Constituents of City Councilmember Kendall Stewart have been the recipients of a robo-call, taped by the pol, charging an unnamed opponent or opponents with taking extreme measures to unseat him.
“I ask for your vote, support and prayers to continue serving this community,” said Stewart during the call, charging “desperate outsiders” with “trying to confuse you with a deliberate smear campaign based on lies and falsehoods.”
“You can expect more of the same in the next few weeks, as they become more desperate,” Stewart went on, urging his listeners to consider his record when voting.
In recent weeks, Stewart has made headlines, most recently because a piece of campaign literature claimed that he was endorsed by elected officials who said they had not, in fact, endorsed him.
In addition, earlier this year, his former chief of staff and another aide pleaded guilty to embezzlement in connection with city funding that Stewart had allocated to not-for-profit organizations.
Running against Stewart in the September 15 Democratic primary in the 45th C.D. are Ernest Emmanuel, Erlene King, Dr. Dexter McKenzie, Sam Taitt and Jumaane Williams.
It seems that Assemblymember Nick Perry is staying above the fray in the slug-fest for the 45th CD.
When asked if he was endorsing anyone in the race, Perry, who had endorsed an opponent to incumbent Kendall Stewart in the past, said that he’s trying his best to stay out of it.
He did, however, lash out against Stewart’s decision to vote for extending term limits and said that he had endorsed East Flatbush City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene because he had voted against the measure.
“[Term limits] would be a big factor in my decision, but it’s not fair to stick on one issue,” he said. “I have a good working relationship with Councilman Stewart and I believe that he does make a good effort to provide leadership for his constituents.”
That belief, however, isn’t going to materialize into an endorsement, he noted.
“There are so many people in this race who are friends of mine and I have worked with each of them,” he said. “It’s making a decision very difficult and I will very likely not make an endorsement.”
“It is my intention at this point to stay out of the race,” he said.
We’ll see if this holds true as the primary looms closer.
Republican challenger for the 46th City Council District Gene Berardelli has found a great way to meet his constituents -- he’s bellying up to the bar with them.
During a recent campaign push through Gerritsen Beach, Berardelli hosted a special “Meet andDrink” night at the Tamaqua Bar, 84 Ebony Court, where he invited residents to come in and talk about the issues. He was paying for the first beer or soda, he said.
Berardelli, however, may have known his Gerritsen Beach constituency all too well -- he capped the offer at the first 100 people who came into the bar.
If he keeps this up, Berardelli has a lot of drinking ahead of him in the future.
The 46th District, currently led by City Councilmember Lew Fidler, includes Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Homecrest and Bergen Beach.
Better pack some aspirin, Gene!
It make take a village to raise a child, but it takes a supermarket manager to feed the seniors.
So said supermarket manager and Republican candidate for the 43rd City Council District seat Bob Capano.
Capano recently heartily endorsed Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative to provide transportation to supermarkets for older adults from senior centers and naturally occurring retirement communities. The plan includes using Department of Education school buses to transport seniors at no charge.
“As a supermarket manager, I see first-hand the importance that a trip to the supermarket has for a senior to get fresh and healthy food,” said Capano. “One of the constant issues for seniors is arranging for transportation to and from the supermarket and this is why this initiative is so important.”
Capano, who is running against Democratic incumbent Vincent Gentile, also noted that the scarcity of supermarkets in the district, which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and Bensonhurst, makes it even more challenging for older adults to access them.
The Biviano-Simon spat in the 33rd District City Council race has boiled over into a televised one this week, as Democratic candidate Jo Anne Simon scolded her opponents Doug Biviano and Ken Diamondstone for charges about her record on Atlantic Yards, the Gowanus Canal, and fund-raising from local real estate interests.
“It’s unfortunate, but ultimately Jo Anne can get as mad at me as she wants, because I’m not going to back down from standing up and exposing the whole truth about her and the two other machine candidates in this race,” said Biviano, who was on the receiving end of a lecture after the Brooklyn 12 debate, August 26.The debate aired on Monday, August 31.
The Simon camp pushed back, answering to Biviano’s press release and saying that the candidate is trying to distract voters.
“The men and women in this district deserve a thoughtful discussion on how the next council person will seek to solve the challenges they face in their communities and Jo Anne Simon will not be distracted from doing just that,” said Simon campaign manager Kelly Donnelly.
Candidates running for City Council in the 33rd District (Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill), are touting their policy expertise this week, releasing fiscal plans, launching websites, and drawing attention to existing legislation they wholeheartedly support.
On August 27, City Council Democratic candidate Evan Thies debuted his “Your Neighborhood” site, which will include information about local schools and police precincts.
“When I fielded calls from constituents as a City Council staffer, I found that the majority of them were from folks who were simply trying to find out contact info for their local school, or who to file a complaint with at the police department,” Thies said.
Not to be outdone, on the same day, Isaac Abraham released a new fiscal plan that he believes will save the city billions of dollars in government spending at the Department of Transportation, Fire Department, NYC Housing Authority, Police Department, and Sanitation Department.
“No reason exists not to get our dollar’s worth from the city budget,” explained Abraham. “No private company would ever survive with the system in place now. I will not stand for taking taxpayers for a ride.”
Finally, Council candidate Steve Levin pledged his support for the Public Authorities Accountability Act of 2009, which would require that all public authority board members have a financial responsibility to the organization they serve.
“In such challenging times, we cannot afford to have so much of our public debt controlled outside of public scrutiny,” said Levin.
Councilmember Bill de Blasio’s (D-Park Slope, Carroll Gardens) campaign for Public Advocate has had the emotional highs and lows of the Coney Island Cyclone, staving off elimination by fighting a petition challenge in late July to picking up endorsements of current and former city leaders, including former Mayor Ed Koch.
Add the New York Times to a growing list of De Blasio fans, which cited his record helping New Yorkers with food stamp assistance, children’s health, and housing and his temperament as best suited for the position.
Several more forums and debates loom in the coming weeks before the September 15th Democratic primary (Mark Green, Eric Gioia, and Norman Siegel are the other candidates), though De Blasio may be surging at the right time.He trails Green, 14 percent to 38 percent, which would force a run-off if the election happened today.
Hey Bob! Don’t you know this endorsement’s about you?
In probably the most surprising press release we received this week, famed singer/songwriter Carly Simon announced that she would be supporting Bob Zuckerman in his bid for the 39th Council District in Park Slope.
In a letter written to supporters -- on special “From the Desk of Carly Simon” stationery -- the Grammy Award winner said she’s got Bob’s back because of his love of the arts.
“Brooklyn has long been defined by the artistic spirit of its inhabitants,” she wrote. “Performing arts organizations and artists of all disciplines face a critical shortage of affordable space. Bob will work with both the business and development communities to expand capacity and encourage he creative use of vacant and underutilized space.”
No word if Simon will perform if Zuckerman manages to win the five-man fight for the 39th. Candidates in the race also include Brad Lander, Josh Skaller, Gary Reilly and John Heyer.
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