One man shows: Candidates debate themselves
Granted, competitive elections are still alive and well in southwest Brooklyn. But, for a series of debates held by the Bay Ridge Real Estate Board on Wednesday, October 3 at Siricos, the incumbents had the floor to themselves
Congressmember Michael Grimm, a Republican, and Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and William Colton, both Democrats, had the opportunity to address the assembled group without their opponents being present in the case of Grimm, Democrat Mark Murphy, who was invited to the forum but did not attend; for Abbate, Conservative Party candidate Vincent Katinas, who as a third party candidate was not invited; and for Colton, Republican-Conservative James Rippa, who was invited but didnt make an appearance.
Grimm who attended the event with his own cheering squad, many clad in matching tee shirts asking Got Grimm? sought to position himself as an active representative who has made an effort, over his freshman term in Congress, to be visible in Brooklyn. Noting that he had been told by area residents who said they felt as if they had a Staten Island congressman who came to Brooklyn once in a while, Grimm stressed, I have tried my best to bridge that gap.
Thats not the only gap he has tried to bridge, Grimm said. Noting Washington is broken; its become very polarized, he told the group that he had made an effort to cross party lines on legislation, co-sponsoring bills with Democrats, though he diverges from them clearly when it comes to the Affordable Health Care Act, which he said would hit local hospitals hard.