Monday, August 28, 2006


Why go to the meeting Carl?

ENDORSEMENT RECALLS LOBSTER HOUSE MEETING: Councilman Al Vann, who endorsed Freddy Ferrer for mayor in 2001, is backing Council Speaker Gifford Miller this time. But State Senator Carl Kruger and Councilman Lew Fidler are backing Ferrer.

Astute newspaper readers noticed that Fidler’s endorsement (leaked by the Ferrer campaign) showed up on page 2 of the New York Post while Kruger’s was buried on page 22. As someone cleverly noted, it’s not the first time Fidler and Kruger weren’t on the same page.

Kruger’s endorsement reminded us of his 2001 endorsement of Ferrer, which came after Kruger attended a controversial strategy session of the Mark Green campaign at Nick’s Lobster House in Sheepshead Bay. Though Kruger denies this, numerous sources have told us that it was Kruger who animatedly advised Green’s people to tie Ferrer to Al Sharpton in order to hurt Ferrer among white voters.

At that meeting, sources said, Green’s people rejected Kruger’s advice, prompting the senator to walk out and endorse Ferrer shortly thereafter. The irony is that the Green campaign ultimately took Kruger’s advice a step too far, anonymously producing an allegedly racist flier that included a Post cartoon of Ferrer kissing Sharpton’s behind.

Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes investigated, but never brought charges. The campaign may have broken campaign finance laws by not disclosing the expenditure for printing the flier or thousands of phone calls to white Brooklyn voters.

Kruger maintains it was Green’s people who suggested the Sharpton strategy. Kruger says he advised against it and left the meeting when Green’s people refused to drop the idea.

Brooklyn Politics by Erik Engquist
February 14, 2005

Sunday, August 27, 2006


A sign of things to come?

Queens Assembly Race Spurs Dispute on TacticsThree weeks after Election Day, a State Assembly election in Queens has produced a forgery investigation, charges of questionable campaign tactics and a protest meeting of civic activists.

The controversy surrounds campaign mailings and literature of John F. Duane... in southeast Queens. . .

Two other Assembly aids, Carl Kruger and Bernard Catcher, a partner with Mr. Genovese in a Brooklyn travel agency, worked full time in the Duane campaign.
New York Times, November 23, 1982

John Duane: A Reformer Goes Sour
Village Voice

Duane's enemies and former friends agree that his campaign became ugly - false and unsigned litature, unauthorized endorsements and signatures, a last minute negative blitz - in mid October, shortly after the Political Professionals from Assembly Speakers Stanly Fink's Democratic Campaign committee stepped in. . .

One of Duane volunteer worker who watched the campaign change described it this way: "We were running a door to door campaign until the last couple of weeks, when Pink's office suddenly figured they could win this seat. They putting thousands of dollars and sent over the so called pros. Very shortly, these fellows were running the campaign. Some of what they did was good, but a few days before the election they put out pieces we wanted nothing to do with, half-truths, and typical last minute campaign stuff. They had to bring in a busload of kids from Brooklyn to have it out because the volunteers wouldn't touch it." He paused a minute then added, "John margin was substantial. He could have won without all that crap hauled in by Fink's guys . . .

That crap: included according to Prescott, Queens weeklies, and some of Duane's fellow reformers, included a racially polarizing piece which referred ominously to Rochdale Village, a mostly black cooperative development, an unsigned leaflet asking why his opponent Prescott did not vote against Medicaid funding for abortion (Duane is pro choice), palm cards and posters on election day linking Duane to Republican state senator, Frank Padavain's popularity, and another saying Prescott had lied about Duane's opposition to the death penalty; and bulk mailing without any return address (a violation of U.S. Postal regulations). . .

In friends and allies he has offered the feeble excuse that he "couldn't stop" the Genovese crew, and that he lost control of his campaign.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Kruger Responds

State Senator Carl Kruger took exception to our recent revisiting of the end of the 2001 mayor's race and in particular to the point -- which we did not make -- that he played a role in the Sharpton-Ferrer flyer.
What we reported, and stand by, is that he played a key role in Green's South Brooklyn operation. His complaint, it seems to us, is with the Bloomberg campaign, as quoted in New York Magazine.

Anyway, here's what he wrote, minus an obligatory Mark Twain quote.

"Today a Politicker 'blog' repeated the lie that I was involved in the 'racist' Green campaign flyer. These are the facts. I attended a lunch of Mark Green supporters and campaign staff where the idea of such a flyer surfaced. I told them in the strongest terms that it was wrong. After leaving the lunch I contacted Fernando Ferrer. I then notified the Green campaign that I could not support Green and would endorse Ferrer for Mayor. The day after the lunch I campaigned with Fernando Ferrer with Assemblyman Peter Abbate at the AMICO senior center in Brooklyn. I sincerely hope that this finally ends the travels of this baseless lie."

Perhaps somebody else who knows his or her way around Nick's Lobster House can straighten the whole thing out for us.

UPDATE: Hmm. We've just been sent a November 2, 2001 Daily News story in which one Brooklyn politician defends the decision to use that flyer:

"My perception was, prejudice is in the eyes of the beholder. If someone is supporting someone's campaign, there's no reason on Earth why someone else can't point that out," Senator Kruger said.

3,23,05 Politicker



The Anti-Ferrer ’Toon That Won’t Die Resurfaces in ’05 Race
The politically explosive flyer that helped decide the 2001 mayoral race—the one with the Post cartoon of Fernando Ferrer kissing a flatulent Al Sharpton’s buttocks—is back. Renegade Mark Green supporters distributed the flyer during the ’01 primary, upsetting Ferrer, whose backers withheld support from nominee Green, helping Michael Bloomberg win.

Now some Dems are whispering that the flyer’s designer, Micah Lasher, a consultant whose company is a subsidiary of Bloomberg ad firm Squier Knapp, is doing the mayor’s campaign mail. In fact, Bloomberg’s advisers were so worried about flyer blowback that, after some debate, they had Lasher sign a notarized paper saying he’d recused himself from working with them. Still, the flyer’s power lives on: Asked about Lasher, Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser blasted Ferrer for campaigning with State Senator Carl Kruger, also allegedly behind the flyer: “Mr. Ferrer was outraged by the flyers, but now he embraces one of its masterminds.” Ferrer’s spokesman said he welcomes new supporters.
—Greg Sargent NY Magazine


Kruger and the Flyer

Those Flyers
What amazes us most about this New York Magazine item, which revisits those notorious "racist" flyers from the 2001 campaign, is how Freddy has evidently forgiven what once appeared to be a rather personal wound; while Mike Bloomberg, the sole beneficiary of the Democrats' racial meltdown, is now keeping the grievance alive.

To explain: Freddy, as the New York piece points out, essentially launched this year's campaign by embracing Carl Kruger, a South Brooklyn pol who played a central role in Mark Green's much-criticized appeal to white Brooklyn voters.

Mike, meanwhile, seems to have pursued rather extreme means of distancing himself from the affair. The kid who did the mechanical work of designing the flyer, Micah Lasher, is now a political consultant. (When we say "kid," we mean that, as we recall, he was 19, and an undergrad at NYU, in 2001.) His partner is doing work for Bloomberg. And Team Bloomberg is petrified of the flyer's taint:
"Bloomberg's advisors were so worried about flyer blowback that, after some debate, they had Lasher sign a notarized paper saying he'd recused himself from working with them."

Notarized?! This strikes us as quite a precedent. What better way to validate the charge that the flyer was racist, toxic, a page from Der Sturmer? And what better way to signal that you'll be an easy target for similar accusations in October?
March 22, 05 Politicker

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