As The “Golden” Era Seems To Come To An End, Brooklyn Republicans Should Feel Relieved
We learned something today that could dash the hopes of the GOPers seeking to reclaim the State Senate as their own.
Republican State Senator Tom Morahan will not seek reelection, posing a potentially serious blow to the attempts of the GOP to coalesce a fragile majority in the Senate come the November elections.
On the line is the guaranteed post-census redistricting that will come in the years after the election, which was increasingly being used as a motivating factor to galvanize Republicans statewide to support the party’s State Senate candidates.
And, even more importantly for us here in Brooklyn, the potential powerlessness of the Marty Golden regime in Brooklyn Republican politics.
Here is a portion of the letter from Senator Morahan indicting his intentions:
SENATOR MORAHAN WILL NOT SEEK RE-ELECTION
New York State Senator Thomas Patrick Morahan, who represents the residents of Rockland County, as well as residents in the towns of Tuxedo and Warwick in Orange County, today announced that he would not be seeking reelection to the New York State Senate.
The Senator serves as Chairman of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, Co-Chairman of the Senate’s Hudson Valley Delegation, and is a member of the bipartisan Senate Taskforce on Government Efficiency, which is presently investigating waste and in inefficiency within New York State agencies. For the past few months the Senator has been undergoing treatment for Leukemia. The Senator reaffirmed his intention to complete his current term of office, as he continues along the road to recovery.
He issued the following statement today regarding his reelection plans: “I love my job and serving my constituents. Over the remaining months of my term it is my intention to devote my energy to working with my colleagues in government to pass the critical legislation that is needed to ensure that our State maintains critical services, and protects the quality of life for New Yorkers.
Why is this relevant to us?
It has enormous implications for those of us here in Brooklyn who have come to see how the needs of the entire county party have fallen to the wayside in order to elevate one elected official above all else: State Senator Marty Golden.
With its elaborate deals with Democrats and 19th century-era powerbrokering, the Brooklyn GOP has become, as we reformist Republicans have seen, a mere instrumentality of the Marty Golden regime.
Most people have said that the ends have justified the means, because Marty Golden’s status as one of the few Republican representatives in New York City has ensured that the balance of power did not totally shift to the Democrats.
The fallacious reasoning of this proposition became apparent when it was clear that the Senator was engaging in deals with Democrats to create the very environment which made him the only Republican in Brooklyn. As the 44th City Council race demonstrated, this “detente with Democrats” amounted to a political monopoly that has discouraged good candidates from seeking office.
The party’s stunning mismanagement of funds only furthered the symptoms of an oppressive Shore Road Syndrome, as it was clear that only Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton, Senator Golden and their associates were benefiting from the resources of the party, while other districts were forced to, figuratively, join, or die their cabal.
In all, the Era of Marty Golden has been marred by some of the worst politics I’ve seen in all my years.
Now, granted, it is not impossible that the Republicans will retake the Senate. And with the disorder that has come with their loss of power, good arguments can be made that the Senate would do better under Republican stewardship. But as the task to take back the Senate becomes harder and harder, we must ask whether the party can, if they fail to retake the Senate, persist in allowing institutions like the Brooklyn GOP to continue their tactics without check.
Locally, of course, the challenge to these tactics has already begun.
But if Marty Golden’s district is no longer guaranteed post-census, can the Brooklyn GOP continue to argue (although they would never admit it in public) that preserving it over other seats in the borough is preferable?
The answer is, of course, no.
If this party is to survive in this borough (and state, for that matter), it will need to fundamentally change it ways from an outdated Golden/Eaton model of political patronage and symbiosis with the Democratic Party to a daring, bold alternative to the status quo politics of the opposition. That means not talking in terms of “liberal” and “conservative” but rather thinking about how best to reform government and improve the lives of New Yorkers. People are tired of the same old politics and no longer trust the party system to deliver results in its current form.
What is clear is the alleged Tammany Hall of Bay Ridge cannot save the Republican Party in Brooklyn, no more than the Tammany tactics of the Democratic Party can save it.
To start with, our party cannot pretend to represent a borough it does not fully embrace.
Even now, the Brooklyn GOP has ceded so much to its rivals that some of the greatest of skeptics have begun to wonder if the tiny Andorra of Bay Ridge is worth it all.
And the growing consensus is that it isn’t. Numerous emails have come to us indicating as much.
So, as we contemplate the future of the GOP in the State Senate, we cannot forget that, without fundamental changes in the way this party operates, the attempts of saving our local party will fail.
Now, we already see a revolution brewing in Brooklyn. The old tyrants of the Bay Ridge Cabal are, to reticent younger and middle-aged Republicans, what King George and Marie Antoinette were to the citizenry of the American Colonies and France respectively.
Or worse, they are merely irrelevant.
And that is, in the end, the biggest problem of all for the leaders of the Brooklyn GOP. When your political base considers you irrelevant, the time has come for you to go.
I believe the Golden Era, where the Bay Ridge Cabal ruled the Brooklyn GOP unchecked, is now, at long last, coming to an end. That might frighten the political dinosaurs of that lot and some politicos upstate and elsewhere, but the rest of us in Brooklyn should sigh in collective relief.
Because, at the very least, “Brooklyn” does not equal “Bay Ridge” anymore.
I realize not everyone will agree with my view, but I invite you to go through our archives and see our previous reporting on the failings of the current Brooklyn GOP leadership. Look at what this borough has suffered as a result of the present reign of GOP leaders. Then, it will be clear to you, as it has been for me for a while now, that drastic changes are necessary. And, of course, share your thoughts with us! – FD