Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Latest On NYC Council Election To Represent Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side - Ben Kallos Endorsements Growing, Micah Kellner Loses Support Of Working Families Party And Republican Ed Garland In Race Too

What's the latest on the NYC Council Manhattan District 5 election race to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side? As previously reported, Ben Kallos

won the September 10 Democratic Party Primary for the seat defeating current Assembly Member Micah Kellner and Community Board 8 Member Ed Hartzog. Mr. Kallos is now running as the Democratic Party candidate in the November 5, 2013 General Election against Republican Candidate Dave Garland

and Mr. Kellner who is running on the Working Families Party election ballot line.

Following his primary win, Mr. Kallos was endorsed by Democratic Party elected officials including Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Jerome Nadler, current NYC Council Member for the district Jessica Lappin,

Manhattan Borough President and NYC Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, primary opponent Ed Hartzog and a host of other Democratic Party elected officials and Unions. (Video of endorsement announcements below).

But not Mr. Kellner.

Despite his loss in the primary to Mr. Kallos, Micah Kellner chose to remain in the race on the Working Families Party ballot line claiming to be "the REAL Democrat"

Image From Kellner Campaign Literature

for election to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in the NYC Council. According to Crains Insider, Mr. Kellner:
... applied for and received nearly $88,000 in taxpayer matching funds for a quixotic general-election run on the Working Families Party ballot line against Mr. Kallos, raising eyebrows among political observers....
Mr. Kellner no longer has the support of the Working Families Party in the race to represent Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side in the NYC Council. According to this email sent today from the Working Families Party to its supporters:
We didn't think we'd ever say this:

In one City Council race on the East Side of Manhattan, for the first time, we're asking you NOT to vote on the Working Families ballot line.

Very early in the race, we endorsed Micah Kellner for the seat. It turns out that was a mistake. After sexual harassment charges surfaced against Kellner, he lost both his Democratic primary as well as the support of the WFP.

We're proud to support Ben Kallos, an outstanding progressive candidate who will represent the community well.

Despite losing our support, Kellner just won't quit. And unfortunately, we have no mechanism to remove his name from our ballot line. He's waged a nasty attack-filled campaign. And worst of all, he's doing it on the Working Families line.

On Election Day, after you vote for Bill de Blasio, Letitia James and Scott Stringer on the Working Families ballot line, make sure to skip over Micah Kellner and vote for Ben Kallos on the Democratic line.

If we can count on you to vote for Ben Kallos, click here to pledge your vote for the candidate you can be proud to support: Ben Kallos.

Thank you,

Bill Lipton
Working Families Party
This campaign has gotten very nasty. According to Politicker
... Anonymous mailers currently being circulated on the Upper East Side attack City Council candidate Ben Kallos for being endorsed by Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist–or in the words of the mailer, “a child prostitution promoter”–among other charges....
Below is the front and back side of an anonymous campaign flyer found in Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side mailboxes recently.

I asked Republican NYC Council Candidate Ed Garland if his campaign was at all responsible for the mailing above. Mr. Garland replied that he was not.

I sent the following October 28 email inquiry to Mr. Kellner:
Many Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side residents of NYC's Manhattan 5 Council District have received an anonymous anti Ben Kallos campaign flyer in the mail over the last several days which alleges among other charges:
"Mr. Kallos is Reckless and Irresponsible. Our Next City Councilman shouldn't be proud of endorsements from an anti-semite, child prostitution promoter and the leader of a group that called the Upper East Side a bastion of "racism and xenophobia.Ben Kallos doesn't share our values. He's too extreme. Ben Kallos is unfit to serve"
I asked Dave Garland, the Republican Candidate for the NYCM 5th Council district seat if he was responsible for the anonymous flyer and he said that he was not.

Do you have any comment to the charge that the Kellner campaign is responsible for this anonymous mailer?...
Earlier today I followed up with an email to Mr. Kellner asking if he would like to comment on the anonymous campaign flyer as well as the statement from the Working Families Party urging their supporters to vote for Mr. Kallos. Mr. Kellner has not responded yet. If he does respond, will include it as an update to this post. For the record, Mr. Kellner has been attentive and a very good Assembly Member for the interests of Roosevelt Island.

Here is a video taken last September 15 on 93rd Street off Third Avenue of Democratic Party elected officials, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Kreuger and others endorsing Mr. Kallos for City Council.

More information about the candidates available at links below:
and from this NY 1 debate between Mr. Kallos and Mr. Garland.