Has Marty Connor reached the end of the road after three decades in the New York State Senate?
The notion that Marty may have lost his magic touch is not a new notion. Last year he found in himself in a pickle over parking on Pierrepont with his NYS permit as well has raising a fuss over whether or not corn is a vegetable among other things. So it's no surprise that the legislator is facing an opponent in this year's election. The challenge comes in the form of another member of the Facebook generation entering the Brooklyn political fray (see Yassky's Seatsky coverage). He's 28 year old Carroll Gardens resident Daniel Squadron, a former aide to Senator Chuck "Is it Sunday? Must be time for a press conference" Schumer.
If you're thinking Marty's not freaking the f*** out, read this passage from a recent NY Daily News report:
NY Daily News: Democrats Fired Up…: Squadron, 28, has raised more than $200,000 since November and has $190,000 on hand – a significant showing for an insurgent candidate who has never held elected office and isn't accepting contributions from political action committees, corporations or lobbyists.
"If you look at the Legislature, it's clear we really need change, energy and results," Squadron said. "This is a grass-roots campaign. We're very excited by the support."
Connor seemed unconcerned about Squadron, saying: "It's nice he wants to get involved. But he's a kid."
Connor lamented the fact that he will have to spend "$300,000 to $400,000" defending his seat in a safe Democratic district at a time when he could be raising money to help Democratic candidates against incumbent Republicans.
"The shame is I'm going to have to spend a whole lot of money on a primary when I would rather put it toward winning the majority," Connor said.
… yes Marty said "he's a kid." And while it's easy for anyone of us to poke at today's interns errr twentysomthings, Marty misses the point. This generation's earnestness is not an act. It's not the irony driven we're all gonna die anyway attitude of *ahem* my generation. And forget about the smoke filled room ethos of Marty's generation. So while it's easy for Marty to dismiss Squadron and tell him to "get off my lawn", this kid's commitment to serving the public might indicate something we're not used to in NYC politics – sincerity. Squadron tells the Brooklyn Heights Courier that, "Public service has always been part of my life. If we can change Albany, we can make a positive difference for the people."
Not buyin' it? Try this:
Downtown Express: In an interview the same day, Squadron was clearly bothered by the “kid” reference. “I think he’d rather go negative than talk about the issues in the district,” he told Downtown Express.
Connor, 62, declined to comment for this article.
Squadron said he would be rolling out specific proposals in the weeks and months to come. He said he would propose new ways to preserve and build affordable housing and limit over-development. He wants to improve schools as well.
He said reducing traffic is essential and he would be open to a congestion pricing plan as long as it did not create new problems outside the pricing zone, and that other questions about Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s plan were answered such as the relative low fees that would be charged to New Jersey drivers. He said the commission looking into reducing congestion should also be thinking about how to fund subway and bus improvements if it proposes something different than Bloomberg’s plan.
“We need to know how we are going to fund mass transit,” he said. “If there is another good idea that doesn’t involve congestion pricing that’s fine too.”
And while we believe in "once a name, always a threat", we'd suggest Marty sit back and crank up his 8-track and enjoy the ride: If you listen, you can hear it. You're feelin' the change of the guard.
And Squadron, pull out your iPod Touch while you're sittin', waitin' and wishin'. And oh, heck, this should be your campaign song, it's one that kids and geezers can rock the vote to: