Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Brooklyn Paper Endorses Powell Over Towns in 10th Congressional District

Today The Brooklyn Paper published their endorsement of Kevin Powell over Brooklyn's entrenched 10th  Congressional District machine incumbent Congressman Ed Towns. While the endorsement doesn't make mention of Powell's opposition to and Towns' support of the Atlantic Yards project, it makes a compelling argument to vote for the challenger in September 9th's primary. 

Their positions on Atlantic Yards are just the cherry on top.

From The Brooklyn Paper:

Powell for Congress
Rep. Ed Towns has been in office since 1982. Yet in those 26 years, he has achieved so little that it is shocking that he has only rarely faced a Democratic challenger.

Towns’s self-proclaimed success at netting pork-barrel appropriations for his district (which stretches from northern Brooklyn Heights through Fort Greene and central Brooklyn on to East New York) is hardly the best measure of congressional talent. And even if it were, Towns is certainly no better than most of the other 434 House members at snaring key allocations.Indeed, Towns has been in the House longer than more than 400 congressmen — yet he does not even chair a committee! In an interview with The Brooklyn Paper’s editorial board, he touted his leadership of a government oversightSUBcommittee — one that reviews every single government purchase, he said. Yet when questioned, he conceded that he has not even held hearings to investigate the cronyism and overpayments that have been rampant during the Bush Administration.

Two years ago, when this newspaper reluctantly endorsed Towns for reelection, we wrote that “if the Democrats take back the House, Towns’s seniority will give him added clout.” The Democrats DID take back the House, yet Towns’s seniority has meant little to his Brooklyn constituents. Indeed, when asked to name his major achievements, he ticked off the same two bills that he mentioned at his endorsement interview two years ago!

And when the discussion turned to foreign policy, Towns was completely baffled by even simple questions about the Russian invasion of Georgia and the planned deployment of U.S. missiles in Poland — both stories that had been widely covered in the media that very week. Perhaps it’s not vital for every member of Congress to have a deep understanding of the entire world, but Towns was so clueless that we were left in shock.


Newcomer Kevin Powell, a rap music writer, inspirational lecturer and community organizer, has the kind of fire in the belly to shake up the doldrums that Towns tolerates. In his interview with The Brooklyn Paper’s editorial board, he put forth a vision of the kind of hard-working, easily accessible,knowledgeable and committed congressman he hopes to be.

It was hard not to catch Powell’s enthusiasm for changing inside-the-Beltway business as usual.

While Powell’s history of violence — including an incident as recently as four years ago — is alarming, a reckless past (as long as it stays in the past and as long as the candidate is genuinely open about his shortcomings) need not disqualify an otherwise meritorious candidate from elected office, particularly when he’s running against an invisible man.

As such, we endorse Kevin Powell for Congress in his uphill challenge to the status quo in the 10th congressional district.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home