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The Daily Politics Blog: Missing Forest For the Trees in Brooklyn?

March 20, 2010

We often post stories from Elizabeth Benjamin’s Daily Politics blog on the New York Daily News’ website. But, in all honesty, in the past couple of months she’s been missing the forest for the trees regarding the Brooklyn GOP.

She hasn’t been totally silent on Brooklyn GOP affairs, but her discussion lacks depth.

For example, she has barely covered the 44th City Council race, while her counterparts at Courier Life/New York Post were writing up all of the details of intrigue going on in the race.

For example, this recent piece was up on her website:

A reader forwarded this invitation to a GOP young professionals fundraiser being hosted tonight by Sen. Marty Golden and the Brooklyn Republican Party.

According to his public schedule, Rick Lazio is expected to show up at the event, which is being held at the Yellow Hook Grille – an establishment owned by state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long’s brother sons, Robert and Jimmy. (The chairman tells me he also has an investment in the restaurant).

Mike Long and members of his party’s executive committee are scheduled to hold an endorsement meeting in Brooklyn Saturday. This played a major role in Levy’s decision to go public Friday with his decision to switch parties and run for governor as a Republican.

Levy and his supporters hope Long will at the very least delay his plan to endorse Lazio. As of last Sunday, Long was showing no sign of abandoning Lazio, but he also left the door open for Levy, saying a lot could change in a week.

No Republican candidate for statewide office has won without the Conservative line since 1974. If Long sticks to his guns and Lazio ends up losing a GOP primary to Levy (assuming Levy can get on the ballot), the Republicans could have another Pierre Rinfret situation on their hands in a year that many believe presents their best chances of success at the ballot box in well over a decade.

Golden announced his endorsement of Lazio earlier this week following a closed-door meeting last week at which the majority of the Senate Republican conference decided they would throw their support behind the former Long Island congressman’s gubernatorial bid.

Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton, who initially had hoped to draft Rudy Giuliani into the governor’s race, followed the former mayor’s lead after he took a pass on the race and endorsed Lazio.

This is intriguing?

Sort of. It’s missing a whole lot.

For example, as one emailer said to us, “What she (Benjamin) doesn’t mention is that this is an attempt to undermine the 44th CD race by grabbing away the ‘young Republicans.’  Real young Republicans know who the real Republicans are!”

We assume this comment is regarding the Brooklyn Young Republicans and their chieftain Jonathan Judge being excoriated by the Democrat-leaning GOP leadership. The advertisement for this event (which you can see on Ms. Benjamin’s website) is clearly missing any indication that it is sponsored or co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Young Republicans. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the party is desperate to take power from organizations like the Young Republicans while satiating their Bay Ridge/Shore Road obsession.

Speaking of Mr. Judge, what about this story we recently found posted on Courier Life regarding the 44th race:

Jonathan Judge may have been tossed off the ballot in the upcoming 44th District City Council special election, but he’s not going down without a fight.

Judge retained former State Senator and noted election attorney Martin Connor to appeal last week’s State Supreme Court decision that he came up 15 signatures short to be on the ballot.

“Senator Connor was the obvious choice for our appeal, given his time handling election law matters in the State Senate during his career,” said Judge. “His knowledge and skill as an election attorney are renowned, and our campaign is honored to have him representing us.”

Judge, a Republican, was challenged in court by Democratic candidate David Greenfield after the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) ruled that Judge had 786 valid signatures of his 1,221 signatures collected – 21 more than the 765 needed to get on the ballot.

Judge maintains that the BOE didn’t allow him to reinstate some 100 signatures collected by former Republican District leader Susan Cleary.

The signatures were disallowed by Diane Rudiano, chief clerk of the Brooklyn Board of Elections and the secretary of the Kings County Republican Party.

The two worked together as poll site workers and yet Rudiano accepted the allegation that Cleary was not even a registered voter, said Judge.

Those extra 100 signatures proved crucial because State Supreme Court Judge Larry Martin only looked at the BOE 786 approved signatures.

“The court unfortunately mistook the law and neglected to accept clear and convincing evidence of the scores of additional valid signatures we had collected,” said Judge.

“David Greenfield and his [Kings County Democratic Party boss] Vito Lopez machine have done everything in their power to eliminate the voters’ choices in this election,” he added.

Now that’s intrigue. Firm allegations of collusion between the Democrats and the Republicans don’t merit a piece? The Board of Elections and their corruption don’t merit a mention? These machinations aren’t worthy of The Daily News?

Hardly.

We like you, Ms. Benjamin. But investigative reporting is desperately needed in the GOP!

That must be done in earnest, now more than ever.

***

Coming this weekend: Steve Levy, why? Also, an update on Jonathan Judge’s appeal, the 44th City Council race and more!

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13 Comments
  1. Gerry permalink
    March 20, 2010 9:13 am

    I laughed so hard I cried! LOL

    • Lora permalink
      March 20, 2010 10:47 am

      “Who’s that?” LOL

      “Now that is scary.”

      Yes, the whole Brooklyn GOP is scary, not just that . I can’t say I know the song, but this was hilarious.

      These people are the lowest of the low.

      Kiss kiss…

    • Miscreant permalink
      March 20, 2010 12:53 pm

      This is so freakin hilarious! Greenfield, hope you lose, sucker!!!! LOL

  2. Gerry permalink
    March 20, 2010 9:19 am

    Daily Politics has been a copy/paste operation for some time now. It’s kind of pathetic, frankly.

  3. Peter Parrot Gunn permalink
    March 20, 2010 10:31 am

    A quick visit to Elizabeth Benjamin’s Daily Politics Blog shows a brief mention of Jonathan Judge. A link in Ms. Benjamin’s report tied-into another blog where it has been reported that Jonathan Judge has lost the appeal of the decision to throw him off of the ballot for the Special Election in the 44th City Council District. It is also reported that Mr. Judge endorsed one of the other candidates in that race. Here is some of what’s said at that other blog, Matsav.Com “The Jewish world @ your fingertips”:

    “I am proud to endorse Joe Lazar for City Council today,” said Judge, the day after the Appellate Division refused to overturn the judgment against him from David Greenfield’s lawsuit. “Of course, I am disappointed that the hard work of my many supporters has been snuffed out by Vito Lopez and his protégée David Greenfield through their manipulation of the courts and Board of Elections, but I am heartened by the fact that I can now direct my supporters to put their incredible enthusiasm behind a candidate as intelligent and qualified as Joe Lazar. In these desperate economic times, we can’t settle for anything less than a City Council Member of Joe Lazar’s proven fiscal responsibility and impressive experience in cutting the waste out of government budgets bloated with giveaways to special interests and pork.”

    Matsav also described Judge as follows:
    “Judge, an independent conservative Republican who boldly challenged the backroom dealings of both the Democratic and the GOP bosses throughout his campaign, became the third former candidate in the Special Election to throw their support behind Joe Lazar. Judge, who ended his candidacy after exhausting his final appeal to David Greenfield’s court challenge, made it clear that he and his supporters were outraged at Greenfield for denying the people of the 44th Council District real choice in this election.”

    The Jig is Up Atlas has covered these matters with their usual good taste, keen wit and insightful analysis.

    I hope a proper rejoinder to the rants of the other side, either by ASIB and/or its bloggers will follow in due course

  4. Lora permalink
    March 20, 2010 11:45 am

    For the RECORD:

    1. Jonathan owes his lunch to his hard work. He joined CB 14 as a child. FACT.

    2. Jonathan’s donors were Arnaldo Ferraro and Susan Cleary, people who never did anything wrong themselves in their lives, let alone your vicious, untrue rumors Gerry O’Brien. FACT Judge is off the ballot because of the Brooklyn GOP and Democratic Party’s machinations. FACT.

    3. The BROOKLYN GOP LEADERSHIP supported convicted felon George Smith’s candidacy for the 39th Council District. FACT.

    4. Atlas Shrugs has denied Judge is a contributor, and Bob Capano’s race was sabotaged by his own failures, Russell Gallo, and Marty Golden, who has happy to see his opponent win. FACT

    5. Jonathan and his club support any candidate who asks for their help. FACT

    6. Ken Rice and David Greenfield both challenged Jonathan Judge’s signatures, and Greenfield pursued the case in court with the Democrats’ lead attorney. FACT

    7. Jonathan defended his petitions, which contained over 1200 signatures, not far less than THE GREAT COUNTY could do for Ken Rice with “all their might.” FACT

    8. Ken Rice is shacking up with a woman to whom he is not married, as is Russell Gallo. FACT.

    9. Jonathan has had numerous jobs, and see his website for that. FACT

    10. Jonathan tells the Kings County Republican Party they should only support QUALIFIED CANDIDATES. FACT

    11. Jonathan retained noted election law attorney and former minority leader Marty Connor to get him back on the ballot. Since there are no qualified Republican election law attorneys, what else would anyone do? FACT

    12. Jonathan than supports Joe Lazar because he is qualified and not because Shelly Silver hates Greenfield. FACT

    13. Jonathan is off the ballot because of GOP-Democrat machinations, BOE bitch Diane Rudiano, and the Vito Lopez machine’s most fervent efforts. FACT

    14. Jonathan’s political career has just begun. He will be attending many of the funerals of the GOP’s leaders. FACT

    15. Jonathan Judge collected more valid signatures than Ken Rice and the party did. Evidence of FRAUD and illegal means of collecting signatures is out there and has not gone unnoticed. FACT

    NOW, THE TRUTH HAS SPOKEN. LOL

    KISS KISS…

  5. Wrench Spanner permalink
    March 20, 2010 9:42 pm

    Did Elizabeth Benjamin’s Daily Politics blog on the New York Daily News’ website ever report on any of theitems related to the Cathedral Club-Tammany disclosures that appeared here on ASIB? Those items are significant pieces of a puzzle that shows an emerging big picture— and that big picture is a big news story.

    Even what has already appeared on this blog concerning Craig Eaton, the other KCRP Executive Board Members, George Prezioso and Martin Cottingham, are just smallimages in a larger mozaic involving the Catholic Church and New York politics. The Cathedral Club, The Catholic Citizens Committee, Heartshare, Catholic Charities, other foundations related to the Diocese of Brooklyn, certain land development deals and certain political deals all exist one degree of separation from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.

    Given what has already be demonstrated here on ASIB, an important and overarching question arises and becomes obvious. Are we entering an era of muscular Christianity or militant Catholicism not seen since the quieting of Fathers Charles Coughlin of Royal Oak, Michigan and Edward Lodge Curran of Brooklyn, New York. It is not necessary to revisit all that was done and said by and about these Catholic churchmen before, during and after World War II. During almost three decades these priests were voices to be reckoned with, whether they were campaigning for or against this or that presidential candidate, seeking out and denouncing anti-Christian un-Americans, or seeking to associate with this or that anti-Communist dictator, while simultaneously attempting to isolate America from what they perceived as entangling foreign alliances defending “Internationalists’ interests”.

    As we reach the end of the first decade of the Twenty-first Century, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn has demonstrated a willingness to cross the normally acceptable traditional, and in some instances legal, boundaries of Church-State-Partisan separation.

    Evne a recent article in the national Catholic magazine COMMONWEAL entitled “A Bishop’s Flexibility” chided Bishop DiMarzio for several of his recent inconsistent forays into the politics of the nation, New York State and the City of New York.

    The first of these salvos at civilian government, civilian political and civilain partisan leaders was Bishop DiMarzio’s purported authorship of a National Bishops’ Statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” together with Bishop DiMarzio’s subsequent interpretation, really tweaking, of what that statement actually meant. (Taken to its logical consequence this statement is a naked attempt at returning to the days before John F. Kennedy and Vatican II when most American Catholics were viewed by many non-Catholics as isolated, uninformed and governed in their political thinking by the local agents of a foreign potentate, the Pope.) John F. Kennedy had to fight against that perception and against that lingering reality to get elected over fifty years ago. Prior to that a Papal Delegate to the United States had to admonish one of the Bishops in the United States to see to it that none in the Catholic clergy would become directly involved in the politics of the United States by endorsing any candidate. This was reiterated indirectly by Pope John Paul II, when he admonished the clergy to not seek or hold political office.

    In the 2008 National Election Campaign, Bishop Di Marzio joined with several U.S. Bishops in a condemnation of Candidate Barach Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame University, stating that it was “serious error” for the President of Notre Dame, Father John Jenkins, to have invited the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee to that Catholic University. (It is interesting that included in the Bishops’ attack on the head of that renowned Catholic teaching institution is the term “serious error,” because in the past such terminology had been used often to warn of possible heterodoxical teaching, a prelude to a condemnation for heretical teaching.)

    Closer to home, in the recently passed election cycle, Bishop DiMarzio appeared in a full-page ad in a local Catholic newspaper in support of Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election with the legend: “MIKE BLOOMBERG: PROTECTING NYC’S CATHOLIC SCHOOLS. FIGHTING FOR US”. The same Bishop also threatened to close Catholic schools in the districts of any State Legislators in the Diocese of Brooklyn who were supporting toughest bill in the NYS Legislature to expose pedophile priests and bring justice to their victims. DiMarzio was also widely reported to have made “robo-calls” under the auspices of an organization called the “Catholic Citizens Committee” on behalf of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who as Kings County Democratic leader was at the time in the midst of a campaign to unseat a dissident Democratic City Councilwoman.

    These robo-calls were alleged to have been part of a complex deal that included: on one side, the Brooklyn Diocese’ transferring an activist priest out of a community where he supported certain residential development contrary to the wishes of some real estate developers and of the local establishment including Democratic Assemblyman and County Leader Vito Lopez; and on the other side, Lopez’ sponsorship of a significantly watered down bill dealing with lawsuits concerning pedophile priests. Activities including those just described have led three very distinct plaintiffs, including a Catholic priest, to join in a lawsuit to remove the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church in Brooklyn.

    Reform minded Republicans in Brooklyn have also become increasingly concerned over the obvious entanglements between the Kings County Republican Party, under the leadership of party chairman Craig Eaton and the Diocese of Brooklyn and various Diocesan entities. As regular readers of ASIB should know, the criticism of partisan-church activities by some insurgent Republican bloggers provoked a nasty and ongoing blog war between various people on both sides of the issue, purportedly including at least two self-identifeid priests who claimed to have been in the opposing camps.

    Nothing like Bishop DiMarzio’s blatant partisan activities, have been seen in these parts since the days of Brooklyn Coughlinites, Patrick Scanlon, then editor of THE TABLET, and Father Edward Lodge Curran.

    Would the re-emergence of such open campaigning by high Catholic churchmen lead to a virulent backlash in American society by an enraged citizenry? Or is this just another religious organization choosing to politicize its message and expecting little or just routine push-back? After all, many Catholics involved in politics, including higher ups have been heard to complain about the apparent political power of various non-Christian and non-Catholic Christian sects, who do not have the “numbers” that Catholic ChHurch does, but who know how to maximize their influence.

    An unintended consequence of Bishop DiMarzio’s attempted use of Catholic muscle might well be the coalescence of an active group of disestablish-mentarians, including many Catholics, who would rally against his pattent fracture of one of the keystones of American political life, the doctrine of the separation of church and state.

  6. Bertram Scudder permalink
    March 21, 2010 8:21 am

    Jay Savino, is Chairman of The Bronx County Republican Committee, which has never won a political race under his failed and ineffective “leadership” and has no elected Republican in any position. This is despite Mayor Bloomberg giving him a substantial amount of funding for endorsing him.

    Jay Savino Esq. is bad for The Bronx just as Craig A. Eaton Esq. is bad for Brooklyn too.

  7. Gwen Ives permalink
    March 21, 2010 8:35 am

    The NYS GOP still lists this contact address for the Brooklyn Republican Party:

    Kings County Republican Committee
    Hon. Craig A. Eaton, Chairman
    1662 Sheepshead Bay Rd.
    Brooklyn, NY 11235
    Phone: 718-332-7766
    Fax: 718-332-5898

    Sharing the address of his firm, Eaton & Torrenzano LLP, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, located at 1662 Sheepshead Bay Road, Brooklyn, NY 11235, with the county (borough) party?

    If I were one of his law firm clients or employed staff workers, I would be concerned over the potential conflicts of interest and serious tax issues that could arise from such an arraignment.

    How would Brooklyn GOPers like it if Craig Eaton lived full time in his Jersey shore summer and weekend home in Long Beach Township? I think Kings County GOPers would object and disapprove to that.

  8. Clem Weatherby says "Move the Brooklyn GOP offices to another location!" permalink
    March 21, 2010 9:07 am

    Craig Eaton’s law firm partner, Jay Torrenzano Esq., donated money to the Obama campaign in 2008, according to public election money records.

    http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=name&lname=Torrenzano&fname=Jay

    Why should Brooklyn Republicans allow their borough chairman to share office space with Mr. Torrenzano who is apparantly an Obama and Democrat Party supporter? Isn’t this cozy situation “too close for comfort?” The Brooklyn GOP chairman is in cahoots and a secret partnership with the Democrats! This is absolute perfidy. Its disgusting and a disgrace. Shameful!

    The Brooklyn GOP’s HQ’s ought to be expditiously moved to a neutral location in order to prevent any more “conflicts of interests” and even the appearance of “conflicts of interests.”

    A neutral location would be a office not connected to Mr. Eaton’s law firm or any other personal or business interests or those of his business partners or clients!

    By Charles F. Otey, Esq., 01-04-2008, Brooklyn Daily Eagle

    “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.”

    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=31&id=17603

  9. Colonel De Verite d'Eton permalink
    March 21, 2010 10:06 am

    Gwen,

    Isn’t that the exact same address and phone number of the Brooklyn office of the Law Firm Eaton & Torrenzano?

    Is it legal, proper and ethical for a law firm to split expenses with an organized political party? If the law firm is contributing space and equipment to the party, or if the party is paying for the space and equipment to the law firm isn’t there supposed to be paper work on all that? What about shared employees?

    Does the Chairman of the KCRP Craig Eaton know that all this is going on a Kings County Republican Headquarters?

    Does the senior partner of the law firm Eaton & Torrenzano, Craig Eaton, know that all this is going on at the Brooklyn office of his law firm?

    Does anybody know what is going on at the New Jersey office of Eaton & Torrenzano?

  10. Frank "Frankie Five Angels" Pentangeli permalink
    March 21, 2010 2:45 pm

    The NY State GOP (state Republican Party) has this publicly available information. It communicates this contact address for the Kings County (Brooklyn) Republican Party:

    Kings County Republican Committee
    Hon. Craig A. Eaton, Chairman
    1662 Sheepshead Bay Rd.
    Brooklyn, NY 11235

    Phone: 718-332-7766
    Fax: 718-332-5898

    Sharing the address of this firm, Eaton & Torrenzano LLP, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, located at 1662 Sheepshead Bay Road, Brooklyn, NY 11235, with the county (borough) party?

    The Brooklyn GOP website is

    http://brooklyngop.com/?page_id=40

    The E & T law firm website is

    http://eatonandtorrenzano.com/

    which has a 2nd office at:

    719 ROUTE 206
    HILLSBOROUGH, NJ 08844

  11. Clive Barnes permalink
    April 6, 2010 5:28 pm

    Par for the Course at the blog, Jiggles on Uppers at Last:

    A. Nonymous, TJIUA’s most frequent commentator, obviously was a few days late for his or her April Fools Day posting, but this level of irony, satire and humor should not be missed by those not fortunate enough to have seen it. Well, thanks to a special dispensation from Chairman Craig Eaton’s favorite miter-wearing motivator BND, whose own Easter Sunday “Put Out into the Deep— Celebrate the Joy of Ressurection [sic] ” was really some deep shtuff (but we’ll get to our critique of the Sede Vacante’s Easter Message another time).

    I will reprint A. Nonymous’ TJIUA item here, with selected reviews following:

    “There is good news on this day of Easter, a holy day indeed.
    As I give thanks to the 33 executive committee members who voted against the candidacy of Jonathan J. Judge.
    I give thanks to our great chairman the honorable Craig Eaton, who continues to make in roads day and night for the Kings County Republican Party.
    I give thanks to the greatest State Senator this State has ever had, in the honorable Marty Golden who is running for re-election thankfully.
    Most importantly I give thanks to this blog, for allowing this post to go through, not deleting my comment, and tracking my IP address.
    Happy Easter everybody!”

    Selected Reviews:

    “Associating this obnoxious drivel with the “good news” ( ie., the Gospel) on the celebration of the greatest of Christian feasts, Easter, is a garish piece of humor unseen since Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”— for this Mr. A. Nonymous should get an A-plus.”
    — Variety

    Recognizing the “Greek Chorus” of Republican executive committee members for its 33 votes against Jonathan Judge is truly “putting the cart in front of the donkey” something that uber-donkey, Chairman Craig Eaton, seldom appreciates in practice,….but as high art…..priceless!!!
    — Kirkus Reviews

    “All praise for one who does his duty before he sees it; ‘… give thanks to our great chairman the honorable Craig Eaton, who continues to MAKE [Emphasis added] in roads day and night for the Kings County Republican Party.’ The A. Nonymous [T]hanksgiving recognition of Eaton on Easter, without mentioning Passover is a bit strange and perhaps offensive, but certainly the hail-and-fair-well is richly deserved….with a subtlety of bathroom humor very rarely seen in adolescent genre such as this.”
    — F. Rich, NY Times

    “‘…thanks to the greatest State Senator this State has ever had, in the honorable Marty Golden who is running for re-election thankfully.’ Magnificently reiterative, redundant and repetitious— leaves us craving more of the same, yet again and again.”
    — H. Keller, Insight

    “‘Most importantly [] give thanks to this blog, for allowing this post to go through, not deleting my comment, and tracking my IP address.’ Wonderful for those who choose to believe this.”
    — A. Huffington, Huffington Post

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