I have been so focused on work and the election that I missed all of this until Joy started filling me in today. But she has been on it and is even teaching some of the self-defense classes I mention below. I will use her words here.
Some time back, the blogger going by the name of "Chaim Yankel" wrote an article called "My Brad Lander Problem...and Israel's." In this diary he outlined a strongly anti-Israel stand Brad Lander took some time back and made it the central focus of his opposition to Lander.
This issue is NOT the main reason I oppose Brad Lander. Although I do disagree with him on this issue (I am solidly pro-Israel though also sympathetic to the Palestinians, so Brad's anti-Israel stand is not my cup of kosher wine), this is not so important to me when it comes to city council. Furthermore, though Chaim Yankel saw Brad's anti-Israel position so unacceptable he called it "extremist," I consider it wrong, but within the range of mainstream.
One of the hottest contested races in the September 15th primary is who will be the next City Council representative for the 39th district (Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Street, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Boro Park). I thought it was worth reviewing the candidates, all of whom I know fairly well, and all of whom I have heard speak and done some research on. Keep in mind I come into this as a supporter of Josh Skaller for this seat. So I save my endorsed candidate for last.
Let me start with Gary Reilly. Gary is probably the only one in the race who has done no negative campaigning and who is liked and respected by everyone I know. But because he is a relative newcomer he has no real support at this time. Everyone agrees that Gary is running mainly to introduce himself to the community and get his feet wet politically. Gary is smart, dedicated, honest and very progressive. All he needs to be an ideal candidate is experience, which is exactly what he is getting by running this year. It is very likely we will see a lot more of Gary in the future and I, for one, look forward to supporting him in the future. For now, though, he has little money, few endorsements, and is likely to come in last. But coming in last while establishing respect from almost all sides is actually a good strategy for someone who is looking towards his future. I put Gary first in my list because although voting for him this year would be a waste of a vote, I want to emphasize that he will one day likely be a candidate I strongly endorse.
New news in the race to replace Bill de Blasio as City Councilman for the 39th District: Brad Lander has been endorsed by Nydia Velázquez!
Nydia Velázquez is the second person in Congress to endorse Brad, the first was Jerry Nadler. Congresswoman Velázquez represents New York's 12th Congressional district which is mostly in Brooklyn but partially in Lower-Manhattan. She was the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress.
Out of Brooklyn's Congressional representatives, 3 have endorsed. Weiner endorsed Zuckerman. That leaves Yvette Clarke, and Ed Towns (although I doubt any of the candidates are working for his endorsment.
No one else seems to be covering the expanding Working Families Party scandal around here, even though it was on Room 8 that it was erratically covered early on. So I will provide the followup to Hildy Johnson's somewhat difficult to interpret coverage.
An article in City Hall News covers this developing scandal in considerable detail. Here is the breakdown they give of the scandal:
A complicated web of coordinated activities, shared resources and staff, and quiet money transfers between the Working Families Party, a secretive private company called Data and Field Services and at least six current Council campaigns, as well as Bill de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate, appears to have found several ways around the strict city campaign finance laws. Upwards of a million dollars, and possibly more, are involved, with over $1.7 million in matching funds comprised of taxpayer dollars already disbursed and more are potentially at stake.
My first detailed post will be about Brad Lander. Mr. Lander is running to replace Bill de Blasio as City Councilman in the 39th District. Brad has been "called the frontrunner" by some, however, many good opponents are making it a tough race. The Mr. Lander ran the 5th Avenue Committee (for 10 years), and served most recently as the head of the Pratt Center for Community Development. He is also an active member of Community Board 6, as well as a proud public school parent. Since all politics are local, I'll go through the issues, noting his positions and experience with them. Development:
Earlier in the week I discussed the amazingly ignorant comments of Assemblyman Dov Hikind regarding the Holocaust, where he claimed it was a uniquely Jewish event, thus ignoring 5 million non-Jews killed by the Nazis. I also posted comments by Dov Hikind's political ally, Brad Lander, and one of Brad's political rivals, Gary Reilly, criticizing Dov Hikind's ignorance.
Josh Skaller, another candidate in the race for the 39th City Council seat, has this to say about the controversy
Earlier this week I wrote about Assemblyman Dov Hikind's ignorance regarding the Holocaust. Dov Hikind opposes adding five stone markers honoring the 5 million non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust to the 234 markers honoring the 6 million Jewish victims at Brooklyn's Holocaust Memorial Park. The excuse for opposing honoring the 5 million non-Jews who died at the hands of Nazi brutality is: (from the DAILY NEWS Sunday, June 7th 2009)
"The Holocaust is a uniquely Jewish event," said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn)...
I don't blog around Room 8 much. I do comment, but not really blog. I don't feel it's my turf even though I have been encouraged to blog here by the Room 8 powers that be. But sometimes something strikes me as so important that I don't care about turf. This is one of those times.
Those who follow my blogging know that Jewish history and the Holocaust are two things I have considerable interest in and have read quite a bit on. I am the sort who does read the Diary of Anne Frank and Night in detail. I came late to reading the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but I read it VERY carefully and critically. I have read Unsettled and countless other books on Jewish history, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. The current book I am reading is about Jewish pirates...yes, it is a serious history book, though I keep imagining the pirates saying "oy" instead of "argh!" I may well review that book soon if I get the chance because the history is fascinating and bears on the history of Spain, Holland, Jamaica, and Suriname.