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Healthcare Should Give GOP an Edge in Brooklyn—But Local Leadership is Lacking

September 11, 2009

Last night, the President addressed a joint session of Congress, while many of us in Brooklyn watched and wondered what the future will be for us on the healthcare issue.

Without commenting on the President’s speech, a question arose among us Atalites on what exactly our local party has done to address the issue. It seems nothing major can come to mind. While stories about the Democrats holding their own town halls have dominated local news, what has our local party done to address the issue? Certainly Brooklynites will be affected by any massive upheaval.

Instead of host a GOP town hall or an open forum on the issue, or even ask our local constituents what they think about the issue, we here at Atlas learned that some protest was convened just a few days ago (thanks to Sahel Kazemi for the comment on September 8th). Apparently, a bunch of anti-McMahon protestors (and I use the word “bunch” with some skepticism) showed up in front of the Congressman’s Brooklyn HQ demanding a town hall.

After reading this story, a few questions arose about this “protest.”

First, who were the Republicans and the Conservatives that attended this “rally” (did you get the memo about any rally?)? I see Chairman Craig “The Duke of Bay Ridge” Eaton was in attendance. City Councilman candidate Bob Capano was present. Jerry Kassar—of the Conservative Party and a scion of “The Golden Prince” Marty Golden—was there. 46th A.D. District Leader Clorinda Annarummo was in the audience, never missing at an event in Mr. Eaton’s dukedom.

Anyone else get the memo? Any registered Republicans from the 13th CD get a card or an invite? Any notice on their website? I don’t think so…I asked Francisco about the article; he commented, “If there had been a lot of people, you would think they would say how many people showed up, or at least show us a picture!”

Maybe our “leaders” don’t understand this, but let us make it clear: if you’re going to do anything, let us know! Let your constituents know. Why are these things always a secret? Why has no one reached out to the average GOPer in Brooklyn to ask what they think or what they want? This is a grievous error.

Second, whether the Congressman is wrong or not, how does it make the Kings County GOP look if all we’re doing is yelling and complaining? Where are the options we’re offering? Where are our plans?

How many times must it be said that complaints alone do nothing to help promote reform? What are our leaders (and/or future candidates) saying about the issue? Nothing I’ve heard or that’s been well publicized.

I’d like to ask those leaders who were at the rally what their plans are for health care reform. What does the Kings County GOP stand for?

Your thoughts?

  1. Peter Clemenza permalink
    September 11, 2009 11:55 am

    The Liver and Kneecaps in the Brooklyn GOP!

    I would like to respectfully comment on the John Galt article “Healthcare Should Give GOP an Edge in Brooklyn—But Local Leadership is Lacking.”
    I concur. Local GOP leadership is lacking.
    The KCRP leadership people, including BUT not limited to Chairman Craig A. Eaton, Esq., are inept, clumsy, and chronically bungling. It’s shameful.
    The King County Republican Party web site is full of old, passé information. With all the money Mr. Eaton spent on various useless rubbish, why isn’t there anyone updating The web site is STILL advertising this year’s Lincoln Dinner, which was held at El Cribe in Mill Basin, Brooklyn on Thursday, May 28, 2009 and had a video greeting from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger! The Brooklyn GOP web site continues to have a “dead” link to dishonored former Congressman Vito J. Fossella (R, C) who is an embarrassment for the 13th Congressional District constituents. Fossella is a shameful person and hypocrite for numerous reasons.

    Web site updates may seem minor or irrelevant to some people, but it does demonstrate how the KCRP is being poorly managed. Web technology and the Internet are important ways to connect to the masses – to get the communications out quickly and also to encourage newcomers to the Party. Either apply this competitive edge or lose the race.

    Instead of that big party bash and revelry Mr. Eaton had at the hotel NY GOPers stayed at during the 2008 Republican National Convention at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the money spent on the shindig could have been used to pay a webmaster or IT person to maintain or operate the Brooklyn GOP web site. Or Mr. Eaton could have learned to do that himself, if necessary.

    As an e-subscriber to KCRP e-mail list, I never receive any e-mail updates, information or invitations to KCRP oriented events, such as the recent Bay Ridge health care rally promoting a local town hall public meeting.
    Anyone else get the memo? Any registered Republicans from the 13th CD get a card or an invite? Any notice on their website? No. Nothing. Zero.
    Certainly our KCRP “leaders” don’t understand this: if you’re going to do anything, let us – the rank and file – know. Let your constituents know. Why are these things always a secret? Why has no one reached out to the average GOP registered voter in Brooklyn to ask what they think or what they want? This is an appalling, grievous blunder.
    Part of the problem is that Chairman Eaton has “too much stuff on his plate.” He and his law firm partner are very busy full-time professionals with their clients’ cases which includes numerous specialties with the legal profession (commercial and residential real estate, personal injury and malpractice, broad-spectrum business legal cases). In addition, the Chairman is involved in many various activities, organizations and endeavors that take up a lot of his time. One reason why the county headquarters is located within the Eaton & Torrenzano LLP law firm practice may possibly be so he can maintain absolute, supreme control over the borough party organization. As a busy professional, he can not be everywhere all the time.

    Without a doubt the Brooklyn GOP needs reform and reorganization. One way to agitate for reform is perhaps to conduct a petition drive for registered Kings County Republicans requesting reform and changes within the KCRP. The reform “Brooklyn GOP” petition drive should be brought to the attention of both the borough and citywide news media for better impact. Stir it up!

    Moreover, fully and thoroughly well written and researched letters to the editors of print newspapers expressing party leadership changes and reform ideas would help highlight, emphasize and publicize the righteous, just endeavor.

    Since he became KCRP chair in 2007, I have noticed countless articles in newspapers about Chairman Eaton that have positive slants. Perhaps the editors and reporters should be aware that the average Brooklyn GOP voters share discontent and dissatisfaction with the status quo. Occasionally acquaintance or rapport with news media “movers and shakers” could color or tint how one is presented in news articles.

    Any Republican grassroots reform, restructuring efforts should be assertive and noisy, but polite, respectful and dignified. We must stay out of the gutter.

    Furthermore, the KCRP seems to be very “Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights centric.” It would be helpful if the KCRP start assertively reaching out to other areas and neighborhoods of Brooklyn. We need better checks and balances. We could do with more GOP elected representation in Kings County. We need to communicate the GOP message more effectively.

    The present KCRP leadership have failed to advance the Party. They have failed to promote an inclusive atmosphere and transparency to the rank and file members.

    To his credit, Chairman Eaton is quoted on the web site as stating: “The time is now to rebuild and revitalize the GOP” and “Citizenship is not a spectator sport.” Therefore, with our earnest, expeditious efforts in reforming the party,
    let’s properly follow Chairman Eaton’s admonition to rebuild and revitalize the local GOP. It’s just not the way he envisioned! He is right! We should not be spectators. We should, instead, be active participants!

    Also, just for your information. Mr. Gerard “Jerry” Kassar, the K.C. Conservative Party chairman, may also work in the district offices of State Senator Marty Golden. The KCCP and KCRP leaders are as close as “the prostate is in relation to the bladder.” As a college professor of physiology and biology, I’m prone to anatomy metaphors!

    Brooklyn GOP boss hosting hospitality suite.
    Posted by Tom Wrobleski, Statern Island Advance, September 03, 2008 9:29AM
    Categories: 2008 Presidential Campaign
    Brooklyn GOP chairman Craig Eaton is hosting a GOP hospitality suite at the Marriott City Center Hotel in Minneapolis during convention week. The chairman was concerned about where he was going to get some beer and wine in order to stock the room for thirsty guests, but, luckily, the liquor store across the street from the hotel delivers.

  2. JungMin Yoon Kwŏn permalink
    September 11, 2009 1:20 pm

    This illuminating item in the local news media from 21 months ago is revealing about the “priorities” of the present KCRP leadership.

    Why Were Kings County Republicans Campaigning in New Hampshire in 2008?

    “Pro Bono Barrister” article above was written by Charles F. Otey, Esq., of The Brooklyn Eagle, 01-04-2008

  3. Octavia permalink
    September 11, 2009 2:05 pm

    That Brooklyn Eagle article sfrom Jan. 2008 states this:
    “One reason, we’ve learned, is that the Brooklyn Republican Party is undergoing what observers believe to be a strong renewal under new County Chair Craig Eaton, better known in and around Brooklyn courts as a trial attorney and partner of Jay Torrenzano, with offices in Sheepshead Bay.”

    I wonder is Mr. Torrenzano is comfortable with sharing the legal practice with a political party he may or may not agree with.

  4. Jeremy Bentham permalink
    September 11, 2009 3:08 pm

    What a “renewal”! Try refreshing the embarrassing party website we have, Mr. Chairman. Shame!

  5. Sexy Republicana permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:04 pm

    More evidence of the continued failure of the Brooklyn GOP to lead, let alone tie its own shoelaces. The most efficacious Republican voice in Brooklyn right now is Atlas Shrugs (an at least you guys update YOUR website!). That speaks volumes.

    P. S. Welcome back John G! Kiss kiss!

  6. Young GOP Kid permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:24 pm

    This is a HUGE issue for GOPers in NYC. Yet, why aren’t we capitalizing off of it!? Forget a complaint rally, how about an actual plan! Hey “Eli from Bklyn Hts”– this “young rodent” wants to know.

    Mr. Chairman, why don’t you tell us your plan? I know you read this blog, so post a summary of what your GOP plan is. If you don’t, I guess it just confirms what we already have learned: you don’t have any plans.

  7. Publius permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:31 pm

    I’ve never seen a more fundamental issue run away from the GOP. If the Brooklyn Republican Party doesn’t have a plan or a candidate with a plan, it has no business screaming about the Democrats’ failures (of which there have been many).

    Pull the splinter out of your own eye.

  8. GOPer Hard At Work permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:39 pm

    I reiterate: we need a new captain of this vessel we call the Kings County Republican Party.

    Here we have failure after failure after failure. Are our District Leaders LISTENING? I think not.

  9. Bobby permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:44 pm

    If this is how Craig Eaton runs the party, I wonder what kind of lawyer he is…


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