Monday, September 28, 2009

Lefties Wrestle Over NYC: It's ACORN vs. Air America

The Working Families Party is a subsidiary of ACORN; Bertha Lewis is not only chief organizer of ACORN, she is also co-chair of the Working Families Party in New York.

Tomorrow, two Working Family Party candidates will be running against progressive Democrats in a NYC Democrat primary run-off. One of these ACORN candidates is Bill de Blasio, a City Councilman from Brooklyn running for the position of NYC's Public Advocate, next in line to the mayor. De Blasio's opponent is Mark Green, a former NYC public advocate who went on to preside over Air America Radio, the doomed Progressive talk radio network.

ACORN vs. Air America Radio. That's New York City.

Why would ACORN want their candidate to hold the position of Public Advocate? Perhaps to control city legislation, services, programs, pensions ($34 billion in assets), and "facilitate" voter registration and voting, to mention only some of the assorted powers that go with the job. Plus to act as the official lawsuit-bringing fox guarding the city hen house.

Right up ACORN's alley.

The Big Apple's Public Advocate holds plenty of clout, including the power to:

  • preside over the City Council (most of the 11 new Council nominees were endorsed by the Working Families Party),

  • act as ex-officio member of all Council committees,

  • introduce legislation,

  • review and investigate complaints relating to services and programs;

  • inquire into alleged failures of city officers or agencies,

  • serve on the Board of the New York City Employees' Retirement System ,

  • sit on the appointments committee to select the Director of the Independent Budget Office, and

  • act as a commissioner of the Voter Assistance Commission to encourage and facilitate voter registration and voting by all eligible United States citizens residing in New York City, etc.

According to the NY Times, which endorsed de Blasio (despite his known "cosiness with unions"):

Dan Cantor, the executive director of the Working Families Party, said Mr. de Blasio had established “a dense and deep network of connections” among community-based organizations and advocacy groups.

“He was not known by the broad voting public in a way that Mark Green is, but he was known by tenant advocates and homeless services providers and by union shop stewards,” Mr. Cantor said. “They know who Bill de Blasio is, and they spread the word.”

A recent debate between de Blasio and Green "was dominated by exchanges over private consulting fees, political contributions and endorsements."

From the beginning, Mr. de Blasio found himself answering questions about the accounting practices of the Working Families Party (which has endorsed him), and the $33,000 that he was paid in 2006 as a consultant to the Progressive America Foundation (Mr. de Blasio said it had been preapproved by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board).

The NY Daily News had a slightly different take on that $33 grand:

Public advocate candidate Bill de Blasio set a bad precedent when he hired himself out in 2006 as a paid lobbyist while serving on the City Council.

An organization called the Progressive America Foundation paid de Blasio $33,000 to press states to adopt election rules that would enable groups like the Working Families Party to more easily field candidates.

No doubt you've already guessed that the Progressive America Foundation has ties to the Working Families Party. No surprise there.

Charles Lenchner of the Working Families Party put it well: "For the first time, America has a community organizer in the White House. What if we put a whole slate of community organizers in City Hall?"

Get ready, New York. Maybe your new City Hall can do for you what Obama has done for the rest of America.

Related Posts:

Notice Any Familiar Names in ACORN's List of Friends?

Poor ACORN: Tax Evasion, Investment Fraud, Racketeering

ACORN Has Its Own Political Party--And It's Winning Elections

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