2002-06-22 / Letters

Opinion As Good As Another

Opinion As Good As Another

Dear Editor;

Free press is a wonderful thing.  It allows for ideas and opinions to be expressed. 
The Ruscillos and Sharon Feldman are as entitled to theirs as I am to mine.

I can assure Sharon Feldman, writer of "Lew Does it Better!", that I am quite sure I'm not a ghostwriter for Howard Schwach.  The opinions I express are my own.

Ms. Feldman is under no obligation to agree with my opinions. However, facts stand for themselves.  In my letter I said that 75% of the Democrats who voted in last year's City Council primary preferred a candidate other than Lew Simon.

That statement may be easily verified as factually correct. All Ms. Feldman has to do is go to the website of the Board of Elections. There were votes cast for Mr. Addabbo, Mr.
Seminerio, Ms. Jorge, and Mr. Simon.

By doing the math, it is easy to see that 75% voted for someone other than Lew Simon.Hence, they did, in fact, prefer someone other than him and he did, in fact, lose by 75%. Mr. Addabbo won that primary by a plurality, not a majority.  It is true then that a majority of the primary voters preferred someone other than him.  The only difference is that he went on to win the general election, where all voters may vote, with a majority.

The point I was trying to make was apparently not made clearly enough to be understood by Ms. Feldman or the Ruscillos. The point I was making very simply is that Mr. Simon is not an elected official no matter how much he tries to pretend that he is.

He holds an elected party position, not a public office. He has no elective mandate to speak for the community as a whole no matter how much he wants to. Elected officials represent all in their districts once elected. Those who hold party positions represent only their party members when elected, not all. Civic association leaders, property association leaders, tenant association leaders, precinct council leaders, etc. represent their members once elected, not all.

I, too, cringe when Mr. Simon "puts his foot in his mouth". Perhaps the difference between me and the Ruscillos is that I do not excuse Lew when he does. The reason I don't is that he portrays himself as one of my community's leaders. He does not represent me. He holds no position where non-Democrats have a vote.

Leaders have, in my opinion, the obligation to choose their words carefully, speak prudently, and to be fully responsible for their words and actions. Simon is known to be untruthful and is known to exaggerate. He is rarely held accountable for what he says. His apologists tend to look the other way and excuse his misstatements as just mere foibles. All of the things he does to help people are nice but are not difficult to do for yourself if you want to. All that's necessary is a copy of the city Green Book directory, a telephone, and the time to sit and make the calls.  I guess that's where Lew has the advantage.  He doesn't seem to have to go to work each
day like the rest of us. He's got the time to sit at the phone all day.

It is now political petition time. That is a function performed by political party position holders.  One of Lew Simon's jobs is to get people to circulate those petitions and to get people to fill poll worker jobs. In the "old days" the people who held the poll worker jobs had to do petitions or the "leader" wouldn't give them the job. Today, that quid pro quo is illegal. Is there anyone else out there in Wave readerland besides me who has heard Lew tell someone they "had to do petitions" to keep or get a poll worker job?  Are there people out there who lost a poll worker job last year because they exercised their right not to carry Lew Simon petitions? Does he make it mandatory? If so, it's criminal.

JAY SULLIVAN


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