Tale of Two AG Campaigns
August 25th, 2010

Assemblymember Richard Brodsky spent the morning in Brooklyn, campaigning at senior centers and bingo games. The assemblyman — and candidate for state attorney general — drove himself around the Bensonhurst area in a black Honda, his seatbelt unbuckled, the seatbelt warning signal beeping periodically, all while he made cell phone calls to arrange future campaign stops.

Over the course of the day he would storm into church basements where bingo games were taking place and, after being introduced by the local assemblymember, would announce semi-jokingly, “I am Richard Brodsky. I am a fantastic person and great politician and I am running for attorney general.” Seniors would cheer when he was introduced as the man who “fought the MTA.” At each stop he would end his speech quickly so the bingo games could resume in a speedy fashion.

Brodsky said the campaign has been humbling, because despite his many years in the legislature, he has to introduce himself to a whole new set of voters who are not familiar with his accomplishments.

The hot issue of the day was the building of the Islamic center near ground zero. A number of seniors approached Brodsky and demanded to know his stance. Brodsky told them what he has been saying since he was asked the question months ago at an ABC debate: “The mosque being built in that area is offensive to me.” Brodsky told the seniors that if elected attorney general he would defend the right of the mosque to be there, but he would rather it was built somewhere else.

“They are trying to build the thing on a graveyard,” said Murray Redlitz, who was enjoying the music and lunch at the Sephardic Multi Service Senior Center on Kings Highway. “If we had recovered all the bodies it would be different,” he said. Brodsky told Redlitz he found the mosque plan “distasteful.” Afterward, Brodsky said his stand on the matter differentiates from the pack of Democratic candidates.

While Brodsky seems to be playing more of the moderate, one of his opponents, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, has been touting his own credentials as a progressive.

Earlier this evening Schneiderman stood on the steps of City Hall and received the endorsement of Rev. Al Sharpton. Schneiderman has been directing the voters’ focus to his role in reforming the Rockefeller drug laws, his stance on illegal guns, his legislation that counts prisoners where they live instead of where they are imprisoned and his slogan: “equal, progressive and independent justice.”

On Monday, Schneiderman spoke at a forum on gun violence in Albany and talked about forming a coalition to combat the gun lobby.

On the mosque issue, Schneiderman has stood with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in supporting the developer’s right to build the mosque in the current proposed location.

By on August 25, 2010, 8:12 pm
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