In their own words: “The Brooklyn Young Republican Club will be holding [its] quarterly meeting on Sunday, January 26th from 3:00 P.M. [to] 5:00 P.M. — With Special Guest Speaker Congressman Michael Grimm — At Brooklyn’s very own Ceol Irish Pub.”
Lately, most of the news coverage for Congressman Michael Grimm has not been the greatest. An article in the Bensonhurst Bean blog by Ned Berke is illustrative of what Grimm has been up against (See “More Bad News For Congressman Michael Grimm” by Ned Berke, 1/23/14, Bensonhurst Bean [http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/2014/01/more-bad-news-for-congressman-michael-grimm/]).
According to Ned Berke’s post, Grimm made it into the news early in the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” debacle, calling the governor an example of “true leadership” — then, the Christie story mushroomed with many additional allegations. Next, Grimm was admonished by the Federal Election Commission for accepting campaign contributions that were in excess of the legal limits. That was followed by his very close friend and fund raiser Diana Durand’s getting arrested by the FBI for violating federal campaign laws, allegedly funneling contributions to Grimm and another congressman through shadow donors.
The Berke article went on to state that more recently, a video surfaced on Israeli TV and cable showing Grimm heaping praise on Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, an alleged key player at the center of the pending federal investigation aimed at various aspects of Grimm’s fund raising. The video clip is a bad visual for Grimm, since the FBI’s investigation into his fund raising is based upon an accusation that then candidate Grimm took bundled illegal donations for the 2010 elections from members of Rabbi Pinto’s congregation. (Earlier in the investigation, Ofer Biton, an associate of Rabbi Pinto’s, who helped raise more than $500,000 for Grimm, had pleaded guilty to visa fraud and it was claimed that Biton sought help from Grimm to get a green card).
All of that seems to have led to yet another negative Grimm headline this week, when Frank Morano, a Staten Island radio host, activist and Member of Community Board 3, called on the Bar to reprimand the congressman, who is an attorney, possibly including having Grimm disbarred (See “Staten Island activist calls for bar association to reprimand Grimm, an attorney” by Tom Wrobleski, 1/21/14, silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/01/staten_island_activist_calls_f.html]). Wrobleski made the following observation before giving the Congressman’s response: “Grimm, who frequently blames the negative publicity on perceived political bias in the media and rivals, had harsh words for his critic. *** ‘I have no interest in commenting on the ravings of an individual who has a history of making false and outlandish accusations against me. It is beneath any publication to waste the ink in printing a story about these absurd activities of zero credibility and dubious motivation,’ he told SILive.”
That gives most of the backdrop to the planned appearance of Congressman Grimm at the Brooklyn Young Republican Club at its Sunday meeting in the back room at the Ceol Irish Pub on Smith Street downtown in the Boerum Hill-Gowanus area of Brooklyn. Another part of the tattered scrim to the Grimm showcase is that BYRC meetings at the Smith Street venue have been very interesting lately, often with boisterous questioning of speakers and the occasional visit by officers and members of the “other” “official” club, the Brooklyn Young Republicans. Such a visit by the BYRs this Sunday would not be surprising.
In any case, Young Republican Club President Glenn Nocera has extracted promises of good behavior from most of the attendees that have been involved in some of the more exciting moments in the recent past. So mark it down on your bullet-proof white boards:
The Brooklyn Young Republican Club — Quarterly Meeting
Sunday, January 26th from 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Special Guest Speaker: Congressman Michael Grimm
At Brooklyn’s very own Ceol Irish Pub.
Ceol Irish Pub is located at:
191 Smith St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 (at Warren St.) Phone: (347) 643-9911…
[By subway: Take “F” or “G” trains to the Bergen Street Station, Brooklyn]