While not in Queens, Queens-Politics has been keeping a close eye on soon-to-be former Council Speaker Quinn’s seat in Manhattan District 3 between Yetta Kurland (who challenged Quinn four years ago) and Corey Johnson. The reason being is that a watchful eye will give an inside glimpse into the Quinn machine, which is attempting to handpick her successor by paving a route to victory through unfair means for Corey Johnson – a barely qualified candidate with a questionable background.
Perhaps most alarming, just the other day, The Villager, made an endorsement in the race selecting Corey Johnson with a bunch of exaggerated claims. The Villager is long been rumored to be controlled by Quinn loyalists. Unsurprisingly in their endorsement, The Villager wrote in rave fashion that Johnson has a “better grasp” of the details of development issues in District 3 – which is a ridiculous statement not only because he is rumored to have just a high school diploma – but because his opponent, Yetta Kurland, is extremely intelligent and more knowledgable on development issues especially when taking into account her experience in the community combined with her education: she has a Bachelors, a Masters, and a law degree. Johnson on the other hand, only worked for a real estate development firm.
If The Villager’s endorsement meant that Johnson – while working for a million dollar real estate development firm – gives a better grasp of the minute details of development issues, well then we rest our case. However, after watching the debate, we’re convinced The Villager was bending the truth — if not outright exaggerating.
Case in point, tonight on The Road To City Hall, Kurland and Johnson were invited for a debate. Answering Errol’s question on how to keep hospitals open (an important issue since St. Vincent’s Hospital served District 3 before closing), Johnson erroneously claimed that St. Vincent’s Hospital was a private institution and proceeded to group St. Vincent’s in with other “profit-generating centers.”
This is incorrect on the most basic level. St. Vincent’s Hospital was a 501c3 non-for-profit charitable organization, not a private hospital. Luckily, Kurland was able to correct her opponent in time. And not only did she correct Johnson, but she offered a detailed plan to get a hospital back while her opponent was unable to articulate a detailed plan for a new hospital.
And yet, somehow, The Villager claims Johnson has “details and vision.” Is this what they meant?
Contrasting Johnson’s performance on the NY1 debate with the endorsement claims made by The Villager raises serious doubt to their ability to objectively choose the best candidate for District 3, especially if anyone was thinking about taking this endorsement seriously.
Also, there’s a lot of hypocrisy and whitewashing evident in Johnson’s campaign. For instance, Johnson, who for months criticized campaign spending by outside groups, has been silent now that his campaign is receiving support from the independent expenditure known as Empire State PAC.
The clear choice, the independent choice is Yetta Kurland.
See the video here.