New Kings Democrats Demonstrate Against Vito, but Get Crushed in Committee

As previously announced, the New Kings Democrats held a rally early this evening, prior to the meeting of the Kings County Democratic Committee, on the steps of Borough Hall. In the clip above, NKD President Matt Cowherd introduces Lincoln Restler, candidate for male district leader in the 50th Assembly District (ballots are still being counted in that election; as of Monday evening,, Restler led the Vito Lopez backed candidate by 85 votes), who speaks about NKD’s goals at the Committee meeting. Standing behind Restler are the district leaders for the 52nd Assembly District, Chris Owens and Jo Anne Simon. Another video and more text after the jump.

Following the rally, NKD members and supporters marched to St. Francis College, site of the Committee meeting.

After the meeting, one of the attendees reported to your correspondent that because of the number of proxies held by Lopez, the only substantive item of business considered was a proposal by Lopez to expand the unelected membership of the Democratic Executive Committee from five to eleven, which was opposed by the NKD because it gives the County Leader more slots to which he can appoint cronies. City Council Member Lew Fidler and Jo Anne Simon spoke against it; nevertheless, it passed easily. My source characterized the NKD as “completely not prepared for the meeting, There was obviously no planning.”

Update: This in from Sarah Baker of NKD:

I take issue with the last sentence of the post. To give you some background, Vito’s hundreds of proxies (and thus his ability to carry or kill any motion he pleases) was no surprise to NKD. We knew what we were walking into because we’ve walked into it before, but this time we took reporters from almost every major paper in the city with us to see the farce and get the word out that there is nothing democratic about the operations of our local Democratic Party & there is an urgent need for Brooklynites to engage with this situation. NKD prepared and presented resolutions aimed at making the County Committee more active & democratic, and thus forced a public dialogue among leaders about issues of accountability and operations within the Party.

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  • David G

    video doesnt work

  • Leona

    The assertion that NKD was unprepared for the meeting is quite wrong. NKD knew that Vito Lopez would be holding hundreds of proxies and could pass any item of business he wanted to, so they came prepared to shed light on that matter, make some noise around the issue, and voice loud dissent, while also proposing their own modest reforms. It was quit a step up from the scripted meetings of the County Committee I’ve been to in the past.

  • Brian K

    I would also like to add my voice that your “source” had it completely wrong. NKD knew Vito would manage to claim proxies that outnumbered the people in the room, and they planned for that as well. The point was not to win on their resolution, but to show how the system would shamelessly swat down any dissent, no matter how beneficial, and they did so beautifully. Every plan had a contingency plan depending on the results of each move. The proxies were challenged first, as those would be the biggest obstacle, and with the limited resources available (no-one but the Executive board has a list of all 1500 committee members) almost immediately irregularities were found in 10% of the 650 proxies, still leaving Vito with a majority over the 300 or so in the room. Even pro-Vito supporters left the room disgusted and feeling used. Next time get better sources, or at least a second one.

  • Claude Scales

    Brian: I did have a second source, from the NKD, but never heard from him. Fortunately, Sarah Baker did e-mail me the NKD’s take on what happened, which I gladly appended to my post.

  • Ernie

    The list of County Committee members is kept by the Board of Elections. There names are on petitions that are filed with the Board