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Party foul! Schism deepens as two Republicans claim county committee chairmanship

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It’s Brooklyn’s Big Tent party — now with twice as many tents!

The rift in the Republican county machine has deepened — two Republicans claiming chairmanship of the county committee are convening the body for competing meetings. Bay Ridge lawyer Ted Ghorra lost the hotly debated election for the county party’s top dog to former Assemblyman Arnaldo Ferraro in September, but that didn’t stop him from calling a meeting of the party’s executive committee last week — and gavelling it in as chairman. A political operative allied with Ghorra claims that three-quarters of Republican honchos showed up to the wannabe’s meeting and that’s enough to crown him de facto party leader.

“If you hold a meeting and the party’s leaders show up, then that’s the party meeting,” said Gerry Kassar, chief of staff to Ghorra partisan state Sen. Martin Golden (D–Bay Ridge).

But those behind legally elected chairman Ferraro disagree. A party insider who supports Ferraro called it “laughable” that Kassar was delighted over the meeting.

“There was definitely not 75 percent of the executive committee at that meeting, and for someone to be so impressed and proud that Ted Ghorra held a meeting is laughable” the source said. “He held a meeting, good for him!”

Ferraro down-played the notion that Ghorra is usurping him.

“He can have a meeting,” he said. “This is America — you can do whatever you want. I wish he would have invited me.”

Ferraro beat Ghorra after an oversight committee at September’s convention deemed invalid 400 proxy votes Golden collected for Ghorra, allegedly over robocalls and misleading proxy ballot cards circulated by Golden’s people, sources said.

Outgoing chairman and longtime Golden archrival Craig Eaton appointed the oversight committee. Ghorra’s boosters claim Eaton had Ghorra’s votes thrown out as a slight to Golden amid their long-running feud.

Ghorra’s partisans called their own convention minutes later and nominated him chairman — then brought a lawsuit against the Ferraro and his slate over the fiasco. They go to court in December.

The party source supporting Ferraro called the lawsuit a waste of time and money — Golden allies lost a similar suit two years ago when Eaton was re-elected — and claims the senator tearing the party apart.

“It is clear that, at the end of the day, like two years ago, the candidate elected at the convention will be the chairman of the Republican Party for the next two years,” the source said. “All Senator Golden is doing is further forcing wedges between Republicans in Brooklyn and disenfranchising Republicans in Brooklyn, while causing lots of money to be spent in legal fees that should be spent helping candidates fighting to take back seats from the Democratic Party.”

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.

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Matthew Ryan from Bay Ridge says:
Gerry Kassar is Chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and as such, has no standing in the internal business of the Brooklyn Republican Party. He may express his opinion, but that cannot be considered
fact, especially when one considers that Gerry Kassar’s boss, Senator Marty Golden is the one who pulled Teddy Ghorra out of a hat. It is reported that Golden asked other prominent Republicans in the Bay Ridge area to become the Chairman of the Brooklyn GOP before Teddy Ghorra was twinkle in his eye, many of whom refused the offer to lead the “Marty Golden” version of the Kings County Republican Party.

Many remember the humiliation and shame that Timmy Cochrane,with promises of glory and fame to be the GOP Chair by Golden, was put through
in 2013, when Golden again tried to wrestle the Republican Party leadership from his former best friend, Craig Eaton. Craig Eaton was falsely and viciously accused by Senator Marty Golden to be “Chairman #1” in the John Sampson investigation in January 2013 in an open letter to Preet Bharara, demanding that “Chairman #1”be disclosed.

The Board of Election’s refusal to recognize the Kings
County Republican County Chair in 2015, has nostanding because it is not a court of law, it is only an administrative body. It is also to be noted that the Brooklyn Republican Commissioner of the Board of Elections, Simon Shamoun, who was chosen by Senator Golden, participated in the decision of the Board of Elections regarding their decision on the recognition of the Brooklyn Republican Chair. This is a blatant conflict of interest, in which he should have recused himself. It is also to be noted that many of those who attended the “Ghorra meeting” are Republican employees of the Brooklyn Board of Elections who are constantly reminded that they are jobholders.

There is no controversy as to who is the Brooklyn Republican Party Chair, as it was the Marty Golden faction that filed suit against Chairman Ferraro, who was duly elected according to the by laws of the Kings County Republican Party. They can argue their case in court, but they certainly have no reason to divide the Brooklyn Republican Party even further by their senseless actions to gain control, especially by those who have no interest and who are not even members of the Brooklyn Republican Party, other than to be self–serving and power hungry through the deception of “coordination of multi-parties”,which reeks of the stench of corruption.
Nov. 17, 2015, 6:42 pm

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