Saturday, January 14, 2006


UP FRONT News January 14, 2006
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham

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

New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum apparently had her (CIA-connected?) second husband, former labor boss Victor Gotbaum, contact their favorite paper, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, and suggest that she is thinking of running for mayor in 2009. With that quasi announcement, likely mayoral candidate U.S. Congressman Anthony D. Weiner (D.-Bklyn./Queens) has just seen his chances for the Democratic nomination sky- rocket.

Should the next mayoral race, through some sort of satanic intervention, feature the candidacies of, let’s say, Republican Dick Cheney (forced, following his resignation from the Vice-Presidency, to move to the East Village) and Democrat Gotbaum, I’d vote for just about any other third, fourth, or fifth party candidate. The provably paranoid and corrupt Betsy Gotbaum is as qualified to be Mayor as is, say, Clarence Norman or maybe the libel-spewing Geoffrey Blank.

I’ve been acquainted, via a family member of mine, with Betsy Gotbaum since 1979, when she and I first met at a family funeral. I learned then that Ms. Gotbaum had already for years been sort of a part of the family because of her very close friendship with my cousin, Kathy, on my mother’s side. From 1979 until 2001, although Ms. Gotbaum’s name would come up occasionally in family conversations, there was no direct contact between Gotbaum and me. We became re-acquainted in 2001 when she was one of the participants at a Public Advocate candidates forum in the West Village. After the forum, which included candidate Norman Siegel, I went over to Ms. Gotbaum and re-introduced myself. With a quite exuberant burst of surprise, Ms. Gotbaum exclaimed, “Tom, you’re Tom!” and then went on for a few moments about how we hadn’t seen each other in years, etc. etc. We chatted about some family stuff and a little about politics (I had asked a question of all candidates about what they would to do stop staff abuse of homeless people in shelters and drop-in centers) and then, giving me a business card to which she added several personal phone numbers for her, she suggested that I call her “any time”, indicating that the best way to reach her would be at her office as Director of the Museum of Natural History.

A couple of weeks later, still hopeful that her rhetoric about the homeless at the forum might generate some action to stop staff abuses of the homeless at places like the drop-in center known as Peter’s Place (operated by the quite corrupt “not for profit” politically-connected corporation known as the Partnership for the Homeless), meant something, I tried to reach her at the Museum. My calls generated nothing more than a series of hostile telephone receptions and a security guard’s threat to have me arrested.

Unexpectedly Ms. Gotbaum called me one evening at a hotel I was staying at, stating that she was just about to leave for a vacation in the Dominican Republic but that I should call her after she returned. In light of the earlier hostility and her apparent lack of interest in the homeless abuse matter, I had decided to support Mr. Siegel. My work for Mr. Siegel was interrupted when one day at his campaign office on West 72nd Street, he asked to speak with me personally and told me that he had gotten a call from the Got- baum campaign and had been told that I was “stalking” her. I told Mr. Siegel of my family tie to her and of my effort to contacts her about the homeless, explaining that in no way had I “stalked” her. Mr. Siegel accepted my account, smiled and we dropped the subject.

Gotbaum won a fairly close run-off against Mr. Siegel - whose rise to second place run-off status was helped by an UP FRONT News* expose on another candidate former City Councilmember (and now Judge) Kathryn Freed and became Public Advocate. I called her office and was soon given an appointment with her Chief of Staff Scott Coccaro. In- deed, as I arrived for the appointment at the Municipal Building, Ms. Gotbaum, on her way out, waved and said, “Hi, Tom.”

I waited for about 45 minutes past the scheduled appointment time. On several occa- ions a receptionist told me that Mr. Coccaro was delayed and would soon meet with me. And then two gentlemen emerged and introduced themselves as police officers. They ex- plained that they were from the “Intell” Unit of the NYPD and had been called by the Gotbaum office because I had allegedly made a “threat” against Linda Gibbs, the Com- missioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services. I told the officers that nothing of the sort had ever happened and explained that I had been publicly very criti- cal of Ms. Gibbs, who had ignored and covered up evidence of staff abuse of homeless people in shelters and drop-in centers that had been brought to her attention by me through various administrative and journalistic channels. The officers were most cordial and, after asking me a few questions about myself, suggested that I leave and not contact Ms. Gotbaum for at least a few days. I didn’t – ever!

During the 2005 Democratic primary for Public advocate, during a televised campaign debate, candidates Siegel and Andrew Rasiej openly challenged the secretive Gotbaum to reveal the contents of her appointment book since no one really knew what she was doing to earn her substantial Public Advocate salary. She refused, explaining that she was scared to, because she was being bothered by a homeless “stalker.” When I saw that ref- erence in several tabloid articles about the debate, realizing that she was referring to me, I called the Daily News and spoke to City Hall reporter Celesto Katz. Within a very few minutes, Ms. Katz understood that I was the alleged “stalker” Gotbaum had referred to. About two hours later Ms. Katz, a Daily News photographer and I were meeting at my favorite Tribeca tavern, and, while I was nursing a ginger ale, did an interview, the result of which appeared in a Daily News article on August 27, 2005. The News in fact was “scooped” by the New York City Newsday’s City Hall reporter Dan Janison, whose brief but quite thorough story appeared in that newspaper on August 26. That article, by the way, contained the quite important piece of political news of my candidacy as a Demo- crat for the U.S. senate seat still occupied by Hillary Clinton. The New York Times, using my telephone message to reporter Jonathan Hicks, ran a story on August 27. UP FRONT News editorial advisor Willard Whittingham received a call from Staten Island Advance reporter Tom Wrobleski asking for an “exclusive” with me. I spoke to Wrobles- ki on the phone. Not only, in light of the Newsday “scoop”, could he not get an exclusive, his story in the Advance on August 27, was a testament to censored and defamatory re- porting. I now know why in Staten Island, many people read the Advance but few appear to respect it. It seems to be a Republicrat paper dressed up in environmental rhetoric.

Among the reasons why Betsy Gotbaum is so insecure about the cousin of her former friend Kathy, is because the Gotbaum closet cannot accept any more items because it is already fully skeleton-occupied. You see, Betsy Gotbaum apparently has chosen to be- lieve that it would be of no interest to the people of New York that a high elected public official has deep historical marital links to the CIA. At least the first of Ms. Gotbuam’s two husbands was a CIA agent. This fact was first reported in UP FRONT News, and subsequently (accurately) reported in the New York Times and (inaccurately) reported by Wrobleski in the Staten Island Advance. The New York Post, of course, despite my re- ceiving an e-mail from that paper’s Carl Campanile, killed the story. The Village Voice, one of the most censored papers in America, remained voiceless.

The Post, considering its prurient interests, might at some point become curious about a report that the first marriage went down the tubes in a sea of Gotbaum adultery, with the trysts recurrently taking place at a Long Island mansion owned by the wealthy side of my family. At the time this story emerged I was aware that only Ms. Gotbaum’s first husband was a CIA guy. I have learned from two sources, at least one of them credible, (the other one is “left” neo-fascist Maoist Joel Meyers), that Victor Gotbaum also worked (works?) for the CIA, having done some espionage time in Turkey.

Gotbaum sought to secretly atone for her defamation of me by having a spokesperson come to the phone to the phone when UP FRONT News editorial Advisor Willard Whit- tingham, who has known me for about ten years, called her to complain about her “stalk-er” comment. According to Mr. Whtttingham, Ms. Gotbaum retracted her allegation. Now she needs to do that on television and in the newspapers.

The people of this City have always had the right to know if their elected officials are spies and/or are married to spies.

Betsy Gotbaum is not fit to be Mayor – or, for that matter, Public Advocate.
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