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Brook-Krasny vs. Capano • Brooklyn Paper

Brook-Krasny vs. Capano

Republican challenger Bob Capano made a point during his debate with Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny in The Brooklyn Paper’s DUMBO newsroom last week. Both men are seeking The Paper’s editorial endorsement.
The Brooklyn Paper / Kristen Joy Watts

State Assembly hopeful Bob Capano attacked incumbent Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Bay Ridge) for being a no-show on local issues — but the assemblyman said he was too busy working behind the scenes to take part in futile PR stunts such as a lawsuit to “save” Victory Memorial Hospital.

In fact, he said he is so active on local issues that he once accosted Mayor Bloomberg in a men’s room!

That was certainly a highlight during several fiery exchanges in the candidates’ Oct. 24 debate at the DUMBO offices of The Brooklyn Paper, where Capano, a Republican, repeatedly tried to cast the incumbent as a do-nothing politician, while the first-term incumbent coolly emphasized his work outside of public view.

Capano went on the attack first — and stayed on it throughout much of the debate — singling out Brook-Krasny as a “no show” during the ultimately unsuccessful hospital fight and lawsuit.

“Every single local elected official who represents Victory Memorial hospital … worked in a bipartisan way to fight the good fight, a fight that needed fighting,” said Capano, a former aide to shamed Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) and Borough President Markowitz, a Democrat.

“The only local elected official who didn’t join that effort…was my opponent,” said Capano (debate time code, 11:07) in his quest for the 46th Assembly District seat, which stretches across the Fort Hamilton section of Bay Ridge, and includes Dyker Heights, Coney Island, Brighton Beach and other neighborhoods.

But Brook-Krasny — a Soviet émigré, community activist and former small business owner — said he was active in backroom negotiations to save the ailing 92nd Street hospital, and integral in establishing an urgent care facility at the medical center, which is now SUNY Downstate Bay Ridge.

“The situation at Victory was such that I didn’t think anyone would be able to save the hospital,” he said (16:55). “But I was still trying to get an emergency care and I am sorry I didn’t get an emergency care.”

Brook-Krasny — who promised to fight in his second term to bring an ER back to Victory — said he was absent from protests and avoided the failed lawsuit because he is a “practical man.”

“To me, [the lawsuit] was rather a PR move than anything else,” said Brook-Krasny (21:10).

Capano also called out Brook-Krasny for not taking a part in establishing the Greenmarket in the former Key Food parking lot in Bay Ridge (44:10), but the incumbent again argued that he was making deals behind the scenes that allowed the farmers to take root (44:30).

Evoking a recent uptick in burglaries in Bay Ridge, Capano also struck at Brook-Krasny for twice voting against the “Chronic Criminal Act,” which would reclassify as felons individuals who are found guilty of four misdemeanors, sentencing them to up to four-years in prison (50:15).

Brook-Krasny could not explain why he opposed the bill.

Republican nominee Bob Capano debated Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny for The Brooklyn Paper’s editorial endorsement.
The Brooklyn Paper / Kristen Joy Watts

“I have to look into it,” he said (52:33). “I voted on it, but I voted also on some other 2,000 bills, so I have to look into it. I could make things up, but I don’t want to. I’m going to get back to you on that.”

The candidates also clashed over their visions for a redeveloped Coney Island — or at least how they would go about discussing their ideas with Mayor Bloomberg.

Brook-Krasny, who once ran an entertainment business, suggested to Mayor Bloomberg in an Albany restroom (28:17) that year-round amusements could make Coney Island self-sustainable.

Capano didn’t disagree with Brook-Krasny’s model for Coney Island redevelopment, but he said he would have chosen a better venue to discuss it with the mayor.

“Being an elected official who represents Coney Island, I don’t know if I would wait to bump into the Mayor in the bathroom before sharing my views,” said Capano. (30:35). “I think I would try to talk to the mayor’s staff in a more professional way months and years ago when this was first occurring.”

“Good luck getting them on the phone,” Brook-Krasny replied.

Capano also tried to edge out his rival by calling into question more than $7,000 of campaign contributions that Coney Island developer Joe Sitt gave Brook-Krasny (32:23), but the incumbent struck back in jest.

“Are you afraid that you would be bought by $7,000, Bob?” asked Brook-Krasny (32:44). “That’s all?”ney Island redevelopment, but he said he would have chosen a better venue to discuss it with the mayor.

“Being an elected official who represents Coney Island, I don’t know if I would wait to bump into the Mayor in the bathroom before sharing my views,” said Capano. (30:35). “I think I would try to talk to the mayor’s staff in a more professional way months and years ago when this was first occurring.”

“Good luck getting them on the phone,” Brook-Krasny replied.

Capano also tried to edge out his rival by calling into question more than $7,000 of campaign contributions that Coney Island developer Joe Sitt gave Brook-Krasny (32:23), but the incumbent struck back in jest.

“Are you afraid that you would be bought by $7,000, Bob?” asked Brook-Krasny (32:44). “That’s all?”pano

The Brooklyn Paper / Kristen Joy Watts

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