Fans For Fair Play
Challenging Bruce Ratner’s Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project

Friday, September 08, 2006

FFFP's Election Endorsements 

Sports fans vote.

Newspapers endorse candidates.

Does the second affect the first?

It's a big "what-if" question. Like, "what if Carl Erskine hadn't bounced that pitch in the bullpen, and it was Erskine, not Ralph Branca, that came in to face Bobby Thomson."

Probably can't be answered, is the answer.

Still, here you are at the computer screen, and here we've just been, typing this up.

This is one of the most crucial elections Brooklyn's ever seen. The very lifeblood of the borough is up for grabs. There are key political seats being contested. Key because they're the people who can exert real influence over Brooklyn's future.

You've been following the Battle of Brooklyn -- the whole kanoodle about the Ratner skyscrapers, the arena, the traffic, the jobs and housing, the eminent domain, the health concerns, the billions in taxpayer money, the undemocratic political process, the exploitation of race and poverty, the fear, the tension, the shouting, the accusations, the lies and obfuscations, the anger, the past, the present and the future, the Father, the Son, and a Prospect Park full of unholy ghosts.

If you're a registered Democrat, you've gotta vote this Tuesday, September 12th -- Primary Day. New York being New York, a win here is basically a win in November.

These are the important races, and who FFFP endorses:

11th Congressional District

Chris Owens is the one.

Owens is passionate, outspoken, smart as hell, progressive, and knows Washington's ropes. He's the incumbent's son. Don't let that put you off. We know Chris. He's his own man, he listens to everyone around him, and best of all, he's not politics as usual. If you're tired of politicians acting like politicians, vote for Chris Owens -- he acts like the rest of us. Chris is a big sports fan who loves the idea of a major league sports team in Brooklyn, but not the way Ratner's doing it. For what it's worth, Chris is a great musician -- sings the blues like nobody's business, and has made the recorder a rock'n'roll instrument like it always should have been.

The folks you shouldn't vote for: David Yassky, who supports the Atlantic Yards project but claims he doesn't, and is the proto bland fence-sitting politician we're tired of...Yvette Clarke supports the Atlantic Yards and has been funded by Bruce Ratner's brother Michael. Clarke has lied about her past, and is something of an establishment tool...but not as much as Carl Andrews, who was the right-hand-man of convicted-and-jailed Brooklyn machine boss Clarence Norman. Many of Norman's transgressions happened when Andrews was by his side. A complete tool.

57th Assembly District

Bill Batson is the one.

Batson's another one cut from a non-politician's cloth. Doesn't mean he's inexperienced -- he's served as a member of Community Planning Board 8, co-chairing the Fire Safety committee as well as the special sub-committee on the Environmental Impact of the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Development, and has been a civil rights worker his entire adult life. Bill's adamantly pro-development and favors creation of affordable housing and jobs, and for that reason is staunchly against the Atlantic Yards project. This seat is crucial -- this is the elected official Sheldon Silver will consult before deciding whether to endorse or refute Ratner's boondoggle. Electing Bill will insure that Silver gets information that isn't shoved through the Ratner p.r. filter. Batson is also a sports fan -- go to his website, >Batson For Brooklyn and check out his interlocking BB and Brooklyn Dodgers blue. Bill's also a kick-ass artist.

The folks you shouldn't vote for: Freddie Hamilton, who not only supports Ratner but is a signatory of the fake and useless "community benefits agreement. Hamilton has nothing to offer the community that isn't already paid for by Ratner...Hakeem Jeffries presents himself as the community's guy with his slick trial-lawyer manner. He claims he's against every component of Ratner's project, but make no mistake: Hakeem Jeffires is a firm supporter of the Atlantic Yards. He's told supporters as much. Doesn't help that a few days ago he menaced a Batson campaign worker and then got in the face of Batson's campaign manager.

18th State Senate District

Velmanette Montgomery is the one.

File this election under Payback's A Bitch. Montgomery has represented her district for 22 years, ushering it from the bad old days of the mid-80s through to Brooklyn's current renaissance. She's powerful, firery, and stands up against the rich and elite. She's against the Ratner project because she knows it won't bring jobs or affordable housing to Brooklynites who need it most. Many of the people Ratner's targeting live in her district.

The folks you shouldn't vote for: well, it's only one, and she's Tracy Boyland. This is why we're filing this under Payback's A Bith. Ratner and the Brooklyn political establishment is has Montgomery in their sights because of her brave opposition to Atlantic Yards. It is understood that Ratner is paying for Boyland's campaign. If that's true, then it's likely once again via Bruce Ratner's brother Michael. Why can't we be sure? Boyland hasn't filed her disclosure statements yet. Atlantic Yards Report has revealed that Boyland is using FCR's likely pushpoll company, PCR. If ever there was a tool of the wealthy and powerful to vote against, it's Boyland.

10th Congressional District

Charles Barron is the one.

Barron's often the only guy in an entire chamber of politicians who stands for justice. When everyone else is too scared to offend the mayor, the governor, the president, Barron makes sure his constituents' voices are heard. We were disappointed when he chose not to run for mayor last year. Barron, proudly and defiantly outspoken on behalf of the African-American community, knows when the 'hood is being sold a bum deal -- and that's why he opposes the Atlantic Yards project. Barron's a sports fan, and understands that sports truly nourishes us when it's Ali, Tommy Smith and John Carlos, not Mark McGwire or Tiger Woods.

The folks you shouldn't vote for: Roger Green, who was likely the first local politico Ratner seduced after borough president Markowitz. Green's heavily in Ratner's pockets, and that comes after he pled guilty to corruption charges a year ago...Edolphus Towns, a Brooklyn machine cog who also supports the Atlantic Yards. NoLandGrab.org quotes his utterly uninformed analysis that says Cleveland's arena reinvigorated the city, and that's why the Nets arena should happen. News flash -- the Cleveland arena did no such thing. That place is a ghost town when there isn't a game, and when there is, fans just eat in the arena, drink in a few modern chain sports bars, or get in their cars and go home.

We'll leave it with those crucial races. Sadly, the establishment has backed Eliot Spitzer, Hilary Clinton and the no-good-choice tandem of Mark Green and Andrew Cuomo in the state-wide races.

The future of Brooklyn is at stake. Normally, that's just empty rhetoric. But with the dangerous and destructive Atlantic Yards project hanging over our heads like a guillotine, this year it's true.

Get out and vote on Tuesday. If you love Brooklyn and don't want it falling prey to wealthy developers and ethically challenged politicians, voting for our choices will be the best votes you've ever cast.

See the Archives for more...

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