Jonathan Judge to Establishment: “Meet The Dodo, Your New Neighbor”
Former 44th City Council candidate Jonathan Judge is back with a new blog post about the GOP primary results, what they mean for the party and how the results reflect our borough. The article was posted on the Brooklyn Young Republicans’ website, the organization in which Mr. Judge serves as President.
As we continue our post-primary coverage and discussion of the aftermath of last Tuesday’s elections, I thought this piece was a very good portrayal of the local, statewide and even national trends facing our party.
But Mr. Judge’s major emphasis–and my foremost reason for posting his commentary–is his discussion of the local Brooklyn GOP’s doings on Primary Day, including their minions’ disgraceful conduct. For his honest assessment, I applaud Mr. Judge.
Here is the text of his piece:
If there is any clear message we can take away from last week’s primaries, it is the fact that Republican voters are finally taking the party leadership to task for years of ideological compromise in exchange for petty power, patronage and money.
Not one candidate endorsed by the local or state Republican establishments survived the wrath of the voters–not at the statewide level and not at the local level. Now that does not mean all of the candidates who lost were bad, or the ones who won are any better. That’s the case in any election.
However, there are concerns about whether the New York Republican Party has moved further to the right in an attempt to gain greater ideological purity at the likely expense of electability. I would argue instead that people just wanted a housecleaning, and so rewarding anyone except the establishment’s pick was the first order of business.
There’s one situation, though, where it is unclear how this dynamic played a role, if at all. In the 49th Assembly District, our good friend and longtime Republican activist Lucretia Regina-Potter lost the Republican nomination by a mere 173 votes in the her primary against the Brooklyn GOP establishment-backed candidate.
With a dismal 8% voter turnout in that election, many people were stunned at the outcome. I’ve talked to people who said they didn’t come out to vote because they thought Regina-Potter would win in a landslide due to years of recognized and dedicated Republican activism on her part. Such thinking, however, is a campaign strategist’s worst nightmare.
Additionally, Brooklyn Republican Party Chairman Craig Eaton pulled out all the stops in his personal quest to try and destroy Regina-Potter and her club. For instance, he fired the local Election Inspectors who traditionally have been aligned with Regina-Potter’s club. He opened up a first-ever Brooklyn Republican Party Campaign Headquarters only blocks away from Regina-Potter’s HQ, and rewarded turncoats with the newly-vacated meager $200-a-day poll worker jobs–the worst form of political bribery through patronage.
Finally, everyone on the ground observed that the Brooklyn Republican Party establishment actually sacrificed their Congressional pick for the 13th District, Michael Allegretti, who lost to insurgent Staten Island Republican candidate Mike Grimm in Brooklyn 58% to 42%, in order to divert all of its resources in the 49th Assembly District against Regina-Potter.
They have never quite made an effort like this for a candidate they actually supported as opposed to one the chairman intensely and personally dislikes.
Of course, neophyte Peter Cipriano, the 20-year-old former Bloomberg 2009 campaign staffer, will face even more obstacles in his quest to unseat 24-year incumbent Democratic Assembly Member Peter Abbate (a Brooklyn Democratic political ally of Republican State Senator Marty Golden) than would have the better-known Regina-Potter.
At the end of the day, regardless of what the voters decide in the General Election, the Republican party establishments here and across the state have been put on final notice that they are well on their way to political dodo-bird status.
Later on, we will conclude our core post-primary analysis with a discussion of the 49th Assembly District GOP primary and the deep, dark controversy swirling around the results there.
We have been investigating for just under a week now, and what we’ve learned will shock you.
Be sure to come back for that.