Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ratner Ally Sharpton to Walk with Hakeem in Final Weekend

In a NY Times Empire Zone blog post by Jonthan Hicks about Councilwoman Letitia James' endorsement of Assembly candidate Bill Batson, Reverend Al Sharpton states that he'll be walking the district wiht Jeffries this weekend in his final push.

Councilwoman Letitia James is the leading and most outspoken political opponent of "Atlantic Yards." On the other hand Reverend Sharpton admits to receiving funding year after year from Bruce Ratner anf fully supports "Atlantic Yards" (though the Reverend says that the money doesn't impact his support of the project.) From the Daily News:
...Not included in Sharpton’s statement or the newspaper articles, however, was one significant fact: Forest City Ratner has contributed thousands of dollars to Sharpton’s National Action Network. Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco acknowledged Ratner’s development company provided financial support last year and this year but declined to say how much money FCR has contributed to the National Action Network’s coffers.

Sharpton, too, would not specify a dollar amount, but he did tell The Score that FCR has been a corporate sponsor of his organization’s annual fund-raising dinner and convention for the past three years.

That money, Sharpton adds, has nothing to do with his support for the $3.5 billion [sic] project. He points out that he only jumped aboard in July. “If donations to the Network meant anything,” Sharpton says, “then I would have supported it long before that.”
So, Ratner seemingly is getting closer and closer to the Hakeem Jeffries campaign. Sharpton could be spending the final weekend push with any candidate of his choosing (like someone in the 11th CD), so how did he come to choose Mr. Jeffries?

As we wrote yesterday, in pure speculation, perhaps Hakeem Jeffries has not reported his 11 day pre-primary filing yet because there is money in there that he may not want to publicize. We don't know. But that campaign finance law breaking oddity, combined with Ratner's ally, Reverend Sharpton, should only raise more eyebrows.

Additionally the Empire Zone blog says that Newark Mayor Corey Booker has endorsed Hakeem. Why Booker's endorsement should matter to Brooklynites is an open question that you can answer yourself. But it is an odd endorsement. Why? Well, during the Sharpe James regime Newark's city planning department was abolished. Booker has made it a top priorty to rebuild that city planning department to put an end to one-off city deals with developers as a planning "process." From Booker's Newark budget press release:
We will create a City Planning Division, which will include neighborhood planners, an urban designer, and a historic preservation officer. We will also focus on updating the City’s antiquated Master Plan. We will work with experts to establish criteria and a process for how City owned land is transferred.
It's exactly the absence of a city planning (or city council) role in the "Atlantic Yards" project that has angered so many people and led to the flawed urban planning "Atlantic Yards" symbolizes. Why would Booker endorse a candidate, Hakeem Jeffries, who has yet to raise a fuss about New York's own developer-first planning practices?

What we can see, though, is that all but one of Jeffries' endorsements have come from solid supporters of "Atlantic Yards" (including Ratner-funded city Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.), while Batson's have come from the leading opponents of the project.


At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all need to get out of your echo chamber. There is more to life than Atlantic Yards!

Isn't it just a little bit possible that Cory Booker and Rev. Sharpton might just share an interest in the best candidate winning? Hakeem's support is so deep (with AY supporters and opponents alike, by the way) and his credentials as the reformer in this race are so unmatched, this conspiracy-theory-blog tying him to AY is actually getting a little spooky.

I would just love Bill Batson to take up your cause and spend the weekend before the primary vilifying Rev. Sharpton! Let him believe that it's a winning strategy in a 70% black district! (Because he's a bit smarter than you all, Bill probably won't.) Please also ask Bill whether he went to NAN to seek the Sharpton endorsement. (Like most smart Democrats who aspire to higher office, he most certainly did.)

As for Hakeem's filings, you have a right to be upset by their tardiness. However, my guess is that once they're up on-line, you'll be -very- bored.

Certainly nothing as juicy as Danny Goldstein's daddy maxing out -- as he did for Batson!

At 6:29 PM, Blogger atlanticyardsvoterguide said...

uhm? this blog is about Atlantic Yards and candidates running in the district and environs where its proposed.

if you want a wider view there are plenty of other blogs for it.

as for the 57th, there is no bigger issue than Atlantic Yards. there are many issues, but none bigger.

additionally Forest City themselves must think its a big issue as they've been polling relentlessly in the guise of political polls.

His support is so deep? where's the evidence?

As for "Danny Goldstein's" dad, we find it more interesting that Brucey Ratner's brother Mikey maxes out to the likes of Ed Towns, Clarence Norman and Roger Greene.

for us, Sharpton's funding from Ratner is problemmatic. for you it's not. thats what makes horsey races.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dd you leave Tish james' name out of the list of individuals that Michael (not Mikey) Ratner (who by the way has done more good int his world with his work on civil and human rights issues than you would do in three lifetimes)game campaign contributions to.

Is it because you do not want to portray you champion as being flawed and a hypocrite. She knew where that campaign contribution came from and she needed to save her campaign and she did not hesitate to take it. If she find the ratners so distasteful she should have writtena acheck and given it back long ago but that not Tish's MO.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger atlanticyardsvoterguide said...

Michael Ratner is definitely a hero. but in the case of Atlantic Yards the Constitutional Rights attorney has a FINANCIAL STAKE in a project that violates the fifth and first amendments. and we have no problem calling him out on that. he's undoing all the good he's done by being a financial investor in the constituionally abusing project. never mind all the other problems with it. we called him Mikey because the poster we were responding to, and we don't know if that's you as it's anonymous, decided to go grade school playground by calling Goldstein, Danny. Didn't realize Michael was so sacrosanct.

as for Letitia James receiving money from the Ratner's we've linked to the article that divulges that.
we'll post it here again. here:

but we didn't think that was pertinent to this blog post about Hakeem and Al Sharpton. is it?

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