Monday, November 02, 2015


UP FRONT News       Hallowe'en, 2015
"The paper that won't be bought and can't be sold."
Published by Tom Weiss
Andrew Mazzone - Media Representative and Economics Advisor
Steven Gradman - Political Consultant
Allen Smith - Economics Reporter
 The views expressed in UP FRONT News are those of the publisher or of the contributing writer and do not necessarily represent the views of staff.
   The late great investigative journalist I.F. Stone understood politics. He made that clear when he coined the axiom, "Governments lie."
    It is also true that the often overpaid politicians in those governments do not lie all the time. Even Adolf Hitler, the master of what he called "The Big Lie" (which, if repeated often enough, Hitler theorized, will be believed by the masses), included some truths in his rants and writings. A politician who lies  consistently becomes predictable and thereby vulnerable to exposure and ultimately dis-empowerment. Richard ("I am not a crook") Nixon was both paranoid and predictable.
  Among those occasions when competing politicians opportunistically tell the truth is when they accuse the opposition of lying and other sins. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, major government negligences by Democratic President Bill Clinton and his Republican successor George W. Bush contributed to a major loss of life in New Orleans, with each party correctly blaming the other. Bill Clinton found better things to do with public federal dollars rather than build up the barriers around below sea level N.O., leaving the city vulnerable to a tsunami experience. The Bush Administration's response was hesitating and lots of poor people died.                           
  In the contest for Staten Island District Attorney between the Democratic and Republican Party Machines that, over the years, have given Staten Islanders crooks such as the late Congressman Democrat John ("Abscam") Murphy, Republicans Vito Fossella and Michael Grimm, and currently Diane (Cataldo) Savino, Democrat Mike McMahon and Republican Joan Illuzzi accuse each other of lying. They're both right.
  Mike McMahon's literature emphasizes his "integrity" and "fairness." As far as I am concerned that claim is a lie in itself. As a Democrat McMahon campaigns heavily in the African-American communities mostly in neighborhoods such as Stapleton, Tompkinsville, Port Richmond, et. al. on Staten Island's ethnically diverse and rapidly gentrifying North Shore ("NoSho"). I am quite certain that he mentions not a syllable from his oration when he was a member of the New York City Council denouncing the late and quite confrontational black activist Sonny Carson in connection with a City Council resolution to rename several blocks of a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn after Mr. Carson in acknowledgment of his work in fighting drug traffickers in the neighborhoods and his major involvement in the creation of Medgar Evers College. I attended the Council meeting where the debate and vote took place. From my perspective the issue was one of community self-determination, a position accepted by then NYC Council member, and now NYS Senator Tony Avella (D.-Queens), whom I urged to vote for the resolution, which he did.
  Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his ally, the autocratic Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and Ms. Quinn's very very very close ally Mike McMahon didn't merely oppose the resolution but went to the lengths of demonizing Mr. Carson in a way that would have the uneducated conclude that Carson was a black Adolf Hitler. (The resolution was defeated, albeit by a much closer vote than anticipated given the quite dictatorial power of the Bloomberg/Quinn axis.
  McMahon, a fervent supporter of Hillary Clinton in her unsuccessful battle with Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination, quickly attached himself to Obama's coattails in the general election and got elected to the Congress in 2008.
  When McMahon ran for re-election in 2010 against Republican challenger Mike Grimm, in a talk before a full house at the largely African-American First Central Baptist Church in Stapleton I reminded voters of Mike McMahon vs. Sonny Carson. I went into more detail in an article in UP FRONT News. McMahon was one of the very few incumbents to lose, as he was upset by Grimm in a close election. I very much doubt that (m)any African-Americans voted for Grimm. McMahon, who, as Machine Democrats have done traditionally, expected lots of black votes. I went into more detail in UP FRONT News, a paper understandably read by plenty of African-Americans who pretty much boycott the multi-billionaire Donald Newhouse-owned Staten Island Advance, correctly described by First Central Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Dr. Demetrius S. Carolina, Sr, as a "controlled" newspaper, and by Staten Island African-American political activist Kelvin Alexander as "racist." McMahon did not get the black votes he anticipated and as a result he lost.
   Among the groups that have endorsed Mike McMahon is the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, whose president, the much less than "benevolent" Patrick Lynch, is on record as praising P.O. Daniel ("Chokehold") Pantaleo as a great cop. One of the iconic lines of The Who's political rock 'n' roll anthem about dictatorship urges us, "Don't get fooled again!"
   Some weeks ago I spent about 20 minutes with Republican candidate Joan Illuzzi and her campaign manager ex-Congressman Grimm staffer Nick Iacono at her campaign headquarters in New Dorp and expressed my view that, while the grand jury testimony in the Eric Garner case is remaining secret - at least for the time being - there is nothing to prevent P.O. Pantaleo, who as far as I am aware, lied in claiming that he did not use a choke hold on Eric Garner and instead brought Mr Garner down with a "seat belt maneuver", from releasing his own statement as to what took place that day in Tompkinsville. I'd also like to know if any of the cops there witnessed Mr. Garner selling untaxed cigarettes on that occasion. I suggested to Ms. Illuzzi that she issue a statement calling upon Pantaleo to do release a statement accordingly. She told me that she'd think about it I of course left all the email and telephone contact information for me and for UP FRONT News Media Representative Andrew Mazzone .
  A couple of weeks later, getting no communication from Ms. Illuzzi I dropped in at her campaign HQ again an spent about 15 minutes with campaign worker Joe Shikhman, also a former Grimm staffer. I reviewed the detail of my conversation with Ms. Illuzzi, stating that I hadn't gotten a reply regarding my suggestion. He assured me that I'd get an e-mail. He lied!
 My followup e-mail and call have generated only silence. 
  Ms. Illuzzi is under the illusion that she can get elected by relying on "conservative" votes from the largely white and Republican neighborhoods in Mid-Island and the South Shore. And so she has Rudy Giuliani in the pages of the Advance promoting her. Giuliani beat David Dinkins for the mayoralty in the last millennium with a lot of Republican votes from Staten Island. Ms. Illuzzi does not take into account the passage of time and history. Giuliani gave us a corrupt police commissioner, made some very bad guesses regarding document storage at the World Trade Center and saw his presidential aspirations evaporate.
Rudy Giuliani was popular in Staten Island long before Eric Garner was killed.
  I've spoken to very politically knowledgeable people in North Shore S.I who do not even know who Ms. Illuzzi is. I've spoken to Democrats who will not vote for McMahon and for whom Joan Illuzzi is a political phantom McMahon and his Democratic Party machine are outspending Illuzzi by a large margin. The trash cans at the S.I. Ferry terminals are full of McMahon literature.
 Experienced S.I. political activist Dennis Dellangelo has sent me an e-mail stating his agreement with my assessment that Ms. Illuzzi, who has essentially ignored the black vote, and the North Shore in general, will probably lose.
  In any event it is an indication of the fundamentally corrupt nature of Staten Island politics, buttressed by a corrupt mega-corporate newspaper, also known as "The Staten Island Retreat", that an election for District Attorney is taking place in a borough which is home to what is probably the only police lynching in a northern state in many decades and also home to a (s)elected official, NYS Senator Diane Savino, whose Chief of Staff, Robert Cataldo, is a criminal and, as succinctly stated to me by Democratic Party official and President of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island Mendy Mirocznik, "Is a member of the Sicilian Mob."
  And from Mike McMahon and Joan Illuzzi nothing but dead silence on the killing of Eric Garner and the political mob in Staten Island.
  This is a good election to boycott.
  Happy Hallowe'en! McMahon "vs." Illuzzi? Trick or trick.
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