Ford’s Senate Ambitions

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.

To the Editor:
“Run, Harold, Run” (Editorial, Jan. 21)? A really bad mistake! Mr. Ford has been in Manhattan for a whole three years. What does he know about us or our sister boroughs? Because he has chosen to live here, I have to ask, “Mr. Ford, do you know me?” Of course not! But Jerry Nadler does, as does Carolyn Maloney, Charlie Rangel, David Paterson, Chuck Schumer AND Kirsten Gillibrand, to name just a few.

No, I’m not an elected official. I am a very dedicated Democratic activist who is really, really deep down grassroots. I am active in my Democrat club (Community Free Democrats) and I have volunteered in a wide range of campaigns. I have crossed rivers and borders, autoed, bused, trained and planed.

As with all activists, I want to know my candidates and I want them to know me, my community, my borough, city and state. In his three (whole) years in Manhattan, has Mr. Ford made any attempt to learn about New York City politics, let alone downstate and upstate? Does Mr. Ford know that there are Democrat clubs throughout the city? If he does, has he attended even one meeting? There are so many questions I would pose to Mr. Ford, but he doesn’t know me and, more important, I don’t know enough about him (I’m probably one of a very few who actually knows who Mr. Ford is).

Yes, I am one who appreciates primaries. I’ve participated in too many to count. Among the things I’d like to know about Mr. Ford is, what have you done in New York that you feel qualifies you to be our junior senator?”

Hilda B. Classon
West 86th Street

To the Editor:
I agree with “Run, Andrew, Run; Run, Harold, Run” and have to ask: Is Sen. Charles Schumer afraid of his own shadow?

You have to wonder what Schumer and Democrats are afraid of if there is a primary. Why is the New York State Democratic Party establishment in a panic over former Tennessee Sen. Harold Ford running against interim Sen. Kristen Gillibrand? There are 24 Democratic members of Congress, 32 state senators and 108 state assembly members, along with dozens of mayors and county executives who could have been potential candidates. How pathetic that the only person brave enough to offer an alternative is a political carpetbagger who has been a resident for only three years? Then again, Hillary Clinton conveniently became a New York resident in far less time before winning a senate seat.

Republicans are in worse shape going into 2010. They are still unable to find any serious challengers who can raise the millions of dollars necessary to challenge either Gillibrand, Schumer, Gov. David Paterson, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli or Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. It appears the GOP has no team to put on the field.

As the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt would say, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” Lighten up, Schumer, and allow the voters—rather than yourself—to decide who our second senator should be. Both you and the winner of any Democratic primary for either senator, governor or any statewide office will be the odds on favorite to win the general election against any Republicans. Democrats have an enrollment edge of more than two million voters and millions of dollars more in campaign funds. Republicans are David versus the Democrats’ Goliath.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, Long Island

Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

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