Thursday, June 21, 2018

Why Is Joe Crowley Dissing The Bronx Part Of His Own District Again?


The editorial board of the NY Times slapped down Joe Crowley this week: If You Want to Be Speaker, Mr. Crowley, Don’t Take Voters for Granted. The editorial is especially poignant since Crowley hired a lobbyist to remove the Bronx part of his district removed from NY-14. Crowley is the machine boss of Queens and he doesn't like dealing with the residents of Throggs Neck, City Island, Eastchester Bay, Silver Beach, Locust Point, Schuylerville, Middletown, Pelham, Parkchester, Morris Park and Baychester. So he ignores them-- and hopes they don't vote. (In the 2014 midterm 79,790 of NY-14 voters came from Queens and just 48,580 came from the Bronx.

The Times' editors beef with Crowley was that, though he went to the Queens debate last week-- a debate he was not prepared for and clearly lost to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-- he skipped the Bronx debate entirely.
When asking New Yorkers for their vote, most candidates would begin by showing up.

Not Representative Joseph Crowley. No, Mr. Crowley, a 10-term Democratic congressman who reportedly has ambitions of serving as House speaker, chose to skip a debate Monday night with his primary challenger, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He sent a surrogate instead, former City Councilwoman Annabel Palma.

This is the second primary debate in which Mr. Crowley was a no-show. A spokeswoman for Mr. Crowley said he had scheduling conflicts that wouldn’t allow him to attend the two debates, inevitably leaving voters to wonder-- what are we, chopped liver?

Indeed, the snubs should be galling not only to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Crowley’s constituents in New York’s 14th Congressional District, in Queens and the Bronx, but also to anyone who cares about the democratic process.

Mr. Crowley, 56, is a powerful congressman who leads the Queens County Democratic Party. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 28, has presented him his first major primary challenge in years. Despite long odds, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer, has garnered significant support, waging a high-energy campaign and positioning herself as a grass-roots alternative to Mr. Crowley.

The candidates have met once, in a Spectrum News NY1 debate last week at which both candidates held their own.

Instead of attending Monday evening’s debate, which was hosted by the Parkchester Times, Mr. Crowley visited a civic association meeting in Queens. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was left to debate Mr. Crowley’s chosen surrogate, Ms. Palma. Ms. Palma once represented the Bronx on the City Council and now serves in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration as a deputy commissioner at the Department of Social Services.

Mr. Crowley’s constituents might well now wonder whether he intends, if re-elected, to have Ms. Palma make his floor speeches and cast his votes as well.

Crowley aides said they had told the newspaper weeks ago that there was a scheduling conflict and had asked to change the event. The publisher of the Parkchester Times said he had no idea that Mr. Crowley wouldn’t attend.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter after the debate that in sending Ms. Palma, Mr. Crowley chose “a woman with slight resemblance to me” as his surrogate. Both Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Palma are Latina. Crowley aides dispute that Mr. Crowley chose Ms. Palma because of her ethnicity. A campaign spokesman, Vijay Chaudhuri, said Ms. Palma was chosen because she is a “phenomenal local leader.”

Mr. Crowley is far from the first candidate to decline to debate a challenger he is heavily favored to beat. But as a longtime incumbent with a powerful role as a party leader, he should relish, not shirk, a chance to make his case to voters. Mr. Crowley has decades of experience that can serve his constituents well in Congress. But his seat is not his entitlement. He’d better hope that voters don’t react to his snubs by sending someone else to do the job.
Blue America has been working with a very grassroots group in NY-14, Queens Against Crowley, to run a Facebook ad campaign and do robocalls to public housing residents in Queens and the Bronx that we hope will help people understand the difference between Crowley and Alexandria Ocasio. Below are a couple of the ads that have already gone out... if you'd like to listen. And if you want to chip in for more calls and ads, you can do that by tapping here and contributing to the Blue America Independent Expenditure Committee.

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At 6:29 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Simple Joe Corrupt is vile & he speaks only for the money he doesn't even live in the city anymore Alexandria is a much better smarter & refresher choice for The Bronx.

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crowley clearly doesn't understand that as Speaker he would constantly be in the media eye. Blowing them off now only means that he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt should he ever attain that office, and he'd have to work harder to get his message out.

He can be replaced very easily - and should be.

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Democrats make a corrupt pol like Crowley speaker they are in for a world of hurt.


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