Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Behar rejected lobbying money

From City Hall:

Steve Behar, an attorney mounting a race in Queens for the seat of retiring Assembly Member Ann-Margaret Carrozza, claims that two pro-charter school bundlers have enough faith in his candidacy to have offered to raise him up to $200,000 in exchange for him changing his position on charter schools to support their expansion.

Many in what was a wide field of Democrats cleared out of the race at the end of last month, after Ed Braunstein, a staffer for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, received the support of the Queens County Democratic organization. Among those who did not is Behar, who lost a primary battle for the Council seat eventually won by Dan Halloran, and has remained in the race.

Braunstein is likely to be backed by the generally charter-cool teachers unions, given that he has the support of Silver, an ally of the unions. But in a letter written to the website Queens Teacher, Behar claimed that he was being courted to come out in favor of the charters.

“In the last few weeks two separate ‘political fundraisers’ promised to raise between $100K and $200K for my campaign if I changed my position to favor charter schools,” Behar wrote. “Since I’m running against a well-funded inexperienced and unqualified candidate (Ed Braunstein) who works for the Albany leadership and is in the pocket of the lobbyists and the special interests, that money would have really helped my campaign. However, keeping to my core beliefs, I refused to change my position and thus refused the money.”

In an interview, Behar said he turned the bundlers down on principle. He declined, however, to give the names of the two bundlers, citing concerns about scaring away future potential fundraisers and donors to his campaign.

All Behar would say is that one of the people he claims was involved approached him three weeks ago at the New York State Young Democrats convention, and the other approached him at a political event a week ago. When asked which event, though, Behar said he could not recall.

When told about the letter, Braunstein’s campaign blasted Behar for not disclosing who the bundlers were, and said he should report such incidents to the police, if they in fact occurred.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charter schools are a profiteering scheme. Why is it that children in China and India and parts of eastern Europe constantly outperform our students while having less resources and technology than our schools? The problem that needs to be addressed is the establishment of a solid work ethic. We don't need to coddle students with expensive programs so that private groups can line their pockets. If they truly had the best interest of the students in mind, they would advocate for reform of the entire system rather than this charter nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Alvin"!

Behar looks like one of the "Chipmunks".

He doesn't stand a chance!

Queens Teacher said...

Teachers for Behar!!!!!!!!!

JONT1446 said...

Ed Braunstein's nomination is the the textbook example of what is wrong in Albany. His campaign is being set up by his superlobbyist uncle and his clients. Steve Behar is a breath of fresh air. We need a reformist like Steve Behar to clean up albany like clint eastwood with a white cowboy hat with Tony avella at his side and not kids who are puppets of their uncles lobbying business plan.

JONT1446 said...

Ed Braunstein's nomination is the the textbook example of what is wrong in Albany. His campaign is being set up by his superlobbyist uncle and his clients. Steve Behar is a breath of fresh air. We need a reformist like Steve Behar to clean up albany like clint eastwood with a white cowboy hat with Tony avella at his side and not kids who are puppets of their uncles lobbying business plan.

Anonymous said...

I wonder is Braunstein has accepted mony from Charter School friendly groups. How can we find out??

Anonymous said...

Wait a minnit, it's notable because this guy didn't do anything wrong??!!
we're praising him because he's kept it legal so far JEEZUS

How screwed up is that...

Anonymous said...

This is a blog, so I don't necessarily expect it to uphold the standards of professional journalism, but is a title claiming that Behar did in fact reject bribes responsible considering that there is no way to prove his ridiculous claims?

Behar is clearly lying, not to mention that he's so desperate to be elected to higher office that he would certainly accept 200k for a seat in the legislature.

And please - a breath of fresh air??? The man is a joke. He proved that with his embarrassing (4th place) campaign for the council last year.

Anonymous said...

the only joke was braunstein who is one of the most unimpressive candidates i've ever seen


democrats - bad move with this guy

Steve Behar said...

First, I certainly was telling the truth and there are folks out there who have first hand knowledge that the story is in fact true. You should do some due diligence before you start calling people names.

Second, why don't you have some guts and stop hiding behind "Anonymous" posts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Stevie - Why don't you show some guts, show some proof and put these criminals behind bars! A real reformer would expose those guilty of offering bribes.

You're just a lot of hot air. It's not fooling anybody.

JONT1446 said...

I bet you the Republicans are rooting for Ed Braunstein to win the primary. It looks like the district leaders threw Tony Avella under the bus with Ed Braunstein as his running mate.

Anonymous said...

John Duane is still running for the Assembly seat, too:
http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=20436220&BRD=2731&PAG=461&dept_id=574908&rfi=8

Anonymous said...

John Duane?

Who cares???

Anonymous said...

John Duane?

Who cares???


Those who aren't thrilled with the other candidates, some of whom seem to be shills of their respective machines.

Bayside Resident said...

Vote for the guy who wont be beholden to any special interest groups. And that's Behar.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's rich. Every candidate in this race sought the party's endorsement and as soon as it doesn't go to them, the endorsed candidate is in the back pocket of the party bosses???

How's that for hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

Do you want a prophecy. Ed is a clean kid but his uncles and the parkside are gonna force him to get below the belt dirty for no good reason and then the backlash is gonna ruin the race for him on many levels. Vincent Tabone is the clear front runner at this point.

Anonymous said...

We will have to see where the campaign goes, but so far Ed Braunstein hasn't done anything dirty. He hasn't even gone negative. And there are certain candidates just running smear campaigns since they can't fight on the real issues. Ed is obviously the best Democratic candidate and the only one who could beat Vince Tabone in November.

Anonymous said...

FORZA TABONE

Anonymous said...

Vince Tabone is the clear front runner???

In a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin of 2 1/2 to 1?

Where did you study political science?

Anonymous said...

those sound like overwhelming numbers.


WRITE THIS DOWN

Ed wont lose it. brian and the parkisde and whats his name will think there the smartest guys in the room and lose it for him.

Anonymous said...

Tabone isnt the frontrunner

Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 1/2 to 1. No Democrat would vote for Tabone and most Republicans hate him.

Anonymous said...

"Most Republicans hate tebone" ???? thats funny a few Insiders may hate him but thats all??

its a different year and democrats will have a tougher time this november

most swing voters will go republican as a backlash against obama

tebone is getting a big following with the help of halloran and padavan

what is braunstein gonna do send to go after tebones base????

do what they did at the whitestone apreciation day send debbie markel and matt silverstein into whitestone with cipboards and palm cards lol lol
braunstein and the county are paper tigers

Anonymous said...

Wow It looks like we might have an interesting race this year in the 26 a.d. Its great that their is an open primary and the party goal of putting their hacks in office is being derailed by the insurgent candidates.

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me Democrats, is Braunstein the best you can do? As a Democrat, if it is a choice between Ed Braunstein and Vince Tabone, I will be come a right winger! So will the rest of us city workers.

Anonymous said...

tony avella has made a career out of being an independent peoples public servant. now he is going to run as a reformist with shelly silvers aide right next to him. its gonna look as silly as ed braunstein does when he preaches about reform.
ed braunstein gives the G O P a weapon to counter against avella's preaching of reform. wow maybe the dems secretly want padavan to win.

Olivia72 said...

Avella is now handcuffed. How can he be true to his reform Albany message while propping up Silver's aide? Behar is the clear complement to Avella, with or w/o the committee's blessing.

Oh, by the way, its not "illegal" to lobby or raise money (within set limits) for political candidates or elected officials. If it were, the upstate prisons would be overflowing.