Saturday, May 31, 2008


UP FRONT News May 29, 2008
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."


By Tom Weiss

It is only in part because of the Fall of Fossella (another "family values" guy with a very extended "family") that Staten Island is likely to be in the center of politics here in 2008 and 2009. While much attention is being given to the post-Fossella feeding frenzy (at the trough are the opportunistic Reagan Democrat City Councilman Michael McMahon and it appears Staten Island Advance editor-censor Tom "Wrongleski" Wrobleski pal Republican Curtis Sliwa, both of whom do not want to see a progressive Democrat like Steve Harrison win), the City Council race (49th district) is going to be heavy.

The first announced City Council candidate was African-American activist and College of Staten Island faculty member Debi Rose. Ms. Rose ran in 2005 and lost a close race in the Democratic primary to the incumbent McMahon. In the general election she ran as a Liberal and was predictably crushed by the Democratic Party machine.

Some months ago Ms. Rose invited me to a campaign meeting which (perhaps in violation of election law) was held at the Staten Island Museum. Ms. Rose's first problem emerged almost immediately.

That problem is named David Jones, who ran the meeting as I imagine Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. must run his meetings. Ms. Rose delivered a summary of her platform. She mentioned not a syllable about what I and many others consider to be a major issue: gentrification/overde- velopment/affordable housing. When I sought to ask a question the very, very autocratic Jones declared that my issue was "not on the table." Fortunately Ms. rose, not seeking to alienate a journalist-voter as Jones had already done, gave a vague statement on housing. It then took her weeks to finally respond to my calls and an e-mail requesting more detail. That response was also vague.

And so Ms. Rose appears weak on the major issue of gentrification, which will be large in North Shore Staten Island, a part of New York City that has the developers and their friends in politics - e.g. Michael Bloomberg, McMahon pal Christine ("Slush Fund Queen") Quinn - salivating as they plan to convert downtown Staten Island (St. George, Stapleton, Tompkinsville, Clifton into another Soho.

As far as David Jones is concerned, as long as this episodically violent guy (last April 5 he almost assaulted me at a Peace Action of Staten Island event in the parking lot of the First Central Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. Demetrius Carolina, of which I am a member) is in any meaningful way involved with Ms. Rose's campaign, she cannot win and can only help to extend the Republicrat legacy of Michael McMahon (whose Chief of Staff, Kenny Mitchell, is reportedly a candidate).

David Jones is the armor of Peace Action of Staten Island (PASI), whose Chairperson is his wife Sally. PASI understandably has little in the way of grass roots support although, thanks to the neighborly friendship between PASI honcho John Bostrom and Staten Island Advance political editor/censor Wrobleski, they get more (puff) press than they deserve.

A key figure in PASI is self-described "anarchist" Mike May, who has a temper not unlike that of Jones. It was reportedly May who in 2005 had the incredible chutzpah and stupidity to invite as a speaker to the November 12, 2005 Peace & Justice Festival in Tappen Park in Stapleton, not far from my home, a known extremist and neo-fascist Geoffrey Blank. Blank, thoroughly covered in UP FRONT News but not in the censored Advance (aka the Staten Island Retreat) is the guy who tried to politically hijack the Union Square, Manhattan speakouts organized by a free speech group known as the No Police State Coalition. Blank would stand in Union Square, spewing various conspiracy theories and preaching "free speech" and then threatening others (in particular me) who sought to exercize that right. Blank and his 30+ year old baby brother Jason have refused to discuss their ties to the convicted felon/racist megalomaniac LaRouche, who, in recent years, has again made made infiltration inroads into the left, via surrogates such as the African-American racist Lenora Fulani and others. For more on LaRouche/Fulani get to know the work of investigative reporter Dennis King.

When Blank showed up in S.I. at May's invitation, I heckled Blank into submission while May stood there dumbfounded. Speaker Norman Siegel, with whom I am quite well politically acquainted, came to my defense in his speech.

The Advance reporter covering the event, Deborah ("Much Too") Young, censored the entire incident out of her very superficial story that appeared on November 13, 2005.

Geoffrey Blank had to hurry off to keep a speaking engagement in Manhattan with the convicted lawyer Lynne Stewart at the Freedom Socialist Party. The FSP, according to an unrebutted storty by Niles Lathem in the December 26, 2005 New York Post, is under international investigation for ties to terrorism in Iraq. The FSP spokesperson, a Blank associate named Stephen Durham, is on record as condoning the hostage beheadings perpetrated by the late lunatic Musab al-Zarqawi. Lovely!

I am not aware that PASI hitman David Jones, who nearly exploded again when I arrived at a recent meeting of the Staten Island Democratic Association, expressed any opposition to the neo-fascist demagogue Blank.

I do recall, however, David Jones getting inappropriately angry with me one evening at the PASI-sponsored First Friday Film event at the Staten Island Unitarian Church when, after a Middle East-focused movie, I expressed my opposition to the the insane violence of Hamas and Hezbollah. (As Jones is well aware I am opposed to the concept of a Zionist state and oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.)

As far as I am concerned, my impression is that City Council candidate Rev. Tony Baker, Pastor of the St. Phillip's Baptist Church in the diverse and foreclosure-belaguered community of Port Richmond, is a much stronger candidate. He has made it clear for one thing that he will not stand by while the developers try to gentrify the North Shore of Staten Island, like they are doing on the very developer-beleaguered Lower East Side of Manhattan and in the new Yankee Stadium-dominated South Bronx.

At this point it appears that the only beneficiary of Ms. Rose's no-chance David Jones-saddled candidacy may be McMahon-man Kenny Mitchell. I've dealt very directly with McMahon and his Chief of Staff, the very arrogant Mitchell. Mitchell's chances of getting my vote are about as good as John McCain's chances.

And if Debi Rose wants to be an elected official and help in the long overdue ending of the white monopoly of Staten Island elected officials in Albany, she should shed David Jones and perhaps run against the incompetent and very beatable assemblyman Matthew Titone, properly labeled in UP FRONT News as "the worst legislator in 'the worst legislature in the country'." Or maybe even State Senator Diane Savino, who has a very serious Chief of Staff problem of own, the hothead Robert Cataldo.
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