Saturday, March 7, 2015

News on the local GOP front:

—   Former Congressman Michael Grimm was refused any change in the terms of his bail-bondage pending sentencing

—   Ray Riley leaving State Senator Golden’s staff

—   And the NRCC does an early slam against Brooklyn's Vinny Gentile, supposedly to benefit Dan Donovan

Michael Grimm made a strange request in the Federal Court where he pleaded guilty to Federal Tax Evasion and admitted to the other charges against him  —   It was so strange, they turned him down flat

Ray Riley looks like he’s going onto the PR Staff at Maimonides Hospital/ Medical Center

It’s a bit early, BUT  —   The NRCC is jumping into the special congressional election race between Brooklynite Vinny Gentile and Staten Islander Dan Donovan  —  Justin Brannen suggests it might be because of some bad polling for GOP candidate Donovan


Just the other day, this was the Michael Grimm story as told by Eddie the Eagle’s rewrite guy: “Disgraced former Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm has asked a judge to allow him to travel to Europe for a job interview. ***  He filed a letter in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday requesting modification of his bail conditions. ***  Grimm is free on $400,000 bond and is limited to travel within the United States. ***   The Republican resigned after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion in December. ***   His attorney says he's pursuing an employment opportunity with a company doing business abroad that would require him to travel to Europe for a week in the spring. ***   The letter didn't provide details about the job opportunity. Attorney Daniel Rashbaum didn't return calls seeking comment....” (See “Grimm seeks bail modification to seek job opportunity” Staff Writer [from AP feed] 3/5/15, Brooklyn Eagle/ AP []). That was early Thursday’s story.

By late Thursday, here’s what happened: “A federal judge has rejected [former] Rep. Michael Grimm’s request to modify the terms of his bail so he could travel to Europe this spring for a job opportunity while awaiting sentencing on his tax fraud conviction. ***   Judge Pamela Chen determined that the ex-Staten Island lawmaker is too much of a flight risk to be allowed to leave the country for a week, which would open the possibility that he would travel still further to a country that does not have an extradition agreement with the US.... (See “NY-11  Judge Nixes Grimm’s Euoprean Travel Request” by Liz Benjamin, 3/5/15, State of NY Politics


My BSIs have been busy - busy - busy, lately.   Take the story about Ray Riley. One of my footpads with an ear-to-the-ground picked up these vibrations  —  Ray Riley is leaving the Golden staff, proving that working for Marty Golden is far from being plugged in for the staff of life.

No sooner do I process that bombshell, than a completely different BSI calls to tell me Mr. Ray is going to be on the Maimonides Hospital/ Medical Center PR staff as a public events arranger, coordinator or something...

The first BSI, who hates to be outdone, gets back to me almost immediately and says, “Of course, Jacob Kornbluh arranged it....”

Wow ! I don’t know if all of this is true, if none of this is true, or if even any parts of it will hold up.  So, you tell me.

Whether he goes or stays,  good luck to Ray.


According to another writer formerly on the Southwest Brooklyn political beat, Ross Barkan,  who now writes for “The Observer” —   “The GOP is done ignoring Vincent Gentile. ***   The National Republican Campaign Committee attacked Mr. Gentile, a Democratic councilman challenging Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan for an open House seat, in an email this afternoon, taking aim at the veteran lawmaker for skipping a City Council hearing...."  (See “ ‘Where’s Vinny?’ National GOP Launches First Attack Against Vincent Gentile” by Ross Barkan,  3/6/15, The New York Observer [][@newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook]).

All that noise was coming from some NRCC guy, named Ian Prior. And according to Ross Barkan, “... [t]he jab from the NRCC is notable because it represents the first time any Republican has chosen to target Mr. Gentile, an underdog in the race for the 11th Congressional District. Mr. Donovan, a Staten Island resident in the Staten Island-based district, is expected to win the low turnout special election; Brooklyn lawmakers have historically struggled to win the seat. ***   But Mr. Gentile is running an energetic race so far while Mr. Donovan mostly ignores him. Both candidates have remained off the campaign trail to focus on fund-raising. ***   The special election is set for May 5.”

Believe it or not, one of my BSIs reports that Justin Brannan thinks that this early attention for his boss, Gentile, might be good news. According to the lead from my BSI, Justin Brannan, who is Gentile’s C/O/S and head of the Bay Ridge Dems, sent this out via Twitter:   “Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan)  3:09pm - 6 Mar 15:
. @RossBarkan Hmmm looks like the @NRCC got back some poll results. #NY11 (”    I personally think that, more likely, this is the work of enterprising and self-serving, out-of the district GOP consultants doing what passes for “consulting.”  NRCC money goes to NRCC consultants and not people who know what’s happening in Brooklyn or Staten Island.


Anonymous said...

In other local GOP news (somewhat attenuated but not by far), Xaverian High School is going Co-ed. A few Brooklyn Republican judges have come out of Xaverian. Matthew D'Emic is one such loyal alum. The justice system has always been very charitable to Xaverian. And that is nice. The Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes refused to prosecute the alleged pedophile Joe Appel a few years back even though the Diocese found the allegations of his improper conduct with a male student very credible. Xaverian knew well to fire him. Who needs a scandal? And Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes refused to prosecute Dennis Canale for the gambling ring he was promoting with the boys at Xaverian. But Joe did make him pay a fine to the DA's office. It wasn't an election year so I don't think the fine became a campaign contribution. Xaverian going Co-ed is a very good thing. Bay Ridge high schools have always represented the social stratification and classist elitism of the neighborhood. Poor hard-working Irish and Italians went to Fort Hamilton and the entitled got to go to the Catholic high schools. Hopefully, this will change all that - a bit. John Kennedy O'Hara went to Fort Hamilton. One wonders if John had the advantage of attending Xaverian in his formative years would the Brooklyn machine have tried to destroy him as they did. It is just conjecture but I am told Xaverian alum are very loyal to one another.

Does anyone know why Matthew D'Emic recently had John O'Hara's 440 motion transferred to another judge? I wonder why Judge D'Emic has taken such a personal interest on John's case.

Anonymous said...


Just askin'.

Anonymous said...

Judge Matthew D’Emic has every reason to be interested in the well-being of John Kennedy O’Hara.

For a while, as a kid, O’Hara hung around with the young lawyer Matt D’Emic almost all the time.

O’Hara’s politics with Matt D’Emic goes further back than with either former DA Hynes or Judge Phillips. In 1972, after Matt D’Emic was a George Alwon anti-war McGovernite ( who paid his own way to the 1972 Democratic Convention where he was a McGovern Delegate), MD and JKO did a polling place all day on election day for McGovern. Both of them would take their lunch and other breaks at “The Green Tea Room” on 86th Street.

After that 1972 campaign, one of the McGovern Bay Ridge “headquarters” became the first store front for the “New Era Democrats.” It was on 5th Avenue near 73rd Street. After school, John O’Hara would hang out there, very often with Matt D’Emic.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to interrupt this O'Hara-D'Emic love fest, but neither of them is a member of the Brooklyn Republican Party. O'Hara has always been a Democrat, and D'Emic and most of his family are in the Conservative Party.

Anonymous said...

D'Emic and John? Dang, I didn't know they were homies. Wow, Just like brothers. Just like Fredo and Michael.

Shirley Chisholm '72

Galewyn Massey said...


Only one comment above belonged on the comments thread to this post about stuff in the local GOP; and even that one was a bit snarky. Another comment questioned why all the D'Emic and O'Hara commentary is here; and it is reasonable to conclude that if the D'Emic and O'Hara commentary weren't here, that comment would not have been made either....

Anonymous said...

Or Ray Riley realized that Georgea K was lifted up by Golden to a 100K position while he had to start planning the summer stroll at the same pay.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe this Riley fellow wants to get outa Dodge before a federal indictment against Golden comes down. Ever think of that?

Maybe he's not waiting around for Preet's "stay tuned" suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Or, as they used to say in "The Life of Riley" [Jackie Gleason & William Bendix] -- "What a revoltin' development this is..."