Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Nov. 1, 2018

Everybody must get Stone: With the midterm elections looming, we’ve suddenly been getting text messages again from Roger Stone lately. It was reported that the G.O.P. “dirty trickster” recently took a couple of polygraph tests that purportedly showed he, in fact, did not speak with Julian Assange before WikiLeaks’ dumps of sensitive Hillary Clinton campaign-related e-mails during the 2016 presidential election. Stone, in turn, asked us when his frenemy Randy Credico — the Downtown comic-turned-muckraking-radio journalist — will now take his own lie-detector tests. Credico, who, unlike Stone, has already testified before a D.C. grand jury as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into so-called “Russiagate,” declined comment. It’s believed Stone is a major target of Mueller’s probe into election collusion. Credico is just one of several Stone associates to have been grilled by the feds.

Paul Newell, with a pal in the Elizabeth St. Garden, helped push for a raft of County Committee reforms after Democrat bosses worked to block him from being the party’s nominee in a special election for state Senate in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn last year. Photo by Scoopy

County comeuppance: A year ago, then-Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh was anointed by Democratic bosses, in what was derided as a “backroom deal,” to be the party’s nominee to fill the vacant Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn state Senate seat formerly held by Daniel Squadron. District Leader Paul Newell had the strongest support among County Committee members, but a regulations quirk for districts spanning two boroughs allowed the bosses to pick Kavanagh. Newell and his supporters, including the Downtown Independent Democrats, were livid. That won’t happen again, however. After a year working on reform measures, this past Monday night, 500 members of the Democratic Committee of New York County passed 25 rule changes. Among these were “eliminating county leaders’ ability to unilaterally fill intercounty district vacancies and instead placing the decision-making power directly with the County Committee members.” Other approved reforms include creating an independent ethics committee with the power to hear complaints against county officials; increasing the amount of notice given for all County Committee meetings; and letting voters know who represents them on the County Committee by publishing its full membership online. However, the reformers were disappointed they could not pass a rule change to prohibit county leaders — ahem, Manhattan’s Keith Wright — from acting as paid lobbyists while in office. Reformers opted to support a compromise amendment, exempting current leaders from the lobbying ban. County Committee leadership reportedly “used parliamentarian roadblocks to prevent the proposal from even coming to a vote.” Among the Reform leaders on the Rules Committee was Jeanne Kazel Wilcke, former D.I.D. president. The new rules go into effect immediately. We asked Newell about the changes — specifically, the one nixing county leaders’ power to pick the party nominee in interborough districts. “With no disrespect to Senator Kavanagh, who is doing a good job for us, last year’s process was frankly a disgrace,” Newell said. “I’m proud that we were able to use that event to meaningfully reform how the Democratic Party operates at this vital hour for our party.”

Rosie Mendez is now leading Borough President Gale Brewer’s process of appointing members to Manhattan’s community boards and also in representing the “Beep” to community groups and city agencies.

Mendez on ‘Brew Crew’: Sometimes it takes a while to get to know a spokesperson, but that’s not the case with Rosie Mendez, who Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has appointed to lead her community affairs division. In her new post, the former East Village councilmember will be responsible for administering the community board appointment process, tracking neighborhood and constituency issues, and interfacing with community groups and city agencies. “For three terms, Lower East Side and East Village residents had the benefit of Rosie’s savvy, independence, and fearlessness,” said Brewer, who formerly served with Mendez on the Council. “Now, I’m thrilled that she’ll be putting them to use for all Manhattanites in a leadership role with my team…over the next three years.” Said Mendez, “I am looking forward to working closely with the 12 Manhattan community boards, as well as residents throughout the entire borough where I will continue the work of ensuring that Gale’s vision for community-based planning is supported in every community and in each community board.” After serving three four-year terms in office, Mendez was term-limited out of the Council at the end of last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *