Ghost of Nixon is Eaton Craig

The Kings County Republican Committee announced this week that Bay Ridge’s Craig Eaton is the new chairman. Yellow Hooker has only one question — why?

Eaton, 46, has a beautiful wife, three kids, and lives in one of those nice houses with a yard; the man, who’s a practicing attorney, practically has his whole life in front of him. He could spend the rest of his days hitting the slots with Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) aide Bob Capano.

But as Republican Chairman, Eaton instead chose to take on the one job in Brooklyn where you are simultaneously ignored and hated. I mean, Democrats outnumber Republicans like cars outnumber bikes on the Gowanus Expressway. Outside of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, Republicans appear as some kind of alien beings, with Bay Ridge Manor as their home planet. So, let’s just say, Eaton has his work cut out for him.

“I believe in the Republican Party and the principles for which it stands,” said Eaton, who will succeed Hy Singer. “Limited government; personal liberties; lower taxes; strong job growth, and a strong national defense.”

Limited government in Brooklyn? In a day and age when it has become difficult to walk down a Brooklyn street and find someone who isn’t working for the government, how can anyone believe victory could be found in downsizing Brooklyn’s largest employer? Can it really be done?

Republican political operative Gerry O’Brien says it can, and that Eaton has the formula for turning Brooklyn blue into Republican red, and it starts one vote at a time.

“All politics are local,” O’Brien said. “We are going to start at the infrastructure, and we are going to bring the blue-collar Republicans back to the party.”

Eaton is well known to Bay Ridge from his days as head of Community Board 10, where he served from 2004 to 2006. In that position, he had to deal with zoning, stoplights, and community gadfly Allen Bortnick. But now he is stepping up a pay grade, and will have to deal with the likes of Conservative Party icon Michael Long from the right and Assemblyman William Colton (D–Bensonhurst) from the left.

O’Brien admits it won’t be easy, but says at least some of the blame can be pinned on Richard Nixon.

“The New York Republican Party has been decimated since Watergate,” O’Brien said. “Our infrastructure was killed, and all these years later we are still fighting our way back.”

Richard Nixon was a long time ago, perhaps the Checkers Speech just didn’t go over as well in Brooklyn living rooms as it did in some others. But now it’s up to Craig Eaton to clean up Nixon’s mess?

What would provoke a man who seemingly had the good life, to jump head first into the lion’s den of Brooklyn politics? Did Eaton lose a bet to Fossella on the over/under for pork-barrel spending?

“No,” answered O’Brien. “The man loves a good challenge.”

I sure hope so, because resurrecting a dead elephant is a lot for one man to deal with, but as they used to say at CB10, if you can deal Allen Bortnick, you can deal with anything.

The Kitchen Sink

“To the lowlife piece of garbage who stole my plant,” read a sign posted on the now-closed Griswold’s Pub front window. “Come see me if you have any guts.” The threat was signed by owner Billy Eisenhardt, who has our sympathies for his missing shrubs. But come on, Billy, Yellow Hooker thinks that the nice large check Valley National Bank gave you to sell our favorite rib shrine is more than enough to cover that tab. …

Congregants of churches slated for the wrecking ball should take note: the April 21 thrift sale at the New Utrecht Reform Church in Bensonhurst was a huge success. In a matter of hours, the church made $2,300 to be used toward restoration of its building, a Brooklyn landmark since 1828. …

What Bay Ridgite is on the verge of becoming a larger-than-life TV star? The man must remain anonymous until the show begins, but Yellow Hooker can say that it will be a new weight-loss reality show on ABC that will be unlike anything you have ever seen. …

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), secured over $60,000 in the budget to support 25 baseball and sports programs throughout the neighborhood. The funding will underwrite the purchase of supplies and equipment for the various teams. …

Mambo Italiano’s, at 8803 Third Ave., wins Yellow Hooker’s undying affection for its half-priced family portions of lasagna on Thursday nights (and the $4 apple martini), but the bananas in our source’s brownie ice cream desert platter were already brown. Then again, at half price, our source was definitely not complaining. …

Councilman Vince Gentile wants to create criminal penalties for damaging religious articles on private property. It’s unclear whether such a law could be applied to individuals destroying their own items of religious worship, you know, like the parishioners at the soon-to-be-demolished Green Church are doing.

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