“Marty Connor is a Muslim and His Wife Burned the Flag” (UNTRUTH SQUADRON’S UNTRUTH SQUADRON)

This column, was originally published under a slightly different name on Sun, 06/22/2008 – 8:03am. It has been moved here for archival purposes to accomodate a request that it be re-edited to protect someone's privacy–the original comeents have been moved here as well.

“I haven't got eleven kids
I weren't born in

I'm not half-Chinese either
And I didn't kill my dad


If you hear more rumors
You can just forget them too
Fools start the rumors
None of them are true”

-“It ‘s Not True” by the Who 

The primary between incumbent State Senator Martin Connor and Daniel Squadron (who went from ghost-writing Chuck Schumer’s apologia for Dick Morris style triangulation to generating copy for the PR firm which flacks for Joe Lieberman and Bruce Ratner) has almost no issues as they are conventionally defined.

Except for a serious and substantial difference on the important issue of extending Mayoral Control of NYC Schools, which is up before the legislature next year (Connor favors extensive changes, while Squadron, a former Bloomberg education bureaucrat, favors leaving things the way they are), there is almost no daylight between the candidates on any matter of public policy.

The campaign, as framed by Squadron, seems to be that Connor is stuck in the ways of Albany, while the young, innovative Squadron will think out of the box. Mostly, though, his campaign seems to be a matter of riding swiftboats up and down the East River telling falsehoods; some I’ve documented previously, but looking for new one is like searching for grains of sand in Coney Island. Here’s a recent one:

“I had met Dan Squadron but didn't know him that well, and had never met Marty Connor. I was surprised by both of them — Connor for his progressive stands on issues, and Squadron for his lack of attention to issues beneath the surface. In addition, Squadron's attacks on Connor smacked of the kind of phony politics that we despise. Did Connor "allow" landlords to get all sorts of breaks in 1997? No — he didn't have the power to stop Joe Bruno and George Pataki. But Squadron attacked him anyway.” –Dan Jacoby on “The Daily Gotham”.                  

But, in the interest of fairness, let’s give credit where credit is due. Squadron is a brilliant innovator, who has pioneered cutting edge tactics in the world of politics. If elected, one can guarantee he will follow in the foot steps of his obvious inspiration.

Surprisingly, that inspiration appears not to be Charles Schumer, but rather Richard Milhouse Nixon. As inconceivable as it may seem, Dan Squadron is well on his way to turning Marty Connor into Helen “Pink Lady” Gahagan, although the thought of checking the color of the Senator’s underwear is probably best not undertaken on a full stomach.

Why do I credit Squadron with such tactical genius? Because of the brilliant stealth campaign he’s undertaken to quietly but effectively spread his message in the hipper precincts of the World Wide Web. Witness these samples, sent out mostly to social networking lists:      




From: Young Hipster
Thursday, June 12, 2008 12:09 PM

To: Young Hipster
Subject: are you in the zone?
Attention New Yorkers,

If you reside within these boundaries then you are 1) stoked to be here and 2) in need of a new state senator.

Our man, Dan Squadron, is tearing up the town and fighting the good fight against the incumbent, Captain Kickback, Martin Connor.

Click this if you want to know more…

Click this if you want to know less…




From: Young Hipster

Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 4:36 PM
Subject: Friday Fun Facts

Here's why your current NY state senator sucks:  

*Congestion pricing dying in a backroom instead of being debated on and voted on publicly.

*Vanishing housing affordability that means that means middle-class families — teachers, cops, firefighters, city workers, artisits — are increasingly be priced out of the city and new immigrants, who infuse the city with such energy, never move in.

*A public schools system in which good schools become overcrowded, bad schools persistently fail and middle schools too often create a wasteland that causes our communities to lose families to the suburbs or students to low performance.

*A civil rights picture that is timid and unequal — whether on marriage or choice (our abortion rights law was historic back in 1970, when it was written) 

So come to the posh event next Wednesday!!!  (see below).

You don't have to pay $100!!!

Happy Friday

Vote Dan Squadron!

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Team Squadron <info@danielsquadron.org
Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Subject: GREAT NEWS and Great Event with Team Squadron

Summer is off to a great start! 

We are thrilled to announce that CWA District 1 has enthusiastically endorsed Daniel as their candidate for New York State Senate!  Click here to read the story.

Let's keep the momentum going.  Click here to support the campaign. 

And please join Team Squadron next Wednesday night at the Bourcarou Lounge in the East Village

Click here for more info.As always, please check the website, www.danielsquadron.org to find out the latest news and events from Team Squadron. 

Thank you for your continued support. -Team Squadron  


 Unsubscribe me from this listn     

For the record: Calling someone “Captain Kickback” has a clear and well defined meaning. While it is almost impossible for a public official to win a lawsuit for libel, this could be a fine test case of the limits of past precedent. Luckily for Mr. Hipster and Mr. Squadron, Marty Connor is a First Amendment absolutist.

But, while unspecified allegations of criminality transgress every border of decency, it may well be the case that the discussion of the “issues” as outlined by Mr. Hipster and others are actually more offensive.

In documenting the case for Senator Connor as a fellatio practitioner (the generally accepted definition of one who “sucks”– how progressive is that?), Mr. Hipster lists a few issues, and implies that Marty Connor is on the wrong side of them. Let us review:

1)    Congestion pricing—Connor was and is for it. Squadron is for it, now, but Daniel Millstone of “The Daily Gotham says, “When I talked to Mr. Squadron, following a CODA meeting, he was opposed to congestion pricing. I'm in favor of congestion pricing.”  

2)    Housing Affordability—Connor is a sponsor of the legislation repealing the Urstadt Law, which allow the State to preclude the City from regulating its own rents. Squadron is correct that the legislation hasn’t passed, but it will about 15 minutes after the Democrats take the Senate Majority. Connor is also working to develop affordable housing in the Lower East Side, Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens.

3)     Schools—deserves an article in itself. Since the Mayor took control, schools in Lower Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn have been unable to guarantee admissions to children in their own zones (in one Brooklyn school, apparatchicks from the Tweed Courthouse were caught giving out-of-district variances while zoned children were denied spaces). The "objective" criteria for evaluating schools has been manipulated for political reasons to the point it can no longer can provide any useful information to anyone (which seems to have been the idea). Admissions to pre-kindergarten and gifted programs have become minor scandals; money appropriated in Albany for schools has not made it into our classrooms, and all accountability has disappeared. If you like the new innovations Squadron brags about helping to have created, by all means votes for Squadron.

4)    Civil Rights. Throughout his career, even when his district was far more conservative than it is today, Connor has been a champion of the right to chose, and of sexual orientation anti-discrimination efforts, including martial equality. He is supported by every pro-choice and feminist organization which has endorsed in the race, and by every gay political club.

So, the stealth campaign, of which Mr. Hipster’s work is only a sample, is simply despicable. Mr. Squadron, what is the relationship between you, your campaign and Mr. Hipster? Will you repudiate such tactics, and ask Mr. Hipster and others not to engage in them? Will you apologize to Senator Connor, or at least publicly ask Mr. Hipster and the others to do so? Will you and/or him and the others email this apology, and a clarification telling the truth to your respective contact lists?

In other words, Mr. Squadron, are you a mensch, or are you a mamzer?             

2011 UPDATE: The Real Name of Young Hipster has been deleted from the article, although he did nothing to earn this courtesy.       

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/22/2008 – 6:27pm.
When you think about it, there is nobody in New York government or politics who comes even close to Senator Connor in terms of his intelligence, his integrity or his independence. It's ridiculous that anyone would even deign to run against him. Senator Connor is, without a doubt, the kindest, gentlest, most courageous man I know.

Submitted by Hack N. Sack on Sun, 06/22/2008 – 6:50pm.

Primaries are healthy–every pol should have to suffer one at least every other term–it keeps up the muscle tone. And "kind" and "gentle" are not the first words I'd chose if I was describing Marty Connor, though "smart" might be.

Despite your sarcasm, I am unaware of any allegations concerning Senator Connor's integrity–just email slurs similar to the one Squadron's consultant also lunched against Linda Rosenthal– and I have seen examples of the Senator's political courage, which is at least above the average, if not more so.

As to the Senator Connor's intellegence, if you can find half a dozen elected officials in the state with a better mind, then you must be writing from a different state.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/23/2008 – 7:33am.
for using his government office to do legal work on behalf of the Independence Party and Tom Golisano in the 2002 gubernatorial election, when Democrats were supporting Carl McCall?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/23/2008 – 8:21am.


Daily News, 11/25/02 

The ouster of Martin Connor as state Senate minority leader shows that even in Albany, when a web of hypocrisy is spread too wide, the threads can entangle the spider that wove them.

Connor, an election lawyer, chose to sell his services to the highest bidder rather than work for the Democrats he was elected to lead. The transgression that broke the spider's back was Connor's serving as the election lawyer for Independent Thomas Golisano, whose gubernatorial candidacy is thought to have hurt Democratic nominee Carl McCall.

At least three former employees told the Daily News' Celeste Katz that Connor routinely used his government office and staff to conduct his private legal business. And they said others on the Senate payroll spent numerous hours working on Connor's contract with the Golisano campaign instead of conducting state business.


Submitted by Steven J. O'Brien (not verified) on Mon, 06/23/2008 – 9:09am.

The Connor-Golisano matter brings up two distinct issues. The first is party loyalty. Was Connor's work for Golisano disloyal to the Democrats?

The answer is clearly no. Golisano was running in a primary against George Pataki for the Independence Party line. The Democrats wanted Golisano to win that primary. In fact, McCall's own LG candidate, Dennis Meheil, who had retained Connor, signed a waiver allowing Connor to represent Golisano.

So Connor's work for Golisano was clearly sleazy. It was a sleazy Democratic Party plot to undermine the Republican nominee for Governor. Luckily, it did not work as planned

As to whether any laws were broken, memory, and a quick search of the web, indicate that there was never any investigation. One must remember that the witnesses cited by the Daily News were attempting to exploit the Golisano matter in the context of an internal fight among the Democrats for the the State Senate's Democratic Leadership. Once Connor's defeat was accomplished, no one could apparently remember any such incidents. One of those quoted in the Daily News is now among Connor's biggest supporters in the gay community.

Given that the Manhattan DA has shown no reluctance to prosecute politicians for exactly this sort of thing, one should probably consider the motivations of those who spoke to the Daily News before coming to any conclusions. Connor's work for Golisano was contemptable, but it appears not to have been criminal. 

Nonethless, the fact that Connor's underhanded  efforts to defeat George Pataki ultimately helped lead to his undoing is poetic justice of the sweetest sort.  As they say, "what a tangled web we weave…". It would even be sweeter if it helped beat him this time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/23/2008 – 10:32pm.
Republican candidate, John Chromczak, who is running against both Connor and Squadron is not a career politician, lacky to Sen. Schumer or a wealthy silver spoon fed candidate who owes favors to politicians and business-elites from the tri-state area. He is a middle-class worker just like the majority of voters who understands what it is to try to live and work in this ever-growing expensive city. More importantly when he wins he wont be playing by anyone else's rules but his own and we need more of that in this city.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 4:47pm.

The issue goes beyond policy positions and whether any daylight exists.  You ever try to write to Sen. Connor about a constitutent issue?  By regular mail or email?  Ever call his office about an issue regarding legislation, hoping to persuade him about an issue or get him to sponsor a bill.  I have, on muliple occasions, and in multiple years.  I'm still waiting for a response to any of my calls, letters or emails.  No one, let alone me, expects a perfect public servant, or an instant response, but a neglectful presence in Albany is not what I've asked for or want.  But, alas, that is what I have, regretfully. 

I don't need help for heat, gas or hot water issues, or any government benefits, but when I communicate with a bill number, and particular and cogent reasons why a particular bill is helpful to me and other constituents, I expect at least a bare response of I agree or disagree.  Instead, silence and no response at all.  One call, or a few attempts of communication to his office, can understandably get lost in the shuffle.   But at a certain point it becomes a pattern.

I live in the Brooklyn section of the Senate district and let me tell you, it ain't pretty and the frustration and annoyance level is high.  Assemblywoman Millman responded, so why can't Connor?  If Connor is too busy with his law practice to addres his legislative duties, let him practice law on a full time basis and let someone else, anyone else, practice being a Senator.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/24/2008 – 5:22pm.

If that is true, it's a totally legit complaint.

But, let me ask you, does that justify calling a man a criminal, or lying about his positions on the issues?

That's what Squadron has done. Someone who's done that is unworthy of office.  


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/25/2008 – 4:49am.

First, I find the e-mails that Hack is citing to be innocuous.  When did the common term "suck" suddenly get interpreted to mean "fellatio?"  Certainly, only in Hack's mind.

Secondly, I've seen both Connor and Squadron at several campaign events, and my experience in terms of their responses has not been the same.  Squadron's responses have always been strongly in favor of congestion pricing.  Why would he so strongly speak against the Albany culture (of which Connor has long been a part of) of killing this in the back room?  Squadron favors retaining of Mayoral control of schools, with it's demands for greater accountability on school performance, with some tweaking, including  a greater role for parents. 

I do recall a forum in which Connor justified his vote against a smoking ban in particular venues by citing his support for a TOTAL ban (which got a lot of eyes rolling!)  Could the real reason be that he's a smoker himself? It certainly lends itself to a greater cynicism of the political process.

Connor has been a Progressive/reformer only when it is convenient for him.  I don't understand why he's suddenly become a hero of some on the left.  Those who would make him so seem to justify this in their own minds by convincing themselves that he's actually running against Chuck Schumer.  Could it be that their repressed desire is to have the justification to actually vote against Schumer?

Daniel Squadron is not Chuck Schumer.  Some gay activists imply that he is anti-gay because of his association with Schumer, Schumer is far from being my hero, but he had a great deal of help in getting elected from much of the LGBT leadership. 

Questions about his legal work for Golisano (and whether he used his Senate office for this piece of private business) leads to a much broader problem of the ethics of engaging in his lucritive private election law business as a Senator and it's chilling impact on the electoral process for his favored candidates (which haven't always been the progressive ones). 

He was deposed his own colleagues because, under his leadership, Democrats lost more seats than they gained. He gave away the store when he acceded to allowing the commuter tax to end in a failed attempt to win a Senate seat for a Democrat in Rockland County.  It's time for his constituents to give him the boot..

Gatemouth's picture
Submitted by Gatemouth on Wed, 06/25/2008 – 5:59am.

No, they could not have?


As to the emails, you have a point. Mr. Neglia is obvious not literally referring to fellatio. Perhaps he'd like to come and clarify what he is referring to. And when he does that, perhaps he can offer an innocucous explantion for calling someone "Captain Kickback". And then, he can explain his relationship with Mr. Squadron. After that, Mr. Squadron can offer us his opinion on the emails. Does he think they are innocuous as well? Is this his idea of how one runs a progressive campaign?

I will add, that I've seen Azi's video of a recent debate, and Mr. Squadron has shown great courage in swallowing whole the renewal of Mr. Bloomberg's control of the schools. The changes he seemed willing to accpet would be analogous to putting lipstick on a mule. I'm sort of in between the candidates on that topic, but I can tell you that in my own area, a candidate calling for renewal of mayoral control better get out of Dodge before sundown.

Would be that Mr. Squadron showed similar courage by making his allegation concerning Mr. Connor in public. If Mr. Squadron was ever a "mensch", it's quite obvious that his menschidickeh qualities are now undergoing ethical reassignment surgery. He is a moral eunich.    


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/25/2008 – 4:19pm.

Apart from all the name calling and issue raising, has anyone actually worked with Connor and is able to say that he is responsive in a legislative way?  Has he written legislation of import, recently not years ago?  Has he worked for something, anything, of value, recently not years ago?  Is he in the community, actually working the streets and in the local meetings, in Manhattan AND Brooklyn, recently not years ago?

The appropriate question is what is Connor doing, and why isn't he doing more of it.  Brooklyn deserves a Senator, not a clock puncher, and I just don't see much of a reason to keep someone in office if s/he is not responsive.