Disgraced former congressman Michael Grimm has been out of jail for less than a month following a seven-month stint for tax fraud — and Brooklyn voters are already clamoring for him to take back his old Rock-Ridge seat.
Grimm (inset below) — who once threatened to “break” a reporter “in half” for asking the tough questions — copped to one count of federal tax evasion in a 20-count indictment last year, but that’s all water under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, because the former Marine and federal investigator has such an otherwise stellar record, one Ridge voter said.
“Grimm’s whole life was public service, he was a very, very hard worker for his constituents,” said Bay Ridgite Angela Sisto, who volunteered for his 2012 campaign. “I’m ready to volunteer tomorrow. I would do anything I could to get him back as my representative.”
Another Bay Ridgite of 50 years said she’d take Grimm over his replacement, Rep. Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge), who coasted to victory in a special election last year.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him again,” said Susan Pritchard.
But if Grimm were to launch his own campaign against Donovan, it would create a schism within the party, said Glenn Nocera, president of the Brooklyn Tea Party.
“He was a good congressman, I just think it would create a division and I think Donovan is doing a good job right now,” he said.
Both Donovan’s campaign and Michael Grimm declined to comment.
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An upstart facing Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–Bensonhurst) is telling people that the longtime congressman is so scared of the challenge that he is both threatening the newcomer and promising to help him get other jobs.
“Jerry sent two different people to meet with me to convince me not to run, telling me that there’s still ways for me to have a soft landing here,” said Oliver Rosenberg (inset, left) during a meeting with the Southern Brooklyn Democratic Club on May 23. “And then they told me if I do run against the congressman, I’m going to be humiliated.”
Rosenberg claims that two of Nadler’s (inset, right) emissaries tried to intimidate him into dropping his campaign. The first threat was a phone call that came just two days after he filed the petition to get his name on the ballot, and the second was over lunch, says Rosenberg, who couldn’t offer any evidence besides phone records showing an eight-minute call from a Nadler ally.
The congressman’s people threatened to put Rosenberg’s mother “on the cover of the New York Post,” Rosenberg told politicos at the May 23 meeting. The challenger’s spokesman later clarified to this paper that Nadler’s people did not make a specific threat against his mother — but that Rosenberg used that as an example of the types of warnings allegedly levied against him.
Rosenberg also claims the incumbent’s people tried to butter up the challenger by offering to help him raise money for a city council bid, but Rosenberg is not taking the offers, he told club members.
Nadler — who took office in 1992 and has not faced a primary opponent in 20 years — declined to comment.