Tag Archives: Brownstone Republican Club

NY State bureaucracy kills manufacturer in Carroll Gardens /Gowanus area.

8 Jul

(NY Daily News)

Statewide Fireproof Door Company in Carroll Gardens (Gowanus area) operating for 49 years, will soon close its doors after seeing it’s “workman comp” insurance rates increase 380% for six workers. President Darrel Caneiro appealed to a number of LOCAL POLS to fix the problem, but says ultimately: “bureaucracy killed us”.
“This is a story about how a state bureaucracy killed a vital Brooklyn factory.

“It’s the wrong way to die,” says Darrell Caneiro, president of Statewide Fireproof Door Co. in Carroll Gardens. “Since last year the New York State Compensation Rating Board raised my workman comp insurance rates 380% for my six workers in a small family business. It has killed us. We will shut the door of Statewide Door for the last time, after 49 years, in 10 days.”

Who pays the compensation to a neighborhood when one of its only manufacturing plants, an honest to goodness factory that makes real stuff — residential and commercial fire doors that you see on boiler rooms, movie theater fire exits, hospitals, schools and apartment houses all over Brooklyn — has been killed by a bloodless bureaucracy that literally pounced like a vampire and sucked the blood out of its neck?”


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President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address – 150 years ago, today

19 Nov

In the words of President Lincoln:
“It’s altogether fitting that we do this.”


(click for official Gettysburg website)

Today at the site of the Gettysburg battlefield some of America will reflect on Civil War sacrifices that were of utmost importance to American history.

President Lincoln travelled to the site, six months after the horrific fighting to speak of the honor of BOTH the soldiers lost to North and South armies. His brief but watershed speech named the Gettysburg Address is one of the most important in USA history. Today’s events will be broadcast live to over 70,000 colleges and universities, K-12 schools, public libraries, and museums. Hopefully, it will be “covered” by our media, or even mentioned in passing by NYC school teachers.

America was still a young nation, and a experiment apart from monarchy. Many were living enslaved for generations, and 1863 was merely 5-6 years apart from the Dred Scott decision that ensured by law that those enslaved were not U.S. citizens – but property. No matter how we learn from the Civil War, and understand its onset and reasons and States’ Rights et. al. — what cannot be extracted from its role in American history is President Lincoln. He’s born from the Abolitionists, and from a then young Republican Party that was set on ending Slavery. It was Brooklyn’s Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights that brings Lincoln to New York (he was set to speak at Plymouth Church, when weather necessitated the change of venue to Cooper Union). As we express in local meetings of BRC, there’s a reason why Beecher’s statue stands facing Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Although our President Obama had famously used Springfield, Illinois for candidacy-launching public events, and the “Lincoln bible” for two inauguration ceremonies (2009, 2012) — this White House has for the most part overlooked the significance of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln presidency, Lincoln’s 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. (All might have been unifying, teaching moments after extremely divisive tactics of the Obama election year campaigns.) It’s no surprise it follows, that President Obama today would neglect to make an appointment to read the Address or participate at today’s ceremony.. even by Skype? Or, to restore and update Americans and millions of school-children nationwide how “those here gave their lives that that nation might live.”


The Gettysburg Address, as delivered Nov. 19, 1863:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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The White House released a 272-word statement by President Obama after 8 pm on their website. (Presumably, although its been Valerie Jarret that’s done this late-day fixing before for major national moments overlooked by the WH team – like adding a press release on the WH website in the late-day/evening of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination earless this year). Pres. Obama writes longhand here, guess to “prove” these are his thoughts? about how he reflects on Lincoln, late nights.. when Michelle and the kids are sleeping etc. etc. And the WH ‘tweeted’ that he may have gone to Gettysburg today.. but he was working on the ObamaCare website fix. (Sure he was.)


Bill DeBlasio Wins in a Landslide.

5 Nov

“He will lead this city with courage, empathy and vision…” — says the new First Lady-to be in introducing her husband, Bill DeBlasio for his acceptance speech. We hope so, too. Because the election is over.

He’s been a politician for decades. Now, he’s our Mayor.

Mr. DeBlasio’s first words: “All of our work is really just beginning… and we have no illusions about the work that’s ahead. Tackling inequality is never easy. It won’t be solved overnight. But make it clear that the people of this City has chosen a Progressive path.” Yes, it certainly has, no matter what pundits say about the Bloomberg Backlash for that 3rd term that put DeBlasio in citywide office 4 years ago and helped him now in a tidal wave.

And sure.. yes as well, after 5 years we have a U.S. President that’s been a non-stop Campaigner-in-Chief. But this is NYC – and criticism can come within seconds. A Mayor DeBlasio could be every bit the teleprompter office-holder we see in D.C.  But, he’s got a chance to unite now – and calm the rhetoric that got him elected. Clean slate. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope we have a Mayor like the one anticipated by a cheerleading NY-1 commentator, this evening — “he’s going to accomplish so much.”

Bill himself says tonight, that “the stakes are so high for every New Yorker”.

Onward to 2014. Good Luck, Mayor-Elect DeBlasio.

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BRC welcomes Brooklyn’s esteemed District Attorney.

23 Oct


A number of attendees called October “one of our best meetings” – as the Brownstone Club welcomed a giant of law enforcement in Brooklyn’s District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes. His accomplishments were frequently applauded, recognizing many innovative aspects of his public service — including the Red Hook Juvenile Justice Center, his dedication to the rights/protection of Seniors, and even his tenure beforehand as Commissioner of FDNY.

He stayed for a Q&A and expressed how he learned that former Democratic Party boss (disgraced and jailed by D.A. Hynes) had surfaced at the campaign celebration of his Democratic rival. We implored Mr. Hynes to debate Mr. Thompson on NY-1 and allow more NYC voters and media/writers to react to both his rationale/positions for taking the Republican line. He replied he wouldn’t. He distrusts the Democratic Primary victor’s relationship with NY-1 and refused to debate unless his rival would meet him first among their peers at the Brooklyn Bar Association, on principal. We wish him well. His service should be lauded — and as a Democrat it is surprising that his record isn’t common knowledge, already.

In a year that’s produced an outstanding array of speakers, lively interaction each meeting, and involvement in local issues – BRC certainly covered some ground on this evening. We advanced the meeting’s date so that members could involve themselves and engage communities on behalf of our candidates. Our 40 attendees would hear from the head of Brooklyn operations for Joe Lhota for Mayor in Mr. Ross Brady, and openly discuss the campaign. photo-29

We also had a presentation from “Indie Republicans” – two independent thinkers from Queens, NY with a grassroots organization that’s energizing Democrats & independents (online and in their communities) who would not be swayed from any sort of ‘Conservative’ approaches or thinking. It was very interesting and demonstrated citywide potential for creative energy & alternative views to emerge from our Republican Party.

There was a nuance of just how wide “the Republican tent” can be – and how the younger generations and social media can be more aggressively utilized for creating awareness, opinion based on more facts (vs. emotional, biased coverage and media attacks).


In the 2nd hour the Club dissected the present state of our Brooklyn GOP – and examined how a perceived spitefulness surrounding the Catsimatidis’ loss by his supporters may be detracting from what should be unanimous support of Brooklyn’s Joe Lhota. BRC opened the floor to openly about a Primary that grew bitter (thanks to relentless attack ads) many hoped would be well in the past by October – but clearly is not, even as Election Day draws closer. Many felt a year that should have made our GOP stronger was wasted, and harmed by divisions and motives that simply did not put “the Party first”.

Our members engaged each other and some criticisms were aired at length — i.e., the lack of any GOP candidate for Brooklyn Borough President, belief that present or future $$-considerations surrounding the Catsimatidis Primary were destructive/irreparable, as were occurrences at the recent contentious “Brooklyn Republican Convention” of Sept. 30th.

As they say, you had to be there — because ultimately, the involving manner of the discussion and ultimately the ‘inside baseball’ of its results were therapeutic. While there’s certainly a “to be continued” feeling to the what’s being decided in Court Hearings, regarding the County Chairmanship – resolution is said to be coming in January. Certain members had their opinions heard and responded to, on all sides of these issues. As a group, we ended the discussion far less fractured – and that’s a tribute to all that spoke.


photo-28Our final guest speaker of the evening was NYC Council candidate Andy Sullivan who gave an impassioned speech about public service — and the tolls and sacrifices that activists and public figures can bear, behind the scenes. Mr. Sullivan was outstanding in his relaying the impact of his involvement against the “Ground Zero mosque” and national media interviews, and then the slings/arrows he faced behind closed doors, when Powers That Be didn’t agree with that stance. Whether or not you agree with the positions of any man that’s devoting himself to the public-good, and trying to make a difference in their community — the spirit for being involved is incredible. Mr. Sullivan is a sure example, and embodies a man for others — which is an essential characteristic we all would want to see MORE OF in elected leaders.

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NY’s Al Smith in 1936 warned Democrats against dividing “class against class”.

18 Oct

“What are these dangers that I see? The first is the arraignment of class against class…from the demagogues that would incite one class of our people against the other.

And I also know that there can be no permanent prosperity in this country until industry is able to employ labor, and there certainly can be no permanent recovery upon any governmental theory of “soak the rich” or “soak the poor.”


As the power-elite of New York City, State gather for the Waldorf Astoria ballroom in the 68th Alfred E. Smith dinner, let’s reflect of how he BOLDLY spoke against the winds blowing across Washington D.C. at that point in history. What Democrat today could break with his Party to center them against today’s brand of run-away liberalism or socialist policy? Gov. Smith’s thoughts are still important today, as we see both Pres. Obama and now NYC Mayoral candidate DeBlasio using the rhetoric, to say anything for votes. Here’s his speech, word for word.


By Alfred E. (Al) Smith

[Alfred E. Smith, Democratic governor of New York during four terms, became the Democratic candidate for President in 1928 but lost to Herbert Hoover. In 1932 he supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for President, but by 1936 he was so shocked and alarmed by what he saw happening that he decided to warn his Party. Because of the popularity of President Roosevelt this step was considered by some to be virtual treason. Nevertheless, on January 25, 1936, Alfred F. Smith gave the following speech in Washington, D.C., to warn the American people that the Democratic Party was being betrayed.]

At the outset of my remarks let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not a candidate for any nomination by any party at any time, and what is more I do not intend to even lift my right hand to secure any nomination from any party at any time. Further than that I have no axe to grind. There is nothing personal in this whole performance so far as I am concerned. I have no feeling against any man, woman or child in the United States. I was born in the Democratic party and I expect to die in it. And I was attracted to it in my youth because I was led to believe that no man owned it. Further than that, that no group of men owned it, but on the other hand, that it belonged to all the plain people in the United States.


It is not easy for me to stand up here tonight and talk to the American people against the Democratic Administration. This is not easy. It hurts me. But I can call upon innumerable witnesses to testify to the fact that during my whole public life I put patriotism above partisanship. And when I see danger, I say danger, that is the “Stop, look, and listen” to the fundamental principles upon which this Government of ours was organized, it is difficult for me to refrain from speaking up.

What are these dangers that I see? The first is the arraignment of class against class. It has been freely predicted that if we were ever to have civil strife again in this country, it would come from the appeal to passion and prejudices that comes from the demagogues that would incite one class of our people against the other.

In my time I have met some good and bad industrialists. I have met some good and bad financiers, but I have also met some good and bad laborers, and this I know, that permanent prosperity is dependent upon both capital and labor alike.

And I also know that there can be no permanent prosperity in this country until industry is able to employ labor, and there certainly can be no permanent recovery upon any governmental theory of “soak the rich” or “soak the poor.” . .


The next thing that I view as being dangerous to our national well-being is government by bureaucracy instead of what we have been taught to look for, government by law.

Just let me quote something from the President’s message to Congress:

“In 34 months we have built up new instruments of public power in the hands of the people’s government. This power is wholesome and proper, but in the hands of political puppets of an economic autocracy, such power would provide shackles for the liberties of our people.”

Now I interpret that to mean, if you are going to have an autocrat, take me; but be very careful about the other fellow.

There is a complete answer to that, and it rises in the minds of the great rank and file, and that answer is just this: We will never in this country tolerate any laws that provide shackles for our people.

We don’t want any autocrats, either in or out of office. We wouldn’t even take a good one.

The next danger that is apparent to me is the vast building up of new bureaus of government, draining resources of our people in a common pool of redistributing them, not by any process of law, but by the whim of a bureaucratic autocracy.


Well now, what am I here for? I am here not to find fault. Anybody can do that. I am here to make suggestions. What would I have my party do? I would have them reestablish and redeclare the principles that they put forth in that 1932 platform. .

The Republican platform was ten times as long. It was stuffy, it was unreadable, and in many points, not understandable. No Administration in the history of the country came into power with a more simple, a more clear, or a more inescapable mandate than did the party that was inaugurated on the Fourth of March in 1933.

And listen, no candidate in the history of the country ever pledged himself more unequivocally to his party platform than did the President who was inaugurated on that day.

Well, here we are!

Millions and millions of Democrats just like myself, all over the country, still believe in that platform. And what we want to know is why it wasn’t carried out.

Now, let us wander for awhile and let’s take a look at that platform, and let’s see what happened to it. Here is how it started out:

“We believe that a party platform is a covenant with the people, to be faithfully kept by the party when entrusted with power, and that the people are entitled to know in plain words the terms of contract to which they are asked to subscribe.

“The Democratic Party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into effect the principles, policies and reforms herein advocated and to eradicate the political methods and practices herein condemned.”

My friends, these are what we call fighting words. At the time that that platform went through the air and over the wire, the people of the United States were in the lowest possible depths of despair, and the Democratic platform looked to them like the star of hope; it looked like the rising sun in the East to the mariner on the bridge of a ship after a terrible night.

But what happened to it?


First plank: “We advocate immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than 25 per cent in the cost of the Federal Government.”

Well, now, what is the fact? No offices were consolidated, no bureaus were eliminated, but on the other hand, the alphabet was exhausted. The creation of new departments — and this is sad news for the taxpayer — the cost, the ordinary cost, what we refer to as housekeeping cost, over and above all emergencies — that ordinary housekeeping cost of government is greater today than it has ever been in any time in the history of the republic.


Another plank: “We favor maintenance of the national credit by a Federal budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate Federal estimate within revenue.”

How can you balance a budget if you insist upon spending more money than you take in? Even the increased revenue won’t go to balance the budget, because it is hocked before you receive it. What is worse than that? .


Now here is something that I want to say to the rank and file. There are three classes of people in this country; there are the poor and the rich, and in between the two is what has often been referred to as the great backbone of America, that is the plain fellow.

That is the fellow that makes from one hundred dollars a month up to the man that draws down five or six thousand dollars a year.

Now, there is a great big army. Forget the rich; they can’t pay this debt. If you took everything they have away from them, they couldn’t pay it; they ain’t got enough. There is no use talking about the poor; they will never pay it, because they have nothing.

This debt is going to be paid by that great big middle class that we refer to as the backbone and the rank and file, and the sin of it is they ain’t going to know that they are paying it. It is going to come to them in the form of indirect and hidden taxation. It will come to them in the cost of living, in the cost of clothing, in the cost of every activity that they enter into, and because it is not a direct tax, they won’t think they’re paying, but, take it from me, they are going to pay it!


Another plank: “We advocate the extension of Federal credit to the States to provide unemployment relief where the diminishing resources of the State make it impossible for them to provide for their needs.”

That was pretty plain. That was a recognition in the national convention of the rights of the States. But how is it interpreted? The Federal Government took over most of the relief problems, some of them useful and most of them useless. They started out to prime the pump for industry in order to absorb the ranks of the unemployed, and at the end of three years their employment affirmative policy is absolutely nothing better than the negative policy of the Administration that preceded it.

“We favor unemployment and old age insurance under State laws.”

Now let me make myself perfectly clear so that no demagogue or no crack-pot in the next week or so will be able to say anything about my attitude on this kind of legislation. I am in favor of it. And I take my hat off to no man in the United States on the question of legislation beneficial to the poor, the weak, the sick, or the afflicted, or women and children

Because why? I started out a quarter of a century ago when I had very few followers in my State, and during that period I advocated, fought for, introduced as a legislator and finally as Governor for eight long years, signed more progressive legislation in the interest of the men, women and children than any man in the State of New York.


And the sin of this whole thing, and the part of it that worries me and gives me concern, is that this haphazard, hurry-up passage of legislation is never going to accomplish the purposes for which it was designed and — bear this in mind, follow the platform — under State laws.

Another one: “We promise the removal of Government from all fields of private enterprise except where necessary to develop public works and national resources in the common interest.”

NRA! A vast octopus set up by government, that wound its arms around all the business of the country, paralyzed big business, and choked little business to death.

Did you read in the papers a short time ago where somebody said that business was going to get a breathing spell?

What is the meaning of that? And where did that expression arise?

I’ll tell you where it comes from. It comes from the prize ring. When the aggressor is punching the head off the other fellow he suddenly takes compassion on him and he gives him a breathing spell before he delivers the knockout wallop.


Here is another one: “We condemn the open and covert resistance of administrative officials to every effort made by congressional committees to curtail the extravagant expenditures of Government and improvident subsidies granted to private interests.”

Now, just between ourselves, do you know any administrative officer that has tried to stop Congress from appropriating money? Do you think there has been any desire on the part of Congress to curtail appropriations?

Why, not at all. The fact is that Congress threw them right and left — didn’t even tell what they were for.

And the truth, further, is that every administrative officer sought to get all that he possibly could in order to expand the activities of his own office and throw the money of the people right and left. And as to subsidies, why, never at any time in the history of this or any other country were there so many subsidies granted to private groups, and on such a huge scale.

The fact of the matter is that most of the cases now pending before the United States Supreme Court revolve around the point whether or not it is proper for Congress to tax all the people to pay subsidies to a particular group.

Here is another one: “We condemn the extravagance of the Farm Board, its disastrous action which made the Government a speculator of farm products, and the unsound policy of restricting agricultural products to the demand of domestic markets.” . .

What about the restriction of our agricultural products and the demands of the market? Why, the fact about that is that we shut out entirely the farm market, and by plowing under corn and wheat and the destruction of foodstuffs, food from foreign countries has been pouring into our American markets — food that should have been purchased by us from our own farmers.

In other words, while some of the countries of the Old World were attempting to drive the wolf of hunger from the doormat, the United States flew in the face of God’s bounty and destroyed its own foodstuffs. There can be no question about that.

Now I could go on indefinitely with some of the other planks. They are unimportant, and the radio time will not permit it. But just let me sum up this way. Regulation of the Stock Exchange and the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, plus one or two minor planks of the platform that in no way touch the daily life of our people, have been carried out, but the balance of the platform was thrown in the wastebasket. About that there can be no question.

Let’s see how it was carried out. Make a test for yourself. Just get the platform of the Democratic Party, and get the platform of the Socialist Party, and lay them down on your dining room table, side by side, and get a heavy lead pencil and scratch out the word “Democrat,” and scratch out the word “Socialist,” and let the two platforms lay there.

Then study the record of the present Administration up to date. After you have done that, make your mind up to pick up the platform that more nearly squares with the record, and you will put your hand on the Socialist platform. You don’t dare touch the Democratic platform.


And incidentally, let me say, that it is not the first time in recorded history, that a group of men have stolen the livery of the church to do the work of the devil.

Now, after studying this whole situation, you will find that that is at the bottom of all our troubles. This country was organized on the principles of representative democracy, and you can’t mix Socialism or Communism with that. They are like oil and water; they refuse to mix.

And incidentally, let me say to you, that is the reason why the United States Supreme Court is working overtime throwing the alphabet out of the window — three letters at a time.

Now I am going to let you in on something else. How do you suppose all this happened? Here is the way it happened. The young Brain Trusters caught the Socialists in swimming and they ran away with their clothes.

Now, it is all right with me. It is all right to me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx, or Lenin, or any of the rest of that bunch, but what I won’t stand for is to let them march under the banner of Jefferson, Jackson, or Cleveland.


Now what is worrying me, where does that leave me as a Democrat? My mind is now fixed upon the Convention in June, in Philadelphia. The committee on resolutions is about to report, and the preamble to the platform is:

“We, the representatives of the Democratic Party in Convention assembled, heartily endorse the Democratic Administration.”

What happens to the disciples of Jefferson and Jackson and Cleveland when that resolution is read out? Why, for us it is a washout. There is only one of two things we can do. We can either take on the mantle of hypocrisy or we can take a walk, and we will probably do the latter.

Now leave the platform alone for a little while. What about this attack that has been made upon the fundamental institutions of this country? Who threatens them, and did we have any warning of this threat? Why, you don’t have to study party platforms. You don’t have to read books. You don’t have to listen to professors of economics. You can find the whole thing incorporated in the greatest declaration of political principles that ever came from the hands of man, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.


Always have in your minds that the Constitution and the first ten amendments to it were drafted by refugees and by sons of refugees, by men with bitter memories of European oppression and hardship, by men who brought to this country and handed down to their descendants an abiding fear of the bitterness and all the hatred of the Old World was distilled in our Constitution into the purest democracy that the world has ever known.

There are just three principles, and in the interest of brevity, I will read them. I can read them quicker than talk them.

“First, a Federal Government, strictly limited in its power, with all other powers except those expressly mentioned reserved to the States and to the people, so as to insure State’s rights, guarantee home rule, and preserve freedom of individual initiative and local control.”

That is simple enough. The difference between the State constitutions and the Federal. Constitution is that in the State you can do anything you want to do provided it is not prohibited by the Constitution. But in the Federal Government, according to that government, you can do only that which that Constitution tells you that you can do.

What is the trouble? Congress has overstepped its bounds. It went beyond that Constitutional limitation, and it has enacted laws that not only violate the home rule and the State’s right principle — and who says that? Do I say it? Not at all. That was said by the United States Supreme Court in the last ten or twelve days.


Secondly, the Government, with three independent branches, Congress to make the laws, the Executive to execute them, the Supreme Court, and so forth. You know that.

In the name of Heaven, where is the independence of Congress? Why, they just laid right down. They are flatter on the Congressional floor than the rug on the table here. They surrendered all of their powers to the Executive, and that is the reason why you read in the newspapers references to Congress as the Rubber Stamp Congress.

We all know that the most important bills were drafted by the Brain Trusters, and sent over to Congress and passed by Congress without consideration, without debate and, without meaning any offense at all to my Democratic brethren in Congress, I think I can safely say without 90 per cent of them knowing what was in the bills.

That was the meaning of the list that came over, and besides certain bills were “Must.” What does that mean? Speaking for the rank and file of American people we don’t want any executive to tell Congress what it must do, and we don’t want any Congress or the Executive jointly or severally to tell the United States Supreme Court what it must do!

And further than that, we don’t want the United States Supreme Court to tell either of them what they must do.

What we want, and what we insist upon, and what we are going to have is the absolute preservation of this balance of power which is the keystone, the arch upon which the whole theory of democratic government has got to rest. When you rattle that you rattle the whole structure.

Of course, when our forefathers wrote the Constitution of the United States it couldn’t be possible that they had it in their minds that it was going to be all right for all time to come. So they said, “Now, we will provide a manner and method of amending it.”

That is set forth in the document itself, and during our national life we amended it many times.

We amended it once by mistake, and we corrected it. What did we do? We took the amendment out. Fine, that is the way we want to do it, by recourse to the people.

But we don’t want an Administration that takes a shot at it in the dark and that ducks away from it and dodges away from it and tries to put something over in contradiction of it upon any theory that there is going to be a great public howl in favor of that something; possibly the United States Supreme Court may be intimidated into a friendly opinion with respect to it.

What I have held all during my public life is that Almighty God is with this country, and He didn’t give us that kind of Supreme Court.

Now this is pretty tough on me to have to go at my own party this way, but I submit that there is a limit to blind loyalty.

As a young man in the Democratic Party, I witnessed the rise and fall of Bryan and Bryanism, and I know exactly what Bryan did to our party. I knew how long it took to build it after he got finished with it. But let me say this to the everlasting credit of Bryan and the men that followed him, they had the nerve and the courage and honesty to put into the platform just what their leaders stood for. And they further put the American people into a position of making an intelligent choice when they went to the polls.

Why, the fact of this whole thing is — I speak now not only of the executive but of the legislature at the same time — that they promised one set of things; they repudiated that promise, and they launched off on a program of action totally different.

Well, in 25 years of experience I have known both parties to fail to carry out some of the planks in their platform. But this is the first time that I have known a party, upon such a huge scale, not only not to carry out the plank, but to do the directly opposite thing to what they promised.


Now, suggestions, and I make these as a Democrat anxious for the success of my party, and I make them in good faith.

No. 1: I suggest to the members of my party on Capitol Hill here in Washington that they take their minds off the Tuesday that follows the first Monday in November. Just take their minds off it to the end that you may do the right thing and not the expedient thing.

Next, I suggest to them that they dig up the 1932 platform from the grave that they buried it in, read it over, and study it, breathe life into it, and follow it in legislative and executive action, to the end that they make good their promises to the American people when they put forth that platform and the candidate that stood upon it 100 per cent. In short, make good!

Next, I suggest to them that they stop compromising with the fundamental principles laid down by Jackson and Jefferson and Cleveland.

Fourth: Stop attempting to alter the form and structure of our Government without recourse to the people themselves as provided in their own Constitution. This country belongs to the people, and it doesn’t belong to any Administration.

Next, I suggest that they read their Oath of Office to support the Constitution of the United States. And I ask them to remember that they took that oath with their hands on the Holy Bible, thereby calling upon God Almighty Himself to witness their solemn promise. It is bad enough to disappoint us.


Sixth: I suggest that from this moment they resolve to make the Constitution the Civil Bible of the United States, and pay it the same civil respect and reverence that they would religiously pay the Holy Scripture, and I ask them to read from the Holy Scripture the Parable of the Prodigal Son and to follow his example.

Stop! Stop wasting your substance in a foreign land, and come back to your Father’s house.

Now, in conclusion let me give this solemn warning. There can be only one Capitol, Washington or Moscow!

There can be only one atmosphere of government, tl1e clear, pure, fresh air of free America, or the foul breath of Communistic Russia.

There can be only one flag, the Stars and Stripes, or the Red Flag of the Godless Union of the Soviet.

There can be only one National Anthem. The Star Spangled Banner or the Internationale.

There can be only one victor. If the Constitution wins, we win. But if the Constitution — stop. Stop there. The Constitution can’t lose! The fact is, it has already won, but the news has not reached certain ears.

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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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Brownstone’s choice is Joe Lhota.

9 Sep

For NYC Mayor its Joe Lhota — we urge our members and neighbors to vote on Tuesday, Sept. 10 . Link to an earlier endorsement (July 1) is here.


Know what’s “debatable”? — holding Republican Mayoral Debates on Sunday

8 Sep

For years, the most cynical among us have said that the media chooses candidates. Usually this meant by presentation and soft-selling one over another. Today, we see evidence of given Republicans in NYC the short straw.

The GOP debate today is airing at 11:30 am on Channel 4/NBC — but many potential viewers are either at Sunday church services, or on their way home from them. They’re with family on a Sunday afternoon. Additionally, as the first Sunday of NFL football… many households (of the people who would be home at all) would have on pre-game televised offerings across ESPN etc. in anticipation of kick-off. The “2nd half” of Sunday’s GOP debate is actually on nbcnewyork.com — directly competing with the Opening Day excitement of the nation’s most popular televised sport?

Anyone notice how the Democratic debates have been held on major local networks, and NY-1…. in PRIME TIME and on weeknights, when more people are home to see the candidates? Equal time is slighted by the actual time-slot selected, offered, reluctantly sacrificed for the GOP forums?

We all have seen how the media plays politics — promoting one-sided issues across day-time and night-time TV, in the slight criticisms vs.  usual outright fashioning of the Obama “image”, for example. Across NYC it’s clear our local NYC broadcasting folks have shown their hand, again. They’ll do anything they can, to obscure the GOP’s candidates.

The greatest city in the world, the Media Capital of the World… has been led by a Republican for 5 terms now and for 20 years consecutively. But no one can see the primary debate — of the potential next one?

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(NY Times endorsement) “For Republicans, Joseph Lhota”

26 Aug

The following is verbatim from Sunday’s New York Times


“For Republicans, Joseph Lhota

You might find it odd to see this page endorsing the mayoral candidacy of Joseph Lhota, a Republican who made his mark in politics as right-hand man and chief enabler to Rudolph Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani, a two-term mayor of uncommon nastiness, has seen his once-formidable reputation shrink to a pinpoint, to the things he did on and around one terrible September day more than a decade ago. But Mr. Lhota is more than the sum of his years as Mr. Giuliani’s top deputy, and he is the best qualified of the three men seeking the Republican nomination for mayor.

Few people know better than Mr. Lhota how city government works. He was an expert budget director for Mr. Giuliani, and then became deputy mayor for operations.

In 2011 and 2012, he ran the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which, under his leadership, recovered amazingly quickly from the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.

Mr. Lhota, son of a New York City cop, is not a glad-handing pol, but a practical and efficient one. When The Times’s editorial board interviewed candidates for the mayoral endorsement, it asked them to supply one practical idea to improve the quality of life in New York. Some were flustered. Not Mr. Lhota, who gave an instant, excellent answer: park-and-ride lots at the far ends of subway lines, to coax drivers at the city’s edges onto mass transit.

Mr. Lhota is running against John Catsimatidis, billionaire grocer, and George McDonald, founder of The Doe Fund, which gives homeless New Yorkers a job and a bed. Mr. McDonald has had an admirable career, though not one that remotely qualifies him to run New York City, and we wish he would do better at hiding his contempt for some of his opponents. When he called Anthony Weiner a “self-pleasuring freak” and got to the brink of a shoving match, he inspired audiences to boo him, not Mr. Weiner, which was quite a feat.

Being mayor requires a thick skin, good humor and the ability to show or feign graciousness. Mr. Catsimatidis, an affable man, is good at that. He likes to call his fund-raisers “friend-raisers,” and it doesn’t sound ludicrous. He also promises to make this city of eight million people a cleaner, well-run, thriving place, but we won’t take him seriously until he shows he can do that at Gristedes.

Mr. Lhota has had to live down his reputation as Mr. Giuliani’s enforcer, as when he shamefully threatened to cut off funds to the Brooklyn Museum over artwork that offended the administration. He surely knows and possibly regrets that his loyalty to his old boss has complicated his current ambitions. Asked recently by The Times to name his favorite mayor, Mr. Lhota said Fiorello La Guardia. If he embodies the traits he admires in the Little Flower — “He took off his jacket, he rolled up his sleeves, and he took care of all New Yorkers,” Mr. Lhota said — he could do well in City Hall.”


(From BRC)

Interesting is that the Times calls Catsimatidis the “billionaire grocer” when he’s stated that “only 3%” of his current worth is owed to it? The Times reserves mention of his “Oil Refinery/business” and ample “real estate development”. Both topics are habitual red-meat for Democrats. The 97% would probably come as grist for the mill should he win — maybe as part of their assured general endorsement of the Dem. primary winner?  Let’s try and get the man who can lead on Day 1, front and center.

We urge you to relay to your friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives – that Joe Lhota is the clear choice in the September 10th Republican primary.

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Catsimatidis is cringe-worthy. Turns to attack ad. (Maybe he should’ve stayed a Democrat.)

23 Aug

Just yesterday we saw video of Mr. Catsimatidis traveling the Catskills and telling Orthodox Jewish audiences that it was Joe Lhota that was “mean-spirited”  — which was unfounded name-calling. Tonight the campaign of John Catsimatidis revealed a TV ad that is more of a stunt in the savvy NYC political marketplace. It’s a circus act more worthy of what the Democratic candidates have been bringing of late. A factually incorrect attack-ad that can only be seen as either an Atom Bomb, the act of a desperate campaign – or both. 


Trailing his Republican opponent in the polls with just over 2 weeks to go to primary — Catsimatidis called himself a job-creator and said his opponent created “1 job, for himself” listing the MTA Chairman role and a salary on-screen of $300,000-plus. This is a regrettable moment in the year’s Mayoral race — as Mr. Lhota was appointed to that position by New York Governor Cuomo and resigned, actually sacrificing that plum appointment for the slings and arrows surrounding the what’s commonly knowns as the “second toughest job in America”. The ad goes on to rip “3 differences” — saying that Mr. Lhota raised fares/tolls at the MTA and Catsimatidis (in a simpleton statement) “would never do that”. Of course he wouldn’t as he’ll never anywhere near the role that does this — meaning the NY Governor, the NYS legislature and the MTA Board by voting.

Catsimatidis also says that “Joe Lhota calls officers mall-cops”. This affront seems to refer to an of-the-cuff remark made by Joe Lhota (the son of an NYPD officer in the Bronx) months ago about Port Authority Police, which was apologized for. Again, its for Joe Lhota’s campaign to respond, and answer to this. But any Republican supporting Catsimatidis is now reduced to making excuses for a man that’s lowered the level of the race — ahead of next week’s final debate.

It was created a very negative and factually incorrect attack-ad – maybe revealing a despair? but certainly no regard for truth or any respect for his Republican opponent.

If there are Republicans anywhere in NYC tonight — cheering this — clearly they have no interest in building the GOP across our city. Winning at all costs was the “Obama way” — a level of self-interest that defies logic, especially as a Republican (at least for the last 4-5 years) in a City with staggering numbers of Democrats against anyone wearing the Republican “R”. Just as we are left with a society torn apart by last year’s Obama campaign — on matters of race, women’s rights, “the 1%”, capitalism vs. socialism, NAACP conjuring that a GOP conspiracy was set to prevent people from voting in Philly, etc. — now we endure a new, lowered bar for the NYC Mayoral race.

This is the level of the John Catsimatidis campaign tonight.

Let’s see how it shakes out?

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