Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UFT "Neutrality" in Jeffries-Barron Race is Support for Jeffries

Charles Barron, a former Black Panther out of East New York, has the the movers and shakers of this city aghast. All those Wall Street lawyers, hedge fund operators and charter school advocates who have poured money into stopping Barron’s bid for a Brooklyn congressional seat are worried.-- Juan Gonzalez
Jeffries was supported be DFER but then to cover his ass claimed he didn't want their money. There is no bigger supporter of ed deform than Jeffries yet the UFT would not support his opponent. I've seen Barron and his wife Inez at almost every single rally and event opposing Bloomberg control of the schools. Look at the money flowing into Jeffries and yet Barron is holding his own. I almost never contribute to a candidate but I may just do so now. (Barron has an office on Pennsylvania and Hegeman, a corner I used to walk by every day on the way to George Gershwin JHS, not to be closed.)

If you are a UFT member ask the leadership why they won't support Barron.

Juan Gonzalez really nails the issues in today's Daily News.
 

Charles Barron, a former Black Panther out of East New York, has the the movers and shakers of this city aghast.

All those Wall Street lawyers, hedge fund operators and charter school advocates who have poured money into stopping Barron’s bid for a Brooklyn congressional seat are worried.

A group of Democrats, from liberals like Manhattan Rep. Jerrold Nadler to neo-conservatives like Ed Koch, even blasted Barron this week as an “anti-Semite” and a “racist.”

All of them have suddenly realized that Barron, the most outspoken member of the City Council for the past decade, could be heading to Washington.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Not with all the money the people downtown poured into their choice for the newly drawn 8th congressional seat — State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.

Jeffries, after all, is young, articulate, nonthreatening. He claims the mantel of a new generation of forward-thinking, technocratic black leaders, following in the footsteps of Newark’s Cory Booker and Barack Obama.

Jeffries’ list of donors reads like a who’s who. His latest campaign filing shows $500,000 raised, but he now claims to have surpassed $700,000.

Members of his former law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, gave the most, $33,000; but a slew of other hedge fund operators, lawyers, bankers and philanthropists provided tens of thousands more.

They include John Petry and Joel Greenblatt, heads of Gotham Capital and the founders of the Success Academy Charter Schools ($2,500 a piece); Whitney Tilson of the KIPP charter schools ($1,000); Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the state board of regents ($2,500); Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City ($500).

Barron, on the other hand, lists a mere $50,000 in donations — most of it from himself.

Still, there was Barron Tuesday morning, sitting in a small campaign office on Nostrand Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, looking very much like a front-runner.

Sitting next to him was U.S. Rep. Ed Towns, who recently announced his retirement from the congressional seat he has held for 30 years.

Back in 2006, Barron challenged Towns and came very close to defeating him. Then last week, Towns shocked everybody by endorsing the rival he once called a “bomb thrower.”

“Even though we’ve been on different sides, we always shared a belief in making things better for this community,” Towns said. “I feel Charles will do a better job as my successor.”

Senior citizens, the most reliable of voters, have always been Towns’ base. And given that the unusually early Democratic primary on June 26 is expected to have record low voter turnout, Towns’ decision to throw in with Barron is a potential game changer.

Jeffries discounted the new developments.

As for donations from hedge fund mavens and charter school advocates, they will not influence his views on the lightning rod issue of education, he said.
“No one is fighting harder to stop public school closures than I am,” he said. “I’ve always held the same position on school choice, and supported lifting charter school caps,” he added.

Barron’s focus has been “on the sound bite, mine has been on substance,” Jeffries said.

Sure, Barron has been loud and outrageous at times.

But he has also been a fixture at scores of social justice battles in this city for decades. Few black leaders are better known. Few are more willing to challenge the city’s rich and powerful.

No wonder the money people in Manhattan are suddenly worried about a congressional race in Brooklyn - one they thought was a sure thing.
Author:
Juan Gonzalez
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The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.

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