I am embarrassed by this diary. I live in a place where the DEMOCRATIC party is massively corrupt and that corruption is poised to continue far into the future. I fight REPUBLICAN corruption. How can I do that when I live in an area where the Democratic Party is so massively corrupt.
I grew up in Los Angeles. I remember a friend of mine from Chicago who was amazed that she couldn't find someone to bribe to hurry up her remodeling plans for her house. Los Angeles was the least corrupt place she had lived. That is my background.
I now live in Brooklyn. I am amazed that the national Democratic Party hasn't come to Brooklyn and kicked our asses because we are among the most corrupt party machines in America. We look like a third world country when it comes to corruption.
Our previous County Leader, Clarence Norman, served a full jail sentence for corruption. Our current County Leader, Vito Lopez, has done almost ALL of the same things Clarence Norman went to jail for, and is under active investigation by pretty much all levels of government for corruption. He ALSO recently was accused of sexual harassment by several women from his own staff...and apparently the NY State government settled some other sexual harassment suits against him at taxpayer's expense.
I spend a lot of time attacking Republicans for corruption. And nationally Republicans are FAR FAR FAR more corrupt than Democrats. But I find myself embarrassed by the local corruption in the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
Vito Lopez, due to health reasons and the sexual harassment suits, is on his way out. So now we are faced with a chance for reformers to make a difference. But I see the reformers acting disorganized and defeatist before our most important meeting. The anointed successor to Vito Lopez is disgraced Judge Seddio. More of the same corruption. Brooklyn is set to continue to be a corrupt blight within the Democratic Party.
Why is the national party allowing this corruption? And our local party machine is actually really bad at electing Democrats, so there is NO REASON WHY THE NATIONAL PARTY SHOULD TOLERATE THE KINGS COUNTY MACHINE!!!!
What is the role of a local Democratic County Committee?
It is to elect Democrats. Period. End of sentence.
Vito Lopez, our second County Committee Leader in a row to be disgraced (soon to be followed by ALREADY disgraced Seddio) actually AS DEMOCRATIC COUNTY LEADER endorsed a third party candidate (one of his cronies) against a DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE (someone who refused to agree to his corruption). Get that? The LEADER of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY endorsed a THIRD PARTY candidate AGAINST the DEMOCRATIC candidate for PERSONAL reasons. And the National Party let it slide.
Going more deeply into Brooklyn Politics, I am friends with many people who are head of several political organizations. Several of these people sought to find candidates and support candidates against Republican Marty Golden. Vito Lopez, the HEAD OF THE BROOKLYN DEMOCRATIC PARTY, supported Republican Marty Golden and discouraged ANY challenge to him by Democrats until VERY recently.
Furthermore, in two recent elections, we LOST Democratic seats to Republicans because Vito Lopez and the Democratic Party machine sat on their hands. David Weprin and Lew Fidler SHOULD have won. But Vito Lopez didn't care about Weprin and did NOTHING for him. Lew Fidler had recently stood up to Vito Lopez in a local primary so Vito publicly denounced Fidler. Vito officially endorsed Fidler, but did nothing at all to help him win. And this is the supposed LEADER of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn. Weprin and Fidler both lost to extremist teabagger Republicans thanks to the incompetence of the Kings County Democratic Party.
I plug Democrats across the country but I feel my local Democratic Party is an embarrassment. I am starting to feel like I have nothing to say politically because I can't make my own local Party better...despite almost a decade of trying.
I believe one of the main differences between the Republican and the Democratic Party is THEY stand by their most corrupt members while we oppose our most corrupt members. The Clarence Norman, Vito Lopez and soon to be Frank Seddio machine in Brooklyn looks a LOT like the Republican model of corruption, supported and perpetuated year after year.
Our local corruption has been tolerated on both the state and national levels. Our local incompetence at electing Democrats over Republicans has been tolerated on both the state and national levels. Why? The Kings County Democratic Party is both blatantly corrupt AND unable and unwilling to elect Democrats against Republicans in the few close races we have. Why are we tolerated?????
Our current County Leader, Vito Lopez, is on his way out because of sexual harassment charges. But he has anointed Seddio as his replacement and the reformers I am a part of can't do much about that. Seddio is an already disgraced judge. He is already PROVEN by LAW as corrupt. But the Democratic Party is going to accept him as leader in Brooklyn.
If I was a Republican this whole Clarence Norman, Vito Lopez, Frank Seddio corruption would be red meat to feed on. I would hold Brooklyn up as the most corrupt place in America and embarrass the Democratic Party with these corrupt assholes.
So far the reform movement (currently led by the likes of Chris Owens, Jo Anne Simon and Lincoln Restler) has been working hard but without support from the state or national party.
Now that we have a SECOND party leader facing major charges, can we get some help in reforming the Kings County Democratic Party??? And the next anointed Party Leader ALREADY has faced corruption charges.
Can I get some help from the NY State Democratic Party? Can I get some help from the national Party? What I have been trying to do is get my local Party to be LESS CORRUPT. Why is it so hard to get State and National help?
Clarence Norman, Vito Lopez and Frank Seddio are all corrupt scum. Why does the Democratic Party tolerate them as major power brokers? If we tolerate this level of corruption within our own party, how can we criticize the Republicans for their even greater corruption????