Rock Hackshaw's blog
As most of you know by now, this is my bi-weekly column where I bring readers up to date on things being said out there in the trenches and in the grassroots. I also try to cover events and happenings that won’t make it to mainstream media. Every now and again rumors will sneak into the mix, but for the most part I try my best to be as close to the truth as possible. Some people have asked me where I get my stuff, given that most elected officials in Brooklyn offer me no aid or comfort; far less information. I always tell them that after 33 years around Brooklyn’s politics, I have developed enough sources to get things right most times. I do have many many friends here. Plus, I do try to think, chew gum and walk straight at the same time. What has been amazing is the fact that I am seldom challenged on the veracity of my info. I must be doing something right; especially when I scoop the mainstream media at times.
Most USA-born folks don’t know that the World Cup Soccer Finals and the Olympic Games (both quadrennial), are the sporting events most watched by people of this planet. Many of them think that such distinctions would go to baseball (World Series) and basketball (NBA Finals); so it wasn’t surprising to find many of my USA-born friends asking rather silly questions, about the event currently being hosted in Germany. But that’s okay; many of us foreign-born folks understand the narcissism and we do empathize. Right here in these dis-united states, there is a different world beyond New York City. Just go south and west of the Potomac. And, oh yes, there surely is a different world east of the Atlantic Ocean and west of the Pacific too. Sometimes we tend to miss these lil truths while living in New York. Sometimes; especially when we want too.
A development that is sure to raise more interest in the 10th Congressional race/ Brooklyn, is about to unfold. Kevin Powell, the young hip-hop guru, is about to withdraw from the race, leaving three candidates standing at this point. Those still entered are: Ed Towns (incumbent), Assemblyman Roger (The Dodger) Greene and Councilmember Charles Barron. Word on the street is that Roger’s candidacy is also shaky, because of his misdemeanor guilty plea and subsequent conviction.
Powell, whose entrance was met with controversy, hit the wall rather early, when his own writings were used to attack him. He is an admitted ex-woman-beater, and there were also stories of his wild party-hearty days of wine, women and song. Insiders are saying that this was no way to be introduced to the voters, and likened it to the introduction that Geoffrey Davis (the brother of deceased NYC Councilmember James Davis) received, when he was substituted as a candidate after his brother’s death. It can be recalled that Geoffrey’s baby-mamas dramas, problems with child-support payments, drug use, and prostitution solicitation, were all highlighted in the media right out of the box. He never recovered, and lost on the Democratic line to Tish James (WFP). It is the only time that the Working Families Party has won an election in New York City’s history.
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.
Charles Barron called this morning, wading in on the Al Vann/ David Yassky/ 11th Congressional brouhaha. He took the expected Baronesque position: that Yassky shouldn’t run, and that the seat should be in black hands. And just as Al van Winkle, Annette Robinson, Major Owens and company, Barron doesn’t get it. His biggest flaw is that he lets his obsession with 'race' trump his common-sense, near everytime downfield.
If this situation was reversed, and Yassky was a black person running against 3 whites, with the demographics of the district also reversed, what do you think Barron would be doing right now, if white electeds were calling for the black to withdraw from the race? You tell me (as if we all don't know).
The response to yesterday’s column has left me humbled, since I was really trying to make a point, and at the same time, to also atone for a mistake made by publicizing the illness of a friend. I further compounded that mistake by listing her phone number without her permission. Well she has accepted my apology, and she understands that it wasn’t done with any malicious intent. I see now that there are some people who do care about my postings; this was flattering once revealed, thus I have decided to spend the next few weeks turning up the heat, in hope of supplementing the point I was trying to make yesterday. Decisions about my future as a blogger, will be on hold for a while, and during that suspension, I will start naming names and taking no prisoners. However, I do reserve my concerns about this inchoate media-vehicle: political-blogging. I am still troubled.
Right now, I aim to hit my favorite targets: the somnambulant black elected officials of Brooklyn. So I will aim, shoot and duck (maybe). Here goes. Let’s see what the responses will look like. Later this week, I will hopefully tackle a few more controversies, so stay tuned.
Last week wasn’t a great week for me for a variety of reasons. Apart from making a major blunder on this site, I saw some things on another blog which really disgusted me. Of my faux pas, I will refrain from discussing here at present, but of what disgusted me, well, that’s the topic of this post. I say this because I am in a “Gatemouth” moment; I will refrain from posting after the end of this month. I just have a few loose ends to tie up, and then I will reassess the utility/efficacy of my posts here. So I will be on hiatus before month’s end, or will be permanently gone thereafter. I am sure there will be many who would cheer this info.
Dear Mr. Suozzi:
You probably won’t remember me, since we have met only once, at Sharpton’s MLK-day event last February. However, I have been admiring your political activities from a distance, for many years now. You have built a powerful resume. I am very impressed with you as a leader in our political party. I find you refreshing. I have even spoken to Ms. Devlin (your manager) about working with you, especially on your “fix Albany” initiative. I have spent the last year defending your potential candidacy on the blogs, and I have publicly admitted to leaning towards voting for you in the upcoming primary. I have impressed countless others to give your candidacy a serious look, and they have. Most are impressed. With all this as a backdrop I write this letter, since today the petitioning process starts. This is the time to make real hard decisions.
I know that I said I would update this segment every 2 weeks, but I am coming in a few days early this time, since it seems that I have pissed–off many people, and as such I need to clarify a few things.
So fasten your seatbelts, here goes.
Firstly; Eric Adams is going to win the 20th Senatorial race. I have said this before and yet his “peeps” are still angry at me. Even if 1199( union) hadn’t endorse him, he was still going to win this race. Anthony Alexis couldn’t even get an endorsement from his political club, and his former boss-lady (Rhoda Jacobs) is carrying Adams on her petitions to booth. Two other opponents (Elizabeth King and Bill Phillpotts) seem to have been running stealth-candidacies, and Moses ‘Musa’ Moore, the only challenger (to me) who could have made it a lil difficult for Eric, has withdrawn, as far as I know. Plus, Eric had has been wracking-up endorsements like nobody’s business. Plus, he has raised the most money in the field, and has the highest name-recognition by far. I know it is real early, but you can stick a fork in his opponents. This is not even a tough call folks. You can bet the rent-money on this race.
It was somewhere around this time (early June) a few years ago, while musing with a political crack head, I hinted that each new petition-drive was becoming more and more mundane. His answer felt like a bucket of cold water thrown into the sleeping face of a political addict. He told me that he looked forward to every new election-cycle with eager anticipation and excitement, since each New Year in politics, brings unique personalities, situations, events and occurrences. He was right. And although I fall off the wagon from time to time-especially when these somnambulant black electeds piss me off (which is often) - I always remember his words around this time. You see, this is when the phone starts ringing non-stop, as people recruit help or references while putting together late campaigns. This year however is slightly different. This is the year of the withdrawal(s). Lots of candidates are withdrawing, and by the end of this article you will get the inside scoop on some more withdrawals upcoming. Some may or may not surprise you.
Irish legends suggest that a leprechaun is a mischievous elf, who resembles a little old man. He possesses gold-which he hides away- and is very very lucky. Sometimes, he even touches things and they turn into gold, literally or figuratively. So looking back at Mayor Bloomberg’s personal life, his business and political career, I now posit the question: Is Mayor Bloomberg a leprechaun?
By his own admission he got lucky in business. He even admitted to skirting around the peripheries of ethics and public-safety (my words), while conducting business in the early days. This can be extrapolated from the many things written about his business conduct. Some say that brilliant people make their own luck, so maybe the guy is brilliant. And as such, he should be admired.
Every fortnight from here on in I will try to produce a column called: “The Grapevine”. I suggest you fasten your seatbelts for this the first column. What this column will do is breakdown the things that are being said in “out- there-land”, better known as the political grapevine. The reason I choose to do it on a bi-weekly basis is because I don’t want to be known as the Cindy Adams of NYC politics. It wouldn’t just be about political-gossip. I do intend to track down sources/players, and also ascertain the veracity and plausibility of the stories I report. I will try to inform not ridicule. It will be all about “the story behind the story”, if you catch my drift.
When I first broke the news (1-22-06) on the Politicker, that Charles Barron was challenging Ed Towns for his congressional seat, some callers thought I was smoking crack. Well, I may be a political-junkie, but I don’t smoke crack. Never did. Never will. I took a lil “toke” on some reefer here and there- during my younger days- but I never went further. I never liked the idea of cocaine and other drugs even then, and nowadays I have zero tolerance for drugs, period. Anyway, after their initial shock-on ascertaining the truth of my post- the detractors argued that Barron would pull out, just like he did in his mayoral bid. Even after he filed his committee and showed close to a hundred thousand dollars being raised in a couple months, many detractors still insisted that he wasn’t in the race for the long haul. Well get over it detractors because Charles Barron is for real in this race.
Now that Nick Perry is out of the race for the 11th Congressional District, I predict that Yvette Clarke will make major changes within her campaign team. Yvette, who has now emerged as the favorite to win the seat, will bring in a new campaign manager/ management team soon. Her current manager will be either axed or reassigned, if it hasn’t been done already. Note that this is the same manager who came in, with lots of fanfare about four months ago. Word is that Yvette wants to shift gears and move into winning stride. It’s her race to lose. She will revamp the campaign as a way to invigorate a soporific start.
As far as I know Noah “Nick” Perry was never a math teacher-and I have known him for about 20 years. He is educated, resilient, crafty, and tenacious. Over the years he has also demonstrated some political ambition, and he has never been afraid to articulate it. Back in 1998, when I was leading an insurgent charge in Brooklyn, he and I almost came to blows at the Board of Elections on Adams Street. He was attempting to knock one of our guys off the ballot, and while overhearing his conversation, I found him to be abusive and threatening (verbally), thus we got into each other’s face- so to speak. Now this was uncharacteristic of Nick, since he is usually mild-mannered and does possess the desired decorum of an elected official, however he is Jamaican–born, and there is a tendency amongst most Jamaican men not to back-down when confronted, for fear of being labeled a “pussy”. Maybe that fear has kept Nick in the race for the 11th Congressional District all this time. Very few people think that he has a chance of winning, and even a third grade student knows, that when you run for congress from an assembly seat that you have held for 12 years, you must subtract your old seat. It’s simple arithmetic.