Volume 76, Number 19 | September 27 - October 3, 2006

Scoopy’s Notebook

Concessions: After a re-count of the machine votes and the tally of paper ballots, David Cohen and Assemblymember Sylvia Friedman last week decided to throw in the towel, respectively, in the Second District Civil Court and 74th Assembly District primaries. Said Friedman of the Assembly winner, Brian Kavanagh, “It seems that he has about 300 more votes than I do on the Democratic line. So I congratulated him last Thursday.” Friedman has the Working Families Party line in the general election, but said she’ll probably decide within the week on how hard she’ll campaign. As for Kavanagh, he called us to point out that although The Villager last week reported that Senator Hillary Clinton and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney called him right after the election to congratulate him, that Maloney actually had not yet done so at that point. Meanwhile, Cohen last week phoned Margaret Chan and her campaign manager, Michael Oliva, to congratulate them on Chan’s victory in the judge race, which she ended up winning by 131 votes. As for all the wild allegations and innuendo hurled at the Chan campaign on the Politicker and other blogs, Cohen consultant Scott Levenson didn’t play it up, yet he said, “There were several broken machines on Grand St. I believe it was three…. But what’s the point?” he said, since Cohen has conceded. Oliva, in disbelief that the negative spin is still going on, retorted that only one machine on Grand St. was on the fritz. Nevertheless, Oliva and Chan said Cohen was “gracious” in his concession and promised not to fight the election results in court. Oliva — the undisputed guru of running Grand St. judge elections — added he thought Cohen took his Grand St. base “for granted.” Oliva said his winning candidate in 2003, Shlomo Hagler, got about 1,700 votes on Grand St., compared to 1,300 this time for Cohen — while Chan surprisingly also got one of every four Grand St. votes.

Goes down swinging: Things weren’t nearly as gracious in the fallout from Arthur Schwartz’s upset victory over incumbent Larry Moss in the hard-fought 66th Assembly District State Committee race. Moss is sure Schwartz spent at least $80,000 on the campaign, undoubtedly a state record, he asserted. But Schwartz said it was more like $40,000, and that a good chunk of it came in the form of $1,000 contributions from various unions. Noting it takes a lot to knock off an incumbent, Schwartz said an Upper West Side candidate spent $30,000 to unseat a State Committeewoman there. Schwartz also said he knew he had to raise a lot when, he claims, Emily Giske, Democratic State Committee vice chairperson, warned him Assemblymember Deborah Glick was vowing to raise “$200,000” for Moss and his running mate, Rachel Lavine.

No, my son: Embattled megadorm developer Gregg Singer says he’s been getting the runaround from the Catholic Archdiocese on his offer either to buy St. Brigid’s Church or help finance saving it for reuse as some sort of community center. But Joseph Zwilling, the archdiocese spokesperson, said they aren’t selling the property, which will be reused for a Catholic mission or charities-related purpose. And while Singer said the $7 million the archdiocese says repairing the building would cost is ridiculously high, Zwilling countered that the church’s teetering eastern wall isn’t the only thing that needs fixing: The foundation is rickety, leaving the floor supports warped and in a bad state, necessitating a major overhaul. In other embattled-developer news, Singer has retained Soury Communications as public relations for his repeatedly stymied effort to develop the now landmarked old P.S. 64 as either a now 24-story megadorm, luxury apartments or jumbo homeless shelter/treatment center. Lonnie Soury said, as part of the new P.R. blitz, he got Channel 7 news to film a segment last week on Singer’s efforts to do something with the property, but that for some reason it didn’t end up running, but that it still might. Singer said his workers are still chipping away at the dormers on the building’s 10th St. side, and have whacked eight so far. But his exterior demolition permit expires on Oct. 25 and he doubts he’ll be able to finish the whole job by then, especially if the weather is bad. He’s skeptical the city will extend his permit. “Well, if they don’t, it’s going to probably stay looking pretty bad,” he said of the building, whose exterior details would thus probably be half off half on.

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