Daily Eagle: Judge and His Young Republicans Are “Energized” For Reform
While the Bay Ridge Cabal’s Golden Calf recoils after stinging statewide embarrassment, it would seem the Brooklyn Young Republican Organization is once again the subject of glowing media attention.
In a recent article by Brooklyn Eagle veteran reporter Harold Egeln, the Young Republicans are cast as reformers seeking to energize a growing Republican base.
We previously reported how the club’s president Jonathan Judge has been championing the cause of reform on his personal blog, much to the chagrin of the crumbling political establishment of Vito Lopez and Marty Golden. We’ve also had various stories on how Brooklyn’s “Son of Liberty” Roy Antoun–who is affiliated with the Young Republicans–has been running circles around the clueless Brooklyn GOP leadership.
Here is Mr. Egeln’s piece (after which, I invite you to visit the Daily Eagle’s website to read more of their work–a vitally important local news source):
BOERUM HILL — They could be Brooklyn’s “Young and the Restless,” but without the soap opera drama.
But the young and restless Republicans of the growing Brooklyn Young Republican Club, founded 130 years ago, are now bringing fresh faces into politics.
“We’re trying to build coalitions to put young reform-minded Republicans into office,” said President Jonathan Judge at the yearly celebration, held at the Pane E Vino restaurant on Smith Street in Boerum Hill.
The club, while encouraging candidates and giving them opportunities to speak at its receptions and meetings, has not done any endorsements, said Judge. He explained that a growing political field of youthful candidates and hopefuls shows Republican renewal and vitality.
“My recent campaign attracted a lot of young people, so the interest and enthusiasm is there to be tapped,” said Judge, one of two Republicans and three Democrats who competed in a special election to elect a successor to Councilman Simcha Felder. After Felder resigned to accept the job of assistant city comptroller, his fellow Democrat David Greenfield won the election.
“We have an opportunity to develop a springboard for young people to help build a base of reform Republicans through the grassroots,” said Judge in an interview. “This is a time of change, and young people are going to play an integral role. We have the necessary idealism and energy.”
There is widespread disdain and disaffection among the public for divisive and corrupt politics and politicians, given the problems in Albany and Washington, D.C., Judge noted. “People and voters are upset and tired of those who keep supporting incumbents in office. Their frustrations have been festering.”
To provide opportunities for a growing reformist Republican base, Judge said, “It’s important to have political party primaries so voters can hear out and choose a good candidate they really want.” Within the past couple of years, he noted, new Republican candidates have been testing the political waters and entering primaries, which Judge saw as an encouraging sign of a energized and growing Republican base.
The challenge, he noted, is that the registered Democrat voters outnumber Republican voters more than six to one in Brooklyn. But Judge stated that he believed that a populist Republican movement working with organizational support could change that balance towards GOP victories while airing the reform message.
LaQuan Ward, a Republican candidate in the 18th state Senate District, was at the party, thanking the club for encouraging him. He is challenging Democratic State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who represents an area stretching between Sunset Park and Red Hook through Boerum Hill and Downtown to Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ocean Hill.
Last year the club formulated a “Public Policy Agenda,” Judge said, “as a roadmap for reform and renewal to influence and inspire Republicans” and the overall voting public. “In a Republican-favored election year such as 2010, we Republicans need to send a better message and encourage reform candidates.”
One of the fresh faced candidates at the party was President Joe Nardiello of the Brownstone Republican Club, who first ran for office last year as a city council candidate and who is now campaigning for the state senate in the local district.
“People want change and not the status quo, with new ideas,” said Nardiello, a longtime Carroll Gardens resident with deep family roots in the area who was elected club president earlier this year. “There are certain important community issues that people have universal concerns about which we discuss at our club meetings, and that also helps us to widen our outreach.”
The Public Policy Agenda for lower taxes, charter school expansion, streamlining small business regulations, tax incentives, “work first” welfare reform, abolishing gerrymandering and protecting property rights, among other issues, is posted on the interactive Young Republican Club web site. The site includes links to the club’s newly launched monthly interactive, real-time “action-casts” that serve as “an online club meetings,” the club’s Facebook page, and lists the latest registered club members.
Congratulations to the young reformers charging ahead!