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The Reign of The Duke of Bay Ridge Must Now End

September 21, 2009

I’ve had about enough. The evidence is irrefutable. The conclusion that must be drawn is undeniable.

Adios, El Duque.

When the party’s county committee meets this fall, one thing is clear: Craig Eaton should not be allowed to return for another term as the Brooklyn GOP Chairman. Allow me to explain why.

The Duke of Bay Ridge first took up his office in 2007, at a time when the party had much to do just to hold on to what it had, let alone fight for more. Since then, we have seen an atrophy of party membership and failure, mismanagement and corruption on almost every level of the county party.

Please understand, I have given Mr. Eaton every benefit of the doubt one could safely permit an elected official to receive. We all know that the past two years have been tough for Republicans everywhere, not just locally. But The Duke has done little to nothing to rebrand our party locally or reach out to current or potential Republicans…not even a postcard or a letter to Brooklyn Republicans reminding them that there is still a Republican Party in Brooklyn.

Mr. Eaton demonstrated no leadership at all on the issue of the 2008 13th Congressional District election. As my next post of And Then There Were None will discuss, he essentially caved in to pressure from everyone around him and accepted a mediocre candidate, Bob “Hot Dog” Straniere,” whom he failed to help sell to the voters in any meaningful way.

As for the Mayor’s race, he demonstrated, at best, schizophrenic leadership, eventually tossing his hat in the ring for Bloomberg for mere patronage crumbs ($50,000) and no evident, tangible benefit for Republicans in do doing. At the same time, he alienated entire hosts of Republican voters appalled by Bloomberg’s undemocratic and personally financed revocation of term limits. So, either way (pro-Bloomberg or anti-Bloomberg), the Chairman made big mistakes and is now being shot at by both sides.

He has failed to answer the call of Atlas and others in his party to investigate the suspicious actions and stunning behavior of political consultants in his party, most notably his close aid and Party Warlock Gerry O’Brien, The Merlin of Malice.

The Duke as overseen terrible mismanagement of party funds and has failed to successfully raise money in any meaningful way. Currently, as my colleague Hank Rearden has stated, our party lacks any decent funds to support candidates or orchestrate events.

The Chairman’s lack of advanced outreach in numerous Brooklyn communities—let alone basic outreach like websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter—is simply unacceptable and shows no sign of changing or improving in the near future. These are not just ways to get the word out—THEY ARE WAYS OF MAKING MONEY FOR THE PARTY. If the call comes in 2010 and 2012 to run a sophisticated campaign at the local, state, or federal level, it is clear that our party organization would not be able to answer it. In fact, why would anyone at the state or federal level even bother asking given the party’s currently atrocious state?

He has failed to reach out to minority communities in any significant way, something that could have paid off some, if minor, dividends in the near future, particularly Hispanic voters, who were (at one point) more inclined to vote for John McCain than his opponent in the 2008 election. Nevertheless, the party did nothing to foster inclusion in parts of the borough that would greatly benefit from Republican interaction. We will regret this soon enough. Trust me.

Finally, he has helped foster resentment among the ranks of the party’s local leaders, running it in a tyrannical manner at times resembling that of Idi Amin.

Constructive criticism is banned and shouted down. Change is promised but never delivered. Questions are delayed, as are solutions. Blame is freely given, but responsibility is never accepted. Trust is nonexistent, and loyalty is a rare commodity. Overall, the Duke’s comportment is shrill and lacks the character and professionalism necessary to run a major party with numerous constituents with different needs.

I want to ask the County Committee members and party leaders reading this to just take a moment and think about this.

Just think about it… Do things feel like they are going anywhere but downhill?

I would not bother writing on Atlas at all if I were not absolutely sure that our party needs serious reform NOW. Anyone who thinks that the party is in a good place right now is, frankly, delusional. We need swift and immediate action. We have big challenges ahead, and Mr. Eaton is clearly unable to handle them.

Do you want the man who failed to keep the only Republican congressional seat in Brooklyn to try again in 2010?

Do you trust the Chairman to maintain or increase the balance of Brooklyn GOP State Senators before the census demands new lines be drawn, ones that will likely make our ability to win races even harder, if not next to impossible?

Do you want The Duke to be in charge of orchestrating the immense local challenge of promoting the party’s presidential candidate in 2012 to take on President Obama?

Do you believe Mr. Eaton will do anything more to grow the party, change our method of outreach, and rebrand our image in this borough?

If you’re honest with yourself, you know the answer to all of these questions is no.

Hopefully, we all understand that the stakes are too high to allow the failed leadership of Chairman Craig Eaton to continue any longer. For those of you that are somehow still on the fence, I invite you to come back to Atlas over the course of the next few days and read more about why The Duke of Bay Ridge’s reign must come to an end this year.

The time has come.

  1. Donald Stump permalink
    September 21, 2009 10:03 am

    It’s about time!

  2. Gerald permalink
    September 21, 2009 10:06 am


  3. New to Brooklyn GOP permalink
    September 21, 2009 10:25 am

    This blog has made many interesting points. But in regards to this one, do we have someone else who is willing to take the job?

  4. Bay Ridge GOPer permalink
    September 21, 2009 12:34 pm

    Ah! You bring up a salient point “New To Brooklyn GOP”.

    You have read a lot of criticisms, complaints, etc., but not one person has said they want that job. And why not:

    a) there is no salary
    b) there are no benefits
    c) everyone has great ideas, but nobody wants to volunteer, work, make a difference or do anything to help – except to be an anonymous critic.

    Sounds like a wonderful position to me!

  5. Job permalink
    September 21, 2009 12:41 pm

    Once the pus is out of the wound, I think plenty of us Shruggers know there are a few excellent replacements waiting out there to clean up and heal the party. Atlas, please let us know your thoughts!

  6. New to Brooklyn GOP permalink
    September 21, 2009 12:54 pm

    “When the party’s county committee meets this fall, one thing is clear: Craig Eaton should not be allowed to return for another term as the Brooklyn GOP Chairman.” But do we not have to name a replacement at that point also. If that is the case do we know who prior or will that person just appear the time the decision needs to be made. If that is the case how do we vote without knowing how someone stands on the issues?

  7. Young GOP Kid permalink
    September 21, 2009 1:44 pm

    So we agree with the conclusion that Eaton needs to go. That’s a pretty big step to begin with. I wonder what whispers have been said about his candidacy behind his back…

  8. New to Brooklyn GOP permalink
    September 21, 2009 1:56 pm

    I was quoting Francisco at the begining of my statement. I do not believe that I agreed. I still would like to the the qualifications of Mr. Eaton’s potential replacemnet.

  9. Luciano permalink
    September 21, 2009 2:04 pm

    Mr. Eaton has lost the support of his party allies and constituents. That he must be replaced is clear. I too look forward to the suggestions of Atlas, if they have any. I’m sure they do.

  10. Gerry permalink
    September 21, 2009 2:09 pm

    What about Bob Capano!?

  11. Chris permalink
    September 21, 2009 2:50 pm

    Was that meant to be funny, Gerry?

  12. Sexy Republicana permalink
    September 21, 2009 3:15 pm

    Such a cogent argument, Franky. I look forward to your recommendations and those of your colleagues! 😉 kiss kiss

  13. Young GOP Kid permalink
    September 21, 2009 3:17 pm

    No changes to the website, in spite of your letter. What a surprise! I’m shocked the URL still works!

  14. Emilio Barzini permalink
    September 21, 2009 4:56 pm

    Yo folks… bunch of Atlas ingrates!

    Craig Eaton is a busy man!

    So what if he sometimes is contradictory. Who isn’t?

  15. Atlas Ingrate permalink
    September 21, 2009 5:17 pm

    Yo, Emilio. Get a clue. Contradictory is one thing. Not listening to his base and selling out to Bloomberg for pennies is just plain stupid.

    Oh, yeah! He’s soooo busy getting that new website up, mismanaging funds and allowing party thugs to destroy party morale. He’s soooo busy winning elections! He’s so so busy!

    Please. We weren’t born yesterday.

    PS give Craig my best!

  16. Emilio Barzini permalink
    September 22, 2009 9:32 am

    Attn: Some Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn readers,

    My previous comment post above was “Tongue-in-cheek.” It is sarcasm.
    It’s actually an “anti-Craig Eaton” comment. The comment is buttressed by links to public news stories about Mr. Eaton’s persona and contradictory leadership and positions he has taken since becoming KCRP Chairman.

    – Emilio B.

  17. Avi Gordon permalink
    September 22, 2009 6:03 pm

    I, God willing, will be attending the convention, and I’d like to vote against Eaton, but will there even be anyone running against him?

  18. Malcolm X permalink
    September 22, 2009 8:54 pm

    The Reign of The Duke of Bay Ridge Must Now End!

    Yes it must end.

    The Chickens Come Home to Roost.


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