Sunday, March 01, 2009

Downtown Currents

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
-- Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

Bob Morgenthau finally withdrew from the election process this week after decades of public service as Manhattan’s District Attorney. For years there had been speculation that Catherine Abate was the heir apparent and was waiting in the wings until “The Boss,” as his staff knows him, stepped aside.
Instead, as the rumors swirled, Abate was sidelined as the likely candidate to oppose Leslie Crocker Snyder in the upcoming Democratic Primary election.
While Downtown, in many cases, is considered a lock for the Jewish female vote, one of the reasons why Alan Gerson, again running for District 1 City Council seat, may still have an edge. Sophie can be heard in the background whenever Alan is on the phone.
Snyder was previously a law and order candidate who supported the death penalty but she took that off the table. Her 40% of the vote showing in the last election gives her substantial credibility.
But, countering Snyder’s move is a possible run by Dan Castleman, Morgenthau’s right hand man in the prosecutor’s office – as well as a serious challenge by Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Vance not only has name recognition but also presents a serious challenge to divvying up the Jewish vote. His father and his family stood out in fighting for the rights of Israel at a crucial point in history.

Little has been heard from Maria Derr lately, former Board #2 Chair, who is running against Chris Quinn in her bid to retain her seat in the City Council race. But, Yetta Kurland, a proponent of gay rights is another contestant in this race and may do relatively well and has some buzz.
However, it is unlikely that Quinn faces a serious challenge. Those who have criticized her (including this writer), recognize her immense political skills. A powerful Speaker who seeks to improve her ties with the community is more to be desired than a novice with a wish list. And, Quinn and her staff have been moving in the direction of building new bridges.

Little has changed in the Gerson/Menin/Gleason/Chin saga for City Council. We should expect sparks sometime this summer as the jockeying heats up.
A few rumors and tidbits have flown about.
Menin’s new blog apparently publishes on Huffington Post and the site apparently has rejected negative comments.

Gleason appeared on network television to dispel the belief that his 9-11 board game is a flight to insanity – rather that the point was to create publicity for the tragedy. Of course, those of us downtown well know that while the disaster may not have been avoidable -- many firefighters and police were unnecessarily exposed to danger and untimely death due to inadequate communications.
Anecdotal reports of dysfunctional transmitters and garbled transmissions are well documented and the anger harbored by those who know the truth about the treatment during and after the disaster are legend.

In Memoriam: Albert Edward Neale 1917-2009. Andy Neale’s 92 year
old father passed this week after a short but severe illness. As Andy describes him, he was “ a reserved man of fierce intellect, a wonderful husband, a decorated war veteran, a compassionate human being and a liberal to the end who thought Obama was the greatest thing to have happened to the USA.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is Quinn "building bridges" to McManus apologists?