The Best of Atlas: Our Favorite Posts of 2010 – Francisco D’Anconia
For last year’s pick, I extolled my colleague Dagny Taggart for her brilliant piece on the Brooklyn GOP’s garish holiday party.
This year, I will take a page from my colleague Midas Mulligan to choose one of John Galt’s pieces of the year, which I believe was one of the most defining events of 2010.
It was the beginning of the fabled 44th City Council District Special Election.
John Galt’s announcement of the candidacy of GOP reformer Jonathan Judge in the race led to one of the most fascinating political battles in Brooklyn’s recent political history.
You will recall that Urban Elephants informed readers of their blog that “Councilman Simcha Felder, one of the then conservative Democrats in City Hall, would step aside and free up the seat” in the 44th City Council District. Then, we learned Brooklyn Young Republican President Judge would be seeking Felder’s seat.
Judge’s announcement sparked one of the fiercest scrambles in the history of the GOP and Democratic establishments, both of which were exposed for working together to support now Councilman (although not well liked, from what we hear) David Greenfield, another Pinocchio of Democratic Boss Vito Lopez.
Sen. Marty Golden was then forced to choose between supporting a genuine Republican or the liberal Democrat/Bloomberg-sympathizer. He chose the latter, a colossal embarrassment for a man who claims to support Republicans and be a party leader.
This gave a face to all of the deals between the two parties that had been whispered about for years (incidentally, a new piece regarding this “special relationship” is upcoming–keep an eye out for it).
Judge was attacked at every turn, with the establishment Republicans allegedly forging signatures for a no-name candidate who received less than 3% of the vote when all was said and done.
Due to legal shenanigans, Judge never made it to the ballot, but his court defense, spearheaded by former state Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor, stunned a Democratic establishment (and their darling lawyer Carl Landicino) not used to being one-upped and kept their teeth chattering until the very end. Judge raised thousands of dollars and had a sort of coming of age in many insiders’ eyes, even those of his rivals, who were enraged by his success at unifying support.
This story made Mr. Judge the most obvious leader of the reform faction in the party and a rising star in Brooklyn politics, as noted recently by Courier Life and The New York Post.
As someone who once offered up Mr. Judge as a potential leader in the GOP, this campaign impressed me a great deal.
Objectively, though, I must say that the 44th City Council race, whatever your views on it may be, certainly counts as one of the very Best of Atlas.