Grapevine #2

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and Moses ‘Musa’ Moore, the only challenger (to me) who could have made it a lil difficult for Eric, has withdrawn, as far as I know.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.

When I did my column on the hypocrisy of black leaders (not being repulsed by the death of the white NYU student in Harlem), I singled out Eric Adams for commendation, since he was the only one I saw, who spoke out against the atrocity. I have been supportive of Adams and his activism for about two decades now. He stood with us when we were challenging for this said seat, way back in the eighties. He is a hero in many circles. Even the great Trinidad/Grenada calypsonian Mighty Sparrow, will be coming in to hold a benefit concert for Eric’s campaign. I hope all this brings closure to this issue.

Secondly; when I stated last week that Wellington Sharpe may leave Nick Perry alone and not challenge him for the 58th Assembly District, it was based on information received, describing the on-going negotiations between many big players in the area (if pushed, I will name them).Well folks, let me state that talks fell down, and things fell apart. Last Saturday, Nick Perry came in to a “face to face” handing out “woof-tickets”, and because of his arrogance, he now has a race. Sharpe has promised to upset Perry in September. He has united the anti-Perry forces in the district. He has even picked up the endorsement of councilmember Kendall Stewart. It is said that the experienced technician Asquith Reid will run Sharpe’s campaign; this is ironic since Reid ran Perry’s successful campaign for said seat in 1992. It is also claimed that two prominent political clubs (New Era and Wesley McHolder) will support Sharpe over Perry. Prominent activists in the district like Albert Payne (CB17), Yvette Barrow and Omar Boucher are said to be with Sharpe on this one. It looks like Nick’s first primary since 1998 will be full of fireworks.

Thirdly; when I reported last week that persistent rumors abound, that another black candidate will defect from the 11th congressional race, it was based on the knowledge that black leaders in Congress, were very very concerned about David Yassky’s chances of winning. As of today, my info is that the field is settled (Owens jnr; Andrews, Clarke and Yassky), and that these black leaders are still concerned, and will continue to try to persuade someone (probably the perceived “weakest link”), to withdraw and abandon the campaign, before September. On the streets, Clarke’s successes in recent polling are being minimized as strictly name recognition and nothing else. Word is that Yvette dropped about a third of the voters in last year’s primary, against an unknown opponent. They are saying that this was the highest number against an incumbent city wide (the exception being Jennings/ who lost). It seems that many folks think this is Carl Andrews’ race to lose, not Clarke’s. I am a bit surprised by all this, but I must report it.

It must be noted also, that the supporters of Chris Owens insist that he will do much better than his poll results. They say that Yvette will miserably fail to unite the Caribbean base, and that will be to her detriment. They also trumpet the many endorsements that Chris has received, and that he is doing well amongst all racial and ethnic groups in the district. They believe that Chris has the real ‘rainbow’ campaign. We shall see.

One thing I am seeing is this: the stronger all the black candidates run, the better the chances of Yassky pulling off an upset.

Fourth; relative to the 10th congressional race, there are real strong rumors that Roger Green isn’t going to finish this run. He really needs to clear them up soon.

Fifth; Kendall Stewart will continue his running feud with District Leader Weyman Carey, by challenging him for the 58th AD position. Remember when Carey was Brooklyn’s commissioner on the Board of Elections, well word is that Stewart was the architect of Carey’s demise (replaced by Jeannette Gadson), and is still pissed that Weyman defeated Stewart’s hand-picked successor (Asquith Reid) in the election 2 years ago. In that election all four candidates (Abu Abu and Omar Boucher/ the other two) did well, with the winner being less than 300 votes from the last place finisher. Way back in 1992, Stewart defeated Carey to become the first Democratic district leader in this new district. The bad-blood has never stopped flowing it seems. Get a ringside ticket for this folks. Nick Perry is supporting Carey.

West Indians are saying that this position should be in their hands, since they have no leaders of West Indian heritage in all of Brooklyn’s 42 leaderships. They site the only leader of Caribbean heritage as Earl Williams (Panama) of East New York. To make matters worse, it is said that Perry and Carey will field a challenger to the female leader (Gale Barnett-Reed), who was once a Perry ally. Gale has now endorsed Wellington Sharpe against Perry.

This is a real “pelau”, a real “callaloo” as they say in the islands. Lots of excitement in the 58th kids.

Sixth; I am being told that Kevin Parker is being challenged by Noach Dear again. I am also told that a black female will be in that race also. Word is that Dear has been actively recruiting amongst the Caribbean-American community for workers and support. This guy is determined and driven.

Seventh; word is that Rhoda Jacobs will survive for the umpteenth time. This is a story that the press hasn’t really told over the years, but the ability of Ms. Jacobs (White/Jewish) to survive for about 27 years, in a seat where over 86% of the residents are non-white, is really remarkable. I know full well the history here. I challenged her once (1998). She whipped me like I was a runaway slave/lol.

Eighth; they say that Assembly member Camara is digging in his heels real deep, in an attempt to hold on to Clarence Norman’s old seat. Word is that it will be tough to unseat him, he is likeable, and has worked hard in the short space of time that he has been in office. We will see. Jesse Hamilton declared last week, and is intent on winning this race. The young Saquan Jones is the other contender, and seems to be very energetic.

Ninth; word is that councilmember Darlene Mealy will run for female district leader in the 55th AD. There was a rumor that ex-member Tracey Boyland was also running, but that hasn’t been confirmed as of this writing.

Tenth; conscious people are talking about Al Vann’s upcoming attempt at some type of political convention of black elected officials. They are saying that Vann left Albany to retire in New York’s city council, after that embarrassing switch with Annette Robinson. They say that he has lost all credibility, and that he and his ilk would be lined up in the town-square and publicly flogged, if the masses of blacks in Brooklyn were more politically astute. What do you think?

SIDEBAR: Well known Crown Heights community activist and former district leader Joan Gill – who is also a member of CB9- is quite ill. Joan is one of the wittiest political activists you could ever find. She is principled, sincere and strong. Her fights with Clarence Norman are legendary. Please send her a get-well card. Do this one for “The Rock”. And keep her in your prayers. Thank you.

Finally, to all the detractors: You know how to find me, and You know that I will willingly engage in sensible discourse about anything that I write here. Please stop the sniping in various quarters, and stop sending unsubtle messages through 3rd parties. I am right here and I am not going away. Face me like men, and stop being cowards and mice.