Friday, May 22, 2009

Zombie Post: It was Dead... Now it's Better

Juliet Linderman took over my blog... and this happened.

New Kings Democratic Club 33rd City Council Candidates Forum: Caaaaaaan yooooou dig iiiiiiiit?!

6:43 PM: Well folks, the day has finally arrived: The New Kings Democrats are about to kick off the third in a series of 33rd city council candidates forums, this one hopefully boasting all seven (SEVEN?!) candidates. Steve Levin, a Greenpoint resident, says he’s coming, but we’ll see. The first to show is Doug “the Biv” Biviano, hailing from Brooklyn Heights. He’s shuffling through the aisles, waiting for the games to begin. And one of the Kens just turned up. He’s a little confused, but seems to be settling in just fine. He is, however, convinced that my name is Amy. Williamsburg resident Evan Thies just rolled through, with a small entourage as per usual. And here’s Boerum Hill's Jo Anne Simon, looking lovely as always in a fluffy blue coat. And the Biv brought his kids! The little redhead’s running through the aisles.

6:53 PM: We’ve got seven minutes to go, and the gangs are gathering. Still waiting on one Ken, an Abhamam and a Levin. Shake your tail feathers, guys.

7:09 PM: Everyone’s here in full force, ready to rumble. Levin’s all smiles. He says he’s feeling a little nervous. Rami “Heavy” Metal suggests pumping some pump-up jams. Steve says it worked for him for high school wrestling. Somebody put on some Jane’s Addiction, STAT! The Courier's Greg Hanlon is chatting up CB1 Transportation Chair Teresa Toro, surprise surprise.

7:15 PM: Everyone takes their seats. Ben Muessig from the Brooklyn Paper is in the row. He has no idea what I'm writing about right now and he does not care. Nice to see you too, Ben.

7:21 PM: NKD Founder Matt Cowherd takes the mic and introduces the organization, telling everyone that they can check out the debate on their website—it’s being taped. The moderators are Sabrina Gates, a fashion designer... and who’s that guy with the glasses? I don’t know, but we're going to make him get a haircut.

7:32 PM: COME OUT AND PLAAAAAAY: the rumble begins. We’re getting some introductions!

Can you hear me suckers?! I say, the future is ours... if you can count!

Short explains the format of the debate: left to right, right to left, clockwise then counterclockwise…say that five times fast. One minute, no longer. Think Vinny Abate—who’s running this meeting?! You WILL be cut off. Prepared questions, and questions from the audience will be taken. A red flag reminds candidates that they have 30 seconds, no joke. Short really needs a haircut.

Let's go to the highlights!

7:34 PM: The first question is thrown out: so, why are you running for city council? Abraham’s up aaaaaaaand he’s off!

Oooh yikes, wasn’t expecting it to get so dirty so fast. He’s got some problems with Yassky and how he handled the little things like, Newtown Creek and the 2005 waterfront rezoning promises. He promises that, “when new units are being created as firehouses are closed, I’ll be there. When there’s toxic waste that needs cleaning up, I’ll be there.” Really? Is it the end of the movie already? Aaaaaand he’s cut off!

Ken "Yogi" Baer follows Abraham's introduction. "I can do an exceptional job. I have the unique perspective of being an accountant and I am very cognizant of the issues of each of the communities in the district. I want to emphasize my ability to work with other councilmembers, interlacing the issues that are here and in the other parts of the city to make the city and district better place to live. I want to establish community control over development, improving public schools, gas grills.... AAAAND he’s cut off!

Ken Baer welcomes residents to McCarren Park

The Biv takes the mic. The guy just loves life. He loves it a lot. He loves the crowd, he loves his kids. He loves you, and he wants you to know that. He’s got faith in the possibility of politics, and wants to “engage in communities like never before.” He gives New Yorkers props, saying that we are “experts in living.” I don’t exactly know what that means, but I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks! Biv wants to have tough conversations, new and old ones, about how to create livable cities, affordable housing, universal health care aaaaaaand he’s cut off!

8:00 PM SPLIT QUESTION:Thies, Levin, Simon: Why should people be confident that you will act independently of the elected officials with whom you are so closely aligned? AKA: Are you guys corrupt, or no?

It’s Levin’s time to boss up. Sitting in a room full of people who don’t trust you, and participating in a debate sponsored by your boss’ rival democratic club, it’s gotta be tough up there, Steve. He says that he’s “very proud of the work I’ve done for his office, especially in affordable housing…There are times when I disagree, and I will be independent. I’m running as my own guy.”

8:10 PM: A small business question. Thies gets down on the mayor for forgetting about small businesses, and agrees that commercial rent control, mircro-loans and the establishment of a city-bank “without the red tape.” He also wants to eliminate the unincorporated business tax. Abraham says small business tax cuts are what’s up. Yogi Baer says rent stabilization is great. He also says there should be LOCAL CURRENCY. Seriously? Seriously? Oh, also, Ken... you’re way over time.


1. Short asks if each candidate would support a five per cent hike on sales tax, or Quinn’s plan to tax people earning $300,000/year. Quinn’s all around!
2. So, what are you guys reading?

Diamondstone: The Nation
Levin: A People’s History by Howard Zinn
Simon: The Great Bridge by David McCullough
Thies: Essays on Humanism By Kurt Vonnegut
Baer: He likes to read the newspaperstimes every day, local papers.
Biv: Jeremy Scahill of Democracy Now, the Courier and the Greenpoint Gazette. Major points for Biv!

Yes or No to Kent Avenue Bike Lane:
Levin: Yes
Simon: Yes
Thies: Yes
Abraham: Yes (!)
Baer: Yes
Biv: Yes

East River Bridge Tolls?
Simon: Yes
Thies: Yes
Abraham: No
Baer: Yes
Biv: No
Diamondstone: Yes
Levin: only if the price is correlated to the cost of subway.

Condoms in schools?
Thies: Yes
Abraham: Parents decide
Baer: Yes…followed by some unwelcome commentary
Biv: Yes
Ken: Yes
Levin: Yes

Simply the greatest sex scene of all time.

ROTC in Schools?
Abraham: Yes
Baer: No
Biv: Condoms!
Diamondstone: No
Levin: No
Simon: No
Thies: Yes

Cell phones in Schools?
Baer: can’t wrap his head around a yes or no question
Biv: No
Diamondstone: not sure
Levin: for emergencies
Simon: Yes
Thies: in school but not in class—Nice one, Thies!
Abraham: if they keep it in a condom!

Favorite Restaurant?
Biv: Can’t chose, it’s like picking a favorite child?
Levin: Grimaldis—Nice one, Levin!
Simon: Downtown Atlantic
Thies: Five leaves—Nice one Thies!
Abraham: Peter Lugers aint kosher

Music you like?
Levin: Bruce and Brahms
Simon: is having a tough time with this one. She says there’s a CD that she listens to sometimes…someone who got killed in a car crash…oh, Patsy Cline!
Thies: New U2, But it sucks. Thies just lost my vote for mentioning U2.
Abraham: His favorite song? Anything you can do I can do better! Hardy har, Abraham.
Baer: Bruce Springsteen, born in the USA! Nice one, Baer. I sort of don’t believe you though.
Biv: loves karaoke. Of course he does!
Diamonstone: Pete Seeger at his 90th birthday….

Evan Thies can't live, with or without effective governmental reform.

Do you endorse plans for Broadway triangle? Zing!
Simon: if it’s community-based
Thies: No
Abraham: No
Baer: No
Biv: doesn’t know
Diamondstone: too many sides to the issue
Levin: Yes

Favor term limits extension:
Simon: no, but sort of
Thies: no, never, not philosophically
Abraham: no, democracy went down the city hall toilet, I’m going to clean it
Biv: two terms
Diamondstone: against extension of term limits
Levin: philosophically opposed to term limits, but not opposed to a ref. being put to a vote
Baer: rambles again…I do support term limits,

Gowanus Canal and Newtown creek, do you support Superfund sites:
Thies: yes
Ab: yes
Baer: yes
Biv: superfund it baby!
Ken diamondstone: yes
Levin: supports whatever is fastest and most effective
Simon: ditto

One word about the next person:
Baere to biv: handsome!
Biv to diamond: lot of heart
Ken to levin: vito-proof
Lev to simon: very intelligent
Simon to thies: prayerful
Thies to Abraham: determined
Ab to baerr: entertaining.

Biv: glad the other ken didn’t say that to me! Oh, come on Biv! A gay joke? Really?

8:55 PM: Closing Statements
BIV: I believe in the possibility of politics and so do you, and that’s why we’re here. I want to leverage the world stage, we don’t use our gov. I want to take a slice of the war pie to procure health care for all. Five of the ten people I talked to in Mccarren park did not have health care. Obama said he needs us and I need you! I sailed across the ocean on a 27 foot boat. I fear nothing. (What?!)
That's it. Short and Levin start singing and dancing on the little piece of stage that juts out into the audience.. Be sure to come out to the Greenpoint Gazette debate Tuesday, May 26, 7 PM at MS 126 (John Ericsson424 Leonard Street, Brooklyn, NY). Sweet Home Greenpoint!


Moses Gates said...

I'm digging the hair - don't listen to the haters.

Anonymous said...

This was truly excellent coverage. Good job. Didn't anyone ask about how much pot they smoked?