Thursday, September 5, 2013

NY Times Endorses Ben Kallos To Represent Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side In NYC Council Over Assemblyman Micah Kellner And Ed Hartzog - Kallos Criticized For Hypocricy Over Anonymous Campaign Flyer

The NY Times endorsed Ben Kallos in the race for the Democratic Party nomination to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in the NY Council. According to the NY Times:
MANHATTAN’S DISTRICT 5 (Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island): A few months ago, this race looked as if it would be an easy win for Assemblyman Micah Kellner. Then came the accusations against him of sexual harassment — charges now being investigated by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in Albany. Fortunately, there is a better candidate in this race: Ben Kallos, a lawyer and activist. Mr. Kallos has government experience as a legislative aide in Albany, where he worked to begin putting voting records online. He has impressive proposals to help students who attend the City University of New York by forgiving college loans to those who work and stay in the city, and to require developers to build more affordable apartments to get tax abatements. He wants to expand broadband service and revisit congestion pricing. Ben Kallos brings fresh ideas and merits this seat.
Mr. Kallos had this to say about the NY Times endorsement:
I am honored to receive the endorsement of the New York Times, and excited to put the ideas they pointed to into action on behalf of New Yorkers. With just five days left in the City Council race to represent the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, the confidence of the New York Times is crucial.
I asked Assembly Member Micah Kellner if he had any statement:
... on the NY Times Kallos endorsement, your absence from last week's Roosevelt Island Candidate's Forum or any other issue regarding the campaign that you would like to share with the Roosevelt Island community.
Have not received an answer yet from Mr. Kellner, but will update if he responds.

Mr. Kallos has received criticism recently over an anonymous mailer sent to Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side residents. According to the NY Observer's Politicker:
... In a new, biting campaign mailer, rival Ben Kallos blasts Mr. Kellner for admitting to sending inappropriate communications to a female staffer and allegations of even more misconduct. “Those around Kellner tried to bury the charges, keeping them secret for years as the harassment continued–a massive Albany cover-up over which one Assembly lawyer has already been forced to resign,” the mailer rages.

But in a move that raised some eyebrows in the district, the ad does not disclose that it came from Mr. Kallos, who has been explicitly branding himself as one of the most good government-touting, pro-transparency candidates anywhere in the five boroughs....
Roosevelt Island resident Janet Falk, commenting on the Roosevelt Island Candidate's Forum post, adds:
It's great that Ben Kallos said the behavior of Micah Kellner four years ago ". . . made me sick to my stomach and its (sic) harmful to democracy because as I am trying to run a great campaign all people can think about is how rotten politicians are..."

Now that I've received two postcards about Kellner's sexual harrassment past, sent by an unamed person or group, and one phone call, also paid for by an unnamed person or group, it turns out these three efforts were created by Ben Kallos.

I'm sick to my stomach, too-- about these anonymous attacks by someone who claims to support transparency in government.
I asked Mr. Kallos if he had any comment on the Politcker article. A Kallos spokesperson replied:
Micah Kellner has a shameful history of abusing his power to sexually harass his staff in the Assembly, and voters deserve to know. We're proud to get this information out.
During September 3 NY 1 debate  Mr. Kallos responded to questions about the anonymous campaign flyer saying:
I take full responsibility for it. I am not about cover up ... I take full ownership of it I am proud to have done it. The voters deserve to know what you did...
During the NY 1 debate, Mr. Kellner told Mr. Kallos:
... You're running a campaign on the politics of personal destruction. You don't have a record to run on so you're trying to destroy me....

... The fact is people are recognizing you for what you are, a fraud...
Click here for the full video of the NY 1 Debate between candidates Kellner, Kallos and Ed Hartzog.

During the debate Mr. Kallos and Mr. Kellner spent most of their time attacking each other. Mr. Hartzog tried to talk about real estate development issues in the district.

More on the NYC Council District 5 Democratic Primary race from previous posts.


NotMyKid said...

ben kallos is a fraud and scumbag himself. my own personal private opinion. if it was my district, i would rather see kellner win.

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