A Republican candidate running to fill the vacant Bay Ridge-to-Coney Island Assembly seat is taking a page out of the script of the popular show “Game of Thrones” by proposing disgraced pols be forced to parade through their communities in order to shame them.
Steve Saperstein, who threw his hat into the ring to replace former Assemblywoman Pam Harris (D–Coney Island), who resigned after the Feds charged her with stealing money from storm-recovery agencies, said the first bill he would pitch in Albany would be one forcing convicted politicians to do 500 hours of community service in their own neighborhood, and to face the constituents they betrayed.
“I promise voters in the district that if I am elected, I will make it a priority to work with my colleagues, both left and right, to pass a bill that would force these corrupt politicians to do mandatory community service in the district so they can face voters face-to-face,” said Saperstein, who lives in Trump Village.
Saperstein said he got the idea for his bill, first reported by the New York Post, after Harris pleaded guilty to several crimes on June 12.
“These politicians who rob, cheat and corrupt our system of government should be forced to do a ‘perp walk’ throughout the district, end to end, ‘Game of Thrones’ style,” said Saperstein, who lost to Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) in November. “Politicians who have no respect for their constituents should be shamed!”
Saperstein, who has the support of the Republican and Conservative parties, claims there is precedent in other states where public shaming is already on the books, citing a law in Minnesota that forces motorists who have racked up several driving while intoxicated arrests to put a “W” on their license plates, and he says the idea would be to put an end to corruption in Albany.
“My campaign is about ending the corruption that the New York State government is, unfortunately, known for,” he said. “We need accountability for these bad actors; something that tells them that if they want to act like monsters, they will be treated as such.”
• • •
Both the incumbent and challenger claimed victory on June 19 after a heated debate in the race for the congressional seat that runs from Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay up to Park Slope and Crown Heights, just one week before the Democratic primary on June 26.
Challenger Adem Bunkeddeko, running to unseat Rep. Yvette Clarke (D–Crown Heights), who has held her post since 2007, blasted the pol for failing to pass any of her own legislation while in office.
“We won this debate, and we believe the voters will agree that with Trump in the White House, Brooklyn can’t afford a congressmember who can’t pass legislation or get the job done,” said Bunkeddeko, whom the New York Times editorial board just endorsed.
But Clarke fired back, defending her record of co-sponsoring 121 bills that have become law and accusing Bunkeddeko of misleading her constituents.
“My opponent has been extremely deceiving to the people of the Ninth Congressional District,” she said.
Clarke also called out her opponent’s lack of basic knowledge of how the legislative process works in Washington, and how bills are written and passed. When asked by host Errol Louis if he would like to amend his allegations over Clarke’s lack of legislative achievements in light of facts indicating otherwise, Bunkeddeko refused to modify his statements.
• • •
Critics are slamming a convicted felon running for Congress after he equated the cries of kids just ripped away from their parents at the United States border to toddlers crying out for their moms at daycare.
The former Ridge-to-Rock pol told NY1 that he “can take you to any nursery and you will hear the exact same things,” while defending President Trump’s controversial zero-tolerance policy which includes separating children from their families at the border.
Public Advocate Tish James, who is running for New York State Attorney General, said his comments are a disgrace.
“This response is as heartless as it is dangerous,” said James on Twitter. “[He] does not represent New York or American values and we will do everything in our state to ensure that these children are given the love and compassion that all children deserve.”
And two Democratic candidates including Omar Vaid and Max Rose vying for the same seat to replace Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge) also blasted the former pol for his hate-filled remarks, charging he only made them to woo more conservative voters after Trump recently threw his support behind the incumbent.
“These comments are asinine,” said Rose on social media. “They are abhorrent and devoid of any humanity or common sense. And he said it all to try and win an election. There are some things more important than winning an election. Michael Grimm has no business running for office.”