Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dean Endorses Two Council Candidates In The Same Race

Howard Dean may be the genius behind the fifty state strategy, but he needs a little help remembering which progressive candidates he endorses. Yesterday all New York City Council candidates began the long and arduous petitioning process and District 39 hopeful Josh Skaller enlisted the Governor for some assistance on the first day out there. Unfortunately, things did not go exactly to plan, which was good news for his rival Brad Lander.

From The Brooklyn Paper:

“I told Brad that I would not endorse [anyone] before I realized that this was Josh’s race,” he said, later adding that he did not have a plan to campaign with Lander as he did with Skaller today. “Brad is a perfectly good candidate. He’s a progressive. Most people like him. So I tried to do what I think was the fair thing, which is to endorse both.”
Well that seems fair enough considering the circumstances. Personally I am behind Josh in this race but honestly as long as Bill de Blasio's replacement is not as slimy as Bill de Blasio, then I'll be satisfied. Lander's statement to the Brooklyn Paper made light of the situation:

For his part, Lander, the former head of the Pratt Center for Community Development, said he was “thrilled to have Gov. Dean’s co-endorsement.”

“He’s a progressive champion on health care and bringing the troops home,” Lander added. “His endorsement shows that there are two strong progressive candidates in the race.”

As long as we get a progressive Council member, then I'm excited for District 39.

Update: Based on this account from the Daily Gotham, I take back anything nice I said about Brad, this is just low and petty politics:

An odd thing happened, though. Working Families Party somehow is turning this visit to personally endorse Josh (where Howard Dean says outright that he thinks Josh can win) into an endorsement for their candidate, Brad Lander. In a letter from Brad Lander's campaign, Dan Cantor of WFP says:

This morning at a press conference in Park Slope, Brad picked up the backing of none other than former Governor, DNC Chair, and Democracy for America founder Howard Dean.

The press conference referred to is the same press conference you see in the video above where Howard Dean endorses Josh. Truth is, Howard Dean had nice things to say about Brad at that press conference. But watch the video. The reason Howard Dean was at that press conference was to endorse Josh Skaller. Dan Cantor doesn't mention that, does he? Nor does he mention that Howard Dean, right after the endorsement, did some campaigning with Josh. Dan Cantor and Brad are misleading people with this. It is true Howard Dean, because he basically didn't realize that Josh and Brad were running against each other, had previously promised Brad he wouldn't endorse in the race. And so there was, buried in the press conference, a backhanded endorsement of Brad to recognize that promise. But to turn a Josh Skaller endorsement press conference into one endorsing Brad Lander is misleading.

We already have plenty of misleading in the Council. What New York needs is an honest activist who will fight for his district and the city as a whole, that candidate is Josh Skaller.