44th City Council Race Presents Golden With Unique Opportunity to Send a Signal of Unity
Sometimes, politics presents the most interesting scenarios.
Take the 44th City Council race for example. Out of the blue, the exit of Councilman Simcha Felder could be exactly what the Brooklyn GOP needs to start to reconstitute itself from last year’s sadder happenings and divisions.
Jonathan Judge, a one-time critic of the current leadership of the Brooklyn GOP, is now running for the vacated seat. He was even once evaluated by this blog to be chairman of the party.
But Judge’s prior criticism of the party leadership in September at the County Committee Convention might be water under the bridge–or is it? You see, just before his announcement, State Senator Marty Golden endorsed a Democrat for that seat, David Greenfield. It’s unclear whether Golden was aware that Judge, also the Brooklyn Young Republican organization’s President, was running.
If not, Judge’s run might be just what the Senator needs to establish that unity is possible in the Brooklyn GOP after last year’s difficult losses and divisions.
But the pressure is on. But by not supporting Judge, it seems, the party would be in for quite a ride.
You see, to complicate matters further, the 49th Assembly District’s active Fiorello LaGuardia Club has endorsed Judge and thrown their support behind him. You may recall, the Fiorello LaGuardia Club and its leadership were very critical of Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton (as were many of us here at Atlas–especially my colleague Francisco D’Anconia), and the club’s president Arnaldo Ferraro, the former assemblyman, even ran against Eaton at the County Committee Convention. As you may know, Francisco D’Anconia endorsed him.
The 44th City Council District has part of its territory in the 49th AD.
Now, this change-up in the 44th CD race means Sen. Golden has a few questions to ask himself this weekend.
First and foremost, will he continue to weaken his credibility as a Republican by endorsing a Democrat over a fellow Republican in the race? We’ve already reported on various detentes with Democrats in the past on the part of the Senator. A failure to unendorse a Democrat when a credible GOP candidate is seeking the same position sends a very bad message to his constituents and the members of the Brooklyn GOP.
It would look even worse given the Senator needs all the help he can get after organizing with ACORN Amazon Bertha Lewis this past summer over the Atlantic Yards.
That video of them together must be unfortunate to any conservative or libertarian disturbed by ACORN’s antics in 2008 and 2009.
Second, does Marty Golden want to openly rebuke the 49th AD and its apparently well-oiled machine, the Fiorello LaGuardia Club? Golden already irritated the 49th AD by supporting Eaton over Ferraro in the leadership race this past year. But that would be more understandable than choosing not to endorse a candidate that the LaGuardia Club has endorsed–especially a Republican. It gives the appearance that he’s not as concerned as the 49th AD’s leaders are at supporting fellow Republicans, something he needs to avoid.
Most importantly, by our calculations, he needs the support of the 49th AD to maintain his seat in his anticipated reelection campaign, particularly if he has a Democratic challenger, as has been rumored. By shunning a candidate the 49th has endorsed to endorse a Democrat, Golden would be giving his critics all the ammunition they need to say he’s not interested in building the party but propagating his own internal deals and workings.
Lastly, does Senator Golden want to send a message that the party is not unified before the critical 2010 elections? I can’t imagine the Brooklyn Young Republicans would take too kindly to seeing the Senator shun their president for one of his opponents. Such an act would likely be the nail in the coffin for any relationships with fresh blood the party is seeking. On the other hand, a hand of friendship from the Senator would send a much more positive message.
It’s hard to believe that even if Golden decides to back the Republican in the race that all of the stains of the past two years will be wiped clean. For example, the relationship between the Brooklyn GOP establishment and the Fiorello LaGuardia Club might be damaged beyond repair. It will be up to the establishment to give the disaffected and disheartened a reason to come back to the table.
That’s called leadership.
But no one will be able to deny that it would be, at the very least, a step in the right direction.
Whatever he decides, he can’t take too long to make the decision. With an announcement from the Mayor due at the end of the month, Golden has very little time to weigh his options.
Since we here at Atlas still believe the Republican Party is the last best hope for Brooklyn, we hope he does the right thing and sides with the Republican in the race.
Of course, we will continue to report on any subsequent developments in this race.
We want to give a special thanks to The Daily News’ Liz Benjamin at the fabulous Daily Politics blog for linking to Atlas in her recent piece. Her insights and analysis are always of great benefit to all of us here in Brooklyn and at Atlas.