Common Sense: We can do better

September 22, 2014 JERRY KASSAR
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I get a kick out of the neighborhood Democrats. They seem to live by a motto, “When you have nothing to say, say something that means nothing and hope that no one figures it out.” Kind of cynical, I think.

Take for instance their reaction to the recent announcement by State Senator Marty Golden (whom I serve as chief of staff) that he had been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). The NFIB which was founded in 1943 is the nation’s largest advocacy group for small businesses.  It has over 350,000 members nationwide, 1,000 plus members in New York City and a whole bunch in Southwest Brooklyn.

Its members as a group are the largest non-government employers in the country. They are essentially smaller business operations that join to be part of an organized advocacy against big government, higher taxes and strangling regulations that kill business and cost us jobs. Many of their members can be described as “Mom and Pop” operations.

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The immediate reaction by the Democrats was that Senator Golden had been endorsed by the Koch brothers — the wealthy owners of a mega energy business. This came about by linking an amusing collection of unrelated dots designed to mislead. The Koch brothers, whether you like them or dislike them, are not a small independent business. They are not the NFIB and the Democrats simply made it up.

I guess it would be too much to think that the Democrats could put aside political differences and actually be pleased that Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are represented by such a strong advocate for small business. Personally, I believe the Democrats would have been wise to say nothing as opposed to putting out a claim that has as many holes as a piece of Swiss cheese.

At first, like other political activists, when I read the claim I laughed, but then I thought, “Is this not what’s wrong with politics these days?” — made up claims designed to mischaracterize a solid record on an issue and mislead the public. At a time when people talk about reform in the political system, would not the best reform simply be candidates and political parties sticking to the truth?

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Speaking of local Democrats, Congressional candidate Domenic Recchia needs to brush up on the issues if he is hoping to be taken seriously by the voters. Numerous media outlets reported last week that Mr. Recchia was unable to answer basic questions on a number of trade and labor issues even as he was criticizing his opponent.

In fact, upon questioning, he was unable to cite any of Grimm’s voting record to justify his attacks. And to add insult to injury, Recchia acted as though he had never heard of the major governing piece of our foreign trade policy – the North American Free Trade Agreement.

And for those who want to say this criticism of Recchia is politics as usual, it all happened at a press conference called by Recchia. He has no one to blame but himself or maybe his handlers, who can hardly justify allowing a Congressional candidate to go before the media not knowing what he is talking about.

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In rounding out my election comments, you can catch Congressmember Grimm and Senator Golden debating their opponents at the next meeting of the Dyker Heights Civic Association to be held on Tuesday, October 14 at St. Philip’s Church Hall, 1072 80th Street at 8 p.m.

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