Brooklyn GOP oddly attacks our Brownstone Club? — and declares us “dead”

9 Sep

Our Brownstone club was actually the subject of some name-calling, like “thought police” and “people’s Republic of Brownstone” and “at work for Lhota”and that’s just the headline.

Beside being astonishingly off-base, this attack was launched by our own Brooklyn GOP’s Radio blog and reflects a nastier side we’ve been unaware of from Kings County executive levels (?) that have been campaigning exclusively for John Catsimatidis. Harsh wording included calling BRC members “flock of sheep in a pen” and “the Brownstone Republican Club is dead” and “calling these bastards out”. Although its unclear if BRC is actually the “bastards” referred to, this kind of rhetoric of inexcusable. It would make us angry if its wasn’t so absurd. There’s been no apology nor explanation offered.

Here’s why we believe it happened: Earlier this week, the Brownstone Club had to defend against the co-opted use of our own email/mailing list and Facebook page  against promotional messages designed for votes/support for ‘Catsimatidis for Mayor’. They were written by GOP County representatives, but whom have actively campaigned/connected to this one candidate. While we accept commentary and links to news-articles showing varying perspectives on FB routinely – no campaign was allowed to post direct messages. Especially on its own, without approval from BRC’s Board. (The emailed message went through, but we sent another in apology to clarify our Club’s position on the Mayoral race.)

We would do the same against any unauthorized messages — and have always prevented such usage. It seems our independence as a club was tested, defined — and clarified. But ultimately, that’s exactly what was attacked?

BRC met with all 5 candidates across 2013 — and voted across an 8-week span to endorse Mr. Lhota prior to the summer on his merits. (The tally was 68% to 13%.)

Additionally, we did not promote political events of any camp, out of respect to our BRC members that were on opposing sides of the race. In fact, we frequently held open debates, supported our members to ‘walk petitions’ and openly encouraged all to support the candidate(s) of their own choice. Judging from news reports, where some citywide GOP groups took in funding in coordination with its candidate/support — BRC proved it could not be bought.


People’s Republic of Brownstone: Thought Police Actively At Work for Joe Lhota

By Gene Berardelli
Hey Brownstoners, burn your computer after reading so you don’t get caught!

Over the past 4 years, I used to always look forward to going to the Brownstone Republican Club.  They had good guests (of which Russell and I have been in past) as well as lively debates.

I say “used to” because that Brownstone Republican Club is dead.

In recent weeks, the leadership of the Brownstone Republican Club have taken to oppressive tactics on behalf of their endorsed candidate for Mayor, Joe Lhota.  In my own personal experience, I have had Facebook comments notifying members of events for John Catsimatidis deleted on their Facebook site.

Sometime in downtown Brooklyn…

Then today, an email in response to my email asking for people to vote for John Catsimatidis that I sent to a list of members made public by the Brownstone Republican Club themselves is being derided as “spam”  and “unauthorized” in an attempt to keep their flock of sheep in their pen.

Since when do you have to be “authorized” to send an email to someone?!?  Especially when the club itself shares its own list when it sends out an email?!?

Well, to hell with that nonsense. It’s time to start calling these bastards out.

All over Brooklyn, Republicans are being coerced, bullied, even their livelihoods threatened unless they vote for Joe Lhota by those who care only about the growth of their own fiefdom.  Count the Brownstone Republican Club among them now.  The club known as an “independent” voice has been silenced.

I’ve said this when we talked about Occupy Wall Street – I never thought that I would be saying it about my own party – THINK FOR YOURSELF.

Link to the webpage:


The author, Gene Berardelli is a member of Brownstone and well-regarded past speaker, who a few months ago stood amid our meeting attendees and declared “whatever happens in this race, we know we can come together after as a Party and get behind the winner”. It’s a sentiment we could agree on. It has been a bizarre year of in-fighting and BRC has been open to hearing from all sides. The Brooklyn GOP radio blogpost  says our “independence was silenced” somehow, but that is far from the truth. Because the Kings County GOP clearly has to know if there’s any community-based, political organization in New York City that’s UNbiased, open to ideas, that opens our meetings to so many candidates on merit, and listens to each of their voices — it’s this one.

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