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Former 44th Assembly District Leader Bennett Condemns Eaton and Calls for Reform

September 30, 2009

We have received a copy of a letter from a fellow reader, and this is huge. Apparently, this letter was originally sent out to the executive committee of the Kings County Republican Party by former 44th Assembly District Leader Yvette Velázquez Bennett decrying the failures of Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton and his “petty, childish power trips.” Bennett also explicitly condemns Political Consultant Gerry O’Brien, The Merlin of Malice, for his tactics in the 39th City Council District race.

Noting that female and minority District Leaders are becoming an endangered species in our party, Bennett holds The Duke accountable for the failures of our party, stating Eaton’s “arrogance far exceeds his wisdom, and it is tearing our party asunder.”

Below is the text of Bennett’s letter:

This is not an easy letter to write to you, but for the sake of our party, I must.

We have an incredibly important decision to make this Wednesday at the County Committee Convention that will dictate the fate of our party in Brooklyn for many years to come.  We can choose to support the status quo that has excluded, ignored, and downright attacked anyone with an earnest interest in building our party and seeing us succeed.  Or we can choose a new direction, one with far more experience, wisdom and savvy to lead our party to new heights.

Now, I am currently no longer recognized as the District Leader of the 44th Assembly District, and there are quite a few other female and minority district leaders for whom this is the case—all which is a consequence of our current Chairman’s lack of leadership and petty vindictiveness.

For instance, when Gerry O’Brien was wrongly permitted to hold my district’s petitions hostage in order to bully me into some kind of “submission,” I called on our current Chairman to demonstrate his leadership to correct the matter.  He, instead, did nothing and deferred not to a duly elected District Leader but to O’Brien—a mere paid consultant!

When O’Brien stole portions of my district’s petitions just before they were due to be submitted, I called on our chairman for leadership and, yet again, he caved in and did nothing.

When O’Brien argued before the Board of Elections to have my name removed from the ballot because we were short by 12 signatures—12 signatures that could have easily been obtained if we had been able to count the remaining petitions that were illicitly in O’Brien’s possession, our Chairman, an attorney, sat quietly on the sidelines saying nothing to defend one of the most fervent supporters of his chairmanship from Day One.

And even until that point, I still had faith that our Chairman was trying to do right under incredible pressure, until he demonstrated the ultimate in petty, childish power trips.  He had me and several other individuals in my district, as well as in other districts, removed from Election Day jobs.  And then, as others have reported, he uses the money that we helped him raise for our party to re-elect himself Chairman by designating himself the recipient of the entire county’s proxy votes.

But this letter is not about sour grapes about a position or a per diem post at the Board of Elections, I assure you.  I need neither the position in order to continue my work in building our party in my community, nor the money that comes from these important Election Day jobs.

Rather, I tell you this to warn you:  this Chairman knows not the meaning of loyalty and especially that it is a two-way street.  His arrogance far exceeds his wisdom, and it is tearing our party asunder.  After almost three years as Chairman, we have made no gains and indeed far too many losses.  The people have lost all faith in the integrity of our party, and now he is actively ostracizing anyone with even the slightest initiative to rebuild our party and its values.

Lastly, let me remind you that we the leaders elect the Chairman, and not the other way around.  So let’s not permit these abuses to persist any further from the person whom we elect as our chief servant.

I would go further, but I have no doubt that you already know well about what many of our colleagues have been saying for quite some time.  But don’t lose hope—you as a leader have the power to change course, and I urge you to do just that this Wednesday.


Yvette Velázquez Bennett
Republican Grassroots Advocate
44th Assembly District

***As a side note, I want to personally congratulate Ms. Bennett for taking a stand against the forces of failure and promoting reform in our party. Thank you, Ms. Bennett for your leadership! – FD

  1. Denny permalink
    September 30, 2009 2:36 am

    I trust Yvette. She hit the nail right on the head!

  2. The Truth permalink
    September 30, 2009 8:29 am

    Let us be honest here – something which most of you are not, ever – Let us put our cards on the table, specifically Yvette Bennett.

    Ms. Bennett made a statement in the letter which you posted that she is no longer a District Leader and “there are quite a few other female and minority district leaders for whom this is the case” – for the sake of fairness I challenge Yvette Bennett to name one other “female minority District Leader” who allegedly has the same complaints.

  3. Yvette permalink
    September 30, 2009 1:49 pm

    I have tried to stay out of the back and forth discussion that has occurred on this blog, however, I couldn’t stay out of this one.

    My statement is taken out of context. I meant that there are a few minority and women District Leaders that are no longer recognized by the powers that be. Some of them are Madge Ford, Dana Britton and Henry Snead. I did not say that it was directly related to my situation. I stand by my statement.

  4. upset county committee member permalink
    September 30, 2009 2:07 pm


  5. Lucille Sorvino permalink
    September 30, 2009 4:58 pm

    Yvette, the only reason Craig no longer recognizes Madge Ford as a District Leader is because she’s no longer alive.

    I realize that in some places, the deceased are still allowed to vote, but Brooklyn isn’t one of them. I have to side with Craig on this one.

    Your pandering and self-victimization is typical. Everyone is picking on you because you’re a poor, defenseless minority woman. You sound like every liberal Democrat of the past 4o years.

  6. Tommy Nast permalink
    September 30, 2009 5:48 pm

    I’m not surprised that Bennett didn’t know about Madge Ford because I hear that Eaton never tells anyone when prominent Republicans pass away. Probably because acknowledging anyone else’s accomplishments would injure his sensitive ego.

    And Lucille, forgive me if I’m wrong, but it seems that you must be visually impaired because not only is Brooklyn more female and ethnic than the “good old days” of a majority of white men, but guess who makes up the majority of the electorate in Brooklyn? If Eaton is kicking out even one Latina District Leader because she stands up for herself, that is tantamount to kicking out the majority of Brooklynites from the party!

    No wonder we keep getting trounced at every election, and it has only gotten worse with this Chairman. Vote him out and put Arnaldo Ferraro in tonight! At least he knows how to respect women!

  7. Denny permalink
    October 1, 2009 4:46 am

    Excuse my french, but Racist Sorvino is a b!tch. Yvette is a hero. We love you Yvette!!!!

  8. GOP Schadenfreude permalink
    October 1, 2009 4:49 am

    I am stunned by Lucille’s comments. Clueless, racist and sexist. You make the Republican Party look like everything I was taught hate. Next time you go to a restaurant cut a couple of holes in a napkin and hang it over your head sicko. Vile.

  9. TJIUA is evil permalink
    February 3, 2010 4:46 pm

    What they’ve done to Susan is uncalled for.

    Only one person can do this – that is the bulldog, evil, Political Consultant, Gerry O’Brien. Gerry O’Brien consistently turns against his clients. Gerry O’Brien consistently uses dirt, smearing and malice to accomplish whatever evil goals he has.

    Craig Eaton and Marty Golden – be afraid, be very afraid . . . not of the folks on Atlas, but of Gerry O’Brien. You, the Kings County GOP, and many others have paid Gerry O’Brien for his evil services. In the process, he has learned your Achilles heel. He will use it against you . . . or is he doing so already? Are you beholden to Gerry O’Brien because he already has you where he wants you? Are you trapped in his evil lair?

    Beware! Beware! The evil one O’Brien will get you, too!


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