After feeling very angry at the September 17th Queens Tribune article and subsequent insults aimed at Republican City Council candidate Dan Halloran, I decided that I could not sit idly by and allow this insult to journalism and democracy continue without making a statement. After reading your posts and the accompanying comments, I decided that I would take this issue to a much higher level and ask for an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics of the role that Congressman Gary Ackerman played in this breach of trust and morality.
Please keep in mind that I am not stating that Congressman Ackerman is guilty of breaking any laws. That is the reason for this inquiry. Let those who can do a proper investigation locate and examine records that will or will not confirm these allegations. The attacks that were printed in the Queens Tribune were bad enough but then when I started to connect the dots, I saw a pattern of behavior that is most disturbing and needed to be addressed. These suspicions started when I found out that Kevin Kim was Cong. Ackerman’s aide prior to his run for political office.
I looked over the dozens of pages of Democrat candidate Kevin Kim’s campaign contributions and I saw names and addresses that make me feel that Congressman Ackerman may be soliciting these contributions using his position as a U. S. Congressman. I am specifically concerned about those monies coming from Asia and parts of the United States such as California, Hawaii, Texas, etc. As one of the Queens Crap commenters suggested, where will Kim’s allegiance belong, to his constituents or to those who made donations to his campaign?
I am also concerned about the potential links between the Queens Tribune, Cong. Ackerman, and sexually oriented businesses both here in Queens and in Asia. All one has to do is Google the Tribune’s executive vice president, Michael Nussbaum, and see that he was involved in a NYC parking violations scandal 20 years ago and more recently has been promoting sexually oriented clubs in Asia. The Queens Tribune is the only local newspaper in Queens that runs advertising for the sex trade and most of these ads come from Asian businesses. I was amused by the hypocrisy of publisher Michael Schenkler and staff in the October 9th edition of the Tribune that reported the devastating affects of prostitution for young girls and an accompanying editorial while the back of the paper runs ads that might be putting young ladies into harm’s way!
Another reason that I felt the need to ask for an investigation into Congressman Ackerman’s role in the 19th city council district election is that the media has been a big let down. As a graduate of the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Journalism, I am appalled at the lack of objectivism and integrity in the articles that are laughingly called news. Where did all of the gung ho investigative journalists go? While at school, I walked a beat that took me into downtown Syracuse and really looked for stories to cover. I met a lot of elected officials and law enforcement personnel and asked a lot of questions. Those efforts led me to write many articles that were published in the campus newspaper and reported on air at the campus radio station.
Today, most of the stories that I read are puff pieces and rewrites of press releases. How sad because a free society needs a free and independent press to provide information that will lead to informed decisions, especially at election time. Therefore, I felt the need to come forward and find out why the Queens Tribune and its founder Gary Ackerman need to distort issues and focus on the religious beliefs of a candidate. I believe that the voters in the 19th council district can see through this overt attempt to compromise the democratic process. However, it is also important to bring this matter to the appropriate venue to see if there was any impropriety. I am looking forward to a response from David Skaggs, Chairman of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Crapster, I would like to personally thank you publicly for providing a forum where your readers can find information not available elsewhere. I would also like to encourage others to do something and not just bitch and complain. It is time for action and those who choose to remain silent will see that this silence will come back to haunt them in the future. Think about it. Thank you for reading this long-winded statement and I hope that many of you are inspired to pick up where I left off. By the way, I would not discourage anyone from following up on the inquiry that I made to the House Ethics Office.
With hope for a better future,