Today’s news:

Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez Vs. Carlos Menchaca

Not up for debate: incumbent claims rival misled about post-hurricane work

Brooklyn Daily

Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez is accusing challenger Carlos Menchaca of distorting the nature of the work he did in her district following Hurricane Sandy — and is vowing not to engage with her rival unless he comes clean.

Gonzalez (D–Sunset Park) has alleged that the younger Democrat has depicted himself as a volunteer in the disaster relief effort in Red Hook — when in reality, he was on the ground there as a paid staffer of the New York City Council.

“Sara’s opponent has consistently misstated his claimed accomplishments and qualifications and failed to share with the voters that his work in Red Hook was on behalf of the Council,” said Gonzalez spokesman Michael Tobman.

Tobman said that Gonzalez would continue to refuse to attend debates with Menchaca — like the one she skipped on Aug. 22 — until the challenger admits the truth.

But Menchaca insists that he has always been up front about his role in the recovery — and that his presence as an aide to Council Speaker Christine Quinn was common knowledge in the storm-shattered neighborhood. The one-time staffer to Borough President Marty Markowitz also claimed that the incumbent never arrived on the scene.

“I was walking around, and people would say ‘There’s Carlos, he’s with the speaker,’ ” said Menchaca. “Sara Gonzalez did not show up.”

Tobman disputed Menchaca’s claim that Gonzalez was missing in action, and added an interesting twist — claiming that, since Menchaca was there as a council staffer, he was essentially representing for her as well.

“She was there, and was there by him being there,” said Tobman.

Both candidates have submitted photographs to this paper as evidence that they worked in Red Hook following the storm.

Besides Sunset Park and Red Hook, the contested district includes Windsor Terrace, Boerum Hill, Greenwood Heights, and parts of Bay Ridge and Borough Park. Gonzalez, who grew up in the district, entered office in 2003 after winning a special election to replace disgraced Councilman Angel Rodriguez. She is eligible to run again because she was in office when term limits were extended.

Menchaca, who grew up in El Paso, Texas, moved to the district in February after his work in the hurricane relief effort.

The Democratic primary is Sept. 10.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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tee gee from sunset park says:
I would love to laugh at this article. But the coming election is very important to the folks in the 38th. Sara (who I know personally) is now using the strategy that the Republicans use on a national level - say a lie often enough and people begin to believe it. In reality, Carlos (who I also know personally) has never taken credit for his role in Sandy relief - he was actually working on behalf of the City Council - so he was doing Sara's job for her (since she was not to be found). What makes Carlos stand out is that he didn't view his work as a job and worked at relief around the clock 24/7 (as the younger people like to say). Sara has been totally absent in the last 4 years - her attendance at events has always been spotty, but the last 4 years she was non-existent. Last December was the last time I caught a glimpse of her at a public event - she had become a prima donna - it was the community holiday tree lighting - a staff member came and told the organizers that sara was in her car and needed to be introduced. she did not venture our of her car until they announced her presence - said her bi-lingual greeting and immediately left again. As for being a champion of the business community - she hasn't attended a Business Improvement District meeting in years - not even the important annual meetings. So - please don't believe her lies about Carlos.
Aug. 29, 2013, 7:22 am
tee gee from sunset park says:
Sorry for the previous lengthy post. Just one more. Sara has the worst record in the City Council for introducing bills. One bill that she introduced was a "gift" from the speaker - who drafted it and asked her to intro it. The other one - was written by me - I worked with the local vendors of Sunset Park and the local stores (as a volunteer) and came up with a win-win piece of legislation that would have given sidewalk vendors even footing with the local businesses (and I had the support of the local businesses because the bill required vendors to not be "hit and run" but a part of the fabric of the Sunset Park business community). The bill went beyond just allowing vendors to participate in the business district it provided for many of the basic needs for people - access to health care, legal services, education, etc. And it wasn't just for the vendors - it was for the employees and owners of the small businesses too. Sara & Speaker Quinn played a game with me - voicing support, having their lawyers "fix" the wording and even holding a press conference to announce it...and what happened - it never left committee - sara failed to push Quinn to bring it out and it was 100% Quinn's decision. Hopefully under Mayor deBlasio we will have a second chance.
Aug. 29, 2013, 7:31 am
TOM MURPHY from Sunset Park says:
I see I'm not missing much being out-of-country.

Just before I left I received a mailed message from Carlos Menchaca. Or was it from the campaign or his 'independent supporters(This way he has 'plausible deniability' if anyone asks--as witnessed here in this article). It claimed Mr. Menchaca had "deep roots" here. Of course this is too much of a lie to pass unanswered. For example, you won't find his name in the official listing of resident Democrats published by the NYC Board of Elections (as of March 9th of THIS year). That's because he resided in Windsor Terrace, or was it Park Slope, or was it San Francisco, or was it Texas; but certainly NEVER IN THE 38th COUNCIL DISTRICT.
As I have said before I cannot support anyone to represent this community in government who boasts his ignorance of the community, its people and its demanding issues.
Also, I'm still looking for the endorsement of Mr. Menchaca by any named person or persons residing in Red Hook that would bolster the notion that he was such a God-send last November.
This posting was written by TOM MURPHY and I approved it.
Aug. 31, 2013, 6:11 am

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