Saturday, September 11, 2010

Will Smickle be smiling after Tuesday primary?

Let's hope not. Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins is being punished by the Hedge Hogs for calling for more oversight of charters. Note below that Gotham Schools financial backer Ken Hirsch chipped in. And Governor Patterson endorsed Smickle. The charter school lobby has become one of the major threats to public education in this nation and the Perkins/Smickle primary is the epicenter.

I usually don't get involved with politicians but since last summer when I went up with GEM to defend PS 123 and other Harlem schools from the Evil Moskowitz invasions, I began to run into Perkins' people. Then Perkins' assistants (all of whom were incredibly impressive) started meeting with some of the GEM and CPE people in weekly meetings and he stopped by to chat quite often.

I filmed most of his charter school hearings in March and was actually the last speaker at 9pm. If there is one politician you contribute to, Bill Perkins should be the one. I may even go up there on Tuesday to see if I can help out.

Upper West Side (Manhattan for non-New Yorkers) parent activist Noah Gotbaum will be hosting an event for Perkins at his apartment tomorrow (Sunday). See below.

One of our sources sent this in:
Perkins also publicly said Paterson should resign after it was revealed that he called the girlfriend of his aide to talk her out of filing domestic violence charges. 

Paterson, Wright and many in the Harlem establishment were angry at Perkins for saying Paterson should not have interfered or worse yet cover up a possible domestic violence crime.

Smikle is desperate. After he loses on Tuesday, he should put in an application to start a charter. Zero investment, guaranteed revenue source and he'll make more money.  Be interesting to see if all his funders will be as supportive when he tries to sit at their table and have a slice of their charter pie.

Charter lobby last hour contributions to Smikle.  Petry's wife and Gotham Schools funder, Ken Hirsh. I guess they'll be contributing even more money in the next few days so that Smikle can pay off Wright, democratic clubs and other politicians after he loses on Tuesday.
Keith Wright is a Harlem Dem leader who is supporting Smickle.

260 W. 72ND ST.
NEW YORK, NY 10023
114 W. 13TH ST.
NEW YORK, NY 10011

Articles published Friday re Perkins/Smikle race and others funded by the charter lobby.



Dear Friend,
This coming Sunday, September 12 I will be hosting a fundraising brunch at my home for our State Senator, Bill Perkins.  Bill Perkins has been a great State Senator; one who never backs down in his fight for basic justice, equality and helping those who need it most.  Bill has been especially effective in the area of education, fighting against school overcrowding, consistently promoting increased parental rights, and constantly reminding the City and State education authorities that ALL of our kids deserve a great education – including English Language Learners, transitional and homeless kids, kids with Special Needs, the 97% of our kids who don’t attend charter schools.  In the face of fierce opposition from the Charter School lobby – who are the primary funders of Bill’s opponent - Bill effectively led the fight for increased transparency and oversight for all of our schools, and for a level playing field and fair resource allocation for our public schools.

Bill also led the fight in the State Senate for the law to reform our public authorities like the MTA, and to take their operations out of the shadows, making sure their finances are scrutinized and that they are serving the people. He sponsored the new clean air law to reduce the sulfur content of home heating oil that will make it easier for New Yorkers with respiratory conditions to breathe, and it will help reduce acid rain. And Bill Perkins has been a voice for change in Albany – immediately calling for the ouster of Hiram Monserrate and working to bring new leadership following last summer’s Senate gridlock. You can find out more at his web site

Bill Perkins has put together a broad based grassroots campaign that has earned the support of leaders like Jerry Nadler, Scott Stringer, Danny O’Donnell, Linda Rosenthal, Bill Thompson, Bob Jackson, Inez Dickens and important groups representing environmentalists, tenants, parents, the disabled, health care workers, teachers and leading voices for reform.
I hope you will join me Sunday for an informal bagel brunch -- two days before this Tuesday’s primary -- and help to make sure Bill has what he needs to get his message out in these crucial final days.  Here are the details:

Sunday, September 12, 2010,  12 – 2 pm
At the home of Noah E Gotbaum, 27 West 86th Street, #7A (Between Central Park West and Columbus)

Thanks so much!  Hope to see you on Sunday.  And if you can’t make it I hope you will consider making a donation.
All best,

Parent Richard Barr says:

For lots of years I organized the lobbying trips to the City and State electeds who represented School District 3 for our Presidents' Council.  Bill, as a Councilmember and then a Senator, always listened carefully, (as some others also did) but beyond that, engaged us in dialogue and offered opinions about how we might be effective in advocating for our issues, and attended District meetings in school auditoriums, sometimes arguing with the District Sup't. when he thought a school he represented was being treated unfairly.  (Back in the good old days when District offices had some decision-making authority).  His level of engagement seemed genuine and often went beyond that of many of his peers.

Riddle of the day:
Why does Smickle wake up in the middle of the night screaming EEP, EEP, EEP?

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