Amid Spectre of Controversy, Eaton Poised to Hire Failed Campaign Outsider as New Executive Director
Circle the wagons!
Just when insiders didn’t think things could get any worse for the Brooklyn GOP establishment, its embattled monarch stepped on a huge land mine.
Infuriating even his own loyal acolytes, GOP Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton is poised to announce unknown non-Brooklynite Karen Fischer, manager of a failed local Assembly campaign, as the GOP Executive Director. This comes after the party has once again failed to file its campaign disclosures timely.
The announcement follows one of the worst elections the Brooklyn GOP has ever seen in a year when the Republican Party at large (including local Staten Island) saw so many gains.
Eaton, not bowing to pressure from disgruntled Republicans, has made no major moves since the elections besides announcing his own plans to run for another term as Chairman, something one former pro-Eaton District Leader called “a joke.”
“He commands no respect and is becoming more and more fearful of even those he once trusted,” said one source.
But now things have gotten dicey even within the ranks of Eaton & Co.
Causing a private uproar amongst his own ranks, “The Duke of Bay Ridge” is prepared to engage the services of a young woman in her mid to late-twenties named Karen Fischer, whose most recent claim to fame was managing the failed campaign of former teenage Assembly candidate Peter Cipriano.
The non-experienced Cipriano, you will recall, was a willing pawn used by Chairman Eaton to attack the 49th AD leadership in a primary last year, a primary that was successful for Cipriano but bore no fruit in the general election.
Fischer is essentially a complete unknown in local politics beyond her experience with Cipriano, who is even mocked by Mr. Eaton’s own affiliated hate blogs as “Cipi Cup” for his childish, inane antics and needy arrogance during the campaign.
Since their pathetic loss to Peter Abbate in November, sources tell Atlas that Cipriano’s campaign has been violating campaign finance rules left and right, missing their 27 day post-General Election disclosure and January 2011 Periodic disclosure. Not to mention, it is public knowledge that the Cipriano campaign spent money like “drunken sailors” just to take down Republican opponent Lucretia Regina-Potter in the primary.
Is this the kind of further mismanagement we have to look forward to under Craig Eaton’s latest year as Chair?
As previously mentioned, the prospect of Fischer’s appointment is not popular even with Eaton’s closest associates in the party. Rather than turn to familiar allies or veteran Republican strategists to be the party’s new director, Eaton has chosen someone distinctly “outside” his inner circle to “direct” the party his way.
“Nixon’s right-hand guy was Haldeman. Now, Craig has his Haldewoman,” one GOP source wrote to us.
Regarding the poorly run Cipriano campaign, the move has caused concerns. “How could they be so irresponsible,” one source said. “It’s truly disgraceful.”
So why Fischer?
The answer to that question is still not entirely clear.
What is clear is that Craig Eaton is planning on using party money to appoint a complete nobody in GOP politics in Brooklyn to a mysterious position while blowing off his own insiders, a move out of pure desperaton to instill some sort of order to an out of touch establishment.
And what about Gerry O’Brien, the infamous political advisor Eaton clung to in the past?
Perhaps Gerry O’Brien has become too untenable an option for the Chairman, which, if true, confirms that Gerry O’Brien is now persona non grata in Brooklyn politics.
And what of seasoned veteran Clorinda Annarummo?
She is disputably rumored to be at odds with the Chair and is possibly seeking to unseat him.
But above all, Eaton’s choice of Fischer is further evidence of Mr. Eaton’s complete and utter obsession with the 49th AD. Having sought to embarrass them by turning a former Arnaldo Ferraro ally against the 49th leadership, Eaton took extraordinary steps last year to attack Regina-Potter and Ferraro.
Some prominent leaders have even suggested that Eaton did so at the expense of Michael Allegretti‘s campaign in the 13th Congressional race.
Whatever the case may be, the immanent choice of Karen Fischer as the party’s new Executive Director has both reformers and establishment figures scratching their heads and wondering just how distant Chairman Eaton is from those around him.
Friend and foe alike.