Saturday, August 12, 2006

Re-Enter Diamondstone, The “Atlantic Yards” Opponent

We had refrained from including the race for the 25th Senate District as the existence of the race was hinging on, well, an existential battle in court between entrenched incumbent and election law pedant Martin Connor and insurgent Ken Diamondstone.

Well the verdict is in and we once again have a race.

Diamondstone won his right to remain on the ballot in the face of Connor’s court challenge to throw him off.

Connor, the ultimate machine incumbent, is now facing a real challenge where he’ll have to stand on his record instead of his case briefs.

But back to “Atlantic Yards.” Martin Connor supports “Atlantic Yards.” Not only does he support it but he has a weasel way of not commenting. At an Independent Neighborhood Democrats (IND) meeting in May Connor was grilled by some club members on “Atlantic Yards.” After going through a spiel about the problems New York State has with massive debt, he was asked about his views on “Atlantic Yards.”

He said, “It is not in my district and I’ve received only two letters from constituents about the project.”

A club member asked, “How many letters have you received from outside of your district?”

“A big stack,” Connor said.

Then the Senator went on to speak nonsense. New York State debt is a problem for the whole state, but a project like “Atlantic Yards” that would surely increase New York State debt (as every big white elephant project does) is not his concern because it’s not in his district.

(The Brooklyn Heights Association may beg to differ with Connor.)

Well, besides that fact that “Atlantic Yards”–the largest single source development proposal in the history of New York City–has ramifications for all of the city and state, regardless of district, now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is out, it is clear that the project would impact Connor’s district in the extreme. (Never mind all the good government, process and policy issues at stake, which apparently never seem to impact Martin “It’s My Ballot” Connor).

There are those on some blog comment boards that say “Atlantic Yards” should not be an issue in the 25th Senate District race because much of the district is in Manhattan. The answer to that is see above

Is it Diamondstone’s only issue? Heck no, see his website and long community leader/activist record. But does Ken Diamondstone understand what this proposal is all about and understand that it matters not whether it’s in his district, outside his district or abutting his district? Does Ken Diamondstone stand with the community against pillaging, corrupt, destructive development plans? You bet he does.

And Martin Connor stands with Bruce Ratner.


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