Senate Battle Dives into Semantic Cesspool

An email sent to BHB and other media outlets by Room 8 political blogger “C. Gatemouth Brown” over the weekend with the subject “I dare you to post this” touted a post on that site about the Connor/Squadron state senate race.  It attempts to put a new spin on the weeks old story of NYS Senator Martin Connor’s statement about “not telling anyone” of his support for NYC’s congestion pricing plan.  Aside from being at best indecipherable, the post is basically wrong when it comes to explaining what Connor meant.

The video of the actual statement speaks for itself – fast foward to 4:11.

Did The Observer bungle its clarification?:

“Congestion pricing—I supported it. I didn’t tell anybody; I didn’t take a position on it. I supported it.”

Which would mean that Connor was saying that he secretly harbored support for congestion pricing, but didn’t go public with it.

I interpreted the same line of Connor’s (from the video above) as, “I didn’t tell anybody I didn’t take a position on it. I supported it.”

When I asked Connor about it in an interview yesterday, he told me he was, in fact, referring to Squadron’s position. “I was talking about him. I was pointing to him,” Connor said.

While this video is no Zapruder film, Connor pointed at Squadron when mentioning the Transportation Bond Issue, not congestion pricing.  The Brooklyn Paper’s characterization of Connor’s stance seems to jibe with the Observer’s original take and something we like to call “reality”:

Connor did say that he was “personally” in support of congestion pricing, but said his support for the mayor’s plan was not widely known because the proposal never actually came to a vote in the legislature: “I supported it,” he said in a debate in May and again this week.

Connor Campaign Manager Michael Barfield writes in to clarify the Senator’s position:

“Marty supported congestion pricing. He had quite a few reservations with the bill as proposed, but was willing to vote for it in order to relieve traffic in NYC and help fund mass transit. He even introduced legislation with Assemblywoman Joan Millman to provide for Residential Parking Permits in much of Brownstone Brooklyn and DUMBO to ease the impact on Brooklyn.

Azi’s interpretation of the Senator’s statement was the correct one. It is unfortunate that the Squadron campaign is so willing to distort Marty Connor’s record to score cheap political points.”

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