- Always Good for a Photo-Op
In 2002, then-Republican-councilman Martin J. Golden defeated incumbent democrat Vincent Gentile in the election to represent in Albany Brooklyn’s 22nd Senate district, which covers a large swath of the borough’s south end. In 2004, 2006 and 2008, he was re-elected, in large part because he ran unopposed. (Gentile had taken over Golden’s vacated council seat, where he remains to this day.) Golden has positioned himself comfortably in a gerrymandered, traditionally Republican-leaning district. But, maybe, the honeymoon’s ending.
Golden’s blatant-but-not-illegal money-laundering scam earned him a mention last year in The L‘s Best of New York. In 2008, the Daily News reported he had spent over half-a-million dollars on office expenses–in six months. More recently, he has been a prominent voice among state senate Republicans against gay marriage: not only part of the contingent that defeated a measure to legalize it in December, Golden was outraged that Gov. Paterson would even suggest such a law. “By introducing this bill on the day after Archbishop Dolan was installed,” he said, “is not just a slap in the face to Catholics, but to all New Yorkers who respect what the Catholic Church is and what it stands for.” (If Golden spent as much time worrying about the fundamental rights of homosexuals as he did about the hurt-feelings of Catholics, perhaps he wouldn’t be such an contemptible human being.) Golden was also a group of five senators who sought to overturn Paterson’s directive that gay marriages from other jurisdictions be recognized in the state.
So, what can you do to cleanse state politics of this wicked man? Lend support to the kid courageous enough to oppose him this time around.
A race against Marty can be nasty: when The Brooklyn Paper endorsed his opponent in a council election many years ago, Golden supporters stole every copy of the free newspaper in Bay Ridge from its distribution boxes. (The free press is for hippies and commies!) Rumors have circulated of Golden supporters engaging in other forms of odiously undemocratic and childish behavior, as well.
So, our hats off to 29-year-old Gravesend-native Mike DiSanto, a graduate student in marketing at NYU, the first person in nearly a decade with the cajones to stand up to Marty’s machine. (No, we don’t mean the enormous black SUV with which he ran-over a 74-year-old woman in 2005.) Incumbents are notoriously difficult to unseat from state office—a leading cause of Albany’s severe dysfunction—but opposition to Marty has been mounting for years—during a recent election, “Republicans Against Marty” pasted streetlights on Ridge Boulevard with fliers—while Democrats have secured more offices in Golden’s native Bay Ridge and surrounding neighborhoods, which seem to be slowly liberalizing: it looks like Bay Ridge will even have a Food Co-Op soon, modeled on the one in Park Slope! If residents are ready for that, they’re ready for a life after Marty.