They’re talking woke … but not always walking woke.
New York City is facing an avalanche of lefty primary challengers looking to duplicate the unlikely success of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But in a slew of races across the Big Apple many are reckoning with private and professional lives that don’t always live up to their progressive campaign rhetoric.
Mondaire Jones, 33, has staked himself as the woke choice in the fiercely competitive primary to replace retiring Westchester Rep. Nita Lowey. He’s been endorsed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and has defined his campaign in part based on his work as an attorney vetting judges and working on criminal justice reform during his time as a Department of Justice attorney for the Obama administration.
“I’m the only person in the race, perhaps shockingly in a Democratic race, talking about criminal justice reform,” he said in an online video.
But as a hard-charging attorney for Westchester County, criminal justice reform doesn’t appear to have been one of Jones’ priorities, as he fought inmates in various legal actions.
He successfully argued for the dismissal of a 2018 suit brought by county inmate Sheppard Adeghe about substandard jail food. He also won dismissal in April 2020 of a lawsuit brought by prisoner Kenneth Haslinger, who said he was placed in the same housing area as another inmate despite telling his jailers he had a preexisting conflict with him. Haslinger was later assaulted by his enemy and suffered “serious injuries,” he claimed.
“The law as written does not reflect how a truly just system should look,” Jones told The Post in a statement which largely skirted his own involvement in the cases. Jones added that he had represented “indigent black and brown defendants pro bono for years.”
In Manhattan, Lindsey Boylan, a veteran longtime nonprofit executive and former state economic development official, is looking to knock off Democratic warhorse Rep. Jerrold Nadler. As part of her campaign, Boylan, 36, is warning against the dangers of climate change, and embracing the AOC-inspired Green New Deal. Boylan has also thundered against the fossil fuel industry — pledging to forswear campaign donations from them.
But many of those oil giants make up a hefty chunk of her own family’s multimillion-dollar portfolio. Boylan, through her husband, holds stakes in BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Greek oil shipping company Tsakos Energy, financial disclosure forms show. Boylan’s husband, LeRoy Kim, is a prominent investment banker at Allen & Company.
And while she’s not taking their money for the campaign directly, dividends from these and other holdings almost certainly found their way in through a $50,000 personal loan Boylan gave to her own campaign.
A spokesperson for Boylan’s campaign told The Post the family would immediately divest from the companies.
Adem Bunkeddeko, who nearly knocked off Brooklyn Rep. Yvette Clarke in a 2018 primary, is back again. Bunkeddeko raised eyebrows for taking in money from wealthy billionaire real estate interests and Trump supporters, like Home Depot founder Ken Langone and developer Jerry Speyer, last time around.
While this year his campaign has promised to pass on money from “corporate PACs, lobbyists, and big real estate developers,” he still took in donations from Bradley Tusk and Chris Coffey, both influential lobbyists for the Police Benevolent Association. He’s also taken money from private equity honcho Everett Cook, who previously gave big money to the presidential campaigns of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney.
“Adem’s campaign is rejecting contributions from Corporate PACs and real estate interests. He has the most small dollar donors and grassroots support of anyone by far. Meanwhile, our opponent Yvette Clarke is funded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate money by fossil fuels, coal, the telecom industry, and military manufacturers,” a spokesman told The Post.
Lauren Ashcraft, 31, a Democratic Socialist looking to take out Upper East Side Rep. Carolyn Maloney, recently chided her opponent for taking $65,000 from J.P Morgan even though she worked there as a project manager until November.
“I’m not worried that my experience and understanding of how financial institutions work will hinder my ability to help strengthen banking regulations and set parameters which will prevent another 2008,” she told The Post.
The New York Democratic primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, and with Democratic candidates in New York frequently winning general election races against their Republican opponents by North Korea-level margins, the real race is often fought during the primary.
“These challengers and their records don’t pass the smell test,” New York Democratic strategist Jon Reinish told The Post. “In any political environment, if you’re going to make the case that you have a more progressive record, you should accept absolute scrutiny on that and you have a lot of explaining to do if it doesn’t.”
Source: Read Full Article