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Opening Statement from Midas Mulligan

October 7, 2009

Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn has been groundbreaking in New York Republican politics. There’s no other way to say it. In just two months, this blog has grown by leaps and bounds and has challenged Republicans and Republican-leaning Brooklynites to look at the framework of their party and say, with conviction, we can do better.

And we know we can.

Our party is a haphazard mess of sects and factions to rival the tribalism of Afghanistan. There aren’t just ideological differences of opinion in the party; there are deep functional deficits in both leadership and vision that have resulted in a broken political institution. Without an immediate change in direction, this ship is headed for an iceberg.

Atlas has demonstrated that.

I turn back to the iceberg/ship metaphor. I was reading through the hundreds of comments posted on this blog. I was particularly drawn to this exchange between two Atlas commentators responding to “The Cannibalism of GOP Political Consultants” post by my new colleague and friend Francisco D’Anconia. The first was posted by someone called NEUTRAL OBSERVER, and frankly expressed the position of the average Brooklyn GOP establishment figure:

All of you Bloggers seem to have a lot to say, but what all of us are not hearing or seeing, is:

a) what have you done for the GOP ever;

b) what have you done for the GOP lately;

c) what have you contributed to the GOP;

d) what volunteer work you have ever done for the GOP;

e) what volunteer work you have ever done for a local candidate.

My guess is the answer to all of these is: Nothing

You see, it is better to work and help, than to just sit back and complain. Get involved and maybe, if you are all so wise and intelligent as you profess to be, then maybe you can make a difference.

In response, GOPer HARD AT WORK said:

I want to respond directly to “NEUTRAL OBSERVER.” You hypocritically criticize those on this blog legitimately critiquing and pointing out the problems in our party. Many of us have tried to work with the people in our party causing problems. Some of us, I’m sure, have worked FOR the people causing the problems in our party. Your foolish claim that we should “work and help” would just have us blindly follow these leaders on a hope that somehow things will change.

Basically, Neutral Observer’s comments boil down to this: The Titanic wouldn’t have sunk if the bus boys in the dining room were cleaning the tables better….No no no. The Captain and his crew are in charge of steering this vessel.

What we need to prevent this party from hitting the iceberg is a mutiny. A change in the leadership is entirely necessary. The bus boys see the iceberg, but the leaders say “stay the course.” I say its time for a new crew.

In this exchange, a true neutral observer can see the battle currently being waged for the soul of the Brooklyn GOP.

It is the choice between machine politics and grassroots politics.

It is the difference between demanding hard work and appreciating hard work.

It is the path toward less diversity and disunity or increased inclusion and togetherness.

The establishment and the reformists are at diametrically opposing points on the continuum of Republican politics. Between them, a Great Wall of China, built up by each and every loss, failure, and aggressive move for which our party leaders are responsible. The wall was solidified last week with the reelection of Chairman Craig Eaton (or, as he is now known–thanks to AtlasThe Duke of Bay Ridge).

Eaton has come to recognize all that is wrong with our party: corruption, failure to respond to his critics, and a casual indifference to the in fighting in his own party. He has not even reached the acceptance stage yet. Instead, he has ruined any possibility of the establishment forging a peace with the reformists and instilling new values of respect, equality among members, and pride.

Instead, the Brooklyn GOP looks poised for a hostile and long overdue takeover.

Whether or not this occurs, the failure of the party to succeed in the next few years will be not even as much a result of Democratic strength (which it has always faced) but rather internal instability brought about by the hubris of its leadership. What a sad way for the greatest borough in our state and country to go.

Thankfully, Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn is around. Not only is it a conduit through which reformists may unify, share stories, and raise awareness, but it is a beacon of truth in this time of Republican warfare. It serves the constituency the party forgot or forsook in its mad assault on itself.

Unfortunately for the establishment, Atlas’ constituency vastly surpasses their own–and we don’t even cut them any checks.

So I, Midas Mulligan, am proud to join each and every one of you and the voices here on this blog as we take our party into the 21st century and toward a new path of reform and progress. May we all do our best in these great endeavors!

  1. Jonathan Edwards permalink
    October 7, 2009 6:39 pm

    “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

    “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.”

    Psalm 2: 9-10

  2. Sexy Republicana permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:19 pm

    So, Midas, did the Atlas folks make you take the Oath of the Horatii to join? lol

  3. Antoine Lavoisier permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:45 pm

    Craig Eaton est un dictateur sanguinaire.

  4. Maya Karpinski permalink
    October 7, 2009 8:44 pm

  5. CYNCIAL OBSERVER permalink
    October 8, 2009 8:08 am

    Ok, to slightly paraphrase NEUTRAL OBSERVER …

    “Besides cheer-leading your site and the hits its gotten, what have you all done to organize the grassroots of the Brooklyn GOP?”

    I understand the gatekeepers suck, and their suckiness must be exposed, but you know what? The party is such a mess that they can be ignored and bypassed. To quote Moulitsas at the DailyKOS

    “Adapt and Innovate.”
    “Bypass the Gatekeepers.”
    “Don’t Wait for Authorization.”

    So instead of waiting for some white knight to come along and save the party may I suggest the five of you hit the field and try to organize a block of 1000 votes each. “Reforming the Brooklyn Republican Party one post at a time” is ok, but reorganizing the party one vote at a time carries a lot more weight.

    PS … love the site, keep up the good work.

  6. Atlas Shrugger permalink
    October 8, 2009 2:23 pm

    I don’t think the folks at Atlas are waiting for any “white knight to come along.” I think they are hoping to inspire enough individuals and create enough momentum to drive change.

    Think about how the media works. If a media personality says, “X should change,” they don’t personally go out and picket the government agency or whatever organization they are trying to change. They report on it, which in turn inspires people to wake up and not accept the status quo.

    I can tell you all one thing. There is a new spirit rising among the ranks of the Brooklyn GOP. It is not the establishment’s false spirit of blind allegiance but rather a new feeling of understanding and acceptance that the establishment is wrong and not pursuing the best interests of the party.

    Until now, most people felt that way but never said anything. Now, people are ready to act.

    That’s huge.

    • Donna Bella permalink
      October 8, 2009 3:47 pm

      I agree with Atlas Shrugger. This blog has taken a huge first step.

      It’s not a blog’s responsibility to take the war to the streets. It’s our responsibility as readers to do that.

      When the time is right…

  7. Atlas Shrugger permalink
    October 8, 2009 7:03 pm

    I noticed Jay Golub and Daniel Petersen commented to your story posted on Urban Elephants.

    Jay’s point is this: “Honestly, many would think it would be odd if Eaton, the County Chair, DIDN’T give his only elected official the fullest financial support possible. ”

    Daniel’s point is: “I’m sure there are issues that need to be corrected in Brooklyn, but its like that in any county organization. If there is no scandal out there, perhaps the best thing to do is to extend an olive branch and focus on working together to build the party and bench in 2010 and beyond.”

    I have to say, both of their comments were sort of sad. Basically, these two just overlooked this story as being a mere fact of life in politics.

    The reality that this is EXACTLY what is wrong with our party. You had Marty Golden sending out proxies for the week of the convention to county committee members just to see Craig was elected. Craig himself submitted proxies on Kings County GOP letterhead, which to me sounds like Obama sending out letters to his constituents to reelect him on the White House’s dime.

    Then you have a stretch of thousands of dollars going back to the beginning of this decade, ironically enough WHEN CRAIG EATON BECAME A REPUBLICAN from being a Democrat! After which, he magically becomes the Chairman of the Brooklyn GOP in a MERE 6 years of being a Republican. I mean, hello?! There’s something wrong here. Atlas is right to be sniffing around the money of these elected officials.

    I just think it was highly inappropriate for Marty to enter the ring for Craig. He could have worked on the sidelines, but mailing out his own proxies sounds pretty funny to me. Not to mention, Craig is failing the party MISERABLY. LOSS, LOSS, AND MORE LOSS.

    You guys made the right move publishing that story, and these guys don’t want to read between the lines. That’s sad, because its their party too, and our losses are their losses.

  8. Atlas Shrugger permalink
    October 8, 2009 7:17 pm

    Jay Golub seems to be an avid reader of your articles posted on Urban Elephants. He recently wrote this comment:

    Eaton has come to recognize all that is wrong with our party: corruption, failure to respond to his critics, and a casual indifference to the in fighting in his own party.”

    I must say, Dagny, I see little to support what you’ve just said about Eaton on the Atlas site. I spent the entire morning reading through all the threads on there.

    “Corruption?” Where has this been exposed or “recognized?”

    The rest of the discussion above is part of what all political parties/organizations have to deal with on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.

    I’d like to know in some specific way, where the proof of any of this is? If you guys can collectively provide that information, your points will be taken seriously. If you can’t, they will be disregarded as pointless innuendo…

    Jay, my fellow Republican, you obviously gave Atlas a mere cursory glance!

    Jay did not seem to consider the fact that this is a man who, on top of giving THOUSANDS to Marty Golden (which Jay unfortunately dismissed in an earlier comment as a mere fact of life) during his first run for an election (on top of throwing numerous Republican events at Marty’s SHINDIG The Bay Ridge Manor) used party money to submit proxies to the county committee????

    Jay, we have to expect better from our party!

    If the leader of the party is going to give money to a candidate, THAT’S FINE! But to have that candidate subsequently send out proxies on his behalf to reelect a sitting chairman that he is receiving donations and business from??? I’m sorry, but that just isn’t right. It strikes me as a supreme conflict of interest, one that any attorney familiar with ethics would comprehend.

    That is, on its face, a conflict of interest: I give you money and business; you use your position to get me reelected in my position–then down the line, we keep the circular flow going.

    Give me a break. This is why our party is failing: we let these types of corruptions slip through the cracks and then say, “Oh, well, that’s life!”

    No more of that.

    • Sexy Republicana permalink
      October 8, 2009 7:20 pm

      Atlas Shrugger, you seem upset! I don’t blame you. Everyone makes excuses for the county party. “Oh, well, that’s the way it is.” LOL they said the same thing about slavery and woman’s rights.

      The fact is that the party is worse off not even for its corrupt nature but more so for its utter failure and inability to unify fellow Republicans.

      Excuses, excuses. We want action 😉

    • Gerry permalink
      October 8, 2009 7:33 pm

      I am in total agreement with Atlas Shrugger. It’s like they purposely want to put this to bed without talking about it or looking into it.

      That’s exactly what Craig wants.

    • GOP MOTIVATIONS permalink
      October 8, 2009 7:47 pm

      Why is Jay Golub always giving the benefit of the doubt to Eaton? Something funny there.

  9. Sassy GOPer permalink
    October 8, 2009 7:56 pm

    Yeah, Jay missed the point of the word “corruption” entirely.

    OED definition: “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery” or “the action of making someone or something morally depraved or the state of being so.”

    Both apply in this case, friends

  10. Erasmus permalink
    October 8, 2009 8:07 pm

    I like Urban Elephants, but I don’t get why Golub is so passé about what’s going on in our party. Come on people: lets get those gears turning! There are terrible problems here!

  11. Nick Carraway permalink
    October 8, 2009 8:31 pm

    I welcome a new voice on Atlas:

    “Whether or not this occurs, the failure of the party to succeed in the next few years will be not even as much a result of Democratic strength (which it has always faced) but rather internal instability brought about by the hubris of its leadership. What a sad way for the greatest borough in our state and country to go.”

    Very well said!

  12. Susan permalink
    October 8, 2009 8:46 pm

    I was personally threatened by Craig Eaton that my career would be at risk if I did not join his team. That was so upsetting to me. I will not use my real name, but that is the truth.

  13. Sexy Republicana permalink
    October 8, 2009 8:51 pm

    Well, it seems Mulligan has the Midas touch. The only other person who gets this many comments is Franky lol.

    We’re all following Atlas closely tonight!

  14. Marcus Tullius Cicero permalink
    October 8, 2009 9:31 pm

    I surmise that Craig Eaton not only reads this Atlas Shrungs in Brooklyn blog regularly, but probably too.

    Jay Golub, Daniel Peterson and Robert Hornak are all regular UE contributors.
    Mr. Hornak is the Publisher (and currently the GOPer running for Queens Borough President). The Editor-in-Chief is Jay Golub (a DDS or dentist, and a former NYC Public Advocate candidate in 2005). The Managing Editor is Daniel Peterson (who is also the current President of The NY Young Republican Club Inc., Manhattan).

    The Urban Elephants guys identified tend to “coddle” the current NYC GOP establishment. Although these three gentlemen “took to task” the five (5) county (borough) chairmen last winter and spring when Bloomberg bought the Republican endorsement, these three guys seem to be careful not to be too critical of the current GOP party leadership.
    I’m not sure one can classify them as “Reformers.” Thefoe, I’m not too surprised they are a bit “laid back” about Craig A. Eaton, Esq.

    In their myopic view – Jay, Dan and Rob – think it is heresy to be “dissenting” Republicans.

    I digress for a moment……. Hola Sexy Republicana! 😉

    • Donna Bella permalink
      October 8, 2009 9:49 pm

      Bravo, Cicero! Well said!

  15. Sexy Republicana permalink
    October 8, 2009 10:07 pm

    An intelligent and informative comment from my new favorite online friend, Cicero!

    How sweet of you to digress just for me 😉

  16. Gerry permalink
    October 9, 2009 12:37 pm

    Jay Golub has to play nice nice with the establishment. Reform takes a seat on the back burner as a result.

  17. Frank Pentangeli permalink
    October 10, 2009 9:05 am

  18. John Cho permalink
    October 10, 2009 9:45 am

    I saw a FlashForward and Craig Eaton wasn’t Chairman in 2010…


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