The 10th Congressional District includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, Jamaica Bay, East New York, Carnsie and Brownsville.
Edolphus Towns (Dem/WF)
Commentary by Ed Towns:
Congress Acts to Protect New York's Water
Rep. Ed Towns just posted an article on GothamGazette touting his role in the renewal of federal funding to protect New York's watershed. But don't look for the Sierra Club to name Towns its Man of the Year. Last summer, 180 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to issue new regulations to keep mercury out of America's waters. Actually, 181 members signed it, including six of New York's nine Republicans and all 19 of its Democrats, but one later erased his name. Ed Towns. Why did he do it? We asked some of Towns's people, but they either didn't know or didn't reply. We have a theory, though. Stronger regulations to control mercury are opposed by the energy industry, which doesn't want to reduce the power plant emissions that poison our waters. Towns gets a lot of campaign money from the energy industry-$27,365 from energy PACs in the current two-year cycle. You do the math. This kind of thing has happened before with Towns. In November 2003, after receiving $17,000 from energy PACs, he voted for a controversial bill that gave the energy industry $23 billion in tax breaks. Every other Democrat in the tri-state area voted against the bill, which was slammed by environmentalists and derided by The New York Times as "a pork-barrel bonanza of special favors likely to cost twice the advertised price of $31 billion." A Senate filibuster killed the bill, but in June 2004 House Republican leaders brought it up again. Half of the tri-state area's 18 Republicans voted against it, as did every Democrat in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Except one. Ed Towns. (Courier Life Newspapers)
The Brooklyn Democratic organization's decline has been part of a general trend over the last few decades and reflects, in part, the waning influence of party clubhouses citywide. But in Brooklyn it has been particularly pronounced after scandals that have weakened the party even more. "If I were to describe the health of the party in Brooklyn right now, I'd say it's sick," said Representative Edolphus Towns, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn and has served in Congress for more than two decades.''At one time, you couldn't run for president or anything else without talking with the Democratic organization in Brooklyn," Mr. Towns said. ''But now, they wouldn't think to come here. And it's because they feel we don't have much strength. So, we're being ignored." (NY Times)