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Powell gets free shots at debate no-show Towns

The Brooklyn Paper
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It looks like this re-energized bunny has already run out of juice.

Just three days after the high-octane launch of his re-election campaign at the steps of Borough Hall, Rep. Ed Towns (D–Fort Greene) skipped a debate last night, giving second-time challenger Kevin Powell a free shot at him.

The debate sponsored by the Brooklyn Chapter of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, but like Towns, Sharpton was a no-show at the Bethany Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Towns’s campaign called Sharpton’s group earlier in the day and said that the congressman was in Washington and could not attend.

“That should tell you a lot,” Cencerra Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Chapter of the National Action Network, told the audience. “If they cannot come here to answer your questions, than that should be a concern.”

Powell started the night in a natty three-piece suit, but quickly started shedding parts of it until he was down to just his rolled-up, “I’m gonna work hard for you” sleeves and slacks. The former reality TV star and writer with past incidents of violence towards women, rattled off a new platform about the economy and health care that put him more in line with President Obama — a good move in a district that Obama dominated, yet handed Powell just 33 percent of the vote against Towns two years ago.

But instead of harping back to his time on MTV’s “The Real World,” he drove home the point that he was raised by a single parent in New Jersey. He also mentioned that he had just published his 10th book, “Open Letters To America” his version of Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope.”

Powell spent a good deal of his speech focusing on health, education and crime concerns in the less-affluent sections of the 10th district. During his 2008 run, our Courier-Life sister paper argued in its endorsement of Towns that Powell ignored the district’s “real world” and must have thought the district ended at the corner of Bedford and Atlantic avenues.

Overall, Powell needled the absent Towns, describing him as a career politician who, after 27 years in office, was no longer pursuing the public’s interests, but his own.

“I’m sure 27 years ago he wanted to help the community, but after the first 20 years his plans became, ‘I’m going to take care of myself and my family,’ ” he said. “Now, everyone else is getting neglected.”

Hank Sheinkopf, Towns’s campaign spokesman, confirmed that Congress was in session on Thursday and that the incumbent was in D.C.

“Kevin Powell can do whatever he wants,” he said. “Towns is in Washington doing the work he was elected to do.”

Powell faces an uphill climb against Towns, who has been more visible since he got the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the wake of the Democratic takeover of Congress.

Towns is now a nationally recognized figure and has $195,656 cash on hand for his re-election, according to recent campaign filings. Powell has just $47,211.

Updated 9:37 am, July 19, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

fosterjo from california says:


You guys should stop complaining cuz one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed give it a try u guys are too hard on democrats they went to college and we voted for most of these people.so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. as for obama people are just tryin to make it look like america made a mistake he has done things to help us and we had a full 8 years of a terrible president and i will be so as happy as ever when a obama fixes bush's mistakes. You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price from http://bit.ly/chE6zp . obama has to put up with the world judging his every move and trying to fix the mess we are in we are lucky anyone wants to be our president. STOP COMPLAINING AND GIVE HIM A BREAK. i wanna see one of yall do what he has done. some people are just so ignorant.
July 16, 2010, 1:05 am
Big Percy from Bedford Stuyvesant says:
It must be nice to be able to enjoy being "more visible" as the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but not having to actually exercise any investigative responsibilities.

While the Gulf Coast disaster still looms, Chairman Towns has done nothing to investigate who should be held accountable for the corruption and failure of Minerals Management Services MMS (now renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) - the federal agency responsible for overseeing oil extraction.

Towns ain't doin it in Washington, and he definitely ain't doin it in Brooklyn.

Kevin Powell shouldn't need hundreds of thousands of dollars on hand to win this race - the leader of the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn New York should be determined by merit.
July 16, 2010, 3:34 pm
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July 16, 2010, 9:34 pm
DavidQ_NYC says:
This guy is a sham. No history or past, as to where he comes from, what was the outcome of the alleged problems at Rutgers. The alleged two incidents with females and knives, at Rutgers. Was he arrested and or forced to leave the school. Were there any agreement made with the female students and Rutgers. Alleged similar type of event later on. Alleged assault on a reporter. Any arrests in these cases? Sham fundraiser and refusal to refund money. No info on personal life as marital status, children, girlfriend, boyfriend, et al. Nothing, voting record is spotty. No association with any Brooklyn organization, like NAACP, YMCA, democratic club, et al. Nothing he can truthfully say he participated in or sponsored in East New York, BedStuy, Brownville, Ft. Greene, Carnarsie, etc. He came out the woodwork. Rootless in community and only connected with Barron and A.T. Mitchell. Man-up organization which is Barron organization funded with the little bit of money from Barron. For any woman or women organization to support a women abuser is to believe that a leopard can change it's spots.
July 16, 2010, 10:14 pm
Betty from Womensburgh says:
We are not Leopards, we are people.
July 17, 2010, 1:42 am
just says:
The politics of fear doesn't play well with me.
Just about every black man in NY has a police record for something or nothing.
I like Kevin Powell. The only time I see Ed Towns is during christmas when he sends out x-mas cards with a picture of his family .....and during election time when he is seeking votes.
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