Monday, September 11, 2006

Hakeem Mailer Says Albany is Broken, Batson Aims to Fix It

The "Atlantic Yards" project is quite literally a state takeover of a large area of land in BROOKLYN (22-acres) and a State override of all local zoning. That takeover and override has been overseen by an unlected, unaccountable, non-transparent public authority–the Empire State Development Corporation.

The ESDC has been roundly attacked for how they've run their project "oversight," the latest attack coming in a letter from a neutral coalition called The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods concerning the public hearing fiasco from 3 weeks ago. The ESDC takeover of a chunk of Brooklyn for "Atlantic Yards" and the Condo-in-the-Park scheme for Brooklyn Bridge Park are just two of many examples of the dire need for public authority reform.

The ESDC's takeover of the Central Brooklyn "Atlantic Yards" site, its coziness with the developer and its mismanagement of everything from the DEIS hearing to the DEIS itself makes it the poster child for such reform (along with their brethren at the MTA).

So, we're back to Hakeem Jeffries' most recent (last?) mailer which hit our box on Saturday. It's a classic "Albany is broken, I'm the guy to fix it" mailer. First the mailer tells us that "We all know our State Government in Albany is broken."

And then on the flip side we have "The leaders we trust believe Hakeem Jeffries has the tools to help fix it."

Then three politicians (none from Albany, none from Brooklyn and one from Jersey) tell us why they think Hakeem is right for Albany. City Comptroller William Thompson (a Ratner cheerleader) tells us that "Hakeem Jeffries represents the best that Brooklyn has to offer."

Council Speaker Christin Quinn tells us that "Hakeem Jeffries' progressive thinking will be a terrific asset to the State Assembly and our City as a whole."

And Newark Mayor Cory Booker tells us that "Hakeem Jeffries represents a new generation of African American leadership
that stands ready to bring together constituents from all walks of life for the betterment of Brooklyn."

Never mind that these pols are not exactly local or have much sway in Brooklyn but none really tells us how Jeffries is planning on fixing the broken Albany. We don't include the mailer's reproduction of the Times' endorsement as that was such a vapid piece of copy it doesn't deserve mention (nor does it tell us either how Jeffries would reform Albany).

So we've learned nothing about Hakeem's ability to reform Albany.

Conversely Bill Batson has endorsements from the local paper, The Brooklyn Papers, and well respected local elected leaders such as Councilwoman Letitia James, Congressman Major Owens, Councilman Charles Barron and Councilman Bill de Blasio. So those who know Brooklyn, and the 57th District, best have endorsed Batson. (We don't think that Hakeem has one endorsement from a Brooklyn elected official).

But more to the point. Bill has already taken on Albany and the ESDC in his blistering testimony to the ESDC for the Atlantic Yards Draft Environmental Impact statement. That testimony concludes:
Brooklyn’s fate should be in Brooklyn’s hands. That is why our ancestors fought and died in Prospect Park, and at Gowanus and in Wallabout Bay. We are a city of four million who must not only have representation for our taxation, but must reject this vulgar and undemocratic effort to use our own tax dollars and our own government against us. You [ESDC] have no authority that we in Brooklyn recognize. Go home and take your mega-developments with you. We will rebuild our Navy Yards and our own homes and preserve our own history.

We turned back the British and their Hessians. We’ll turn back the billionaires and their political thugs and puppets. ESDC go home, Brooklyn will house and feed our own. Thank you.
Have you ever heard a candidate vying for Albany office talk in such a way?
We didn't think so.

More than anything else "Atlantic Yards" is a breakdown in government. But Mr. Jeffries has never spoken of it this way. He talks around the edges with slippery talk about eminent domain and "scalebacks." He has NEVER denounced or critiqued the process in any meaningful way.

Mr. Batson, on the other hand, has always framed his conversation about the project from the faulty process starting point.

We'll take Batson as the Albany reformer any day over Hakeem.

Hakeem mails a pretty good game.
Batson, clearly, isn't playing games.


At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are unbelievably lame. As one of the dozen people checking out this site (all of who have likely long ago made up their minds), let me set the record straight.

Jeffries' Albany is Broken piece is very effective, as it features:
1) Bed-Stuy born-and-raised Bill Thompson. Not only does he qualify as a "Brooklyn elected official," but he got more votes in 2005 than all of Batson's Council endorsers combined.
2) Chris Quinn and 3) Cory Booker. These are two well-known reformers, known and liked by a large swath of the 57th AD's progressive voting public.

The Batson crew has been left to slag elected officials they would otherwise admire (Quinn stopped a stadium development, for chrissakes) simply because these people have the temerity to support the other guy.

Go check with Bill. If Bill would have refused the endorsement of any official who has endorsed Hakeem, then you all have every right to criticize that endorsement. (Even as you obsess over Sharpton, you should explain why Batson sought the Rev's endorsement.) If Bill would have liked any of these people behind him (batson supporters were comparing their candidate to Booker less than two months ago), then you should stop the hypocrisy and instead get on with your GOTV efforts... such as they are.

As for the "poll-a-ganda" (even I'll admit that I smiled for that one), you guys should come up with a better argument than that the Kiley poll was a "small sample." 300 likely voters in the 57th AD is an enormously healthy sample. So I'll take the poll's lead and make a prediction: it'll be 62-25-13 tomorrow.

Now go obsess over my post, and I even invite you to make a hilarious prediction of your own. That should keep you busy until -today's- Hakeem literature arrives in your mailbox!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger atlanticyardsvoterguide said...

the poll didn't poll half the district. it came BEFORE major events in the past week. Batson has gotten the endorsement of politicians closest to the district.
Hakeem has gotten the endorsement of not one Brooklyn elected official that we're aware of.

As for the dozens of readers, our stats would surprise you, we guess.

we got our mail today. nothing Hakeemish in it.

predictions? the only prediction we'll make is this.
whether Batson wins or Hakeem wins, both seem to be VERY displeased with the current state of the Ratner plan. many will hold them to it, whichever wins.

as for the name-calling, thats easy.
You're lame!

Quinn didn't stop a stadium. Sheldon Silver did. Quinn approved the massive rezoning of the West Side (at least it was a rezoning instead of a zoning override).

Sure, these three pols are well-respected. Booker especially, no doubt. but they don't hold nearly as much sway in the district as James, Barron and Owens.

anyway the point was that Hakeem's mailer claims he's going to be a reformer, without showing how. Meanwhile one of the most devious Albany scams–Atlantic Yards-has been happening under his nose for 3 years and not a peep from him until a few months ago. Batson has called the scam a scam for years.

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm back. Unless you have the cross-tabs on the poll, you have no idea whether they "didn't poll half the district."

I assume that you think Kiley was only polling voters who live in both the 11th CD and the 57th AD. If true (which is hardly believable), that might explain the bloated numbers for Chris Owens, as Prospect Heights is his base. At the same time, I think you'd agree that Batson has the same base -- and he should have done a lot better than 17%. Or maybe, just maybe Prospect Heights is Hakeem's base?

Again, like him or not (and I know you don't) Thompson is a "Brooklyn elected official" with a very strong base in the district. In 2009, Thompson will be making a strong run for Mayor. And Tish? By 2013, maybe Clarence Norman will be out of the clink, so that her term-limited self can go back to the job she has been most comfortable holding: being the Boss' personal consigliere. Did you know that Tish is expert at knocking insurgents off the ballot -- among the other skills she has clear-cut from her CV.

No prediction on tomorrow? It's anonymous, so who cares what you write? Worth noting that your language about Hakeem here is certainly sounding more conciliatory than your screeds of the last few days. ("both [candidates] seem to be VERY displeased with the current state of the Ratner plan" is a lot kinder and gentler than the 'I heart Ratner' stickers your comrades have been defacing HJ's posters with the last few weeks.) Do you finally see the writing on the wall?

At 5:37 PM, Blogger atlanticyardsvoterguide said...

Nope we see know writing on the wall. What we see is that because of Hakeem's mailer on AY and Batson's known position, if Batson and Hakeem come in first and second that will be a referendum AGAINST AY. Thats what his pandering mailer did for himself.

And you can be sure the district will hold him to it.

as for that poll, i'll repeat, it came out BEFORE some key events:
local endorsements

no predictions only because we believe its anyone's race. but as stated above, that anyone apparently wil be someone who is opposed to AY. Thats if Hakeem is trustworthy. or if that was just a pandering mailer to one part of the district.


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