A weirdly quiet candidate for Bay Ridge’s seat on the Council handed over his spot on the Conservative and Independence Party lines to his Republican counterpart so he can run for a judgeship on New York State’s Supreme Court — a move that had been predicted by insiders who said it stunk of back-room politics.
John Bruno, who never campaigned for the seat and was called a “place-holder” by John Quaglione, the man who now has the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party lines, pulled off the switcheroo on Sept. 19, when the Board of Elections signed off his dropping off the Council ballot to run for the judiciary.
Sources told this paper last month that party leaders were planning on Bruno making the move but Brooklyn Conservative Party chairman Jerry Kassar denied he knew anything about it.
“It wasn’t true at the time,” he said when contacted this week. “It changed after primary day.”
And Kassar insisted Quaglione never told this paper that the “winner of the Republican primary, is going to get the Conservative line. They put a placeholder in” despite the fact the conversation was recorded.
“John has told me repeatedly that he never told you that and you’re lying,” he said. “I was not aware that he told you that because he keeps telling me he didn’t.”
Bruno, a Dyker Heights attorney, accepted the nomination for the judgeship, and will be on the ballot in November, according to Kassar, who allegedly orchestrated the whole deal but said he could not put this paper in touch with him because that’s not his “problem.”
And neither Quaglione nor Bruno responded to requests for comment.
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Bay Ridge journalist Ross Barkan is mounting a run for office against state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), the 27-year-old announced on social media on Oct. 3.
Barkan, a newly registered Democrat, is looking to oust the veteran lawmaker because he believes Golden has failed to deliver on crucial issues, like transportation and health care, he said.
“He’s completely missing in action when it comes to transportation, we have a subway system that’s literally melting before our eyes. He has no accomplishments that I know of in regards to transportation,” said Barkan, who writes columns the Village Voice, Guardian, and Gothamist websites. “He’s wrong on just about every issue.”
The last Democrat to try to unseat Golden was Andrew Gounardes in 2012, who got 28,243 votes to Golden’s 38,584, according to city records.
But Barkan believes he has it in him to get the job done this time around.
“I think I can do better, that’s why I’m running,” he said. “This is going to be a very different campaign than people are used to, a campaign of truth telling — it’s going to be about big issues that actually matter to people, like healthcare, like transportation, like affordable housing, and climate change.”
And Barkan — who shyly made his first endorsements as a political newcomer for Justin Brannan and Adam Baumel against John Quaglione and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, respectively — said his would-be taxpayer-funded salary wouldn’t deter him from holding his own colleagues accountable in the chamber up in Albany or through his writing.
“I’ll still be contributing in some capacity, offering my opinions, my scrutiny, not just reciting talking points for people,” he said. “Ross Barkan the writer isn’t going anywhere, he’s just running for office.”
Golden’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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Councilman David Greenfield’s handpicked successor, Kalman Yeger, was called out for boasting that he got two endorsements from Brooklyn pols he didn’t actually get.
On his campaign website — which has been down for the last few days — Yeger listed Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst) and Assemblyman Robert Carroll (D–Park Slope) as throwing their support behind him. But Colton wrote in an impassioned post on social media that he has only made two endorsements so far, neither of which were for Yeger.
“I take political endorsements very seriously and it has been my policy to base any endorsements made by me solely upon the track record of persons seeking such endorsement,” Colton wrote on Facebook on Sept. 28. “To avoid any confusion, let me make clear that in the Nov. 7, 2017 General Election, the only endorsements I have made this point are Mark Treyger in the 47th Council District and Chaim Deutsch in the 48th Council District.”
Yeger’s campaign declined to comment on both why his website is down and the endorsement mistake.
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