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Another flip-flop in Williamsburg district leader race

The Brooklyn Paper
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For one political candidate, Yom Kippur was the “Day of Dethronement.”

Williamsburg district leader hopeful Lincoln Restler surged ahead of political rival Warren Cohn by 85 votes just as the Jewish Day of Atonement began on Friday night, thanks to an official recount of voting machines by the Board of Elections.

The recount was the second change in leadership this week after Restler appeared to win the Williamsburg-Greenpoint-Fort Greene state committee seat on Primary Day by just 19 votes. First, dozens of “emergency” paper ballots were counted late in the week, and Cohn got 97 to Restler’s 36, putting Cohn up by 42 votes.

But then workers made their official recanvass of their Election Day count, and suddenly Restler’s 19-vote machine lead surged to a 3,569–3,423 total, or 146. Bringing back the paper ballot score only cut Restler’s lead to 85 votes.

Tomorrow, election workers will begin counting the remaining ballots in the race — about 200, including 103 absentee ballots.

Restler’s campaign manager Sarah Baker said she was “cautiously optimistic” that Restler’s lead would hold, noting that the majority of absentee ballots were from election districts outside South Williamsburg, the heart of Cohn’s popular support.

“We feel confident that the absentee ballots will give us an even stronger lead, as we won about 80 percent of votes cast outside of Hasidic Williamsburg,” said Baker.

The bitter campaign pit two twentysomething Brooklyn Heights-natives in an increasingly personal battle.

Cohn, backed by both his father, longtime state committeeman Steve Cohn, and Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Vito Lopez, has emphasized his close relationship with elected officials and Hasidic leaders in South Williamsburg.

But Restler, as vice president of the New Kings Democrats, has campaigned on a platform of reforming the county’s political machine, which Lopez leads, attempting to link Cohn to Lopez and vowing to cast his vote with another party leader.

Today’s news:
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Reader Feedback

Keith from Greenpopint says:
Go Restler Go !!!!
Sept. 20, 2010, 1:11 pm
Veto Lowpez from Bushwhack says:
No way we let Restler win in a recount. Surely all 103 absentee ballots are for Cohn.
Sept. 20, 2010, 1:26 pm
William Lee from Williamsburg says:
Go Lincoln, go!
Sept. 20, 2010, 2:19 pm
ken from Bushwick says:
Vito Lopez will end up in jail must probably this upcoming week facing corruption big time!!!!!!
Sept. 20, 2010, 2:50 pm
Vito Lopesiano from Bushwick home of the body bag says:
I love Al Franken, Jr.
Sept. 20, 2010, 3:14 pm
Danny from Clinton Hill says:
The total reported in this article is 10 votes off. Restler actually leads by 95 not 85.

Restler: 3,569 46 Emergency ballots = 3,615
Cohn : 3,423 97 Emergency ballots = 3,520

95/diff
Sept. 20, 2010, 4:10 pm
Joseph from Greenpoint says:
Go Lincoln! Send the corrupt machine packing! We hardly knew ya Warren. Linda, you're next! Go Kate!
Sept. 20, 2010, 4:24 pm
Wendy from GPT says:
Can we just declare that Lincoln won already? Enough of the nonsense!
Sept. 21, 2010, 4:42 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
Well I must say Lincoln has started well as he has already mastered the art of the double cross. Tailoring his palm cards to appeal to the black vote in Clinton Hill and the white vote in Williamsburg. Whats the difference between the two!!!
Sept. 21, 2010, 10:20 pm
Sam from Ft. Greene says:
Hey, Sick and Tired--

Are you kidding? Target marketing with faces and without changing the message is absolutely legit. Why would you call it a double cross? Were you hoping some sort of racial promises were being made? You sure don't know Lincoln!
Sept. 22, 2010, 2:24 am
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
Hey Sam

I thought that when you made a deal that your word was your bond, if Lincoln had said I will carry your name on my palm cards in Clinton Hill but in Williamsburg I will be carrying your opposition then I guess I would agree with you. So I guess Lincoln will fit right in with the status quo if he wins the recount. We want new faces in politics but we want them to be honest, we have had enough BS for too long.

Oh as for your reference to racial promises black folks have been lied to by black politicians as well as white I am just looking for someone of any color that will do the work of the people, remember elected officials you serve at the pleasure of the people without whom you would not be elected. War chests are being filled and attention is being paid to who does what. What did he promise you?
Sept. 22, 2010, 11:54 am
Crazy Andre from Ft Greene says:
Why would anybody put a lunatic like Andre Soleil on his palmcard? Would be interesting to find out what happened between Andre Soleil and Linda Minucci. If Soleil didn't run a destined-to-fail campaign with a Female District Leader candidate, Kate Zidar would have beaten Minucci by 5 points. What did Linda promise him?

Andre Soleil: You just gave Vito Lopez an extra vote so just go away.
Sept. 22, 2010, 2:07 pm
Sick and Tired from Clinton Hill says:
Is that you Lincoln posting under crazy andre or one of your cronies. PO'd that I told the truth and no I am not Andre. And I would not call what 182 votes or whatever it was a referendum, you and your people keep talking about deals is that the only way you people know how to do business?
Sept. 22, 2010, 10:56 pm
Andre Soleil from Williamsburg says:
Hi Crazy Andre,
Linda Minucci promised me nothing. I only met her on the campaign trail for the first time about two weeks ago. I withdrew from the male state committee race because I wanted Lincoln to win. However, the fact remains that, although people of color are a substantial part of this district, we haven't been represented in an elected capacity since the late 60's. Jasmine Velazquez is a charming, energetic, smart and caring young school teacher coming from a family of successful community activists, who've been involved in politics and non-profit advocacy for years.

Insofar as my being a "lunatic . . . ." Einstien says that Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting different results." The 50th Assembly District has had Lentols in office since 1919. Since before there was an oil spill, since before the city started shipping 60% of its garbage here, since before Radiac ever located here. Lentol's whole tenure, all but 4 years, have been contiguous with the oil spill and the cancer epidemic of Greenpoint. 34 years after the spill's discovery, has the State declared Greenpoint a State Superfund site? No. In fact, Joe stated that community concerns regarding the environment were "overdramatized" according to the Village Voice (2006). Joe will NOT be vigilant for the environment that deteriorated under his family and his watch since 1919. Electing him to a 20th term will NOT bring greater results, more vigilance or reforms than terms 1-19 before. He may come out to community functions, but he is NOT an effective legislature. Apparently this is merely a 21% opinion. However, it is hardly lunacy.
Further, for my allegedly ardent "good government reformers;" Joe does NOT share in our reformist enthusiasm. Joe was an appointed District Leader At Large who supported Vito Lopez' re-election as County Chairman. Joe was an Assemblyman who joined Sheldon Silver in not complying to income disclosures. Isn't it interesting that Joe signed on to Mayor Koch's reform agenda, which includes term-limits, while running for his 20th term. Joe Lentol is NOT a reformist.

As to Restler's integrity. Lincoln Restler gave me his word that he would NOT endorse Joe Lentol nor put him on his palm cards. I gave Lincoln my word that I would endorse Lincoln and include him on my palm cards. We specifically never agreed that I would be endorsed by him, nor that he would include me on his palm cards. I kept my end of our agreement. Lincoln did not, in fact he blatantly lied, admitted it and apologized.

Lincoln however met Joe Lentol at the County Committee meeting. While Lincoln and friends shouted "Veto Vito," Joe Lentol was busy voting for Vito Lopez' continued reign.

This brings into doubt the integrity of Lincoln Restler and the whole of New Kings Democrats who see nothing wrong with deception as a tactic for furthering political agendas. Are they so naive to think that Joe Lentol, a scion from the century-empowered Lentol family, who openly supports Vito Lopez, was their friend? Are they really "reformers" or are they just the next generation of politicos wrestling power away from last generation's crooks? I guess we all have to wait and see.

Now, none of this is to take anything away from my support for NKD and Restler's stated reform agenda. I wholeheartedly support it without ideological reservation. I only question its proponents' integrity who use the same duplicitous tactics as the "machine," while allying themselves with staunch supporters/members of the "machine."

Nothing I wrote here is remotely lunacy.
Sept. 23, 2010, Noon
FYI from Williamsburg says:
I put my support behind Restler. Go Restler!
March 8, 2012, 10:12 am

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