This morning, Room 8 blogger Gatemouth posted an article putting forth an intriguing conspiracy theory about the four-way Congressional race involving Rep. Nydia Velazquez.
And it turns out to actually be true.
Gatemouth posited that the candidacy of Dan O’Connor – a political newcomer who is one of the three people running against Velazquez – was being actively propped up by supporters of another candidate, Councilman Erik Martin Dilan, for Dilan’s own political gain.
The theory went like this:
O’Connor, who is white, would be able to steal votes from Velazquez in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, while Dilan, who is Hispanic, likely would not be able to win many votes there. And as evidence that Dilan was secretly supporting O’Connor’s efforts in the area, Gatemouth highlighted the fact that Buddy Scotto – the powerful so-called “Mayor of Carroll Gardens” – is one of three people serving on O’Connor’s campaign “advisory board.”
Scotto and Velazquez have been at odds for several years over Velazquez’s support for designating the Gowanus Canal a Superfund site — and Scotto is also a close ally of Brooklyn Democratic Leader Vito Lopez, who is backing Dilan.
A few minutes ago, I called up Scotto, thinking he would deny the entire thing. I asked Scotto whether the idea that he was helping O’Connor in order to help Dilan was completely out of left field.
“No, of course not,” Scotto said, adding: “I’m hoping for the very best in this mix [of candidates.]… I wish both [O’Connor and the fourth candidate in the race George Martinez] well against Nydia, and I definitely feel certain they’ll be able to get votes that Dilan would have trouble reaching. The two of them will be able to take quite a few votes.”
“I think Nydia has done a terrible job,” he added.
I asked Scotto if he had personally spoken to Lopez or Dilan about his efforts to prop up O’Connor’s candidacy. He would not confirm or deny that.
“I think you have to talk to Vito Lopez about that,” Scotto said, adding that he had great admiration for the Brooklyn Democratic leader.
As it happened, Scotto and O’Connor were together at the very moment I called — and Scotto passed the phone to O’Connor so the candidate himself could comment.
O’Connor said he did not think Dilan was trying prop up his campaign, and said that Scotto was simply educating him about issues in Carroll Gardens.
To read the rest of this City & State article click here.
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