Hardball host Chris Matthews is facing the wrath of Staten Islanders affected by Hurricane Sandy after he said he was glad the storm occurred on the air.
During his election night wrap-up on Tuesday, Mr. Matthews said it was “a good day for America,” and added, “I’m so glad we had that storm last week.” After Rachel Maddow, who was seated next to him, gave an audible “ooh,” at his choice of words, Mr. Matthews countered, ”No, politically, I should say–not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
According to the Staten Island Advance, Mr. Matthews’ remarks didn’t go over very well with New York City’s least-populated borough, which suffered a majority of Hurricane Sandy’s fatalities in the city.
With last night’s elections, a number of seats changed hands between the Democratic and Republican parties across New York State, and indeed the entire country. But in the five boroughs of New York City, it was a one-way street.
At the congressional level, for example, the city lost half its Republican representation with the exit of Queens’ Bob Turner, who unsuccessfully ran for his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. GOP Councilman Dan Halloran had his sights on the remnants of Mr. Turner’s district in northeastern part of the borough, but the area’s solidly Democratic tendencies allowed Assemblywoman Grace Meng to easily leap over Mr. Halloran and secure a new gig in Washington D.C.
As city politicians at all levels of government slam Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to continue its plans for the New York City Marathon, an elected official in one of the hardest-hit communities is taking the fight to the next level. Assemblyman Lou Tobacco, representing the South Shore of Staten Island, has called for a nationwide boycott of the marathon’s sponsors if they do not push to end the race.
“I urge the sponsors to do the right thing and join me in calling for the postponement of the race,” Mr. Tobacco said in a statement. “If they fail to do what is right, I urge a nationwide boycott of their products. These sponsors have the power to stop this race, they need to do what is right.”
coup de race
It’s the tale of two press releases.
On Wednesday, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio sent out a press release entitled, “DE BLASIO APPLAUDS CITY’S DECISION TO HOLD MARATHON AS SCHEDULED.” Moments ago, however, Mr. de Blasio fired off a second one: “DE BLASIO: NEEDS REMAIN TOO GREAT TO DIVERT RESOURCES, MARATHON MUST BE POSTPONED.”
At a press conference this morning on Staten Island, a host of local officials, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, gathered to highlight the needs of the hard-hit borough in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And, although many pols spoke, no one was more impassioned than Borough President James Molinaro, who called the Red Cross an “absolute disgrace” and even urged the public to cease giving them contributions.
“Because the devastation in Staten Island, the lack of a response,” Mr. Molinaro said to explain his comment to NBC after the press conference. “You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they? I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It’s very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They’re supposed to be here….They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.”
Over the weekend, cement bricks were thrown through the windows of Congressman Michael Grimm’s campaign headquarters on Staten Island in an attack Mr. Grimm initially said he believed the attack was “politically motivated” and that it also left computers in the office with mysteriously erased hard drives. Today, an eighth grader confessed to smashing the windows with a friend, leading Mr. Grimm to admit “it is possible that a volunteer could have inadvertently compromised the computer and failed to report it.”
However, in spite of a New York Times report published Monday that cited an unnamed “law enforcement official” as saying, “police experts had examined the campaign’s computer systems and concluded that nothing had been erased or tampered with,” a spokesman for the NYPD said the investigation into the situation with Mr. Grimm’s computers is just beginning.
Earlier today, the Associated Press reported an eighth grader confessed to an incident of vandalism where windows were smashed at the campaign headquarters of Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm. Over the weekend, when the vandalism first occurred, Mr. Grimm claimed it was a “politically-motivated” attack that also included hard drives being erased on computers in his office. He further condemned the attack as “an assault on democracy.” After the news broke that a child admitted he and a friend committed the crime, Mr. Grimm issued a calmer statement, declaring he was “very relieved to know this is not politically motivated” and said he assumed the broken windows were connected to a “consistent pattern” of his lawn signs being damaged and the computer problems at his office. He also slammed the media for what he described as “shameless spin” in the reporting on the situation.
“It is unfortunate that these young kids would commit such an act of vandalism, yet we are very relieved to know this is not politically motivated. At the time, when we saw three large window panes broken, following a consistent pattern of lawn sign thefts and after several locations with Grimm signs and posters were barraged with eggs, it was not hard to come to any other conclusion,” Mr. Grimm said. “In addition to that, the gentleman in charge of operating the main computer system, found the computer not functioning and a new operating system installed. Again, under the circumstances, it could very easily lead one to believe that this was all connected, which is why we contacted the NYPD.”
Congressman Michael Grimm and his campaign made a big deal about an alleged break-in at his headquarters last weekend, calling the incident “politically motivated” and “an assault on democracy,” claiming hard drives in the office were erased and comparing the situation to the deadly shooting that left former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords critically wounded last year.
According to the Associated Press, the explanation for the smashes windows at Mr. Grimm’s office is actually something far more innocent.
“Police say a teenager has admitted vandalizing the campaign office of New York Congressman Michael Grimm,” the AP report said. “NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the eighth grader told a school counselor that he and a friend had broken a window over the weekend at the office on Staten Island.”
Fresh off blasting vandalism against his campaign headquarters as a threat to the very fabric of America’s democracy, GOP Rep. Michael Grimm is now interested in talking about a decidedly more esoteric topic: a group of nuns on the Staten Island Ferry protesting his support for the Republican federal budget.
Republican Congressman Michael Grimm’s campaign office on Staten Island was allegedly vandalized and burglarized overnight. According to an email sent to reporters shortly after 2 p.m. by Mr. Grimm’s spokeswoman, Carol Danko, workers arrived at the office this morning to discover multiple windows that had apparently been broken.
“Overnight, cement blocks were thrown through the windows of his campaign HQ located at 2582 Hylan Blvd. between the New Dorp post office and the Hylan Shopping Plaza on Staten Island,” Ms. Danko wrote.
Politicker just spoke with Ms. Danko on the phone and she said Mr. Grimm is communicating with police and that he said, upon further investigation, the NYPD discovered computers inside the office had their hard drives erased. According to Ms. Danko, police believe the broken windows may have been a “cover up” to distract from the compromised computers.