May 25, 2017 / Brooklyn news / Party Line

Grimm casts shadow over Ridge Council race

Grimmace: Tax cheat and former Congressman Michael Grimm tries to grin for the cameras after a federal judge sentenced him to eight months in prison.
Brooklyn Daily
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Bay Ridge Republican Council Candidate Bob Capano applauded disgraced former congressman Michael Grimm for calling on President Trump to go on the attack in the face of condemnation from the public and the media.

Grimm, who has been out of jail for about a year following his seven-months behind bars for tax fraud, released a statement last week calling much-needed unity and support for the country’s Commander in Chief.

“The President is under heavy attack with every element of opposition power against him, and from every angle: the media, the Democrats, Hollywood, the Establishment and the deeply rooted bureaucrats in every agency that actually regulates the entire country,” the ex-con ex-congressman wrote in the statement. “However, after a deep breath and employing a little introspection, then accepting that they must right their ship, the White House needs to deploy every tool and arsenal at its disposal to go on offense.”

And Capano — the self-proclaimed “leading” candidate, despite having the least cash in his campaign coffers, with $38,021 on hand — was quick to agree and applaud Grimm for his words.

“Congressman Grimm upset the status quo during his time in office, and President Obama’s administration made him pay for it,” Capano said in his statement. “I am pleased that Michael Grimm is still standing up and being vocal in our community. Republicans need to step up and fight for their President instead of playing it safe.”

But Capano should be more focused on City Hall than the White House, his Republican rivals charge.

“He can talk about Donald Trump all he wants, but the City Council is the most local form of government,” said John Quaglione. “The election is based on who the people believe, and who best understands the issues, and would best be able to do deal with them. The City Council is so far from the White House, to be even talking about Trump is absurd in the city council race. I’m focused on city hall.”

Fellow candidate Liam McCabe — who worked for Grimm — agreed, suggesting Capano should run for congress instead.

“I’m running for City Council as a Republican because I want to turn our city away from the disastrous policies of Mayor DeBlasio,” McCabe said in a statement. “If Bob Capano wants to talk about national issues, he ought to seek federal office.”

But Capano fired back, accusing both McCabe and Quaglione of being “political hacks” who have to toe the party line and “play it safe” since as career politicians they’ve never collected anything but taxpayer money.

“That’s exactly the political hacks that voters are tired of,” Capano said. “They can’t be afraid to speak out if something’s not politically correct. I am the only candidate in the private sector whose life isn’t dependent on a government salary.”

McCabe currently has $49,784 in his war chest, and Quaglione leads with $68,974, according to city records.

• • •

The state Senate’s rogue Democrats are scrambling for position now that Tuesday’s victory by Democratic candidate Brian Benjamin to fill a vacant seat in Harlem, giving the party a chance for a 32-seat majority if all nominal Dems came onside.

Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder (D–Midwood) — who took home an award for being one of New York’s top conservative pols and caucuses with the Republicans — told Party Line back in March that he would be happy to rejoin his Dem colleagues if the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference did so as well.

The day after Benjamin’s win, Fleder penned a letter to the ringleader of the eight rogue Democrats, state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D–Bronx) urging the group of eight to sit back down with the Dems where they belong to bring the party a majority.

But Felder’s letter was a response to a campaign Klein launched a earlier this week called “Call the Roll,” calling for all Senate Dems to pledge to back a package seven bills boosting progressive causes such as abortion rights, immigration reform, and gender equality — putting the conservative Felder, who opposes abortion, in an awkward spot.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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