The Grapevine #3

For those of you who have nothing better to do, than carry the “jocks” of those incompetent black-elected officials of Brooklyn-the ones I usually excoriate in my posts here and elsewhere on the blogs-I have a word or two for you. Firstly; stop attacking me while hiding behind those “anonymous” masks in the comment sections of my posts here, and on other blogs linked to Room8. It’s childish and cowardly. I am here, quite willing, ready and able to debate the issues and concerns that I raise. Use facts, history, context, logic, whatever, but don’t keep childishly calling me names. I do expect better. You are starting to look bad. Real bad, and petty also. You are turning out to be unworthy opponents. I am getting bored already.

Secondly; I usually list ten items in my “grapevine” column, so do keep score. If I am wrong about something (and by the way, I don’t think I could be right all the time, even though I try to be), then it is fair game for you to point out where I went wrong. Remember of course, that I do not get my information from the electeds. Fact is, I hear they are really really mad at me lately, for exposing the hypocrisy of their pseudo-icon Al Vann (Mr. Rip Van Winkle). Well c’est la vie, as the French people say. Some people are suggesting that I hide away in some federal witness protection program. I refuse to. Let the chips fall where they may.

So let’s go through the grapevine kids; let Uncle Rocky break it down for you.

#1.  I reported here about a month ago that Yvette Clarke was going to shake up her campaign staff, this turned out to be true didn’t it?  Nowadays (as far as I know), she has people like John Flateau, Nancy Ramos, Gary Tildzer and Michael Roberts (resurrected more times than “Barrabas”), in her lineup card.  If she keeps going through campaign-staffers like she has done over the years, we may have to call her the “Paris Hilton” of Brooklyn’s candidates. BTW it’s a damn good team. Really. Loads of experience here.

In 2001, Flateau took a rookie (Frances Purcell) to a second place finish (ironically, behind Yvette), in this same area. Talk about today’s “bedfellows” (lol). Anyway, that was a tremendous performance, deserving of “rookie of the year honors”.

Flateau is of “David Dinkins” fame; a gifted intellectual and an excellent political technician too. The only thing that I will say (which will probably have me viewed as a provocateur/ though not the intent here), is that I have never heard of Flateau accepting that Vann, Robinson, Greene, Owens, et al, failed us (blacks) down the homestretch. Despite all their good intentions initially, the last two decades were abysmal. (You are free to respond John; I am right here and not going away anytime soon. Just keep it on a high plain).

Further, about the team; Gary Tildzer is competent, capable and very experienced in politics. Like me, he has a bunch of detractors; but then you don’t develop detractors by playing soft-ball. I know he just came off the victorious Margarita Lopez-Torres campaign, and just like Paris Hilton (again), he too has been around the block, quite a few times. He is a good addition to any team. It’s always good to have experienced pitching in your bullpen. This week however, rumors are that Gary has his fingers in a few other campaigns (including some judgeships), and that his alliance with Yvette may have been temporary.  Temporary or permanent, we shall see. This is how I figure it; if her petitions are challenged, Gary will be there-once he is still with her campaign-because this is one area of expertise for him.

Michael Roberts learned a lot at my knees (he may or may not admit this, but when I first met him he didn’t know what an E.D. was), and he has come a long long way in politics since. I introduced him to many of the players, and got him many clients. He is one of the better Caribbean-American operatives out there. One of his first real monies came from my 1998 campaign, when I hired him as my media guy. Mike likes to “slash and burn” whenever he is involved in a campaign, and can be a heavy hitter when needed. I do wish him luck on this one; and from what I am hearing, he is going to need it in September. Former Clarence Norman associate Nancy Ramos is the one mystery team member here. That she isn’t with Carl Andrews on this one has many observers puzzled. What that is about, maybe you know? I don’t, and I won’t speculate. Not with Yvette’s campaign.

Lastly, on this topic: I saw both Yvette and her mother (Una) speaking at an event recently, and Una was as passionate as any candidate presently running for office.  The old girl still has a lot of fire folks. She is going to win many votes for Yvette. Quietly as it is kept, there are some who wish that she was running now and Yvette later on down the road. I won’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. Yvette is an excellent candidate. Period.

#2.  In the 43rd.A.D; it seems that Jesse Hamilton and Saquan Jones aren’t going to sit down anytime soon. Jesse’s people are suggesting that Jones is part of a “keep Camara in office” plan. On the other side, the Jones supporters are hitting Hamilton for his alliance with David Yassky (is this true?), and are hoping to gain some mileage with it. They are both losing sight of the prize folks. Listen to Uncle Rocky kids, you two need to sit down with some old-timers and see if you can find common-ground. Two against the incumbent is usually a losing proposition. Been there, seen that, done that.

#3.  Expect Carl Andrews to pick up some more Caribbean-American support down the backstretch folks. You will be very surprised by some of the endorsements that Andrews will be getting after petitions are submitted. Don’t say I didn’t tell you. Also, expect Carl to put up a tremendous fight in the lane. This race (11thCongressional) is far from over folks. There is talk that Yvette will lose the Hasidism vote in Crown Heights. This vote was very significant in her mother’s race against Major Owens, and also in her failed bid two years ago. What do you think?

#4.  Is it true that Junior Boyland will run on the Working Families Party line? Does this mean that all is forgiven between those parties? Is it “kissy-poo” and “make-up” time? If this is true, do you still wonder why so many people disrespect the WFP as a true political party? Did you read the literature last year against the Boylands? Well, just another day in Brooklyn’s politics I guess.

#5.  This might get you out of your seats: Kevin Parker lost his case against Wellington Sharpe. Well sorta! The last time we visited this, we saw the two parties square up in court, in a lawsuit that Sharpe brought, accusing Parker of slander, libel, defamation of character, assault, and such. Parker claimed in 2004, that Noach Dear had put Sharpe into the race against him, alluding to Noach’s monies being behind Sharpe’s candidacy. Sharpe now claims that Nick Perry was the first person he heard making that claim, in a private phone conversation with him. Anyway, a judge has ordered Parker to make a public apology in two print mediums, and to do so within 30 days. We shall see. Remember you heard it here first. And by the way, Parker’s lawyer in this case, was the same person who represented Sharpe in 2000, when Sharpe first ran for the 20th Senatorial. Small world isn’t it?

#6.  Wouldn’t the Spitzer candidacy bring out more Jews to the Democratic primary? Especially in Brooklyn, no? Also, wouldn’t the Cuomo candidacy bring out more Italians? Especially in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, no? Well, why are so many blacks in Brooklyn running for county-wide judgeships this year?  I believe that a white candidate will win one of those positions. Blacks have been fooled by their successes over the years, when the Brooklyn white-vote was never energized, since there were no primaries in the white areas. I feel that this year things will be different. What do you feel? I can be wrong sometimes. I have been (but only a few/lol).

#7.  And while we are on black and white: remember last week, when the  Al Vann-Winkle crew held that media event, arguing for DNC intervention to stop David Yassky from running? Remember they argued for “black-empowerment”? Well let me expose some more hypocrisy from these sleep-walkers. Tell me who of the ones at that event supported Al Sharpton in his senatorial, mayoral, or presidential bids? Maybe once Ed Towns did-which isn’t saying much, since he supported Giuliani also. So I guess “black empowerment” is a “qualified” thing? Or should I say: a “whimsical” thing?

Don’t forget that last year we had two blacks-Charles Barron and C.Virginia Fields- running for mayor; until Barron withdrew to support Fields (the only male black elected official to do). Well, Al Vann-Winkle supported Gifford Miller. And in 2001, when Fredddie Ferrer was running as the only minority in the mayoral race, the crew went in other directions. Remember Alan Hevesi; well he got a lot of black support in Brooklyn in 2001.  Most of Brooklyn’s black elected officials are collectively responsible for Ferrer not becoming mayor that year. If they had gotten behind Freddy early on, it would have been a wrap.  But no; you see, they usually put their selfish and narrow-minded interests, ahead of black or Latino empowerment, once these interests aren’t met in the bargaining (or is it “blackmail”) phase.

In this year’s statewide Attorney General race, there is one minority candidate running, his name is Charlie King. He is black, and he has run for state-wide office before. Guess who the Al Van-Winkle crew is going with in this race?  Well, let’s put it this way; it sure isn’t about black-empowerment. And that’s all I am going to say about that (for now/lol).

Well, maybe I could say that it might just be about drowning people, gasping for their last bit of oxygen. What do you think? What can you say?

#8.  Some people are saying that Kendall Stewart may lose his race to Weyman Carey, for District Leader in the 58th A.D. I don’t necessarily share this view, but the arguments are pretty interesting.  They are saying that Stewart is weaker than he knows. I would figure that a guy who is the council-member for the area, and who was also the Leader for a dozen years or so, should be a shoo-in, no? What do you think?

And while we are on the 58th A.D. Elias Weir is said to be the latest entrant in the Assembly race. Weir, who has feigned running for office before, is challenging Nick Perry (incumbent), and Wellington Sharpe. I am sure Nick Perry is smiling.  It is said that Perry is running a female challenger to Gale Barnett-Reed, the current female leader. Good ole “Saint Nick” (call me: Noah), seems to be up to his old tricks again. Don’t sell him short folks; Nick Perry could come out of there with all positions under his control. However, it won’t be easy. Sharpe and company are determined to put Nick out of business, for good. We shall see-only 12 weeks left till showtime. Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Now go to your corners and come out fighting. I want a clean fight folks. Okay? Okay?

I wonder who is listening. LOL.

#9.  Some folks in the know (and whose opinions I respect) are saying that Jeanine Pirro hit the mother-lode last week, when she attacked Andrew Cuomo’s fitness and qualifications for the office of State Attorney General. They feel that she connected at his Achilles heel. They think that he is very vulnerable to this charge, once his resume is thoroughly scrutinized. They are also suggesting that he may have “ethics” issues to deal with down the backstretch. They are saying that this race is far from over, and that Mark Green isn’t dead yet. What do you say?

#10.  Speaking of the dead; the same folks are saying, that Tom Suozzi is a very good candidate in what is (for him) a bad year to be running. They say that the Spitzer “juggernaut” is too much to overcome, and that Suozzi was too late getting started. When I reminded them of his “Fix Albany” initiative, which is around 3 years old, they said that he was just “panning for gold” then, and that there is a difference between reform initiatives and a full blown gubernatorial campaign. These same people told me two years ago, that Bill Thompson, Charles Barron and C. Virginia Fields weren’t organized enough to make strong mayoral runs. They say that Tom Suozzi is “dead-candidate walking”.
But guess what? Most of them say that if Suozzi sticks it out until the primary, they will probably vote for him. Wow! What do you make of that?

SIDEBAR #1.  People are saying that Bill Perkins has already won his Senate seat (Harlem), and likewise Eric Adams (Brooklyn). They say Bill won the seat, the moment C.Virginia Fields left the race.  They also say that Eric Adams won his seat, before the race began. What do you say?

SIDEBAR#2.  Is the New York City Housing Authority looking to do a “buy-out” as a way of downsizing? I have been getting some buzz on this for some time. What do you know? You can tell Uncle Rocky.

SIDEBAR #3.  I am still pondering my future in political-blogging, but I have promised to keep my “Grapevine” column up for a bit, since many of you have requested that I do. Thanks for the interest. I have also been trying to recruit a few more voices-from different sides of the political tracks- in order to get some more diversity going here on Room8. I hope you don’t mind.