It seems simple enough --- “JOIN THE BROOKLYN YOUNG REPUBLICAN CLUB AT OUR NEXT MEETING ON SUNDAY MAY 29,2016 WITH GUEST SPEAKER NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE JANINE MATERNA....” [Today’s E-mail Invitation from the Brooklyn Young Republican Club]
Here’s the rub: Janine Materna is running against an incumbent GOP Member of the NYS Assembly, Ron Castorina Jr.; both Assemblyman Castorina and candidate Janine Materna are from Staten Island: and they are running in Staten Island’s 62nd Assembly District, which has no connection to Brooklyn whatsoever
Neither Ron Castorina nor key members of the Staten Island GOP establishment are amused that the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, which is lined up behind the Marty Golden faction, invited Janine Materna to speak
After the word got out that Janine Materna was going to appear as a “speaker” at the Brooklyn YR Club meeting at the No Quarter Tavern in Bay Ridge, set for 4PM to 6PM on Sunday May 29th, several Staten Island Republicans complained to Marty Golden and his Chief of Staff Gerry Kassar. At first, Golden and/or his folks said they would take care of business and head off the problem. Unfortunately, there was no such business and nobody headed off the problem. Either Golden or one of his peeps called Castorina or his rep and told them that nothing could be done -- the Brooklyn YR Club is an independent and distinct organization, not formally affiliate with the Brooklyn GOP.
Independent Brooklyn YR Club has long history of inviting candidates In contested GOP primaries -- and from districts wholly outside of Brooklyn
A spokesperson for the Brooklyn Young Republican Club seemed completely surprised that anybody thought the invitation to Janine Materna was in any way unusual or problematic.
That spokesperson first noted that in 2013 the Brooklyn YR Club invited all of the GOP mayoral candidates to speak before the GOP primary. He also specifically pointed out that in 2010 both Michael Grimm and Michael Allegretti appeared before the Brooklyn YR Club even though the Brooklyn & Staten Island GOP organizations both had endorsed Allegretti. Also mentioned was the fact that in 2010, the Brooklyn YR Club invited the candidate from the 49th AD LaGuardia Club to speak on several occasions, even though State Senator Marty Golden and the Brooklyn GOP Organization were backing another candidate.
When I confronted the Brooklyn YR Club spokesperson that he had no business inviting people from races that are wholly outside of Brooklyn; and that the Materna-Castorina district is only in Staten Island, he corrected me by talking about how often Wave Chan appeared at his club. He noted that Chan was running against Sheldon Silver in an all-Manhattan district -- and that Chan often noted how he was getting more support from Brooklyn Republicans than their Manhattan counterparts.
Most interesting thing in the interview -- No requests by Golden to cancel the Materna speech
When I asked the spokesperson about Golden or anybody from his staff asking the Brooklyn YR Club not to let Janine Materna speak, he seemed honestly and completely surprised. “Nobody asked me, but I’m not the President of the club.” When I probed more closely, he opined that there would be no reason for Golden to ask that, because his Brooklyn YR Club is completely independent pf other political organizations.