Sections

Grimm’s fairy tale? GOP candidate ‘too busy’ to debate rival

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

You would think Michael Grimm would have more courage under fire.

The former Marine battling to be the Republican nominee for Bay Ridge’s congressional seat has ducked out of a debate sponsored by this paper, claiming that he doesn’t have the time.

We offered Grimm 12 timeslots over four days to go head-to-head with rival Republican Michael Allegretti, but Grimm’s people turned down the invitation.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to make those dates,” Grimm’s campaign manager Aaron Ellis Ringel, who declined to provide Grimm’s busy campaign schedule for those days.

The refusal to debate is surprising, given that the Gulf War veteran has never hesitated to speak his mind before. He gladly talked to reporters after he was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Arizona Sen. John McCain and when news broke that the campaign of incumbent Rep. Mike McMahon (D–Bay Ridge) had put together a list of his “Jewish donors.”

Allegretti, a local small business owner who’s fighting to reduce taxes, increase jobs and fight for energy independence in McMahon’s district, suggested that Grimm is afraid of the verbal dogfight and the hard-hitting questions that this newspaper would ask him.

“I’m sad to hear that he is too busy to debate,” Allegretti said. “The voters deserve more from a man who is looking to be their representative in Congress. But [in a debate], they might get the idea that there is no substance there.”

Ringel fired back, claiming that Grimm’s challenger is “only calling for a slew of debates because his campaign is losing momentum and he has been unable to successfully articulate why people should support him.”

If it happened, our debate would have been the first time Grimm and Allegretti faced off in Brooklyn. Two forums have been held in the Staten Island portion of the 13th congressional district, including one by the Staten Island Tea Party.

Yet Allegretti’s people remember that debate differently. Allegretti accepted the invitation, but Grimm refused to join the conversation, recalled Allegretti campaign spokesman Marco DeSena.

The only time the two have been seen together was at a local candidates night, but that was months ago, before campaign petitions were submitted, political insiders recalled.

The two are scheduled to debate on NY 1 on Sept. 3. They will then go head to head at the polls on Sept. 14. Whoever wins will face McMahon in November.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Lawrence Gulotta from Park Slope says:
It is unfortunate when Republican primary candidates for Congress can not agree to exchange viewpoints in a debate format. My question is, "Do they even know how to debate."

Such a situation would not be tolerated in the Democratic Party.
Aug. 20, 2010, 2:59 pm
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
Personally, I'm not fond of either Republican candidate. Grimm acts as Guy Molinari's puppet and sends out press releases fawning outrage over every little thing, while Allegretti, with his endorsements from Marty Golden (ugh) struggles to make his name known. If I had to guess, Grimm will be the nominee.

McMahon is not exactly a bargain either, but I'll probably vote for him.
Aug. 20, 2010, 9:57 pm
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Lawrence, riiiight. But compiling lists of Jewish donors is tolerated, on the other hand.
Aug. 22, 2010, 11:16 am
Jason from Bay Ridge says:
Personally I'm not fond of either Grimm or McMahon there both from Staten Island and have no clue about this portion of the district, and could care less about us.

Plus Grimm's photo-op's with Lucretia Potter and Arnaldo Ferraro will cost him dearly.

While Allegretti with his endorsement of Marty Golden (Yes) continues to make his name known, plus his getting on the taxpayer line thanks to Brooklyn! is going to be the difference here.

If I had to guess, Allegretti is going to be the nominee.

I am going to vote for Allegretti, he's the best candidate hands down.
Aug. 22, 2010, 9:38 pm
Bill from Bensonhurst says:
How is Allegretti going to win?

80% of the Republicans live on Staten Island. Staten Islanders never have and will not choose a Brooklyn candidate over a native Staten Islander. Period.

Allegretti has no money. Unless he cracks open the his trust fund piggy bank, already has 1/2 to 1/3 the funds that Grimm has to pay for mailings and TV.

Allegretti has no major endorsements.

Allegretti is a liberal, a global warmer who has professed a belief in climate change and cap and trade.

Alegretti is an industrial polluter. His Bayside Fuel Oil depot in Bath Beach is listed as a major point source of toxic emissions by the EPA, and it produces 2,000 pounds of airborne carcinogens annually.

Grimm has no negatives that will hold up under public scrutiny.

In other words, on Primary Day, Allegretti better be prepared to put his head between his legs and kiss his ass goodbye!
Aug. 23, 2010, 4:33 pm
Danielle from Dyker Heights says:
If that is the case, good riddance to Allegretti. I dislike the way he tries mislead people about his residence, his work background, his personal political philosphy and more. He deserves to lose.
Aug. 23, 2010, 4:36 pm
Billy from Bensonhurst says:
How is Grimm going to win?

50% of the Republicans live on Staten Island. Staten Islanders have and will choose a Brooklyn candidate over a native Staten Islander. They elected Chris Mega and Bob Dicarlo to the State Senate they will do it again.

Allegretti has plenty of money. Allegretti just created a brand new line the taxpayers line and has pounded a lot more pavement than the other guy from Queens so far, he has more volunteers, more supporters, and knows the issues.

Allegretti has several major endorsements including three sitting elected officials, who has endorsed Grimm that matters?

Grimm is a liberal, pro-Illegal immigration who has professed a belief in amnesty and open borders.

Grimm is a failed business leader. He is currently in debt, and has no real source of income, while Allegretti and his family have been real leaders in our community making a difference when it comes to our churches, our little leagues, our streets safe, putting people to work most importantly, and keeping our parks clean.

Allegretti has no negatives that will hold up under public scrutiny.

In other words, on Primary Day, Grimm better be prepared to go back to Queens and put his head between his legs and kiss his ass goodbye!
Aug. 24, 2010, 10:33 am
Daria from Dyker Heights says:
If that is the case, good riddance to Grimm. I dislike the way he tries mislead people about his residence, his work background, his personal political philosophy and more. He deserves to lose.
Aug. 24, 2010, 10:34 am
Nona from New Dorp says:
The future of the Brooklyn Republican Party hangs in the balance. They are backing Allegretti. If Allegretti loses, they will spend the next year 2 years wiping egg of their faces.

My prediction: Grimm beats Allegretti. McMahon beats Grimm.
Aug. 24, 2010, 3:10 pm
Nora from Bath Beach says:
The future of the Brooklyn Republican Party doesn't hang in the balance. However, for the 49th Assembly District it sure does, that's why Lucretia Potter has her father loaning thousands of dollars worth of office space to her the very building he owns there very, very afraid.

The Brooklyn GOP are rightfully backing Allegretti not some guy from Queens who is the real puppet.

When Allegretti wins the same three people will post some comment on there hate blog saying this was a vote for McMahon, blah, blah means while there the ones who took there ball and went home a long time ago which may have been a good thing for this party.

My prediction: Allegretti beats Grimm. Allegretti beats McMahon.
Aug. 24, 2010, 3:19 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

This week’s featured advertisers