Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Fiery talk on Rep. Michael Grimm's legal woes, Domenic Recchia's intellectual firepower...” at Staten Island Advance Debate

DUAL COVERAGE IN THE ADVANCE INCLUDES THIS:  “You asked, they answered: Rep. Michael Grimm, Domenic Recchia debate over guns, affordable housing, Grimm's indictment” 

At debate, Congressman Grimm says trading his congressional seat in a plea deal would be in his best interest

Recchia was generally evasive on most issues, but says that Grimm’s legal problems will interfere with Grimm’s  representation of the district   

Grimm gets snarky with a remark about Al Sharpton

Staten Island Advance reporter Tom Wrobleski says that “It's been a highly charged campaign, and it was a highly charged encounter when Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and Democratic challenger Domenic M. Recchia Jr. met with members of the Advance Editorial Board in a 90-minute exchange of charges and counter-charges on Monday in the Advance's Grasmere offices....” (See “Fiery talk on Rep. Michael Grimm's legal woes, Domenic Recchia's intellectual firepower [w/ video link &  photos]” by By Tom Wrobleski, 10/20/14, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/fiery_exchanges_as_gop_rep_mic.html][wrobleski@siadvance.com Follow on Twitter]).

Among the top issues discussed in the Wrobleski article in the Advance were questions about Grimm's federal indictment, and whether Recchia has the intellectual firepower for the job of congressman. It was also notable that the Democratic party candidate would not take a stand on the affordable housing plan advocated by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, or comment at length on the case of Eric Garner, the Islander who died in NYPD custody.

Grimm's indictment

Congressman Grimm was pressed on his indictment, and he argued that he was entitled to a constitutional presumption of innocence; and he actually said “I don't know why I would be treated any differently than anyone else.”  He also pointed out that Recchia backed former Brooklyn Assemblyman Clarence Norman, the onetime Democratic Party chairman, when he was indicted and that it was hypocritical of Recchia to make Grimm's indictment an issue.

Grimm: giving up seat in plea deal in his best interest

Grimm says that giving-up Congress would be in his best interest, but he stays and puts up with everything because of his “LOVE” for the district and the people that he has served so much

The most important piece in Tom Wrobleski’s article went like this: “...Some have speculated that Grimm wants to win so he can the House seat as a bargaining chip with prosecutors to avoid jail time should he be found guilty. ***  Untrue, Grimm said. ***  "If that's what I was going to do, I would have already done that," Grimm said. "I would have stepped down and cut a deal, which is what a lot of people said I should do, which would have been in my best interest...."

Grimm went on to say that he’s putting up with the indictment, and all the commentary, and all the questions about it because of his love for the district and  “and the people I work for so much...”

At his best, Recchia seemed evasive

According to Tom Wrobleski’s report, “When asked whether he supported building affordable housing in middle-class neighborhoods, Recchia [was quoted as follows:]  ‘What do you mean by affordable housing?  I don't know what you mean by affordable housing....’   Shortly later, when asked point-blank whether he supported de Blasio's affordable housing plan, Recchia then went on to say, "I'm just here, I'm running for Congress [in] my district. This is not about Bill de Blasio. I'm just here focused on this district and what's best for this district, and I want to work with the people and see what's best for this district."

As to questions about the Eric Garner case, this is how Wrobleski reported Recchia’s responses: “Recchia also did not delve deeply into the Garner case, which has been a flashpoint on the Island for months. ***   ‘Out of respect to the Garner family and the NYPD, I reserve judgment on taking a position until District Attorney Dan Donovan finishes his investigation," Recchia said. "There's always room to improve community relationships, and working closer with the communities and the police officers.’  ***  When asked whether he would respect whatever decision the grand jury makes in the case, and whether he had any impressions of his own based on the Garner video, Recchia said. ‘I'm reserving judgment. There's an investigation going on. We don't have all the facts. We don't see all the evidence. We're just going to see what happens.’...”

Tom Wrobleski’s report ended with this: “Grimm was quick to say that de Blasio was wrong to bring the Rev. Al Sharpton into the Garner issue.”  That seemed like a real odd thing for Grimm to say; and it was a very odd place for the SI Advance and its editors to end the article.

Second Article in the Advance

For a somewhat different take on the Grimm-Recchia grilling at/by the Staten Island Advance,  or if Tom Wrobleski just isn't your cup of tea, there was also coverage by Rachel Shapiro (See “You asked, they answered: Rep. Michael Grimm, Domenic Recchia debate over guns, affordable housing, Grimm's indictment” by Rachel Shapiro, 10/20/14, SI Advance/ silive.com [http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/you_asked_they_answered_--_rep.html] [rshapiro@siadvance.com  Email the author | Follow on Twitter] [w/ video link &  photos]). For example, Rachel Shapiro’s article led off with this passage about guns and gun violence: “Asked what specific steps Congress can take to reduce gun violence in America, Recchia said Congress should pass a bill that includes more background checks and stop gun trafficking.  ***   ‘You don't need an Uzi machine gun to go hunting but the gun trafficking is a big issue,’ he said.  ***   Grimm agreed there should be universal background checks but ‘I think what's missing in the debate is a much more holistic approach.’ ***   The congressman said it needs to be studied what makes shooters so violent, considering behavior more than the gun itself....”

It should be noted that in less than a full day after the Staten Island Advance Grimm-Recchia Debate, well more than two hundred (200) comments had been submitted in response to the articles by Wrobleski and Shapiro. Some of these comments are real eye-openers, others not so much.


Anonymous said...

Recchia was not "evasive", hes just stupid.

Anonymous said...

What is this Republican obsession with Clarence Norman? Next he'll be accusing Recchia of having Clarence run his campaign . . .Yet, not exactly the best campaign tactic, just ask you know who (and that's not me - it's you know who - he's on first).