In his endorsement, announced by the Crowley campaign on Tuesday, Barnwell specifically cited her opposition to last year’s plan to convert the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter as a reason for his support.
“For the last eight years, Elizabeth Crowley has been a tireless fighter for our community. She stood with us against the Mayor to oppose the disastrous homeless shelter proposal for the Maspeth Holiday Inn,” Barnwell’s statement reads. “This is the kind of leadership that Elizabeth Crowley brings to the Council, and I’m proud to endorse her re-election and stand with her on the issues that matter to our families.”
The lawmaker had told the Chronicle multiple times since Holden announced his candidacy in April that he didn’t expect to officially support anyone in the race.
And his endorsement of Crowley represents something of a departure from his rhetoric during his successful Democratic primary campaign against then-Assemblywoman Marge Markey last year.
Barnwell was present at nearly every nightly protest for over a month, speaking to the crowd of angry constituents multiple times — even being introduced by Holden on some occasions.
And in at least two of those brief speeches, Barnwell took swipes at Crowley for not attending any of those protests.
“Is Liz Crowley here? Who’s that?” Barnwell asked the crowd on Aug. 19. “The fact is [Crowley, Markey and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach)] haven’t showed up to give us an update and it’s atrocious.”
“You guys stopped this. The elected officials didn’t stop this,” Barnwell said on Sept. 10, after the city announced it would not convert the entire hotel into a shelter. “They haven’t stood with us. And it’s not the first time they haven’t stood with us.”
The assemblyman defended his past statements in a Tuesday interview with the Chronicle, saying Crowley deserved credit for bringing a lawsuit against the city over the shelter plan.
“She brought a lawsuit and it was dismissed for a lack of standing. So as a legislator, I brought up a bill that would give us standing,” Barnwell said. “How many other politicians have ever brought a lawsuit against Mayor de Blasio?”
Actually, Letitia James has sued de Blasio multiple times and Rory Lancman has as well. And let's not forget that little lawsuit that saved FMCP from having a shopping mall developed inside it.
Now it's been confirmed that Crowley knew about this shelter months before the community did, and she failed to show up at any of the protests that were held, so this Barnwell statement is a bit suspect.
It's more likely that Barnwell is being threatened with a primary challenge and therefore was "forced" to endorse Dizzy Lizzy and acquiesce to having this statement attributed to him which was obviously written by the Crowley camp. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. Only 8 months in and this guy's already crossed over to the Dark Side.
It must really be terrifying to a pol to be faced with the prospect of having to find a real job.