Are they Democrats in name only?
The head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party and the party’s highest-ranking elected official both turned against their party’s nominees for the Nov. 3 general election when they lent their endorsements to non-Democratic candidates.
Democratic Party boss, Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D–Bushwick), endorsed Working Families Party candidate Maritza Davila in her race against incumbent Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick) — and given Reyna’s razor-thin margin over Davila in the Democratic primary last month, Lopez’s support for Davila in the rematch could tip the scale.
That news came just one day after Borough President Marty Markowitz passed up his chance to endorse Democrat — and Brooklyn native — Bill Thompson and backed Republican Mayor Bloomberg.
Unsurprisingly, Dems across the borough were aghast at both pols.
Councilmember Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) accused Markowitz of making the decision for the financial “benefit of his office” while her colleague Charles Barron (D–East New York) called Markowitz “a traitor” for backing Bloomberg.
“How on God’s Earth does Marty Markowitz endorse the Mayor,” rhetorically asked Barron.
Democratic voters were equally dismayed.
“I feel really, really disappointed with Marty,” said former Independent Neighborhood Democrats President Kenn Lowy. “Everybody assumes that Bloomberg is going to win, so no one wants to piss him off.”
Markowitz told a Brooklyn Paper reporter that his decision to endorse Bloomberg wasn’t the easy thing to do — but the right thing to do.
“If I was doing this for my political career, I wouldn’t think of supporting anyone but Billy Thompson,” said the Beep, who also endorsed Bloomberg four years ago. “But I think [Bloomberg] merits a third term in office.”
Meanwhile in Bushwick, Dems claim that Lopez’s feud with his one-time protégé Reyna over the city’s controversial, Lopez-backed plan to allow residential development in the so-called Broadway Triangle played a role in his decision to endorse Davila on the Working Families line.
“He’s not acting as the official head of the Democratic Party,” said Democratic District Leader Alan Fleishman. “It’s not the way it should be. We had a Democratic primary [and] he ran a candidate against the councilmember. His candidate lost. Now we have a Democratic nominee. He’s the head of the Democratic Party. He should be supporting that nominee.”
Calls to Lopez’s office were not returned by The Brooklyn Paper’s stringent deadlines.
©2009 Community News Group
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