Former 44th City Council Candidate Jonathan Judge Endorses Mike Grimm for Congress
In a well-crafted statement, former City Council candidate Jonathan Judge–who is also President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club–endorsed 13th Congressional candidate Mike Grimm in the GOP primary next week. Before ripping Michael Allegretti (Mr. Grimm’s opponent) for “prostituting” his Italian-American heritage and poisoning his campaign message, Mr. Judge highlights Mr. Grimm’s expertise and extensive resume as the reasons for supporting him.
Here is the text of Mr. Judge’s endorsement:
It was the crown jewel of New York City’s Republican Party. The 13th Congressional District, which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, had been held by many notable center-right Republicans, like Guy and Susan Molinari.
In 2008, its last occupant, Vito Fossella, regrettably stepped down after a number of personal issues came to light that would have undoubtedly interfered with his ability to perform his public duties.
And so, the crown jewel was captured by a Democrat, then-City Council Member Michael McMahon, after an embarrassingly botched and superbly lackluster effort by Republicans to retain the seat.
It’s 2010, and the political world in New York from just two years ago is vastly different. However, the makings of the upcoming September 14th primary election have proven that, regrettably, not much has changed in the bizarro world of Brooklyn and Staten Island Republican politics.
It’s time to give the bums, inside our party as well as in Washington, D.C., a pink slip, and show them that there are Republicans who can do much better.
While I personally have informed people that I had no intention of picking any particular side in this primary election, recent events have compelled me to do so for the good of the Republican Party.
That’s why I am endorsing Mike Grimm for the 13th Congressional District Primary Election on September 14, 2010. He has clearly distinguished himself as the right person and the best person to represent the Republican platform to voters in the November 2nd General Election.
Mike has a long and renowned career in public service as a decorated war hero of the Persian Gulf Conflict, a former undercover FBI agent fighting organized crime, and, following that, as a lawyer and local entrepreneur. He has the backing of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator John McCain, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Iraq Veterans for Congress, Combat Veterans for Congress and a variety of grassroots Republican organizations in Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Mike’s positions on the issues ranging from the economy to national security demonstrate a concerted and serious effort to understand what’s wrong and how to fix it. Plus, his experience serving the public in the Federal government has given him the expertise necessary to figure out how best to strengthen our national security and law enforcement policies. On the economy, as an entrepreneur, Grimm is a trusted vote for economic policies that will encourage growth for small businesses, job creation and opportunities for young people in this economy without saddling us with higher taxes and more expensive government programs.
Beyond all that, he has been composed, calm, and positive throughout his campaign while remaining strong on the issues. Meanwhile, he’s been fighting against the same old political tactics from the failed Republican establishment leaders that have, for instance, in my presence, expressed how “nice of a guy” Democratic Congressman Michael McMahon is, even though his first vote in the new Congress would be to keep Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House.
In the interest of transparency, his primary opponent is Michael Allegretti. Allegretti, whose family founded Bayside Oil in the 1930′s, is a Brooklyn-born-and-raised political operative out of the State Senator Marty Golden Republican camp, having served as a staffer for Golden before working as one of Mayor Bloomberg’s Host Committee organizers for the Republican National Convention in 2004. After that, he attended the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he specialized in environmental policy. Then he started working for the Partnership for New York City, a non-profit that focused much of its energies to pass Mayor Bloomberg’s failed congestion pricing tax plan in 2007 and 2008. He later on went to work for the Climate Group, a environmental lobbyist group, trotting the world in support of a variety of policies designed to fight climate change, like cap and trade. Allegretti has the backing of the Brooklyn and Staten Island Republican Party establishments.
Allegretti, someone who I have considered a friend (as we have known each other for a couple of years in Republican circles), has chosen to take a very unfortunate and destructive path to win this primary.
In a recent debate on NY1, Allegretti spent more time nitpicking one of Grimm’s military photos over what medals he was properly awarded than articulating how he would work with Republicans in Congress to fight for principled reform in Washington. When the conversation did turn briefly to policy, they disagree on almost nothing.
He has also released an ad that has shamelessly prostituted his Italian surname in a last-ditch effort to convince the district’s largely Republican Italian-American voters to blindly vote for another “paisan“. Of course, Grimm, too, is of Italian descent (Castronova is his mother’s maiden name), but his last name does not readily reveal this. So not only is this ad misleading about his opponent in context, but this disregard for the intellect of Italian American voters, speaking as a paisan myself, is, at best, disrespectful and unbecoming of a serious Republican candidate.
Not only do these tactics call into question his fitness for public office, but it is emblematic of the worst sort of Gerry O’Brien-esque politics of personal destruction that have come to typify the Brooklyn Republican Party under its current administration. There’s no more room for that in our party. Period.
Not to mention it will do nothing to help him defeat Democrat Michael McMahon in November.
That’s why voting for Mike Grimm this September 14th will help bring our great New York Republican Party back on track by putting our best foot forward in the 13th District.
Jonathan J. Judge is the President of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club.
For the full statement, click here.
As an outspoken supporter of Mr. Grimm for some time now, I commend Mr. Judge for standing with the anti-establishment candidate in the 13th Congressional race.
It took a great deal of courage for a friend of Allegretti to offer honest criticism about him. Even for those of us who may have been on the fence, after Mr. Allegretti’s dismal debate performance on NY1 (and talking down to a veteran of our Armed Forces in so disrespectful a manner), it should now be clear that Mr. Grimm is the better of the two candidates. He has more experience and has not been tainted by the stains of Washington, as Mr. Allegretti has been.
In my opinion, Mr. Judge’s remarks are right on the money.