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Re: Roper launches 2nd run for DA

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Posted by JULIA AKHTER on 18:18:38 02/08/05

In Reply to: Roper launches 2nd run for DA posted by GET NY

: Roper launches 2nd run for DA
: Sandra E. Roper announces she will again challenge District Attorney Charles Hynes outside Brooklyn Borough Hall on Wednesday.
: By Jotham Sederstrom February 7, 2005

HYNES REWRITES HISTORY:When Brooklyn District AttorneyJoe Hyneslaunched his attack against the Brooklyn Democratic machine and won an indictment of county leaderClarence Norman, Norman immediatelypointed out that Hynes was only too happy to have the organization s support in his last four campaigns.
Hynes countered that in his most important race, for the Brooklyn D.A. soffice vacated by Liz Holtzmanin1989, the organization backed his primary opponent,Dan Feldman, then a Sheepshead Bayassemblyman.
An excellent point indeed. If it were true. Which itisn t.
Now, it doesn t matter much any more who supported whom in 1989. What matters is whether Hynes is trying to fool people or just has a VERY faulty memory.
We begin with aNew York Timesarticle on May 3, 2003, in which Hynes said, I have been independent since Ibeat the organization in 1989. The only people who supported me were a handfulof black leaders, which did not include Clarence Norman Jr. And in the yearssince then, the organization supported me because they didn t want to be on the losing side of the race.
The Times swallowed the hook,line, and anvil, following that quote with this paragraph:
To be sure, in that first campaign for district attorney in 1989, theDemocratic Party and its leader, the Brooklyn borough president,Howard Golden, offered Mr. Hynes no support. Instead, the organization threw its support behind Daniel Feldman, anassemblyman at the time.
To be sure, the Times was wrong, which is why the paper ran this correction three dayslater:
An article on Saturday about speculation that the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, is seeking to use the case against a formerDemocratic Party official to distance himself from the organization misstated the party s choice for district attorney in 1989. The party and its leader, theBrooklyn borough president, Howard Golden, supported Mr. Hynes, not Daniel Feldman, an assemblyman at the time.
Hynes didn t see the correction or simply ignored it, because nearly two years later he tells the same story.
They [the Brooklyn Democratic organization] supported Danny Feldman, Hynes told our reporter Tom Tracy. I nearly lost the race. (Actually, Hyneswon 51 percent of the vote; Feldman andNorman Rosencombined for 49percent.)
To the Brooklyn Paper, Hynes said, And, you know, again, since people ofgoodwill will get things wrong, the organization did not, did not, underline,did not support me in 1989.
We talked to some folks who were active in Brooklyn politics at the time.They couldn t remember whether the organization took a formal vote to endorse Hynes, but they all remembered that Hynes was supported by the county leader Golden and Golden s political advisers (Bill Garry,Ed Rappaport, andNick Clemente, who in a remarkable coincidence are today all Supreme Court judges).
Footnote: Three years ago, after term limits forced Golden from office,Hynes created a $125,000-per-year job for him AFTER GETTING A BIG MONEY INJECTION FROM GOLDEN. FUNNY HOW THAT WORKED OUT IN 2001. WHEN HE RAN AGAINST SANDRA ROPER. Which would have been especially odd if Golden had opposed Hynes in 1989.
Perhaps Hynes remembers inaccurately that the machine opposed him becausemany Democratic district leaders including Norman supported Feldman, but theseleaders were organized by and around the late [Assemblyman]Tony Genovesi, one insiderrecalled.
Genovesi led a faction of dissident leaders for years but was never ableto take control of the county organization from Golden or Norman, who succeeded Golden in 1990.
Or Hynes is simply trying to rewrite history. He figures if he says itenough, nobody will catch up with him, said one Democrat who was active in the1989 race. Ask anybody who was around at that time. Hynes is the only one whohas these delusions.
If so, he is clinging to them. A Hynes spokesman e-mailed us, The D.A. sconsistent position has been that he did not receive the party s endorsement in1989, Fieldname did, meaning Feldman. Don t know what thatTimescorrection was about, but I willtry to run it down.
No worries. We took care of it.
YASSKY DITCHES D.A. RACE:Of all the insiders we talked to in recentweeks about the race for Brooklyn district attorney, not one thought CouncilmanDavid Yasskywould give up his seatto run.
They were right: Yassky decided last week, first telling his family, thenhis staff on January 28, and everyone else on January 31.
Observers predicted correctly that Yassky would instead run forreelection and bank the $750,000 he s raised (more than any other D.A.candidate) until a better opportunity comes along perhaps city comptroller in2009, when Yassky will be term-limited out of the City Council andBilly Thompsonwill be term-limited outof the comptroller s office.
Why won t Yassky run for D.A.? Because he probably wouldn t win,observers say.
We talked to one Democrat who compared Yassky s potential campaign forD.A. toKen Fisher s unsuccessful2001 bid for borough president. Like Yassky, Fisher was a respected councilmanfrom Brooklyn Heights with a fairly high media profile and a lot of campaignmoney.
But Fisher was unknown to most Brooklynites outside of his district, aproblem that Yassky likely discovered through his polling that he faced as well.Low name recognition in a borough of 2.5 million people is not something easilyremedied by advertising and campaigning.
Fisher finished a distant third to Marty Markowitz and Jeannette Gadson, a fate Yassky wanted to avoid for himself.
Officially, Yassky is saying he wants to finish what he started in the Council.
One thing he did make clear is that he won t be endorsing the incumbent,Joe Hynes. Instead he will chooseState Senator John Sampson,Arnie Kriss,Mark Peters,Sandra Roper,Paul Wooten, or none of the above.
Former Hynes prosecutor Braxton Fenner of Flatbush also says he s running.

: The Brooklyn Papers
: January 22, 2005
: A lawyer indicted on felony charges in 2003, after giving District Attorney Charles Hynes a run for his political life two years earlier, announced a second bid on Wednesday to topple the chief prosecutor.
: Referencing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Sandra Roper said her decision to challenge Hynes was not born of a political grudge, but rather a "prioritization of the interests of Brooklyn."
: "To speak I must, and I will continue to speak to bring justice and not politics to the people of Brooklyn," said Roper, flanked by supporters with campaign posters. "I will continue that struggle that I started in 2001 because it's something that's right and just and should be done."
: The Jan. 19 announcement, near Borough Hall, comes one month before she is re-tried on felony charges of doctoring a retainer to elicit $9,000 from Roper aunt Mary Lee Ward after agreeing to represent her free of charge in a dispute with a lending firm in Canarsie. Last year, her trial on those charges ended in a hung jury.
: Those charges surfaced as Roper was collecting signatures for her 2001 challenge of Hynes, district attorney since 1989. Although he defeated the former NAACP chairwoman, she garnered 37 percent of the vote despite being a political novice with no name recognition and despite Hynes' relentless challenges to her nominating petitions that kept her in court, and off the campaign trail, for much of that fall.
: Hynes maintains that while the case was brought to his attention, it was referred to the city's chief justice, Joan Carey, who assigned special prosecutor Melinda Fritz to handle it.
: Asked about targeting Roper and accusations of targeting political opponents, Kings County Democratic Party spokesman Bob Liff said, "Sorry, Joe [Hynes, it's not an indictable offense to run against you."
: On Tuesday, Hynes said of Roper's expected announcement the next day, "I have nothing but reverence and gratitude to Sandra Roper. She was the one who woke me up. That someone with no qualifications at the time - and maybe she's more qualified today - got 37 percent of the vote. I assure you that ain't going to happen again."
: Besides Roper, Hynes is expected to be challenged by state Sen. John Sampson, Councilman David Yassky, former Koch administration official Arnold Kriss and lawyers Mark Peters and Paul Wooten.
: Asked if he had advice for Roper on the eve of her campaign announcement, Hynes indicated that he welcomed a crowded Democratic Primary field.
: "Go for it, you know, go for it," said Hynes. "I mean, if I could keep all six of these people ... I'm thinking of having a joint fundraiser to keep them all in."

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