

And what did  David Yasky get from this endorsement apart from  grief?

Our sources reported that at one of the “pre-endorsement” negotiation sessions, with both Clarence and Carl present, the matter of  Yasky’s approaching term limit and his interest in the 11th District were discussed. According to these sources, Yasky was assured that “County would have no problem with Yasky as Congressman, but if they couldn’t support him, there would not be anything done to hurt him.”  (We have no idea whether this statement was actually made.)

Actually in retrospect, the endorsement of John Sampson looked like a clever move for David Yassky’s. Whether Sampson won or lost,  he felt it would be difficult for the State Senator  to support anyone against him this year.  If Sampson lost, Yassky figured that Joe Hynes would nail Clarence on at least two felonies, and Carl as his best friend and political twin could hardly survive the stigma of association.  Besides, most political insiders believed that either Joe Hynes or  Federal investigators would eventually nail Carl for his questionable activities in the Surrogate Court, and other matters that have not yet been resolved.

So over this past week-end  we believe a few things happened.  David Yasky was probably calling Jeff Feldman and Clarence Norman to ask what happened to their “John Sampson” deal.  But a man going to jail doesn’t have to pay his debts. We believe that both Elliot Spitzer and Mel Miller of Bolton St John have  instructed Carl to distance himself from remarks made by Al Vann and Annette Robinson and tell them they should butt out of their campaign.  Judging from Carl’s comments on the Vann Klan attack on Yassky, Carl is following the instructions of his managers.

Meanwhile, the rally at Concord Baptist Church did little to help Carl.  Although there is no stronger advocate for Black empowerment than Councilman Charles Barron, the Vann Klan, probably afraid that Charles might tell the truth, denied him the opportunity to address the gathering. Al Sharpton was the feature speaker’ but his moderate remarks did not stir up the animosity towards Yassky that was expected. In fact, for some in the audience, Al’s remarks raised serious questions about the Vann Klan’s commitment to Black Empowerment in the past, and questions about their present motives.

This writer has said over and over for almost two decades, that every political season for Al Sharpton simply represents an opportunity to pick up paychecks. In fact, we are sure that Al is often cracking up with laughter as he  counts his receipts at election time. And why not?  What is generally true is that Al Sharpton generally supports candidates on the basis of Color. But that color is not Black or White. It’s Green! 

Al has left the door open for David Yasky, and the Councilman should not be surprised if Sharpton is waiting to have a discussion with him about Color.  The Color Green.