With regard to the Times endorsements today, Real Reform Brooklyn continues to see Atlantic Yards conspiracies at every turn. Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report, on the other hand, is suspicious but less willing to call foul when it comes to the Simon endorsement. Being less in the AY loop, I am skeptical, but I will agree with RRB (and AYR) that the Times’ 33rd endorsement was lukewarm at best.
The Times endorsement in the 33rd is particularly frustrating because they don’t say why they are choosing one candidate over another. They start out by saying that there are three “excellent candidates”, and they are clear on why Steve Levin is out of the running – he “would be a prime candidate except for his entanglement in the Brooklyn Democratic Party machine”. But if you are looking for some insight on Jo Anne Simon or Evan Thies, you won’t get it here. Instead we get a Cliff Notes version of the two candidates’ resumes – Thies “an aide to [David] Yassky, has been active on reform and clean-air issues”; Simon “has an impressive legal background and has been a strong community organizer who has done important work for the disabled”. The endorsement could just have easily ended “We endorse Mr. Thies”; instead, they went with “We endorse Ms. Simon” and no explanation. In a competitive race like this, where the Times’ endorsement can have a major impact, its readers deserve better.
By contrast, the endorsement for the 34th is pretty clear. It highlights what the Times sees as Diana Reyna’s qualifications – her “show of independence should be enough to re-elect her”; “she has also grown into a strong advocate for small businesses and struggling families in her area”. Maritza Davila is dismissed out of hand (“a community activist who has worked with Mr. Lopez on development issues”), and Gerry Esposito doesn’t even get a mention.
As to the 35th, where the Times chose not to make an endorsement, the AY influence would appear to be more at play here. Unless, of course, the Times simply considers the race not to be among the “most competitive districts where winning the Democratic primary usually means capturing the seat”. But that is outside my jurisdiction.