Thursday, June 05, 2008

Political Notes

It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.
--Henrik Ibsen (1828 - 1906)

The recent attempted coup at D.I.D., SoHo’s reform Democratic Party club, was finally resolved at Wednesday evening’s meeting. With the Meninites in high gear, led by David Reck, Julie Menin, Ian Dutton and Pat Morris, a subdued vote was cast without much in the way of histrionics. Although there were a few personal attacks that sought to cast current President Sean Sweeney in a negative light, for the most part the fully packed meeting was conducted civilly.
Of course, the vote cast, tells a different story. Sweeney was re-elected President by a large margin and both Jim Stratton and Marc Ameruso were elected as Vice Presidents while Julie Nadel garnered the vote for Treasurer. The fact that this slate won in its entirety was in itself a strong indication that whatever shortcomings may have been highlighted, the membership was not happy about the blitzkrieg attempt to take over the club. Whether D.I.D. members were more resentful that Julie Menin may have been intending to use the club for a Council race springboard, or were offended by a process whereby dissension with Sweeney’s Presidency was handled so rudely – is difficult to tell.
Sweeney has indicated that it has been difficult to handle the full time job of running the club and would welcome help in doing so.
Now, it appears, he has that help. Rumors of some serious further changes are now rife. Stay tuned.

With Quinn seeming to be gaining her footing once again, despite the Slushgate problems – many of which she inherited from Vallone and Miller – most people downtown are taking a wait and see approach to her impending mayoral bid. She and Duane, who is very popular, are aware of the need to be seen and heard by the residents. Duane actually receives applause before he speaks at many community meetings. Quinn is popular but has not made the attempt at being perceived as personable and warm. Politics aside, this could be her undoing. Bloomberg is not exactly Mr. Warmth, but those
With Quinn seeming to be gaining her footing once again, despite the $500,000 checks sent to various constituencies go a long way towards endearing one. Even the office staff of Harvard boys can be overlooked with that kind of gravy being spilled.

Those who see the train coming know that in addition to the rising star of Bill Thompson, Charley Rangel and, not the least of personas, Mr. Obama – we have Inez Dickens and Denny Farrell coming our way to a City Council near you.
The future seems to include Farrell resigning as County Leader and running for City Council, Dickens ascending to the Speaker’s post after Quinn and a Mr. Wright becoming County Leader.
Black leadership will be a breath of fresh air and flush out the racists, if there are any left.
While Bloomberg has stepped up his attacks on Paterson, looking for a spot he can grab since his White House initiatives have fallen on deaf ears – he might consider dropping that particular route to immortality. Challenging term-limits would even irritate his friends and give credence to the feeling that he adjusts his politics longings to the tune of ‘what’s available today?’ He also should not expect any help from downtown, where he has allowed development projects to be pushed through like Trump SoHo and the D.S.N.Y. garage in Hudson Square; allowed film crews to use us a back lot for Hollywood; and, sat back as our buildings have been festooned with billboards. Harvard Square and SoHo appear to have different political agendas.

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