One thing the Brownstone Republican Club can do.. is spot a winner.
When he ran for NYC Comptroller in 2013, Mr. John Burnett opened many eyes. With a successful career in finance under his belt, Mr. Burnett was able to win-over audiences with a clear understanding of what’s at stake with NYC finances, opportunity and a desire to hold so many feet to the fire. But he ran against a mainline Democrat in Manhattan President Scott Stringer, and the media seemed to discount aptitude specific to the role — over a well-known political name.
John Burnett spoke to the BRC in our first meeting back from the summer break. He updated our 26 attendees about his speaking engagements, and their affect at turning people’s opinions about the Republican party. While the media portrays Republicans far differently, Mr. Burnett speaks throughout NYC schools about responsibility, saving and investing. His real-world approaches, and his impact goes on regardless of what the media misses, disregards or excuses outright, from the One Party Rule we’ve seen across generations.
All attending were treated to many anecdotes with a positive impact. And while BRC has steadily urged our Republican party to adopt an Urban Agenda (to oppose the Democrat historic stranglehold on so many cities from St. Louis to Baltimore to NYC – and how the media’s use/portrayal of BlackLivesMatter is similar to OccupyWallStreet, as a device), Mr. Burnett took the baton from discussion, to what he’s been up to, to help make this a reality. Following a welcome and introduction by BRC’s President that praised him for his role in helping elevate Dr. Ben Carson — he added personal views that showed both a humble approach, but an intelligent understanding of all that’s possible for the Republican party.
After August’s first GOP Presidential debate, John Burnett invited Dr. Carson to Harlem for a luncheon and invited many political and business leaders (of all political parties and religious affiliation) not to limit the event. But it was the walk down the streets of Harlem, where Dr. Carson was approached by media/cameras and residents where the event, and its intelligence really shined (click for video). It’s always a gamble, having a Republican national candidate walk among people in a Democrat-stronghold (for how any negative will be expanded across the biased media). Because of the openness and grace in which he met with passersby and media, Dr. Carson came-away a big winner.
Our group and Mr. Burnett covered quite a lot of ground this evening. Everything from summer events, to the Pope’s historic NYC visit and back to local politics. In discussion about the Rob Astorino for NY Governor campaign of 2014, BRC members relayed how it had hoped to introduce the failed Astorino campaign to our work for Long Island College Hospital (LICH). How the fight had “made a Mayor” of DeBlasio. How it helped Zephyr Teachout’s consideration across our millions of voters, locally in her primary bid — and how that “local issue” could have changed Public perception of Astorino as a fighter for Brooklyn, for heathcare/hospitals and the jobs lost? We discovered that Mr. Burnett was another potential weapon at Astorino’s side — one we only wish was used to its fullest potential.
As we move into the Fall of 2015, and the opening of the 2016 Presidential election year, we have to remain hopeful that more candidates and campaigns see the real potential that men like Mr. Burnett can bring. We’ve now seen it, up close.
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