The Gateway (Duke-ing it Out in the 8th Edition)

David Duke chooses sides in the 8th CD.This is indeed a stern rebuke for those who think that Charles Barron is incapable of reaching across the aisle and making common cause with conservative Republicans on the issues which most concern him.

In all seriousness, Duke is one of the few people I'd support Barron slapping for his mental health (and mine), not that it would help (in either case). Former KKK Leader David Duke Endorses Charles Barron [Video]    




More Dukey Schtick:

Jeffrey Goldberg on Barron & Duke:  "…hatred of Israel, and a belief that the Jews control American foreign policy, among other things, unites the mentally ill of all colors and creeds. I'm just glad we could help people find common ground." Jews Have a Way of Bringing People Together    



Not to be out done by Barron's Duke endorsement, Jeffries counters with another southern veteran of civil rights battles who later served as a legislator.

Somewhere, Martin Luther King (incidentally, a strong supporter of Israel) is smiling. John Lewis Robos For Hakeem Jeffries    



Yes, if Hakeem loses the primary, a WFP run by him in the general is Hakeem is possible, but with the number of conservative white areas recently added to the district, such a run would be far more plausible if the GOP found a way to get rid of their candidate and nominate Hakeem or leave the line blank.  

And I don't see that happening.  

I think the GOP will instead double down and make the effort.  In the aftermath of Turner and Storobin, their parochial southern Brooklyn candidate probably thinks he’s going to win.

And, while a split vote is unlikely to elect a Republican, a strong GOP run could elect Barron, which they might even prefer to their own victory. If Barron Wins On Tuesday, Could Hakeem Win In November? | City & State    




They don’t like each other (Part 3,461):  

Even I am starting to tire of these stories Vito hates Nydia stories.  

A few notes on this one:

Describing a meeting with Vito in 1992 when she first ran for Congress, Nydia says "So right from the start, Vito has been dishonest in his dealing with me."

Nydia’s memory fails her; 1992 was hardly the start.

In 1984, Councilman Luis Olmedo was convicted on corruption charges, and was replaced by a vote of the City Council (the way it was then done) by an Ed Towns aide named Nydia Velazquez.

Assemblyman Victor Robles was beside himself, and challenged Velazquez, beating her in the 1984 special primary.

Robles' running for the Council opened his seat up and it was won by a local power broker.

His name was Vito Lopez.

Lopez's political career was born in an effort to end the political career of Nydia Velazquez.

That was the start.  

It should also be noted that this is not the first time Lopez has encouraged such a challenge–it is just the first time such a challenge has resulted in an actual election.

I know for a fact, Lopez encouraged faux anti-machine candidate George Martinez to run two years ago.

More seriously, back in the 90s Dilan's father Martin made the rounds of the clubs, actually going to endorsement meetings.

I still remember him at IND, unable to distinguish between the Gowanus Canal and the Gowanus Expressway.

I must also take issue with the author's assertion: "A big victory for Olechowski could, in theory at least, dissuade Restler from running for City Council next year against Lopez's former chief of staff, Steve Levin."

In fact, Restler offered not to challenge Levin if Levin would leave him unchallenged this year, and Levin turned that offer down.

Also this one: "In 2010, Lopez ran the 22-year-old daughter of a judge and ally against Simon, in what she says was the first primary challenge to a female district leader since 1984."

There have probably been dozens of such challenges, some successful, during the last three decades.  I think what Simon told the author was that this was the first such challenge since 84 in Simon's Assembly District (I actually think it was 1982). At long last, a Brooklyn boss goes for the knockout against Nydia Velazquez | Capital New York    




They don't like each other (part 3,462):

I'm starting to think that Nydia and Vito may turn out like Beatrice and Benedict in "Much Ado About Nothing" (a title which is an excellent description of Vito's candidate).  

Think of it-—she is recently divorced, offers him the unique opportunity to spend the night in Brooklyn, and might even be his type; he offers a somewhat more warm personality and cheerful disposition than her ex-husband.

Most interesting points in this article: Nydia seems to have gone Yuppie, while Erik Dilan isn't even a college graduate (not really a big surprise when you hear him speak—especially love the deer in the headlights look he gets when he’s forced to divert from his pre-chewed talking points).

Yes, two of the smartest people I ever met in NYS politics weren't college graduates either.  

One is a brilliant policy wonk most people assume has three advance degrees who dropped out of Harvard because he thought it was a waste of his time to finish.

The other was a street-smart working class girl from South Brooklyn named Eileen Dugan who became one of the state's most powerful legislators before she died of cancer in 1996 (she was diagnosed with hers about the same time as Vito Lopez was with his).

Of course, Dugan went to Grace Secretarial School because, lacking a father who was a City Councilman, she had no other choice (Children of City Councilmembers don't stop at an Associates degree; children of City Council members become Oberlin dropouts).

Second Most Interesting Point: As I predicted, Vito and Erik's Housing Committee Chairmanships have given Dilan entre into the area's Housing Project leadership (especially important in places like Gowaunus Houses which are new to Velazquez). Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez’s Biggest Foe Isn’t on the Ballot    




Colin Campbell: "Robert Mittman's advisor predicts Grace Meng will win when discussing races across the city. He mentions his conflict of interest in a state senate race but not NY-6 or NY-7.

(If you need a reminder for NY-7: )THE PEREZ NOTES: Jay Golub on THE PEREZ NOTES

Gate: He doesn't mention his conflict of interest in the 6th because there is none. His comments on Meng are in the interest of the candidate whose election he is working to accomplish    




G-d, I'm gonna miss Gary Ackerman. To lose him and Barney Frank in the same year isn't only a political tragedy; it is a tragedy for comedy itself.  

Money Quote:

BBW: Congressman Ackerman, you’ve been here 30 years. Can you define comity as it existed when you arrived versus how it exists now?

ACKERMAN: Your premise is that comity exists now. It may not be entirely accurate. It used to be you had real friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not like that anymore. Society has changed. The public is to blame as well. I think the people have gotten dumber. I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving. [Laughter] But I think that’s true. I mean everything has changed. The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game. A Congressional Exit Interview    




As a former legislative aide, I find nothing more annoying that a legislator from out of your district calling to pressure you into dropping your opposition to a liquor license.

One day when I was working for Marty Connor, our Greenpoint rep, Tommy Haines, over-extended his authority and spoke out against a particular license at a public meeting.  

The next day I got a head's up from Cathy Peake at Joe Lentol's office saying Tom should have done our homework and laid off on that one, which was perfectly fine, as it was Joe’s turf, and therefore her place tell me this.

But, then came the deluge… 

The climax came when some young, self important hotshot from the office of a member of Congress whose turf was nowhere near our district tried to get the Minority Leader on the line personally, and the call was routed to me.  

I told the young gentleman that frankly, the position we took on liquor licenses in our district was none of his damned business.

Three minutes later, a member of Congress called and asked for me personally. "Gatey," he screamed, "what the fuck is your problem?"

It goes without saying that I was speaking to Anthony Weiner. Upstate Lawmakers Back Manhattan Caterer in Liquor License Bid    




I would love to see Tony the Hotdog get his own show on MSNBC, but the idea that a guy who so bungled a scandal over something so small, revealing himself as a haughty, self righteous, self-serving pathetic liar, is ready to run a race to govern the greatest City in the country, let alone govern it, is just laughable.  

Michael Schenkler: I think Weiner might be able to cut the mustard and handle the grilling if he makes a comeback. Yes, he was a hot dog, but he was on some roll. Anthony Weiner Leaves Behind a Big Hole in NYC Politics  




Remembering that old Weiner story brought back a few memories of the old days.  

Once, I was approached for help by a somewhat important Hasid named Abe Rubin.  

Abe’s brother Sol’s pharmacy at Lee and Division was having problems getting certified by the State for Medicaid.  

In a neighborhood where everyone not named Schwimmer (a family which owned a helicopter company) was eligible for Medicaid, this meant Sol was about to go out of business.  

They’d failed an inspection for things like having food in a refrigerator which was supposed to be reserved for medicines.  

Further, their application for an appeal was clueless and arrogant in the stereotypical Satmar manner.(“OK, from now on the pharmacist will just have to drink his juice warm”).     

I re-wrote the application, emphasizing the importance of having culturally sensitive businesses serving the needs of that particular community.

I sent, letters, I made calls.  

Marty Connor’s office saved Abe Rubin’s brother’s business.  

In 2008, on primary day, I found Abe Rubin inside a polling place accosting people n Yiddish and urging them to vote for Dan Squadron against Connor.  

I reminded him of Marty Connor’s efforts on his behalf and the meaning of Hakoras Ha-Tov.   

He replied, “But vus has he done for me lately.” 

I called the cop over and had him thrown out of the polling place.  

I wonder what Abe Rubin’s been up to lately.     




An operative explain his departure from the staff of the Republican Committee:

"A main reason behind this is simple: Dean Skelos, the Leader of the Republicans in the New York State Senate has an understanding with former NYC Democratic Councilman Simcha Felder that he, Skelos, will back Felder in the November elections for the “Super Jewish State Senate District” on the expense of David Storobin, a sitting Republican State Senator….I made my displeasure known through my news blog…Skelos’ boys were obviously not happy that someone as vocal against Felder as me was retained by the NYGOP State Committee and therefore called for my head late last week." The Story Behind My Resignation | Gestetner Updates    




“There’s only one secular Jew in New York City who votes in factor of yeshivas and against immorality: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz”
Translation: “Please massah, forgive me my shiksa wife and I’ll always be your little Secular Jewish Shabbos Goy.”   
If this is really what it has come to, the terrorists have won.
It not even how he votes, which I can understand as an act of expedience; it is that (in the words of one of my favorite femdom stories), he is “now utterly without dignity and almost beyond shame”   

Surely, with all his time at NYCHA, Steve Cymbrowitz has already vested his pension. If he really needs his pay check this badly, surely his friends could throw him a rent party rather than letting him suffer this degradation any longer.

To paraphrase Charles Barron, this is Uncle Tom buck dancing worthy of Stepin Fetchit.

Or maybe I should say Uncle Tomashefsky buck hora-ing worthy of Schleppin Kvetchit.  Democratic Assemblyman’s Ad: ‘Only Secular Jew Who Votes Against Immorality’    




Sully gets at a very simple truth.

The Republicans have become unhinged.

The problem is that it may not be just the Republicans. The country may have become unhinged as well. One Party Is Unhinged    




Chait has a lot of fun with Tom Friedman's cluelessness. Tom Friedman Taking Baby Steps    




If we take Romney's comments on Israel literally, he sounds a lot like Charles Barron.

Luckily, no one sane ever takes Romney at his word.    




For those who thought only Jews could be self-hating. Gay Conservative Group Endorses Romney                                              




Can anyone doubt anymore that same sex marriage is the "The Triumph of the Conservatives when Jonah (not Jeffrey or J.J.) Goldberg says it is so? Fusionism Revisited    




When it came to film theory, Andrew Sarris was truly the auteur The lovely bits here about the feuds with the great Pauline Kael and the repugnant John Simon remind us of a time long ago when film still mattered, so much so that even film criticism mattered. Andrew Sarris, Film Critic, Dies at 83