Friday, September 14, 2007


UP FRONT News September 1, 2007
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”


Because this article is very critical of several gay elected officials, and so that I am not falsely accused of being anti-gay, it is necessary for me to state at the outset that, while I am not gay, I am for full gay rights, including the right to marry. Considering the human rights legacy of the famous Stonewall Rebellion late in the last millennium, this is a story about stonewalling politicians.

Because I am in need of assistance from at least one elected official with regard to some very serious problems – some involving my health and welfare – with several government agencies, last spring I contacted my State Assemblyman Matthew Titone, (D.-Staten Island). I chose him because I had previously been angrily refused assistance by my City Councilman Michael McMahon, who in an e-mail informed me that he objected to my criticism in UP FRONT News of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Indeed I did criticize her for her non-response to my January 30, 2006 e-mail to her via her Chief of Staff Chuck Meara urging a City Council resolution, citing the Chinese Communist Genocide in Tibet, calling for the removal of the 2008 Olympics from Beijing. Ms. Quinn in 2001 had taken credit for resolution #802, which I did most of the lobbying for with her Council colleague at the time, Kathryn Freed, which denounced the Chinese Communists for their actions in Tibet but did not mention that absolutely critical Olympics matter. Ms. Quinn, in trying to stop Council action opposing the Olympics, is doing the nefarious bidding of her nefarious boss Hillary Clinton who, anxious to continue making a lot of money in China, like her pal Rupert Murdoch, is quite tight with the Chinese Communist government. I also have criticized Quinn about her record of support for real estate developers at the expense of the tenants she claims to speak for. More recently I have criticized her for her high-handed, arrogant effort to veto the renaming of several blocks of a Brooklyn Street after black nationalist Sonny Abubadika Carson. I am on record as being strongly opposed to her planned mayoral candidacy since I think she would continue the Giuliani/Bloomberg record of over-development and hostility to civil liberties. If the Democratic primary for mayor were today, I would vote for long shot but very serious candidate City Councilman Tony Avella (D.-Queens).

Regarding the aforementioned constituent assistance, I did not approach my State Senator Diane Savino for a very good reason. Several years ago, when I was homeless and had been robbed of my hotel rent money, after U.S. Senator Clinton refused to assist me on a very urgent related Social Security matter, I went to Ms. Savino’s office on Richmond Terrace with an appointment to see her Chief of Staff Robert Cataldo. When I got to the office, no one was there except Cataldo. As soon as he saw me he bolted out from behind his desk and, advancing on me in a distinctly menacing manner, threw a profanity-laced tantrum and threatened me with arrest if I didn’t leave at once. When I later spoke by telephone to Savino about the matter, she said, “Don’t worry about Cataldo” and then completely and willfully screwed up on the Social Security matter. My complaint against him for criminal harassment is on file with the NYPD.

Previously I had gone to the office of then Assemblyman John Lavelle, whose staff consisting of Chief of Staff Keith Pascandarola and constituent services liaison Dorothy Crimmins, totally bungled everything and then referred me to U.S. Congressman Vito Fossella, whose office made things worse. What was needed, as per the law, was a letter in my behalf to the Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration in Balti- more and Washington – not to a local or regional official – requesting that I receive an expedited Social Security check. Very belatedly, after Crimminms contacted the locals and was predictably turned down, Pascandarola belatedly faxed a letter to the SSA Commissioner, but, after no receiving a reply, refused to follow up. I was pretty much without funds and ended up traveling to the Bronx and Queens to borrow money from my friend Willard Whittingham and my minister Rev. Timothy P. Mitchell.

Mr. Lavelle died quite suddenly of a stroke earlier this year and, after the Michael Mc- McMahon-controlled Democratic Party machine that runs the north shore of Staten Island like Carmine DeSapio used to run Manhattan, anointed Matthew Titone as the nominee to succeed Lavelle, Titone won in a special election. Indeed, after I had listened to some-thing of a brief campaign speech supporting Titone from Staten Island gay rights and peace activist Marjorie Ramos, I voted for him and indeed told him so directly on Election Day when I met him as he was campaigning at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George.

My initial calls and e-mails to Mr. Titone received no response whatsoever. When someone finally picked up at Titone’s apparently rarely occupied office (I went out to his new district office on Forest Avenue one warm spring day during business hours and it was closed without even a listing of hours; this is what our tax money goes to) after several weeks, it was Keith Pascandarola, charitably hired as the Chief of Staff to Titone. He said he wasn’t “set up” yet and asked me to call again in a few days. That led me nowhere because the pattern of non-response resumed.

Through a friend with good Democratic Party connections, I was able to access Jessica Loeser, a staffer for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. With some prodding, she agreed to contact Titone. That generated an obscenely belated e-mail from Pascandarola offering to help but only via e-mail. He was unresponsive to my reply that, because of various documents and the complexities of the issues involved, a face-to-face meeting was necessary. From that point on Titone began his quite convincing impersonation of Dick Cheney being asked about quail hunting. Ms. Loeser, (whose husband is Stu Loeser, Michael Bloomberg’s Press Secretary; it is known as a “power marriage”), who is about as advocacy oriented as Marie Antoinette, said that there is nothing more she would do.

In January I had met State Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer at a Martin Luther King event at the First Central Baptist Church in my current home community of Stapleton, S.I. She is known as a progressive with strong ties to the peace and civil rights movements. She was in the company of, aside from he husband, lawyer Norman Siegel and Rev. Demetrius Carolina, Pastor of FCBC. Since I am quite well acquainted with Mr. Siegel and quite well known in political circles in Staten Island (having, with great difficulty, penetrated the tightly controlled Staten Island Advance, resulting in a front page story on August 21, 2006 about my Democratic write-in candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Mrs. Clinton) I was able to meet Ms. Hyer-Spencer, and exchange e-mail addresses. She has since become familiar with UP FRONT News.

Getting nowhere with the very secretive and non-responsive Titone, I paid Ms. Hyer-Spencer, who represents the Assembly district adjacent to mine, an unscheduled visit in her district office in Grant City. She happened to be in at the time and, instantly recognizing me, invited me to sit down. We spent over an hour together, during which time, among some legislative matters, I told her of my problems with Titone - as well as with Clinton McMahon, and Savino. She took some information about the very serious constituent matters warranting Titone’s intervention and said that she would contact “Matt” and urge him to meet with me. A number of weeks went by before, following a number of e-mail exchanges, Ms. Hyer-Spencer sent an e-mail to me and to my advisor, college professor Steven Gradman, advising me that Mr. Titone was willing to meet but stating that he wants the meeting to be held at the 120th precinct.

The quite evidently extremely insecure Titone was apparently frightened as a result of the very slanted reporting in the Staten Island Advance on August 27, 2005 in a story about me having been publicly defamed as a “stalker” by the quite overtly paranoid NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, with whom, via a family member of mine, I’ve been personally acquainted since 1979. Gotbaum, you see, aside from covering up staff abuse of homeless people in drop-in centers (such as Project Hospitality in the Titone/Lavelle/Savino/McMahon district, and Peter’s Place in Quinn’s district), is (at least maritally) linked to the CIA. Indeed, Sgt. Al Fiore, the police officer Gotbaum summoned to arrest me some years ago when I was at her Municipal Building office with a scheduled appointment to discuss the abuse of the homeless matter, turned out to be far more competent and mentally healthy than the psychologically impaired Gotbaum. He interviewed me at some length, realized that I was no “threat” to Gotbaum and advised me to go home at leave Gotbaum alone at least for awhile. Sgt. Fiore, who understands politics, has long since officially cleared me security-wise and made that fact known in writing to Mr. Titone – and any other government official who might be interested. Titone ignored Sgt. Fiore’s e-mail and continued to insist on meeting me at the 120th precinct.

My attorney, Jacob J. Goodman (who is very seriously ill at this time), citing the previous harassments against me in the offices of Gotbaum and Savino, has advised me never to go to a meeting with a government official in a government official without a prior written guarantee that I will not be harassed or arrested. Since Titone did not respond to my suggestion of a more appropriate civilian venue for the meeting, I asked for a guarantee letter. Titone’s “response” has been to continue his impersonation of Dick Cheney.

Some weeks ago I joined Rev. Carolina’s First Central Baptist Church. Rev. Carolina, like African-American Baptist ministers everywhere, knows Rev. Mitchell, the prominent civil rights leader and friend and advisor to Dr. King who some years ago baptized me at his Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Flushing, Queen. (I did not “convert”; I am a Judeo-Christian.) Rev. Carolina, whose eloquent sermons evoke both King and Mitchell, and I met several weeks ago about the Titone problem. Rev. Carolina agreed that the 120th precinct is not an appropriate place to meet and at my request offered his church as the venue. He then contacted Mr. Titone and they met at his church. Titone, after having rebuffed me, and then having ignored the NYPD, in refusing to meet at FCBC, is messing with a higher authority. As Rev. Carolina – and Mr. Titone – are aware, I will not be intimidated by the Assemblyman’s effort to create a police state in Staten Island.

Matthew Titone, whose Chief of Staff Pascandarola is in direct violation of his constituent responsibilities as specified in his publicly available job description (there is no written job description for State Assemblymembers; no wonder these characters do what they feel like even if it means screwing over a constituent who makes them nervous) is, for Clinton/Quinn/
McMahon /Savino/Gotbaum-related political reasons, violating my rights as a citizen of his district.

Titone and Quinn, as far as I am concerned, are two corrupt politicians who have managed to use their biological gay rights credentials as a Trojan Horse with the overlapping categories of liberals and Democrats. In fact, especially since they are in service of the Republicrat Clinton – not to speak of Savino (who seems to have no concern that her Chief of Staff has had at least one overtly psychotic episode in her office) and the really arrogant McMahon, they are defrauding the public since, at least in my case, they are not doing what they are being paid to do.

Just about anyone that I have talked to about this agrees that this kind of corruption by elected officials in Staten Island is a story for The Advance. It is also true that there are reasons why many progressives in Staten Island refer to that newspaper as “The Retreat.” One of the reasons for that has to be political editor Tom Wrobleski. Wrobleski for months suppressed the news of my Senate candidacy. Wrobleski, however, in August of 2005 had no choice other than to write about me because he let The Advance get scooped by NYC Newsday on my U.S. Senate candidacy and the Gotbaum vs. Weiss matter. Indeed, Dan Janison’s Newsday article on me, appearing on August 26, 2005 was much fairer and objective than Wrobleski’s error-riddled and pro-Gotbaum/Savino slanted piece. Indeed, the Daily News and New York Times stories, appearing on August 27, 2005 as did Wrobleski’s in The Advance, by respectively reporters Celeste Katz and Jonathan Hicks, were more accurate that Wrobeski’s. And when it came to my Senate candidacy, after Wrobleski continued in his pursuit of a spot on the U.S. Olympic team competing for a gold medal in not answering calls or e-mails, I went over his head to news editor Dean Balsamini. The aforementioned front page story (which was okay but, thanks to Wrobleski, went very, very easy on Clinton) was published as a result. Maybe The Advance can do better this time. All they need to do is contact a minister – and me.

There are many reasons why the New York State legislature has earned the title of “the worst in the country.” Matthew Titone – among some aforementioned others the taxpay-ers are subsidizing – is one of those reasons.
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