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Brannan staffer out for racist comment • Brooklyn Paper

Brannan staffer out for racist comment

Someone was lost in transition.

Bay Ridge’s Councilman-elect Justin Brannan booted one of the members from his 36-person bipartisan transition team this week after he lobbed a racial slur at a Taiwanese-American Manhattan pol.

Warren Chan, who heads the local Asian Community United Society, responded to Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou’s Facebook post about the large voter turnout among black men and women in the Alabama special election, saying, “I don’t understand why so many politically connected Chinese people like to suck black ck [sic].”

Niou fired off at Chan, who once ran failed Bensonhurst district leader candidate Billy Thai’s campaign, and Brannan’s one-time Republican competitors demanded he cut him loose from the team.

Brannan promptly booted Chan, calling his comments “reprehensible and vile,” according to his transition team director, who said they won’t replace him.

Chan’s apology statement did more harm than good, when he accused Niou of purposely trying to ignite a social media firestorm.

“I want to apologize to everyone that was offended by the profanity in my recent social media comment. If a normal person received a profanity post in their facebook, they [sic] only thing they can do is to report the profanity to facebook’s moderator and there is nothing else they can do,” Chan wrote in an e-mailed statement. “However, Assemblywoman Niou is an elected official. She feels she is entitled to special treatment. Assemblywoman Niou decided to use her elected official’s power and connection to escalate this into an EPIC media outrage.”

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He’s crossing party lines like its the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge!

Brooklyn’s lone Republican congressman, Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge), yet again defied his party’s leaders and voted against the controversial tax bill on Tuesday, which the majority of his Grand Old Party colleagues passed in the House this week.

The Rock-to-Ridge pol’s vote against the $1.5 trillion bill — which non-partisan experts say will give more benefits to wealthy families and corporations than to lower- and middle-income households, and will actually raise taxes for many of Donovan’s constituents — follows on the heels of his unexpected “nay” vote on the also-controversial American Health Care Act back in May.

And his reasoning is the same as last time — the legislation would hurt his constituents, the pol said in a statement.

“I wanted nothing more than to vote for a tax plan that would put more money in the pockets of overburdened taxpayers and spur job creation. However, the bill that came out of the conference committee still means a tax increase for many Staten Island and Brooklyn residents,” said Donovan. “My priority always has and will continue to be the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn who sent me to Congress to represent them. Their interests come before Washington, always.”

The tax bill, which is considered to bring some of the most significant changes to the tax code in decades, also passed through the Senate, and now moves onto President Trump’s desk, where he is expected to sign it this week.

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He’s eyeing two seats at once!

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Midwood), who is running for Council Speaker to replace term-limited Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito (D–Manhattan), may also be eyeing Gov. Cuomo’s seat, state records show.

Williams registered a campaign committee with the state Board of Elections, “Jumaane 4 NY,” though he hasn’t yet raised any cash.

Williams’s Kings County colleague, Councilman Robert Cornegy (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant) was considered an early frontrunner for the Speaker’s seat, but now the 51-person Council is expected to vote in January for a pol from the distant isle, Councilman Corey Johnson (D–Manhattan).

But William’s office denied the potential statewide-run, saying his only focus now is on the speaker’s seat.

“While he has serious issues with the current Governor and state government, and believes that he has earned himself a primary, Council Member Williams is committed to becoming the next Speaker of the Council when the members vote in January,” said his spokesman.

• • •

He’s breaking promises like a broken record.

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Midwood), who caucuses across the aisle with the Republicans to give the Grand Old Party a majority in the Senate, apparently broke his promise that he would rejoin the Democratic fold if it would tip the balance of power when he vowed to stay with the Republicans until at least after the state’s budget is passed, according to the New York Post.

Felder, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines in 2016 and has one of the most conservative voting records among all of his 62 colleagues up in Albany, told this paper back in March that he would be “happy” to caucus with the Democrats if it were the majority — and blamed the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, which also sits across the aisle with the Grand Old Party, for impeding that from a Democratic majority.

But even after calls from the Democratic party for the breakaway conference to rejoin the True Blues appeared to bear fruit, Felder said he is still holding out.

“Some people think they can bully and intimidate me into moving right now. I will not allow their political calculations to hurt my constituents and New Yorkers,” Felder said. “We deserve a thorough, thoughtful, and timely Budget process, not one that is fractured and chaotic because of political gamesmanship. I will not consider any call for unity until after a Budget is in place.”

• • •

He’s moving on up!

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–Bay Ridge) became the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday — a panel charged with governing the administration of justice within the federal government, including impeachment.

The Brooklyn pol, an outspoken critic of President Trump, whose district also spans across the East River into Manhattan, said he’s honored to take over the role during this critical period in politics to ensure the White House doesn’t move the country backwards.

“Our efforts — to hold the Administration and those wishing to turn back history’s long arc towards justice accountable — are central to the defense of progress and democracy,” Nadler said in a statement. “We must fight to protect the rule of law, strengthen our safety and security from enemies foreign and domestic, shield Americans’ rights and liberties from encroachment, and guarantee that all people, no matter their age, race, gender, religion, ability, finances, nationality, or sexual orientation, are treated fairly and equally.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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