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In Candid New Blog Post, Judge Discusses State of Brooklyn GOP Affairs

June 10, 2010

It has been said by one commentator on our blog that Jonathan Judge “represents an existential threat” to the inept Bay Ridge Cabal that is hurting our borough.

We can certainly understand why.

In a recent post added to Mr. Judge’s blog (formerly his website address for his City Council race) entitled “The Two Brooklyn Republican Parties, And Why The Other Half Fails,” he decries the blatant tokenism of Republican values espoused by the Bay Ridge Cabal.

What does penetrate after reading Mr. Judge’s piece is a validation of the numerous problems facing our party and the fact that perhaps the greatest existential threat to our values here in Brooklyn is the political establishment itself.

Here is Mr. Judge’s piece as disseminated on his website (my commentary follows):

The Two Brooklyn Republican Parties, And Why The Other Half Fails

In the past two weeks, we have seen in reality that there are two very different Brooklyn Republican Parties.

This past Monday, I went to a special meeting of the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club in Bensonhurst.  In a standing room only crowd, I got to hear from Lucretia Regina-Potter, a very good friend of mine and a staunch reformer of the Brooklyn Republican Party, who is running for State Assembly.  Also present was Michael Grimm, 13th Congressional District candidate, and Joe DioGuardi, who is running for U.S. Senate against Gillibrand.  All three are petitioning their way on the ballot as the independent Republican candidates (read: not endorsed by the party).

People coming off the train were so intrigued by the size of the gathering that they decided to stop in to see what was going on. When Mike Grimm arrived, he had to fight his way through the crowd just to get to the front!

Conversely, two fellow Republicans in the 44th Assembly District, Christina and John Bennett, went to attend a meeting of the permanently-defunct-but-resurrected-temporarily-when-convenient Theodore Roosevelt Republican Club in late May.

(It is important to know that the Theodore Roosevelt Club is the brainchild of political consultant, Gerry O’Brien, who picks up a hefty $1,800 paycheck from State Senator Marty Golden each month.  He is also behind some atrocious behavior that has stifled Republican Party growth in the 44th Assembly District for decades, especially as he recently performed $10,000 worth of paid work for incumbent Democratic 44th AD Assemblyman Jim Brennan (but that’s a story for another day).  Never forget: paid consultants only do what they do in order to profit and accrue power to help them practice their craft better.)

However, much to even my surprise, an off-duty police officer, P.O. O’Malley, actually blocked these two people from entering, even though they are duly elected County Committee Members of the area in which the meeting was held!  They were told the meeting was invitation only as she flashed her NYPD badge, despite the club’s own literature that proclaims an open invitation to all.

This behavior is yet another reason for the larger rift and atrophy (decay?) of the Brooklyn Republican Party, and indicative of why the current leaders can’t win an election to save their lives, and why the reformers haven’t been able to, either.

On the one hand, you have a club that meets in an open storefront, surrounded with large panes of glass that allow all the day’s sunshine to come through on its leaders, candidates and participants, one that welcomes strangers off the street to hear the message of the Republican Party’s principles.  Such a club is despised and ever-undermined at every turn by the party.

On the other hand, you have a club that meets once in Lord knows how many years, in a Knights of Columbus hall with no windows for the public to see through, and utilizes an off-duty NYPD officer to deliberately keep people out.  Worse yet, the meeting was merely a opportunity for the exclusive invitees (mostly poll workers from what I know) to witness the self-glorification of the current leaders of the failed Brooklyn Republican establishment: Chairman Craig Eaton, District Leader Marty Cottingham, and State Senator Marty Golden’s Chief of Staff and Kings County Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar (anyone wonder why a Conservative Party Chairman is talking at a Republican Club meeting?).

You may not be very surprised to hear such things occur in a closed-off political club meeting, but the offense comes from the fact that these individuals have allowed Brooklyn Democrats to co-opt the Republican Party for certain perks (something which will also be discussed further in a later post).

Ultimately, and sadly, there is a very clear trend between these two factions of the party that does not bode well for Republicans and reformers unless we start to act.

What we see from the Theodore Roosevelt Republican Club and the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club is replicated throughout the borough in Republican circles.  The party leadership à la TR Club is exclusive, by invitation only and no dissent is permitted or the cops will show you the door.

That’s why the party went to great lengths to remove Yvette Velázquez Bennett as 44th AD District Leader–despite her profound loyalty to its leadership–because she dared to demonstrate independent and principled thought (when, for instance, she voted against giving Mayor Michael Bloomberg the Republican Party line in exchange for a $125,000 donation to the party, especially when the Mayor and the party have infrequently agreed on policy).

That’s why the party is going to even greater lengths to annihilate the Republican infrastructure of the 49th Assembly District because it dares to think on principle and act independently–and has the resources to make it happen.  They would much rather enjoy the fruits of their cozy deals with local Democrats, including 49th AD Assemblyman Peter Abbate, to protect Marty Golden’s State Senate seat.

That’s why the party’s leaders have a pathological fear of allowing any intelligent, motivated and conscientious Young Republicans play any kind of leadership role in Republican politics.  Not only do they worry deeply that they are meeting their replacements, but that their own undermining of the party has weakened themselves to the point that the replacement may be happening sooner than they would like.

And sadly, most of the remainder of the Republican Party leadership, even those who do see how bad things have gotten, concurrently hold Board of Election jobs that are significantly controlled by the party bosses.  That means: do as leader says, or lose your job, capisce?

This is not the state in which the great and proud Brooklyn Republican Party should be.  We can do better and we ought to strive to make it so.  Luckily, we have the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club, and the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, and many other grassroots Republican activists, for instance, which have prided themselves on an open-door policy.  Every Republican is welcome and actually welcomed (not when it is only convenient to permit).  Whatever we do, we make perfectly public.  The YRs have even begun operating meetings online so not only can more people be a part of the experience, but every single word that is said is recorded for future public consumption and scrutiny.

For those of us 112,000 Republicans out there in Brooklyn, we need you to care locally as much as you do nationally.  We need you to help sign and collect the petitions of the candidates who are not only best equipped to make the case for Republicanism at the polls in November, but also those who are going to do the most to reform and propel the nearly-defunct Brooklyn Republican Party towards brighter and more prosperous days.

The reformers are here to stay.  If you’re game, email me at JJJudge@gmail.com or call me at 718-360-9583 and let’s show Republicans, Democrats and independents what real, honest change in the right direction looks like.

***

Initial Thoughts:

We couldn’t help but notice Mr. Judge also addresses the political actions of one man who has been heavily criticized on this blog for his actions. That man is Merlin of Malice Gerry O’Brien, whom, it was alleged, physically assaulted and threatened Mr. Judge last year.

But that fact is not discussed by Mr. Judge.

Instead, Judge discusses the actual nature of Mr. O’Brien’s Theodore Roosevelt Republican Club, which, you will recall, recently entered into a nasty discourse with our blog. He compares it to two of the only other active GOP clubs in the borough: the Fiorello LaGuardia Club of the 49th AD and Mr. Judge’s Young Republicans.

One of Judge’s best lines regarding the TRRC is: “You have a club that meets once in Lord knows how many years, in a Knights of Columbus hall with no windows for the public to see through, and utilizes an off-duty NYPD officer to deliberately keep people out.”

Very true, and these facts were not denied by the TRRC in their email to us.

We also noticed his discussion of the county committee members who were excommunicated from the O’Brien’s start-up, a story we brought to you on Atlas first.

***

General Comments:

The overall themes Mr. Judge discusses are not necessarily new. In fact, we welcome his voice to a chorus that this blog started nearly a year ago.

We stated that this party had serious problems and was deeply compromised by flawed strategies and leadership. Then, months before there was a visible “Brooklyn GOP Revolution,” we realized the failures of the leadership were actually a genuine mixture of self-interested and self-destructive tactics, as well as an increasingly obvious detente with Democrats that continued to become more and more visible as time wore on.

The Wilson Pakula for Bloomberg. The Atlantic Yards. The 44th City Council race. The Cathedral Club. The Catholic Citizens Committee.

Any and all of the instrumentalities of the Bay Ridge Cabal’s attempts to bludgeon the party’s free thinkers to a pulp.

The 49th Assembly District is, sadly, not the first group or organization the party “leaders” have tried to “annihilate,” to quote Mr. Judge. Rather, the party has quietly removed all of those who do not further their petty machinations. Ask anyone who has been their victim, and you will see what they are capable of.

As a result, most people that I speak to about these conditions in our party are surprised to read our blog and find out that it is the subject of so much intrigue.

Now some of you might say in response to Mr. Judge’s piece: “Yeah, I know things are bad in Brooklyn. Who cares?”

To you, I ask you to appreciate and understand that the very basis of our political system of government has been corrupted. Because of the absence of party competition and the failure of this party to represent the interests of the hundreds of thousands of Republican/libertarian/conservative-leaning New Yorkers, our system of government has been privy to an unjust monopoly of unholy political power-seekers.

That’s bad for all of us, and we’re dealing with the effects of higher taxes, increases in crime, highly inflated union compensation, and fiscal mismanagement as a result.

Imagine if individuals like you and those of us here at Atlas did not have to use our talents to compel reform in the party but rather used them to challenge the Democratic establishment instead (which this party has not adequately done)?

What a difference that would make!

Instead, we’re forced to first address the establishment that has failed us so badly.

And make no mistake about it: that is no easy task. But it must and will be done.

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10 Comments
  1. All Hail King Roy! permalink
    June 10, 2010 6:12 pm

    Excellent work, Jonathan!

  2. Nothing to Reload With: The Jig Is Out of Bullets! permalink
    June 10, 2010 10:22 pm

    It’s nice to see the Jig Is Up is out of lies to tell. Looks like they fired everything they had and came up empty. No surprise there. They’ll be closing up shop very soon.

    Besides, imagine the bill that the county and/or Marty Golden has racked up paying O’Brien to run that crappy-looking blog (which he has not denied, incidentally)! To spend so much and get so little out of it?

    Well, that’s Bay Ridge leadership for ya.

    • Tick-tock, Tick-tock-- Someone's Clock is Running Down permalink
      June 10, 2010 11:26 pm

      Brooklynpolitico has been in semi-shutdown for weeks, and The Jig is Up Atlas has been nothing but a cut-and-paste job for about the same time. From the start they were weak, now they are virtually non-existant.

      Right now, they are certainly “Not ready for primetime”.

      Of course, some will counter that they are now out “pounding pavement.” That story is yet to be told; and I’m sure Atlas and the Brooklyn Republican Revolutionaries will debunk it, in short order.

  3. Winston Smith and the Girl From The Fiction Department permalink
    June 10, 2010 11:09 pm

    In George Orwell’s dystopic novel 1984, the main character, Winston Smith, makes a journey from doubt to faith, but along the way truly lives and loves, even if temporarily.

    Smith starts with doubt in the system and the world view that he as a member of the Oceanic society is duty-bound to believe and live totally. As a result of his doubt, Smith strays and explores and experiments– he tastes freedom. He does something that is forbidden, he falls in love with Julia, the girl from the fiction department. Together, they try to join the opposition, and soon Smith believes that he has made contact with it and its philosohical leader, a former top figure of Oceana.

    It’s all turns out to have been a ruse; Smith and Julia have both been deceived and are taken into custody.

    Smith is handed over to O’Brien, his mentor and is ultimately sent to the dreaded Room 101.

    Smith and Julia betray each other along the way (in ways that both had foreseen and talked about when they had been free and in love), than we see how Smith is gradually led back to his rightful place and right thinking. He no longer has loving thoughts for Julia, and sees again, this time with controlled thoughts, that their love inevitably had to lead to betrayal. In the end, for the first time, Smith sees that he only loves “Big Brother”.

    Orwell’s view is grim, deterministic and cynical. Nonetheless, Smith’s and Julia’s rebellious love did exist– complete and free– if only for an instant– apart form a world that dictated that it could not exist at all. (Ayn Rand’s “We The Living” has a similar story line and was written much earlier.)

    In the very same sense, Jonathan Judge did stand up to “Big Brother”. Now he stands out as the avatar of the Brooklyn Republican Revolution. Merely in being upstanding and outstanding, Jonathan Judge exists as a threat to the sclerotic Republican establishment in Brooklyn, in all its guises, and forms, and personas. In that sense Jonathan Judge has made his mark and has succeeded.

    I believe that ultimately the Brooklyn Republican Revolution will not succeed, and that locally, the so-called Republican Party will functionally disappear. Both sides will have lost.

    Nonetheless, like Camelot, the Brooklyn Republican Revolution will have been around for at least one brief shining moment.

  4. June 11, 2010 12:19 am

    Kudos to Jonathan for this article. It was very well written and hits the issues spot on. The Brooklyn GOP needs to come to the realization that dissent keeps political discourse flowing and blind loyalty to a political party is perhaps comparable to a socialist gulag establishment, which is essentially how the party bosses run the Brooklyn GOP.

    It’s sad that Craig Eaton et al. are more concerned about squashing intra-party dissent rather than setting up a list of principles that they are actually for. Does anyone here know what the Brooklyn GOP’s principles actually are? Because I don’t and the establishment essentially stands for nothing. They’re too busy rallying behind a sinking ship; they think in black and white; Republican or Democrat. Which is quite funny considering that they act like their corporatist counterparts, minus the name.

    The party split is their own doing. Rather than having discourse on the role of government in New York and how small it should really be, the Brooklyn GOP establishment has created an unnecessary obstacle for us and we will prevail. Rally together fellow Brooklynites.

  5. Uncandid Uncreative New Blog Radio for Brooklyn GOP: A REVIEW permalink
    June 13, 2010 1:35 am

    This is just one person’s freelance review of “Brooklyn GOP Radio” a blogcast brought to you by guess who…..Chairman Craig Eaton and the Brooklyn GOP.
    [There are links to this if you have no life and time is not precious to you, but I won’t be an enabler for you to do anything as self-destructive as listening to this, like I did. There has already been too much suffering.]

    What can one say? I suppose Gene Berardelli meant well, but I’ll never get that better part of an hour back. I suppose chopsticks into my eardrums might have been worse; I can’t be sure, I’ve never tried THAT.

    It all was just about as interesting as Craig Eaton talking at the Kings County Executive Committee. With a new format and a new host maybe something can be made of this. Right now this looks like another Craig Eaton blunder and waste of GOP money.

    Here’s how it went:

    The Mike Allegretti interview was routine and OK, probably the technical highlight of the show. Unfortunately, there was no mention that a very significant primary was likely with Mike Grimm before Mr. Allegretti would get to run against his “real opponent” Mike McMahon.

    According to host Gene Berardelli, his RECORDED interview with Craig Eaton was one of the bugs that needed to be worked out– I couldn’t agree more.

    Mr Bereardelli chided his boss and sponsor, Craig Eaton, for missing the premier blogcast of “Brooklyn GOP Radio” by mentioning that Eaton was away with his family for the weekend. The biggest soundbite from Craig Eaton was his plugging Michael Allegretti as his candidate from the Brooklyn side of the district. Then, he perhaps awkwardly even for Eaton, said that his candidate Peter Cipriano was specifically chosen to solve some problems in the 49th AD by challenging “Lucretia.” Eaton went completely over the top in his praise of Marty Golden, calling Golden one of the greatest State Senators we’ve ever had in New York State and that Golden maybe one of the greatest elected officials in the whole country. Yes, he really said that, “…best elected officials in the whole country.”

    Next on the schedule was an interview with Peter Cipriano: it never happened. In his intro, Gene Berardelli said that Peter Cipriano, a college student, was really into his race for the assembly in the 49th AD. In spite of his enthusiasm, Peter Cipriano was a NO SHOW for his scheduled interview on Gene Berardelli’s “Brooklyn GOP Radio” blog radiocast. Gene then talked about all the people he’d seen at Cipriano Headquarters and how diverse they were, aged 18 to 88.

    The interview with Celeste Katz should and could have had some zip and some real content. Celeste was game, but Gene B just wasn’t up to it. She gave him openings and he’d step on her peppery leads with something hum-drum.

    As he admittedly “vamped” to fill in at the back end of the show, Berardelli’s made his most controversial remarks. They were about Marty Golden. According to Gene Berardelli, Marty Golden was having problems, because he was suffering from anti-incumbency. He specifically mentioned that he thought the people’s anger and discontent at Marty Golden was misdirected. He then started attacking the same old machine and the same old names “on the other side,” without really telling us which “other side” he meant. He couldn’t have meant Golden’s only real opponent so far, who’s completely new and running without the support of the Vito Lopez’ Democratic machine.

    Berardelli closed early, because he admitted he was tired of hearing himself talk. He sounded out of breath and out of ideas.

  6. More Couch Time for Jig is Up Atlas Contributors permalink
    June 15, 2010 3:16 pm

    Since we have been discussing Jonathan Judge’s Candid New Blog that deals with the real state of the Kings County Republican Party, the Atlas Shrugs In Brooklyn’s fairness policy might require fair treatment for the denizens of the Republican netherworld, who try to respond to Jonathan’s comments and those of the contributors here. It might be theraputic for them to see themselves as others see them, and I’m sure that Robert Burns would agree.

    Right off, you can always tell whether you’ve hit pay-dirt with the JIGZUPZATZ contributors, because they blow up worse that the DEEP WATER HORIZON and shoot their most toxic commentary in all directions, ill-thought and unfocused, it only hurts themselves and those they love.

    Interestingly, they do often repeat whatever it is that’s SUPPOSEDLY gotten them all lathered up, as if some kind of additional self-flagellation is a necessary part of the JIGZUPCULT reactive protocol. Initially, some of us at Atlas thought this was part of a simple cut and paste attempt to keep up with the intellectually superior and far more prolific Atlas Shrugs crowd and more recently Jonathan all alone on his blog. Of course that conclusion was far too simple, and admittedly, a tad conceited on our part.

    A better analysis, plumbs the deepest recesses of the collective spirit or geist of JIGZUPZATZPHERE and that of its weird-sister blog, brooklynpolitico. Start with the father figures, Craig Eaton and Marty Golden. There is a serial upstaging going on between those two, as they do their modern rendition of one of the Herodian Heirs, singing, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Of course, this causes tremendous angst among the mere plebeian “children” in their non-traditional family.

    Oddly, in Eaton’s and Golden’s personal history, “the child is father to the man.” However, one is left asking where it all started with those two: “Which is ‘Mr. Chicken’ and which is ‘Mr. Egg’? ”
    Each has tried to act like the “eminence grise” for the other’s ascent; both have pulled the other’s fat out of the fire at one time or another in the last year alone. Judging from the volume of squawking, the JIGZATZ regulars are really less upset when it’s Eaton’s lard that’s sizzlin, and they really hope that Marty doesn’t burn his fingers saving Craig’s ass.

    Of course, there is the possibility that most of the JIGZATZERS really hate Craig Eaton and Marty Golden, both, and really like repeating all the good zingers from Jonathan and the Atlas Shrugs for all the JIGZATZ ZAGNUTZ regulars to read and chuckle about. Of course Golden’s are more serious, thus tougher to laugh off, and Eaton’s more ridiculous, hence more enjoyable for all. This last view would, in due course, knock all the earlier Freudian stuff into a cocked hat… but there you have it all.

    FAIR AND BALANCED

  7. Craig Easton and "The Blogs" permalink
    June 17, 2010 3:24 pm

    Craig Easton has said that “The Blogs” are the biggest threat to the GOP in Brooklyn.

    Why Mr. Easton?

    Because they speak the truth?

    So much so that you needed to throw together two sub-par Gerry O’Brien blogs and a crappy radio-cast so that 38 total readers and listeners will think you’re relevant (I’m pulling a likely number out of the air)?

    Mr. Easton, I have only one recommendation: get out of Brooklyn, sir. You’re not wanted.

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