Well, over the past few weeks, I have sat back and read all the news, coverage, and online opinions of the CD16 Race and it may have been noticed that my voice has been visibly absent. I recently had surgery and have been home recovering. Yes, I am okay. I am still in a little pain but I can no longer sit back silently. It’s time for some Real Talk!!!
My partner, Damon K. Jones, has picked up the pen in my absence and released a series of articles on various aspects of what’s going on. Please feel free to click on his name and play catch-up if you need to.
We will be addressing all of this on Sunday’s show—our season premiere, if you will—but I must say this is bigger than supporting Congressman Jamaal Bowman for re-election. This is about big interest groups, superPACs, and MAGA Republicans influencing the results of a Democratic primary.
Groups like AIPAC – The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which many are arguing isn’t a PAC but an organization. They would be right but two things can be true at the same time. AIPAC created a super PAC – the AIPAC Political Action Committee, which touts itself as the largest Pro-Isreal Pac in America on its website. They just leave that part out in their arguement, like Latimer, was recruited by AIPAC as part of the group’s $100 million campaign against progressive Israel critics.
Then there is The District Pac, a Westchester-based political action committee that handed out cards at a rally at the shopping center on the Scarsdale/New Rochelle border on Thursday evening. The cards say Defeat Bowman (in bold letters) and Make The Switch. They are encouraging Republicans to register as Democrats and vote against Bowman in the June Democratic Primary. While the AIPAC PAC is threatening to spend $100 million to unseat every member of The Squad (including Jamaal Bowman), The District PAC is much less subtle; they are boldly trying to circumvent the political process in a MAGA GOP takeover of the Democratic Primary.
Instead of working to change the law and fight for Open Primaries like Black Westchester has been doing for the past ten years, they are blatantly attempting to sabotage and cumulatively undermine the electoral process. These bold PACs aren’t even trying to hide their actions; they have created websites and business cards spelling out their intentions, counting on Democrats to focus on all the anti-semitism noise and being guilted into standing with Isreal against the evil terrorist Hamas, that they don’t see their control of their party slipping from their fingertips in real-time.
This would not be the first time Republicans tried to take over another political party in Westchester County using similar tactics. In October 2013, the Westchester Independence Party filed a suit against former CE Rob Astorino and other defendants, alleging that Astorino and his campaign attempted to win the party’s nomination by coercing dozens of staff members, political associates, friends, and family members to switch their party affiliation to the Independence Party. Eight months later, in June of 2014, State Supreme Court Justice Robert DiBella ordered the removal of 3,700 Republican names from the rolls of Westchester County’s Independence Party after complaints from the party chairman that they were allies of the former Republican gubernatorial candidate and improperly changed affiliations to ensure he’d be re-elected as county executive.
They are at it again, Jonathan Harris, a member of a New Rochelle synagogue, sent out an email urging the synagogue’s Republican members to change parties before the primary so that they can vote for Latimer.
“If you are a registered Republican voter, you are not eligible to vote in the all-important Democratic primary,” says Harris’s email, a copy of which was obtained by The Intercept. “It is critically important that if you are a registered Republican, at least for this election you should re-register as a Democrat so you can vote in the primary (against Bowman).”
Now that the MAGA GOP has revealed their plans, what are the Democrats going to do about it? I have seen some diehard Dems post comments like ‘you can’t blame Latimer for their actions.’ Latimer is even seeking to draw attention away from his Israel stance. Instead, he has billed himself as a progressive. The only problem is progressives don’t take money from MAGA GOP super PACs to unseat other Democrats, or maybe the definition of progressive has changed in 2024!
Other Dems have commented on Facebook, ‘I never heard of these organizations before,’ like that makes them any less threatening to the electrical process. Others are singing choruses of ‘Bowman did this or didn’t do that,’ etc. I guess it’s okay if MAGA GOP influences the primary election to raise money and infiltrate the Westchester Democratic Party, as long as it gets the outcome you want.
In addition, the Teach Coalition plans to spend a substantial $1.6 million to remove Congressman Jamaal Bowman from his position. This organization operates in seven states and is actively involved in a campaign centered on Westchester County, which has been covered by Lohud. Damon also sounded the alarm of a MAGA GOP takeover or coup of the Westchester Democratic Party last week. I saw many Democrats laugh in response to his editorial and throw shade on Bowman. I repeat this is much bigger than Bowman’s re-election bid
Damon also wrote about wealthy GOP donor Alex Dubitsky, a supporter of former President Trump, hosting a fundraiser for Democrat George Latimer’s challenge of Rep. Bowman in the Democratic primary. This fundraiser, where guests could pay up to $6,600 per person, has sparked controversy due to Dubitsky’s substantial donations to Trump and the Republican National Committee.
I have to question where Westchester County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Suzanne Berger stands on this carefully orchestrated coup of the Westchester Democratic Party. While Black Westchester has often been critical of former Democratic Chair Reginald Lafayette, I doubt he would sit still for this attempted takeover if he were still chair of the party. Would we even be in this position under Reggie? Would Latimer even run to challenge Bowman, if Reggie was still alive and in charge, I do not think so.
In my Laurence Fishburne, School Daze voice it’s time for the Dems to WAKE UP!
Tune in this Sunday, January 28th at 6PM to Black Westchester present The People Before Politics Radio Show, where Damon & I and a few guests will be discussing this extensively!