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Ragusa on the defensive

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Political rivalries trump party lines.

Incumbent 47th Assembly District Democratic committeeman Charlie Ragusa is fending off attacks from primary challenger Billy Thai, who says Ragusa has failed to support fellow Democrats’ bids for office. Ragusa said he didn’t back the attempts because the aspirants were his political rivals.

He didn’t endorse Jamie Kemmerer in his 2014 bid against state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), or Andrew Gounardes’s 2012 challenge to the senator, because both were members of the Bay Ridge Democrats, which has a history of animosity with Ragusa’s own United Progressive Democratic Club.

Thai previously called Ragusa a racist for challenging his petitions to get on the ballot — a common practice among candidates.

Ragusa said the mud-slinging originated from his longtime rivals, and said he’s ready to take the fight to club founder Justin Brannan’s turf if Brannan runs for his old boss Councilman Vincent Gentile’s Bay Ridge seat in 2017.

“Unfortunat­ely we’re at odds with them. This is what it’s all about. Unfortunately it’s a longstanding thing. It’s complicated, it’s not me alone, I’m part of a group,” said Ragusa. “They’ve done things to Mark Treyger, they’ve done things to Bill Colton — Justin Brannan is involved — he wants to run for Council. We’re going to do the same thing when he runs for Council. It’s tit for tat.”

But that misses the point — Ragusa’s lack of support undermined Democratic efforts, said Brannan, who has not announced his intentions for the Bay Ridge seat.

“Billy Thai was right. Both Charlie Ragusa and Mark Treyger have a history of refusing to support Democrats in general elections. This is a fact. But I’m not sure what any of this has to do with me,” said Brannan.

Ragusa also did not support former Councilman Domenic Recchia’s failed congressional bid against Michael Grimm — but that’s because he just didn’t think Recchia would be a good congressman, he said.

• • •

The Working Families Party has endorsed Assemblywoman Pam Harris (D–Coney Island) — even though she cannot run on its party line come November.

The group endorsed Harris in her race against Kate Cucco for the 46th Assembly District on July 20, but she did not get enough signatures from party members to actually appear on the ballot.

Harris collected 10 signatures — the minimum required — but the Board of Elections tossed three of them, because the signatories were not actually members of the party, which is one of two requirements for signing the petition.

But the party still has her back, according to its New York political director, who called her apparently weak petitioning a “technical error.”

“We’ve endorsed Pam Harris for Assembly, and she has the Working Families Party’s full support,” said Ari Kamen. “While she won’t appear on our ballot line due to a technical error, we’ll make sure that every WFP voter in the district knows that she is our candidate and the best voice to fight for our progressive values.”

• • •

Brooklyn Democratic power couple Councilwoman Inez Barron (D–Canarsie) and Assemblyman Charles Barron (D–East New York) will not vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in November.

Instead, they’re writing in “reparations now” — joining a handful of black activists who believe people of color deserve recompense for slavery and systemic racism in the U.S.

But mainly, they just don’t like Clinton, who they accused of tokenistic support of the Black Lives Matter movement and possessing positions too close to her husband’s.

“I should not be supporting them. Using the Black Lives Matter movement to help get a platform for herself without addressing the issue, which is the police killing of unarmed people,” she said. “When President Bill Clinton was in office, he is the architect of kicking women and families off of assistance after five years, the architect for mass incarceration, for which our people have been unfairly subjected. She and her husband appear to be of a like mind and have not been of benefit to African-American people.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, August 11, 2016
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Reader feedback

Ken jones from ConeyIsland says:
I beleive we as a people should be compensated for crimes against humanity over 400years of forced labor America built their wealth off slavery not just in the cotton and tabaco feilds help to build railroad and sky scrappers fight wars Harriet tubman took slaves to win cival war for this country. just to think after all those contribution we still don't black history in our shcool system it's a shame most our generation don't who Harriet tubman is and will not vote for any elected offical black or white of any race that don't have our best interest at hart after all you gave reparation to the indians the Japanese and the jews do the right thing America if you are truly great because i love America.
Aug. 11, 2016, 10:09 am
Max Jaeger (Brooklyn Paper) says:
Ken, may we include your comment in our letters section next week?
Aug. 11, 2016, 11:02 am
Frank from Bensonhurst says:
Ken stop with this black and white crap. Charlie Ragusa is a disgrace and worst than Mark Treyger of a puppet to Colton. How high can Charlie jump you need to ask Colton. the disgrace of self serving democrats that they are is well known and documented. it is time to trhrow the bums out. Ragusa this year, Treyger next year and Colton the year after to his needed retirement from do nothing official representative. Sold out Treyger can not win also make sure people vote for Chris a true democrat and not a carpetbeggar as Treyger is coming here from his fance neighborhood of Mil basin. send him back!
Aug. 11, 2016, 1:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
FYI, nobody is forcing them to vote for Hillary, and she can with or without their support and votes anyway.
Aug. 11, 2016, 2:22 pm
Ken jones from Coneyisland says:
My comment was base on the subject of reparations and knowing my history and crimes against humanity thank you.
Aug. 11, 2016, 2:40 pm
I have Proof says:
I have proof that Bill Colton and Mark Treyger were still not convinced about Barack Obama on the eve of the 2008 DNC convention. Bill Colon and an adolescent Mark Treyger told a Russian television station that they were taking a "wait and see" approach to whether or not they'd support Obama for President. This was litrally 2 days before the DNC convention! Primary was over. It was either support Obama or support John McCain and they were taking a "wait and see" approach?!?!?!? These clowns are not Democrats by any stretch of God's imagination. Obama was about to become the party's first African-American nominee for President and these two Bath Avenue morons were still "mulling it over"
Aug. 11, 2016, 5:07 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Probably nothing can be done to get rid of the turncoat Brooklyn Democrats who won't support other Democrats. I don't know, maybe some Second Amendment people could help?
Aug. 11, 2016, 5:27 pm
anonymous from Bensonhurst says:
Here's the bottom line: Bill Colton and Mark Treyger never, ever, supported a single republican or a conservative. In some races they were neutral and I have more respect for them for doing that. Is every republican supporting Donald Trump? Of course not.
Aug. 11, 2016, 9:44 pm
Patrick Monahan says:
Hey anonymous from Bensonhurst: #1 I am fairly certain and sure that Bill Colton supported John McCain in 2008 when he ran for President versus Obama. #2 yes i know not all the Republicans are supporting Donald Trump but Charlie Ragu is a district leader and it's his J-O-B to help elect other Democrats!!!!! I don't know about you but If I didn't do MY job I would be F-I-R-E-D. Now you hear Mark the Treytor is running for district Leader and he failed to endorse several Democrats when they ran against Michael Grimm and Marty Golden. it just does not add up
Aug. 11, 2016, 10:27 pm
anonymous from Bensonhurst says:
Do you want to keep blowing smoke or do you want to know the truth? Bill Colton NEVER supported McCain or any other Republican. Charles Ragusa NEVER supported a Republican. Mark Treyger NEVER supported a Republican. However, Domenic Recchia DID support Mike Bloomberg and some former Democratic district leaders supported Giuliani. Some Democrats did not support Recchia because he was a wreck. It's the same reason some Republicans are not supporting Trump.
Aug. 12, 2016, 8:31 am
Raúl says:
for any body to try 2 argue that Colton and that crew are a bunch of staunch progressive democrats is a joke. even their club's name is a misnomer. you are here talking about a pack of paranoid closet republicans who play "ethnic politics for dummies" under the shadows of the D train. i was watching russian television one night, drinking my stoli, when I saw Colton and his comrade come on the tube just a few days before Obama got elected they said they were still waiting to hear what Obama said in his speech. this was after Obama had been campaigning for over a year and they still didn't know ??????? GTFOH
Aug. 12, 2016, 1:51 pm
Harold from Bath Beach says:
Fact: Mark Treyger campaigned with indicted Michael Grimm in October 2014. It was about Sandy and I was there.
Aug. 12, 2016, 5:39 pm
Rainbow says:
Yo Proofie and Raul - no one gives a rats patootie about what was or wasn't said on Russian TV in 2008.
Aug. 12, 2016, 6:51 pm
Arkady from Brighton says:
Here is the video of Colton and Treyger from 50-minute mark it is all pandering and lies lies lies to watchers of Russian racist host of this show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXRSK5lqStQ they are CON artist both Treyger and Colton and they must be defeated
Aug. 15, 2016, 2:47 pm
Gale from gravesend says:
watch them and shaere it

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ELTyF_o-rYgzj0L2Bf3Ea_uwKtJ9PR8gWxg44BPBMh4/edit?usp=sharing
Aug. 24, 2016, 11:46 am

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