The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus sees a silver lining in the divisive primary fight to replace Representative Ed Towns in Brooklyn.
"The good news is there is hardly any chance we won't have a C.B.C. member elected from that seat," said Emmanuel Cleaver, a longtime congressman from Missouri who has chaired the caucus since 2010.
"He is a people's candidate and a man whose words resonates among many households," said City Councilwoman Diana Reyna of Brooklyn. She acknowledged Barron had abrasive rhetoric, but said it served to "reminds all of us [in the City Council] what communities, what communities are voiceless. It's worth noting that Reyna also has a long-running feud with the Brooklyn Democratic County Leader, Vito Lopez, who is supporting Barron's rival, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. The vice-chair of the Sierra Club's New York City chapter, Irene van Slyke, said Barron was an early and outspoken critic of the Atlantic Yards project and attended the group's endorsement meeting. "His opponent has been absent, not sometimes but all the time including not showing up at neighborhood debates and the Sierra Club endorsement interview," she said, with Barron's hand on her left shoulder.
Later, Slyke said, "On Atlantic Yards, Mr. Barron showed up when it really counted" early on "when we needed political support to fight a project that was totally out of control."
Barron, she said, "spoke out when it really counted. Mr. Jeffries came after all the decisions had been made. It didn't count anymore. It was just recently."
On Thursday night, beneath a framed picture of Robert Mugabe, a big dry-erase calendar and a map of the newly configured eighth congressional district, about a dozen campaign volunteers for Charles Barron were toiling away inside a little cafe called Sistas' Place on Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.(2)
The fear that Charles Barron might actually win next week's primary for a Brooklyn-Queens congressional seat has triggered a flood of contributions from all across the country to his opponent, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.(2)
Charles Barron got an endorsement today that he probably wasn't looking for, in the form of a long video message from former Louisiana congressman and KKK leader David Duke.
Duke's argument, such as it is, seems to be that he'd rather have the anti-Zionist candidate, even if he's a black nationalist. Barron, who has picked up a few endorsements of late after initially being seen as an after-thought, has tried to downplay his controversial foreign policy statements in recent weeks. He called the endorsement "foolish" and irrelevant.
Five days after the filed deadline, Barron finally posted his pre-primary disclosure report on Wednesday night.
Senator Charles Schumer endorsed Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries today in the Democratic primary for Ed Towns' soon-to-be-open congressional seat in Brooklyn and Queens, citing Jeffries' support for Israel and avoiding any mention of the other candidate in the race, Councilman Charles Barron.(3)
Senator Chuck Schumer wasn't ready to sound any alarms about Charles Barron at his Sunday press conference yesterday.
"I'll be speaking about that in the near future," Schumer said, cutting off a question about whether he was concerned the outspoken Barron could win an open congressional seat in Brooklyn.(1)
Notably absent from a large press conference on Monday at which Jewish Democrats denounced Charles Barron as an enemy of Israel was an Orthodox Jew who served on the City Council with Barron for almost a decade: Simcha Felder.
In Brooklyn's new eighth congressional district, it's still an unconditionally good thing to be seen as close to President Obama.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale of super-sized drinks doesn't need City Council approval, which is just as well.
Charles Barron accepted an endorsement today.
On the steps of City Hall, the controversial councilman picked up his first big show of support from DC 37, the city's largest public employees union.
It's something of a coup for Barron, who has consistently shrugged off the steady stream of support for his more palatable opponent, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.(4)
Brooklyn congressional candidate Hakeem Jeffries was dubbed a "rising star" in yesterday's local power spread in the Metropolitan section of the New York Times, which Jeffries' campaign duly emailed to supporters today.
But a better measure of Jeffries' star power is in another link in the same email, to a cocktail reception at the home of Victor and Sarah Kovner.(1)
Millions of dollars in discretionary City Council funds are distributed based on politics, rather than the needs of the districts that receive them.
According to a report from Citizens Union, the chairmen of the finance and housing committees, Domenic Recchia and Eric Dilan, who also happen to be close allies of the powerful Brooklyn Democratic County leader, got more than $100 million. Republican Dan Halloran and his predecessor, maverick Democrat Tony Avella, combined, got $9.5 million.(1)