Wednesday, October 26, 2005


UP FRONT News October 28, 2005
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham

“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”

Perhaps, now that Fernando Ferrer and I have met briefly a couple of times and now that he has access to UP FRONT News, he is getting the message, which is that for him to bend over backwards for the right wing Hillary Clinton-John Kerry wing of his political party in his effort to overtake Bloomberg, pretty much assures the Democratic Mayoral candidate a resounding defeat. Quite aside from the fact that Bloomberg has essentially purchased the center-right constituency in New York, it is abrasively apparent that Hillary Clinton and her husband are busy not in any way politically challenging Bloomberg, while doing their absolute minimum as registered Democrats to help Ferrer.

Considering the chronology of personal and e-mail contacts between Mr. Ferrer and me, it is evident that it was not until he read the recent UP FRONT News story headlined “Cindy Sheehan Blasts Hillary the Hawk”, which is precisely what the now internationally known peace activist did in a strong speech she delivered in Brooklyn a few days ago, that Ferrer spoke up clearly about the War that Hillary supports every bit as fervently as her president, George W. Bush. Whether or not Ferrer has the backbone to speak up for the Bringing America Home Act, a major piece of legislation that meaningfully addresses the affordable housing/homelessness crisis in America – and which Clinton is trying to kill (not surprising in light of her close ties to Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and other imperialists) – remains to be seen.

“Freddy” Ferrer has also seen a steady stream of black clergy succumbing to the soft core Republican billionaire beguiling siren song of Bloomberg. It is to be hoped, even as receives some support at rallies from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, that he reaches out to ministers like the Rev. Dr. Timothy P. Mitchell, the greatly respected and enormously influential pastor of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Flushing, Queens (a church of which I am a baptized member.) Rev. Mitchell has made it crystal clear to me that he is opposed to Bloomberg’s re-election. And I suspect that Rev. Dr. Herbert
Daughtry, to whose House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn I also belong, (and whose name is occasionally mentioned in what may be libelous ways by some folks opposing his participation in the “Community Benefits Agreement” signed with developer Forest City Ratner for the Atlantic Yards* project centered, at least in the media, around a stadium for the New Jersey to Brooklyn Nets) a minister who has always put human rights before property “rights”, feels similarly.

Another far less “mainstream” person could also be factor that Ferrer might consider. In the recent Democratic primary for mayor, Christopher Brodeur, a professional writer and thorn-in-the-side, polled a surprising 17,000 votes and states proudly that he out- polled Upper-East-Side-rich-guy-trying-to-sound-proletarian Gifford Miller in the Bronx. Mr. Brodeur, whose campaign was based on the not at all outrageous platform centerpiece proclaiming that politically-motivated lying should be a crime, has told me that, although he hardly regards Mr. Ferrer as God’s answer, he perceives Mayor Bloom-
berg as totally unacceptable. Mr. Brodeur has expressed to me an interest in communicating with the Ferrer campaign on certain issues. Brodeur is, at least for now, running as a write-in candidate. Ferrer needs every vote he can get – even if a few of them are casts by anarchists. An UP FRONT News endorsement is pending.
*While I am supportive of those aspects of the Atlantic Yards community benefit Agreement that provide a significant number of what are said to be “affordable” apartments, I remain innately suspicious of mega-developers, many of whom I see as major contributors to homelessness. Additionally, I think that, for sports-related reasons, this project may become a loser. And that is because the Nets, who, even when they have had highly competitive teams, have always had trouble drawing in very nearby New Jersey. And when the Nets were athletically only marginally competitive, which, over the years, has been often, they play to a sea of empty seats. And, given the economics of profes-
sional basketball, the usual way of attempting to ward off defeat on the court is by throwing obscene amounts of money at athletes, many of whom are far more deeply motivated by material wealth than by more creative athletic pursuits.
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