Saturday, October 26, 2013
Democratic Machine barks an order; good government group complies
The good-government group Citizens Union canceled its planned endorsement of a Republican challenger in a little-watched City Council race after two Democratic lawmakers complained about his campaign literature, its executive director confirmed.
Citizens Union announced Friday morning that it would not support anyone in the Queens race between incumbent Democratic Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and a young Republican former television producer, Craig Caruana. The organization had told Mr. Caruana it would endorse him this week. Ms. Crowley, a cousin of powerful Queens Democratic leader Joe Crowley, is heavily favored to win re-election.
In an email to reporters, the good-government group explained that it had backed away from supporting Mr. Caruana upon learning this week of literature mailed to voters by his campaign.
"After the Citizens Union board met yesterday and reviewed the message of the flyer and its consequences, it felt the flyer crossed a line and engaged in inappropriate fear-mongering that unfairly targets immigrants," the group explained.
Not mentioned was that two members of the City Council had called Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey this week to complain about the impending endorsement. Manhattan Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the co-chair of the council's Progressive Caucus and a candidate for council speaker, brought the matter to Mr. Dadey's attention, he said. Councilman Danny Dromm, a Queens Democrat, also called to register his concern.
First of all, the mailer doesn't target immigrants, it targets people trespassing on American soil. Big difference.
Interesting that 2 council members from outside the district (one from Manhattan) would call Citizens Union about an endorsement and that Citizens Union would listen to them. Citizens Union is not an immigrant rights group, they are supposed to be a good government group. It's never a good thing when the government tells a good government group what to do, and they do it. They have a long history of doing so, however. It's pretty sad.
An actual quote from their director: “Citizens Union has been pleased to work over the past couple of years with reform-minded individuals like Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn.”
And it's quite interesting that a mailer about a piece of legislation that Citizens Union decided not to take a position on was a dealbreaker for Caruana, yet the many mailers from the real estate PAC, Jobs for New York, on behalf of CD19 candidate Paul Vallone, didn't cause them to bat en eyelash when deciding to endorse Vallone in that race. Outside spending in elections is usually a top 5 concern for good government groups, but for CU, it's of no concern.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure Caruana would have wanted to be on the same endorsement list as Paul Vallone and Melinda Katz, anyway.