The Herd for the 33rd Debate – Live Blogging!

The Herd for the 33rd NYC Council District faced off in a Citizen’s Union sponsored debate Tuesday night at St. Francis College. And now, please enjoy our live blog from that event.

We’re at St. Francis College for the D33 debate.

6:38pm Dick Daddey is not here?! Nancy Bowe intros… She claims here husband saw last night’s debate on BCAT… File under: only one watching.
Nancy tries to get us to join Scientology…. Errr … Citizens Union.

6:41pm It’s DICK! Whew ! Time for the rules.

6:42 dick mixes up the “kens”

6:45 dick asks why are you running?

Thies- next few years will be hard, I know what I know what I’m doing

Simon – i gotz the skillz in de community… Been here for years yo!

Levin – i’m a community organizer, the laws need to be changed to help people… (style note : very Paul Tsongas). Name drops Vito Lopez, lights do not dim.

Diamondstone – must be happy sitting between Levin and the hunky Biviano. He cares about the olds, affordable housing and the people with AIDS.

Biviano – thanks Dick! Lives in the nabe, kids go to PS 8…. Wants to fight for us! Leadership is failing!! Doug good- machine (ie levin, simon, thies) bad! More parks! Less bad development!

Other Ken – he’s an accountant! Loves the environment! Oy vey he’s bringing up Kent Ave bike lane as proof of yassky=bad! He’s a leader! He’s going overtime!

Isaac – he doesnt kiss rings he kisses babies! He drove an ambulance!

7:00 other ken thanks dick for allowing rebuttals but he hasnt one

7:01 big issue
Diamondstone – new leader of city council will be elected , tax structure to shake down errr charge wealthy

Levin – overdevelopment stinks ! Affordable housing rant…

Simon – shes with the development is bad too… Lets review macroeconomics of how nyc runs.. What does the city need? Priorites

Thies – again with the development is bad … Kissing up to levin … Bloomberg nota bad mayor but has infrastructure issues… Plugs his website and 360 plan

Isaac- hes with the affordable housing! Bad housing makes bad kids!

Other Ken – affordable housing … Why do i feel like i’m watching Annie Hall right now?… Hates dock street!

Biviano – corruption! Atl yards! Dont look any further than this panel for the thugs who created current problems – thies, levin!!! Levin always wrong! Broadway triangle! No bid contracts! We need someone without record of failures!!

7:15 other ken is so gonna be on rhe next homer fink show

7:16 Dick asks isaac a question … Isaac goes nuts about city council raises and stuff … He likes commuter tax … Baconpastramiand corned beef should get along… Re state city feds …. Hes free stylin like matisyahu at bonarooo

Other Ken – i’m an accountant! Find efficiencies!

Biviano – tax gridlock! Get real about local cost of war… Man!!! What are we losing.. Dick really busting his chops tonight … Ok maybe he needs to focus a little… Hes going irwincorey …

Diamondstone – brings up Marty Connor and commuter tax! Oy vey! Lots of waste.. Jr rotc in schools!

Levin – hey biv pfizer were putzs for leaving not our fault … Name drops dc37 and reprt on contracts that should be public sector

Simon – ok … I was distracted… Something about pollution … This simon lady seems really nice and she may know her stuff … What is she doing here?

Thies – raise taxes!!!!!! Tax the rich!!!!!! They all want to tax the rich!!!!!! Run for your lives!!!! House of d hasnt enough inmates close it!

Isaac – union endorsements bad! No one is the boss of me!

Biviano – talking healthcare

Dick is getting totally cranky btw

Can’t blame him, he needs a hug.

734pm are you a reformer?

Simon – hellz yeah!

Levin – sure i ‘m a reformer! Council committees must be free from council prexys influence

Diamondstone – he takes risks for reform … I wonder if he ever roller discoed in the 70s?

DICK swings it!

Biviano – yes! F vito lopez bababooey! Step down Tweed 2009! Levin is a putz before he’s 30! No biz as usual!

Other Ken – likes transparency and egg creams

Dick is really cranky… Wonder if he’s hypoglycemic

Other Ken cannot have more time than everyone else says dick

Isaac – mayor praised councilman davis at his funeral fpught him in real life … Get rid of quinnwho serves the king … Borough prexys only go to circumcisions

Thies – worked with dick, knows dick

Diamondstone – simon is a lopez luvah

Simon – you dont know the fullness of the situation

Biviano piles on … Simon gets money from the BHA … Like dude… 28k! Dont take dev money dont take association money…

Dick is a wet blanket tonight

Levin — waaaaaa

Biviano – nancy shuh is a real estate developer!

Other Ken – questions simon’s decisivness!

752pm BBP finance plan re private properties

Diamondstone – bad!

Levin – oppose additional housing! Not effective anyway! Watchtower properties may be rezoned!

Simon – never supported park housing

Thies – no park housing . I worked on a plan !

Isaac – you dont put housing into parks!

Other Ken – supports squadron’s plan

Dick mocks Other Ken’s short answer

Biviano – market is going to tank! Cant depend on taxes! Simon never came out against! He’s a pragmatic dreamer… He might be the only one, we hope someday the whole world will join us

CHB gets called out for something it didnt write about Simon by Diamondstone.

Other Ken just went off on Simon. Shes being very classy here btw

Diamondstone – lopez and new kings democrats… Don Vito threatened them

Levin – he so did not maaaaaan! It was a positive meeting! We exchanged phone numbers!

Biviano – thies … Broadway triangle! Lopez ! Why u quit cb!

Thies – just because you say it doesnt make it true.. I needed to focus on fighting The machine

Audience question – congestion pricing

Thies – yes!
Simon – yes!!
Levin – need to make sure that special needs folks dont get screwed
Diamondstone – yes!
Biviano – not now, economy is slow
Other Ken – yes! Parking permits too!!
Isaac – agrees with biviano

815pm how would u protect small biz
Diamondstone – building a small biz is in, if up for sale should give biz right of first refusal to buy bldg

820pm why u good?

Isaac – i’m the best! I’m stand up guy
Other Ken – i’m a fighter! I’m not a nut, elect me!
(note to dick, other ken is not rain man)
Biviano – he’s a fighter
Diamondstone – he’s seasoned! Mmmm ranch dressing!
Levin – he’s knocked on doors! Those people are here! He lists his NASCAR like list of special interest endorsements
Simon – grew up with one bathroom in large family… Lessons learned!
Thies – i’m good at governing!

It’s over!!!!

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  • Muffin Man

    Homer, brilliant recap. You are a genius.

  • nicky215

    well we now know that joanne who up until tonight was for housing in brooklyn birge park is a liar and that that doug fellow is mean spirited

  • nicky215


  • The Where

    NOW you’re getting somewhere Nicky. Dick totally was dissing everyone but his pets – Simon and Levin.

  • Real Reform Brooklyn

    You missed the fact that there was an audible grumble the first time that Levin mentioned Vito Lopez’s name.

    Also, Diamondstone did not make the point clearly about Simon. She has waffled continually on Atlantic Yards. She was also not telling the truth when she claimed to be “an early and vocal opponent of the use of eminent domain.” In fact, the two letters on her firm website regarding her Atlantic Yards testimony makes no mention whatsoever about her opposing the taking of people’s homes for the project. This is aside from the fact that she has never lifted a legal finger to do anything to stop that project or address the numerous other pressing land use issues in the district: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dock Street, Brooklyn House of Detention, Greenpoint-Williamsburg Rezoning.

    She is supposedly a talented lawyer who touts her land use work on her firm website. How come she has never been there as a community lawyer on our behalf?

    Real Reform Brooklyn

  • nicky 215

    Yes Simon is an empty suit. She is not a leader and would make no real difference as an elected

  • In the Heights

    Don’t mistake Biviano’s passion for being mean. He’s not afraid to call out the political machine candidates for what they are. We are lucky to have him running!

  • Real Reform Brooklyn

    In the Heights:

    I don’t think that anyone believes Biviano is mean. But he seems to talk in disconnected platitudes that really don’t give answers to the questions being asked. He is against war, lack of health care and for a commuter tax. Unfortunately, that is all stuff beyond the purview of the City Council.

    As for not being afraid to call out the machine candidates, you are right on that score. But again, his brush is a bit too wide. Levin…by all means. Simon…fair as well. She’s a District Leader with no record of effective reform in the Party despite her claims to the contrary. But Thies? There are legitimate gripes with him. Yet he seems to be catching the Machine charge unfairly. The Machine (Lopez) is keeping Yassky from giving Thies an endorsement in return for Lopez backing Yassky’s comptroller bid. How does getting squeezed out of an endorsement by machine politics make Thies part of the machine? Seems like a Biviano disconnect.

    Real Reform Brooklyn

  • Jerry

    I’m not sure I agree with that, Realreform. Thies was Yassky’s chief of staff and was front and center with David while the 2005 rezonings went down that sucked the life out of the northern part of this district. That he’s getting screwed over within the machine because his old boss is kowtowing (again) to Vito does not expel him to the outside of it. I liked Thies at the beginning of this campaign, but watching him continue to try repeatedly to take credit for the good things Yassky accomplished while trying to distance himself from Yassky whenever just criticism comes up has really soured me on him. His convenient retirement from CB1 did not sit well with me, either.

    While Biviano is no question raw, I appreciate his (and Ken Diamondstone’s) candor and willingness to stand up and call the stagnant Democratic leadership out – Thies included.

  • Real Reform Brooklyn


    Good comments. But we think that criticism, while deserved to some degree, is a little misplaced. Going back to 2005, the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning was greeted positively by many. True many did not like the height & bulk on the waterfront. But people thought that the 33% affordable housing was a win. For example, Brad Lander stated in the New York Times “The communities of Williamsburg and Greenpoint win because today there is a guarantee of new and permanently affordable housing, instead of a virtual guarantee that new development would price residents out of their homes.”

    The place for fair criticism though is with the follow up. Yassky certainly dropped the ball in pressing the City to live up to its commitments on open space — especially the MTA bus depot at the very northern tip of the district. Thies has to own this issue to some degree. Although ultimately, the buck needs to stop with Yassky who has made a habit of running for other offices rather than tending to the 33rd (e.g. DA race, Congressional race, Comptroller race). Who knows what Yassky’s true motives were for not pressing harder on requiring the City to keep its rezoning commitments…or giving Thies free reign to do the same.

    As for the CB1 vote, that is a red herring. The healthy majority of CB1 is controlled by UJO’s Rabbi Niederman and people who answer to Lopez. E.g., the new chair, Christopher Olechowski, runs a social services agency providing home-based nursing to the elderly that thrives on State money. (Sound remotely familiar to Ridgewood Bushwick?) Bottom Line: Thies stepping down from CB1 did not make any difference. The votes were in the bag for Broadway Triangle and there was nothing Thies could do to stop that train.

  • nicky 215

    theis is yasskys boy.. note his repeated defense of yassky last night. Yassky is all about yassky and theis is all about theis. Yassky stated all this massive rezoning with the brooklyn law school dorm. He is the developers boy. witness his taking of much money from developers and his turncoat on the term limits thing. Yassky and Theis are birds of a feather

  • Jerry

    “We” think it is misplaced criticism, do “we”? You work for Thies, I take it?

    I’m not squabbling with the affordable housing percentages, or anything on the technical end – I’m sure those promises you speak of were all well and good. The issue I had was that the infrastructure to accommodate all that development was just that – promises. Any time you’re overhauling a section of the community and giving free reign to development there has to be a commitment up front from the city and the developers to incorporate the transportation, schools, etc. upgrades into the cost structure of that development at the front end. And judging by the lack of progress up in that area, those requirements were simply not part of the “first phase” plans, but were rather backloaded. And Thies has to assume some of the criticism for that, because as Yassky’s chief of staff he had a hand in hammering out those agreements. It just stinks of bad policy to me, and a bad precident for how he’d approach development going forward.

    As for the CB1 vote, I don’t think it’s a red herring at all. It’s not a question of Thies being some kind of savior and tipping that vote. Believe me, I understand we’re talking about a stacked deck of Vito’s people on that CB. It’s more a question of taking a stand; if he IS a “real reformer” he uses that vote as a platform to rail against the corrupt process, challenge Vito’s people, and declare that he’ll fight to break the back of this kind of railroad process when he’s in the City Council. Instead he quit, and whether it was a pre-determined date to step down or not, the timing reeks of political convenience.

    I dunno Reform, I dig a lot of what you say on your blog, and I’m tired of the “machine” types as well, I just don’t buy that Thies is going to be the guy to stand up and change things for the better.

  • Jerry

    BTW, I agree with the muffin man…this is a phenomenal recap, Mr. Fink. Well played!

  • Real Reform Brooklyn


    We are not working for Thies. We are just trying to point out what we see in an accurate, truthful way. That is why we have been critical of him as well. Frankly, we have some issue with all the candidates. But far more with Levin and Simon than anyone. Also, thanks for the cuddos on the blog.

    As for Thies and CB1, we have a legitimate difference of opinion. Thies has stated his opposition to Broadway Triangle openly, publicly and repeatedly. Are you really taking issue with the fact that he didn’t stay on CB1 long-enough to grandstand and showboat it when his vote did not matter? We are sure he regrets that missed opportunity to appear before the press and public. But don’t read more into it than is really there.

    As for the rezoning, you are right about the need for more consideration on infrastructure as general proposition. Thies has proposed something called “360 Degree Planning.” There is definitely a need to look at cumulative impact of multiple developments and environmental issues affecting any community. Simon’s website has no proposals whatsoever. She does claim to have “organized with neighborhoods and spearheaded efforts to bring the community to the table on issues such as…Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning….” In fact, all she ever did was submit testimony on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning and nothing more. She certainly did not organize or spearhead any effort on behalf of that community. Levin? He thinks that the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning is a good example of “contextual rezoning” and argues that we should have a “Good Growth Standard” but provides no detail. We think it is just fluff.

    For the record, the northern part of the district has low classroom percentages. The “L” and “G” do need more capacity. But no one has been specific about what infrastructure has really broken down under the rezoning. We understand that the City just broke ground on a new $40 million Park’s facility and waterfront soccer venue, and $50 million is going into the rehabilitation of the McCarren Park Pool. Are we missing something? Let us know.

    Thanks again,

    Real Reform Brooklyn

    Real Reform Brooklyn

    Real Reform Brooklyn

  • BklynLifer

    Thanks from me, too, Mr. Fink. Your recap told me what I needed to know, and was funny to boot!