Thursday, August 28, 2008


UP FRONT News August 5, 2008
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."


By Tom Weiss

In what even mainstream political pundits are acknowledging will be a nationally watched campaign for the 13th congressional district seat, covering all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, held for few more months by the "family values" adulterer and Republican Vito Fossella, perhaps the worst break for progressive Democratic candidate Steve Harrison was the May 1 DUI arrest of Fossella. Fossella, the only Republican in New York City's congressional delegation, who served essentially as Big Dick Cheney's man in New York, was considered something of a favorite to be re-elected even in an expectedly Democratic year.
All that changed when Fossella, known for his pronouncements on family values and other virtues, drunk at the wheel, was arrested in Virginia. When the police asked him where he was going, apparently Fossella was so bombed that he spilled all his beans by saying he was on his way to see his daughter. In fact his wife and children live in Staten Island. The daughter he was going to see was also biologically parented by Fossella's lover.

As far as I am concerned, a congressman who endangers lives by driving drunk, even if he were in his way to a detox facility, should resign expeditiously. Instead, after trying to macho his way into running for re-election, he was told to forget about it by the Republicans, who agreed to let him finish out his term.

At the time of Fossella's arrest, the leading Democratic challenger was lawyer Steve Harrison, who lives in the Brooklyn part of the district and who was defeated by Fossella in 2006. (I voted for the strongly anti-Iraq War Harrison.) Although Harrison was outspent by Fossella by a large margin, he ran a strong race. It would be a rationalization, however, to suggest that the results were close. Fossella, aside from his financial advantage, also benefited from his residence in Staten Island, whose voters make up the majority of the district.

Mr. Harrison, having the support of at least some in the small but active peace "movement" in Staten Island, as well as some liberal Democratic club backing, had reason to be confident in a year when the Republicans are facing massive voter rejection that this time around he would beat Fossella.

Within moments of the news of Fossella's arrest, City Councilman Michael McMahon - who, in a politically selective fashion, "represents" the North Shore of Staten Island (where I live, and there is no question that Michael McMahon does not represent me) - began to at least politically salivate about moving into the seat to be involuntarily vacated by Fossella. Up to that point McMahon, a man for whom power and principle are unrelated, had been planning to run for the Borough Presidency of Staten Island. His anticipated opponent was his Council colleague Republican James Oddo. (I can't seriously consider voting for a politician in a political party led by a gang of liars and thieves, but I might have considered voting for Oddo, the guy who understandably became nationally known for taking on some baseball profiteers and ending the local use of sometimes lethal aluminum bats in Little League ball.)

Within a few days of the opportunistic McMahon's announcement that he is running for the Fossella seat, much of the Democratic Party establishment in Staten Island and beyond
was supporting this essentially Reagan Democrat, also known in UP FRONT News as a Republicrat. McMahon was a strong supporter of Republicrat Hillary Clinton, not surprising as they were both pro-Iraq War until they realized that most Americans, including those living in the heartland and in Staten island, were against it.

McMahon is essentially part of a non-biological political same sex marriage, with his partner being the gay rights-prominent autocratic City Council Speaker Christine Quinn of Manhattan, one of many politicians who talk tenants rights but, behind closed doors, help the mega-developers and gentrifiers.

I have made it known to Steve Harrison that, no matter how the September 9 Democratic primary between the favored McMahon and him turns out, I will not vote for McMahon, even against a Republican. It's partly personal.

As a City Councilman McMahon's job is to represent all his constituents. In fact, at least with respect to me, he has failed to do the job he is overpaid to do. My late attorney, Jacob J. Goodman, who was assisting me with a number of very serious problems involving major violations of my human rights by a number of government agencies (e.g. New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau and the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation) urged me to seek help from my elected representatives. Some of the problems stem from a major politically motivated April, 2005 assault upon me perpetrated by a man at least acquainted with a violent repeat offender and neo-fascist political extremist named Geoffrey Blank, a man with ties to international terrorism. Blank is also a guy with some political connections of his own, e.g. to the Lyndon LaRouche ideologue Lenora Fulani, who, despite her leftist and black nationalist (and sometimes overtly anti-Semitic) rhetoric, in her former capacity as the dictator of the Independence Party of New York, helped Michael Bloomberg get elected and re-elected. Morgenthau's office willfully mishandled the prosecution of the perpetrator, a very violent man named Wan Yun, and then Bellevue Hospital Center messed up very badly after my three hours of surgery and in fact denied me followup care for several years.

When, in late 2006 I met McMahon at a Christine Quinn-run "community" meeting at Seaview Hospital in Staten Island, during a break I introduced myself (actually a re-introduction since he and I had met previously) and I told him that I needed an appointment to discuss some serioius constituent matters and that my lawyer had suggested I access my elected officials. Councilman McMahon shook my hand, smiled, said "Sure" and advised me to call his district office in S.I.
I did call and got nowhere with his staffer JoAnne Carbone. I then sent Councilman Mcmahon an an e-mail on December 12, 2006. Within one day I got an angry e-mail from McMahon. He wrote that he was "offended" that I had criticized Ms. Quinn in UP FRONT News. I had in fact criticized her for her refusal to respond to my polite and totally appropriate e-mail, dated January 30, 2006 to her via her Chief of Staff Chuck Meara, urging her to introduce a resolution citing the Genocide in Tibet and calling for the removal of the 2008 Olympic Games from China. Indeed Ms. Quinn, largely at my urging, had introduced the pro-Tibet resolution #802 in 2001, which was unanimously passed by the Council. That resolution, however, had little impact because it did not address the Olympic Games issue. In fact Quinn no doubt bowed to the economic imperatives of her boss, Hillary Clinton, who makes big bucks in the capitalist wonderland of "Communist" China, and who has suppressed any efforts to help the Tibetans. I have all the facts on the Bill and Hillary Clinton's personal involvement in the political and media coverup of the Chinese Communist Genocide in Tibet.

McMahon's letter to me contains the totally specious assertion that having the City Council deal with "international issues" would be a "waste of time." The Council has a long record of addressing international issues, with the aforementioned Resolution #802 being a case in point. As far as I am aware, McMahon voted in favor of a pro-Iraq War resolution. I am also aware that the Council passed a resolution denouncing Communist China for its support of the Sudanese government's genocide in Darfur.

As far as my request for his assistance, McMahon wrote that I should to go to a civil rights attorney. By that, aside from insulting me, he was disrespecting my very experienced lawyer who had indicated that, any legal possible legal action notwithstanding, it was important for me to obtain the assistance of my elected officials. (With the assistance of civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, with whom I am acquainted and who has advised me on occasion, I have retained attorney David Rankin to assist me on these matters.)

I am now part of what may be a small minority group of people who have lived in all five bo- roughs of New York City (as well as upstate, in and around Binghamton). I now live in the very diverse working class community of Stapleton in North Shore Staten Island.

I've come to like Staten Island a great deal. It is definitely New York City's most "rural" bo- rough, a quality that S.I. shares with upstate New York. The ferry is in my opinion the best commute in New York and it is free. I am active with the energetic performing arts community in Staten Island, a borough that is home to a great many musicians, poets, painters and other artists. I belong to the mostly African-American very civil rights-active First Central Baptist Church, a short distance from my home. I consider the pastor, the very well known Rev. Demetrius Carolina, a friend. Indeed Rev. Carolina, who is one of the relatively few African-Americans leaders to have spoken out in support of Tibet, is knowledgeable about my human rights and political situation and has been consistently supportive to me in my dealings with the de facto lily-white Democratic Party political machine, consisting of Michael McMahon, State Senator Diane Savino and State Assemblyman Matthew Titone, all of whom march to the beat set by Hillary Clinton and Christine Quinn.

Should he choose to do so, Rev. Carolina is certainly in a position to comment on the game-playing against me by Savino and Titone. In Savino's case some years ago when I went with an appointment to her office on an urgent matter when I was homeless, her Chief of Staff Robert Cataldo greeted me with what amounted to a psychotic, profanity-laced tirade, threatening me with arrest. I have long since filed a criminal complaint against him. Savino then made things worse by mishandling the problem I needed help with, and then later making a defamatory comment about me that appeared in the establishment-protecting multi-billionaire Donald Newhouse-owned Staten Island Advance in its August 27, 2005 article about the "stalker" dispute between the seriously paranoid NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and myself. That story was much more accurately covered by NYC Newsday on August 26, 2005 by Dan Janison, the Daily News by Celeste Katz, and The New York Times by Jonathan Hicks, both on August 27. Savino has also since lied to me with her unkept promise made to me (at the First Central Baptist Church, which she visits, according to a church leader, "only when she needs something") that we would meet directly on my issues.

Matthew Titone has been properly exposed in UP FRONT News as "the worst state legislator" in what has been properly rated as "the worst state legislature in the country." Rev. Carolina knows the full story of Titone's months-long delaying tactics in response to my requests for an appointment. It took the intervention of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblymember Janele Hyer-Spencer (D.-S.I.), Sgt. Al Fiore of the NYPD's Intelligence Division (the man who saived me from the paranoid Gotbaum's attempt to have me arrested at a scheduled meeting some years ago at her office), and Rev. Carolina before Titone emerged temporarily from his political paralysis and agreed to see me at the church. Indeed, he ended up doing almost nothing.
Hillary Clinton once in one of her phony impersonations of Malcom X at a black church in Harlem on a Martin Luther King Day characterized the Republican Party as a "plantation."

While there may be some truth to that assertion, it is chutzpah coming from a politician who lives in a community described by one resident there as lily-white by design.

The heavily African-American and in any event ethnically diverse North Shore of Staten Island is run like a political plantation by a clique of Democratic Party machine politicians, perhaps the most powerful of whom is Michael McMahon.

Like Mrs. Clinton on MLK Day in Harlem, McMahon polishes his civil rights rap when he appears before African-American audiences. It's too bad more Staten Islanders were not present in the City Council chambers, as I was in May, 2007 when the issue of the vote on a bill to change the name of a few blocks of Gates Avenue in Brooklyn to honor the late black nationalist activist Sonny Abubadika Carson came up. The street name change had been supported by many citizens in Bedford-Stuyvesant and by the local Community Board.

Council Speaker Quinn, citing some "anti-white" comments made by Mr. Carson (who is credited by his communities for having driven out the drug dealers and for having helped to create Medgar Evers College), pulled the name change out of the list for Council approval.
Councilmembers such as Charles Barron and Al Vann, both from Brooklyn, rebelled and Mr. Vann introduced a bill to restore Carson's name.

Christine Quinn, properly described by the very independent-minded City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Tony Avella (D.-Queens) as a "prima donna", runs the Council Marie Antoinette-style. (That is one of the reasons that Mayor Bloomberg, who does not like dis- sidents, likes her so much.) And so no one expected the Council to vote to rename a few
blocks of Gates Avenue after Sonny Carson. The debate was intense and the vote defeating Vann's bill was closer than expected. The only non-African-Americans voting in favor of the name change (Gates by the way was a slaveowner) were Mr. Avella and Rosie Mendez (D.-Manhattan).

Michael McMahon is not known for his oratory. (He is well known, however, for having his name on just about every garbage can on the often littered streets of North Shore Staten Island.) As I recall McMahon had nothing positive to say about Sonny Carson.

I am no Sonny Carson but, based on McMahon's negligent and disrespectful treatment of this contituent, it is safe to say that McMahon has little positive to say about me.
The feeling is most assuredly mutual.

As far as I am concerned, McMahon's negligence as regards his doing his constituent services job and his fundamental ignorance of the Council's role as regards international issues, are legitimate campaign issue for Steven Harrison to address very publicly. At the request of Harrison's press secretary Roy Moskowitz, I have provided Mr. Harrison with a copy of the McMahon/Weiss e-mail exchange. Harrison's campaign manager Greg Collett has told me that he agrees that McMahon has not treated me fairly.

I have made it known in a reply e-mail that Mr. Harrison needs to address these issues much more publicly and assertively. If Mr. Harrison is under the impression that he will defeat the McMahon machine by pounding away at the Iraq War issue, he is wrong.

It is a fact that a small but sometimes visible group called Peace Action of Staten Island has much influience in his campaign, as it had when he lost to Fossella in 2006.

I have found Peace Action of Staten Island to be a somewhat schizoid group. To be sure,
participating in some of its marches and rallies are sincere human rights activists like Viet Nam War vet peace activist Bill Johnsen. Unfortunately PASI also contains extremists like self-described "anarchist" Mike May, the guy who, fully aware of Geoffrey Blank's propensity for politically motivated criminal behavior, nonetheless invited the neo-fascist Blank to speak at a PASI Peace "Festival" in Tappen Park in Stapleton on November 12, 2005. Everyone there, including Norman Siegel (who openly supported me in his remarks at the event), witnessed the confrontation between Blank and myself as I used my First Amendment rights to expose Blank for the fraud that he is. Only the tightly censored Staten Island Advance did not include coverage of the confrontation in Deborah Young's C-minus story that appeared on November 13.
Another PASI factor in Harrison's campaign is the explosive and seriously autocratic "peace" activist David Jones. On one occasion some months ago Jones tried to prevent me from asking a gentrification/affordable housing-related question at a Debi Rose for City Council campaign meeting he was dictatorially "facilitating." And on April 4, 2008 at a PASI event in the parking lot at the First Central Baptist Church (that, because of a scheduling conflict, I helped to reschedule) Jones objected to a polite comment I made about the non-inclusive speaker choices made by his wife Sally Jones, the de facto president of this small group. When some argumentative but hardly belligerent words were exchanged between the politically influential (and FCBC member) Larry Beslow and me, Jones went ballistic and had to be restrained from physically attacking me by another church member. Jones was so blazingly incensed that I made a complaint against him with the NYPD.

Indeed, the next time Mr. Jones saw me at a Democratic club meeting in Staten Island, he burst from his seat and loudly demanded that I be removed. Cooler heads than his soon prevailed.
In any event, at this point I do not know what role the warlike "peace" advocate David Jones is playing in the Harrison campaign.

At this point, while Mr. Harrison speaks forcefully over and over and over again on the Iraq issue as well as others, McMahon continues to gather support.

Steve Harrison will not win the primary by an Al Gore/John Kerry approach to the opposition. Mike McMahon needs to be exposed.

I don't know how much Steve Harrison wants my support and the endorsement of UP FRONT News (which has influenced elections in the past, mostly in Lower Manhattan, where I used to live).

In any event, if Mr. Harrison, adopting a Gore/Kerry approach (which in successive presi- dential elections allowed the reactionary and inept Bush to get close enough to be able to steal the elections), loses, the voters will have a chance to elect me as the congressman from the 13th C.D, as I will be a Democratic write-in candidate.

And I will be ready to debate machine Democrat McMahon and whomever the Republicans and the so-called "Independence Party" (in which LaRouche ideologue Lenora Fulani continues to have much influence, certainly in Staten Island) have to offer.
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