GOP-Cons slate for re-election, Michael Grimm and Marty Golden, are immersed in investigations, caught in a swirl of indictments or mired in political scandals and screw-ups
Brooklyn GOP and Conservative Party are ravaged by internal turmoil that is spilling over into efforts for two threatened incumbent office holders
Earlier this week, it was reported that in June 2014, former City Councilman Dominic Recchia, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress against Micheal Grimm raised ten times (10X ) the campaign money that Grimm did (See “Rep. Michael Grimm's fundraising in the dumps following indictment” by Dan Friedman, 7/16/14, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rep-michael-grimm-fund-raising-dumps-article-1.18]). That is certainly not “the least of Grimm’s problems”; however, even though it probably ranks right behind the fact that he is under indictment for about twenty different Federal charges, Grimm’s re-election effort is beset by many other problems as well.
For example, having a blow-up appear in the city-wide press over so-called “bigoted” remarks made by Grimm’s new campaign manager Guy Molinari and Staten Island Republican Party Vice Chairman Bill D’Ambrosio is not a good thing (See “Grimm campaign defends supporter’s ‘bigoted’ remarks” by Carl Campanile, 7/10/14, NY Post/ Metro [http://nypost.com/2014/07/10/grimm-campaign-defends-supporters-bigoted-remarks/]). If nothing else, with Guy Molinari's doubling-down on D'Ambrosio's fundraising gaff, the two of them turned their "bgotry" into an ongoing campaign issue — that is a major screw-up — and with Guy Molinari running things, there will be lots more as Grimm's campaign proceeds.
Grimm is the only the TOP local Republican-Conservative incumbent running in the last remaining GOP-Conservative “stronghold” in Brooklyn. NEXT on the list of seriously threatened incumbents is State Senator Martin J. Golden. Based on a recent GOP-Conservative Party event held in Southwest Brooklyn, Grimm and Golden appear to be campaigning as running mates in the overlapping parts of their districts. For now, Golden looks to be in somewhat better shape than Grimm — but that can change with the next big headline or other negative disclosure.
Regular readers of this blog know full well about State Senator Golden’s long-term problems with the Kings County Republican Party under County Chairman Craig Eaton, all of which came to a head in early 2013 when Golden personally attacked Eaton with political innuendo and myriad insinuations of possible criminal acts; and that was followed by three failed attempts to oust Eaton — once at the polls, once at the party convention and once in NYS Supreme Court. Those combined acts were probably one of the biggest series of political screw-ups by (a) political professional(s) in a very long time. As a result, right now, about half of the Republican activists in the Golden State Senate District do not support the re-election of Marty Golden; and several of the GOP organization clubs did not carry Golden’s 2014 petitions.
In addition to all of that, there are percolating investigations flowing out of the NYS Moreland Commission, the NYC DOI and various local and Federal prosecutors that have already mentioned Golden’s staff members, insiders and a associates; and such percolating investigations do threaten to boil over and possibly scald Golden sooner rather than later.
These combined problems mean that many Republicans, Conservatives and conservative-minded Democrats who live in the overlapping Grimm-Golden districts in Brooklyn do not support either Golden or Grimm. Many of the Republican activists have even openly stated that they intend to be active in support of Grimm’s or Golden’s Democrat opponents; a few might even be actively supporting both of the Democrats opposing Grimm and Golden. This kind of open crossing-over from Republican, Conservative and or other conservative-minded voters to Democrats is something that is very new and very rare, and it’s impact cannot readily be measured on either Grimm or Golden at this time. In any case, this is the year of the “Eric Cantor effect” — and that effect was only narrowly avoided by long-time Republican warhorse Thad Cochran because of cross-over liberal Democratic votes. Ask yourself this — which phenomenon will be more likely to occur vis a vis Golden and/or Grimm — Cantor's or Cochran's ?
At one time or another over the last year or two, both of these establishment Republicans — Grimm and Golden — have been strongly attacked at meetings of the Brooklyn Tea Party. Any serious Republican or Conservative Party member should know that in many parts of Southwest Brooklyn either or both Grimm and/or Golden can suffer the “full-Cantor treatment” this November.
So, where are Grimm and/or Golden going to pick up enough loose votes to make up for that ?
*A much-quoted political consultant indicated to me that Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis is the most popular Republican-Conservative in Southwest Brooklyn and that she should have been tapped to run for the U.S. Congressional seat now held by Michael Grimm.