Ken Jenkins Letter Imagines Plot to Make Jim Maisano Mayor of New Rochelle

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Ken Jenkins Letter Imagines Plot to Make Jim Maisano Mayor of New Rochelle

February 18, 2014 - 20:33

I received a copy of this bizarre Ken Jenkins letter in December and forget to publish it. Mostly Ken Jenkins engages in conspiracy theories and sees racism and code words behind every Republican campaign. There is one aspect of the letter that pertains directly to New Rochelle with regard to a possible future race between Jim Maisano and Noam Bramson.

Here is the PDF.


Below is the text of the letter:

December 6, 2013

Greetings Democratic Executive Committee Members of the Northern Coalition:

I understand Legislator Michael Kaplowitz is addressing the Northern Westchester Coalition and I thought I would share some thoughts.

On election night when the results were in, Michael Kaplowitz posted on Facebook Astorino’s re-election was a win for bipartisanship. A core component of the Astorino campaign. There was nothing bipartisan about Astorino’s win. The main issue in the race for County Executive was taxes. The second issue was the HUD settlement — which was done by Republicans in their normal racist literature.

Now Michael Kaplowitz is attempting to mount a campaign with those Republicans to replace change the Board of Legislators Leadership. Democratic leaders should be outraged.

The Kaplowitz Plan

The Kaplowitz plan is to join with Republicans and replace “the southern Westchester legislators” with a coalition of him as Chair and Republican Jim Maisano as Vice-Chair. Appointing Republican Sheila Marcotte Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

This scenario would set Republican Jim Maisano up to run for New Rochelle Mayor against Noam Bramson.

For clarity, our Democratic Caucus positions, Majority Leader and Majority Whip are decided by the Democratic caucus. The Democrats on the County Board have voted as a block for Chair and Vice-Chair. In 2012, no Republican voted for me for Chair. No Republican voted for Lyndon Williams for Vice-Chair.

Kaplowitz History
Let me refresh your memory, it's November 2011, Democrat John Nonna lost, Rogowsky retired and Dan Brakewood lost, it's the last budget we will adopt with a Super Majority. Starting January 2012 will have a 10-7 Democratic Majority. The Democratic Leadership team is Jenkins, Lyndon Williams, Pete Harckham and Judy Myers. We are in negotiations with Astorino et al. The team goes to negotiate with Astorino and Myers is left with the caucus. Judy Myers advised that while the Democratic team was in route to meet Astorino, Michael Kaplowitz gets a call from Astorino and carries Astorino’s water to our Democratic caucus. Your Democrats stood strong, rejecting Michael Kaplowitz.

After the vote Michael Kaplowitz states I need him to budget chair. I advise him, that Judy Myers does not want to continue in Leadership - remember the inappropriate sexist comments in the George Oros' email and wants to be budget chair. In 2012, I name Judy Myers Budget Chair. Kaplowitz requests to be removed from the Budget Committee, resigns as the BOL representative for Hilltop Hanover, Cornell Cooperative Extension and stops participating in the Democratic caucus. Majority Leader Harckham tries to keep Michael Kaplowitz informed.

Then there was the 2013 Astorino budget where Michael Kaplowitz stated his reason to voting for the Astorino budget, a budget that hurt working families, had $5 million dollars in patronage jobs and borrowed money for operating costs was to protect Westchester’s AAA rating. I am sure you are now all aware that the County’s bond rating was recently downgraded by Moody’s, specifically because of borrowing for operating costs. Astonishingly, Michael Kaplowitz now says that the AAA Bond rating didn’t make a difference. Legislator Catherine Borgia stated at the Budget Committee meeting the surprise in those comments given the rationale for defection being the protection of the AAA bond rating.

I am told Michael Kaplowitz was admonished by the several members at a Yorktown Democratic Committee meeting for the racist explanation his Budget vote.

At my presentation to the Northern Westchester Coalition during the Democratic designation process for County Executive, I directly addressed the elephant in the room, the issue people are uncomfortable with, the question of race. The issue where many used racist code words like electability and now, bipartianship (sic). In my remarks to the Coalition, I stated that if someone was not voting for me because I am Black, they were not voting for Bill Ryan nor Noam Bramson.

I pointed out a laundry list of support I have given for initiatives important to our Northern Westchester communities. Like rejecting the Agriculture District addition Michael Kaplowitz was pushing after hearing from our Democratic Supervisor. I was able to reference my support for any number of Northern Westchester candidates from judicial candidates to recent candidates like Justin Wagner and even … Michael Kaplowitz.

After the Democratic Convention, many of you noted and praised my support for our Democratic team. Some of you suggested that I should continue doing the outstanding job I am doing as Chairman of the County Board of Legislators.

Now, Democratic leaders can sit on the sidelines and continue to watch this - or be the Democratic leaders and reject the Kaplowitz plan. Michael Kaplowitz’s actions in the 2013 Budget hurt Democrats - note the racist scary black guy photo on Pete Harckham’s opponents literature. Same disgusting stuff used successfully against John Nonna.

There’s a world of difference in the type of campaign conducted by Pete Harckham and the one being waged by his opponent.

Pete Harckham has always conducted a positive, fact-based campaign and is running on his record of accomplishments.

His opponent has waged a Tea Party campaign using misinformation, fear and anger to cover up for her own lack of experience.

While Michael Kaplowitz was appearing on literature for Astorino, I was there standing with our Democrats. Michael Kaplowitz stated that he did not give permission for Astorino to use his quote …. on a piece of campaign literature. No one is naive enough to believe that Michael Kaplowitz did not approve the quote at the time it was done. Everyone knows Michael Kaplowitz fully understood that Astorino would use his 2013 Budget vote during the County Executive campaign.

Meanwhile, I raised over $100,000.00 for DMAC to help preserve our Democratic majority on the Board of Legislators. More than three times the amount of money ever raised for DMAC. Democratic Chairman Lafayette directed an additional $30,000.00 of party resources to preserve and potentially enhance the Democratic majority on the Board of Legislators. I put together a dynamic operation that should serve us well going forward. In the final analysis, we protected our incumbents in marginal areas, preserved seats with retiring Democratic legislators and ran a slate of outstanding Democratic challengers to build our Democratic bench for future opportunities.

Democratic leaders need to give the same message to Michael Kaplowitz New York State Democrats are giving to the IDC:

At the end of the day, this is not about Michael Kaplowitz. It is not about the 8th floor in the County Office building.

It’s about you, and your role as a Democratic leader. It’s about the adjustments in mindset that must be made having lost the last two County Executive races where we have an overwhelming Democratic majority of voters.

It is about what Democratic leaders like you are going to do. Are you going To stand for nonsense?

Are you going to stand and make a difference by refusing to condone Michael Kaplowitz’s actions and stop being silent on bad behavior. Silence is acceptance.

Democratic leaders cannot reward people for doing the wrong thing. It is the wrong messages we send.