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Updated: 45 min 12 sec ago

Large Orthodox Newspaper Knocks Fidler (Out of Context)

Wed, 02/29/2012 - 18:39

This morning, Colin Campbell of The Observer reported that Jewish newspaper Hamodia, in its latest issue, has published several ads, articles, and editorials for both Lw Fidler and David Storobin (negative and positive pieces for both).

In his editorial "The Politics of Silence: We All Lose" (page 46), Asher David claims that Fidler called Storobin a "neo-Nazi sympathizer" on January 12, 2012. Of course, practically all of you have seen the video from our fundraiser (I’m not going to link to it, go find it with Google). However, that fundraiser took place on January 18.

The Global Politician story (where it all began) broke via Gatemouth on January 7 . A few days later, all of Storobin’s postings on Global Politician were deleted.

Five days later, on January 12, Crain’s Insider reported on it quoting Fidler as saying "I’m not a great believer in coincidences. . . . I have a record to run on that’s not going to be expunged. I think it’s relevant to ask David [Storobin] what he’s ashamed of."  Later that morning, I reported on it.

As Colin points out,

Hamodia is widely read in the Orthodox Jewish portions of Mr. Kruger’s former district, and Wednesday’s expanded weekend edition is the most notable one of the week. For religious families abstaining from electricity on Shabbos, a newspaper might be more closely read.

If a newspaper is going to quote Fidler, I think it is only fair that the dates be correct and the timeline and context be taken into account. Just saying.

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Re: Homeless Youth

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 17:59

Below is an email Amanda Pizzuti and I received from Andrew Gounardes in regards to the Campaign Homeless Youth Shelter that we wanted to share with you all.

Hi, Amanda (and Seamus),

I know this is a bit belated, but I just wanted to let you know I support your efforts and the efforts of other political clubs to draw attention to the issue of runaway and homeless youth in New York City.  My campaign sent out a statement last week in support and distributed it via Facebook and Twitter.
http://www.facebook.com/agounardes/posts/193632034070947

https://twitter.com/#!/agounardes/status/170175587187564544

Keep up the good work,

Andrew

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Campaign for Homeless Youth Shelter

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 17:36

Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens (LGDCQ) Bay Ridge Democrats Brooklyn young Democrats Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats Independent Neighborhood Democrats Lambda Independent Democrats
New Kings Democrats Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats Stonewall Democrats of New York City Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club

P.O. Box 150614
Brooklyn NY 11215
www.LIDBrooklyn.org

February 13, 2012

Re: Runaway and Homeless Youth Funding

To New York State Senators and State Assembly-members:

We, the undersigned, call upon the New York State Legislature to raise the level of funding for Runaway and Homeless Youth services in New York City to $2.25 million, which is $1.5 million more than current spending.  The proposal by Governor Cuomo to maintain the current, inadequate funding levels is unacceptable and will have dire consequences for the nearly 4,000 homeless youth in New York City.  We urge you to provide adequate funding to ensure the survival and well-being of those young people who are all too often left without a voice in the budget process.

New York State has provided funding to support shelter for homeless youth since 1978. In 2007, NYS provided $6.8 million to support 70 youth shelter programs across the state. By 2010, that amount of funding had been reduced to $4.7 million. In the budget passed last year, the amount was further reduced by 50% to $2.35 million, only $745,000 of which goes to shelters in New York City.  This level of funding is grossly inadequate. 

The LGBTQ community is especially concerned about these cuts because 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.  Runaway and homeless LGBTQ young people face a disproportionate risk of violent abuse, family rejection, mental illness, HIV infection and suicide.

In 2008, The Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services released the results of a census of New York City’s homeless youth which found that every night 3,800 youth go without shelter. In 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg established the New York City Commission on Runaway and Homeless LGBTQ Youth, whose report included recommendations on prevention strategies, family reconciliation and ways to improve New York City’s Infrastructure in order to meet LGBTQ youth needs.  This report included the recommendation for a five year plan to increase dedicated shelter beds for LGBTQ youth by at least 200.  Despite these findings, the city and state have chosen to maintain or cut funding for youth shelter beds, while shelters have reported a 40% increase in demand for them.

While we fully recognize the need to balance the state budget and to cut unnecessary spending, we should not do so at the expense of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. By investing in the well-being and safety of runaway and homeless youth we can work to ensure that they become productive members of our great state and nation. Increasing funding by $1.5 million is a small price to pay when weighed against the probability that homeless kids, left to fend for themselves, will engage in risky, unhealthy and criminal activities in order to survive. As a result, they will become even bigger burdens to taxpayers in the long run if they end up in prison or if they contract HIV.

We call upon your leadership to raise funding for Runway Homeless Youth services budget by $1.5 million, and we look forward to working with you in the future to ensure that New York’s children are no longer left out in the cold.

Sincerely,

Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats
Independent Neighborhood Democrats
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens (LGDCQ)
New Kings Democrats
Stonewall Democrats of New York City
Bay Ridge Democrats
Brooklyn Young Democrats
Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats
[LIST IN FORMATION]

 

For additional comment, please contact the co-presidents of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Matthew McMorrow (917-696-1781) or Erin Drinkwater (646-643-8132).

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Meet Your 2012-13 Officer Candidates

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 14:00

At our next meeting on Wednesday, February 8th, we will be holding our annual elections. After a week-long open application period, we have our eligible candidates. Their responses are below and can also be viewed at http://www.brooklynyds.com/blog/2012/02/february-2012-election-candidates/. You should also review the proposed changes to our Constitution and Bylaws.

To be eligible to vote, you must be a member in good standing, have attended at least one event in the past year, and paid your membership dues. If you are unsure about how many meetings you have attended in the past year, you can check using the form located at http://www.brooklynyds.com/misc/eligibility-lookup/.

Amanda Pizzuti

Position for which you wish to run?
President

Why are you seeking this position?
I am seeking re-election to continue the work I have begun as President of the Brooklyn Young Dems. I think we have made great strides in becoming a more active and prominent organization, and plan to oversee our expansion in the areas of membership numbers, fundraising, and overall influence. The recent loss of a Democratic candidate in my own Congressional district gives me even more reason to make sure we have a group of young and motivated individuals throughout the borough to work on campaigns as well as issue advocacy. I think our partnerships with both Young Democrats and the Democratic Party at all levels, can help us continue to build a strong chapter and develop exceptional leaders in every corner of our borough.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
I have a Masters’ degree in Elections and Campaign Management and have worked in politics and on campaigns for more than 5 years. My professional experience as a political fundraiser can help us obtain the financial resources we need to continue to grow and be successful.

The work I have already done with the Brooklyn Young Dems gives me ideas to work with to continue to expand and improve the chapter. Additionally, in the past year I have served as National Committeewoman and a Fundraising Co-Chair for the New York State Young Democrats. These positions have further helped me to develop relationships with elected officials and party leaders across the borough, city, and state.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
I would like to continue to grow our chapter with members from around the borough, especially in the underrepresented areas of Central and Southern Brooklyn. Also, I want us to bring in younger members from colleges and even high schools. I plan on building and maintaining relationships with elected officials, party leaders, campaign operatives, and political clubs so we can make sure we elect Democrats throughout the borough.

Jugba Santi

Position for which you wish to run?
Executive Vice President

Why are you seeking this position?
I am seeking this position to increase youth involvement in the Democratic party in Brooklyn.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
I previously served as the Central Region Vice President of the Brooklyn Young Democrats and have been active in the New York State Young Democrats for the past two years. I have a B. A. in Political Science from the University at Albany.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
-Increase youth participation in Democratic politics in Brooklyn
-Increase voter registration with people under 35
-Work with community leaders to promote Democratic values

Jason Otaño

Position for which you wish to run
Northern Regional Vice President

Why are you seeking this position?
As a lifelong Brooklynite and a staunch supporter of the Democratic society, I am of the form belief that the future of the political landscape of Brooklyn can be very much shaped by an organization like this. I am seeking this position because I believe my skill set and network can be invaluable to this organization and that it is important that the leadership of an organization such as this should be diverse.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
Aside from the Legal expertise that I bring to the organization, I will also bring my experience of serving on the board of several organizations including:

NYC Employees Retirement System – Trustee
Best of Brooklyn – Director – General Counsel
Brooklyn Community Information and Culture / BCAT – Director
Puerto Rican Bar Association – Director/Student Liaison

As a student:

Fordham International Law Journal – Business & Articles Editor
Fordham Student Bar Association – Section Rep

El Grito de Lares – President
Amnesty International – Co-Founder

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
First and foremost,we must work toward creating a borough-wide organization. As I have discussed with members of the board already, I will incorporate the Brooklyn young dems so that we can formalize our bank accounts. Hand-in-hand with this borough-wide organization is a major fundraising campaign.

In addition to all of this – we should work toward voter registration in under-represented communities – in my area – that would predominantly be the Latino Community.

Arthur Craig

Position for which you wish to run
Central Regional Vice President

Why are you seeking this position?
I am seeking this position because I know that I can make the Brooklyn Young Democrats even better and more successful. I have taken on many leadership positions in my academic and professional life. I have supervised projects and organized volunteers. I will bring this skill set to the Brooklyn Young Democrats.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
I organized for the Obama campaign in 2008. I began as a volunteer, became an intern, and was finally offered a job as a staffer. Before it was over, I worked in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oregon, Montana and Florida. In every area I worked, I exceeded my goals. In Florida, in one of the most Republican counties in the state, I exceeded all of the Kerry 2004 benchmarks.

I hold a master’s of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and am a public policy professional.

In my professional life, I am a Research Associate and Program Manager for the Peterson Foundation. I am an expert on retirement and health care policy and have sub-specializations in state and local finance.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
I will make the Brooklyn Young Democrats the premier networking organization for young progressive professionals and students here in Brooklyn. To reach this goal I will:
• Organize more networking events in the Central Region
• Launch an aggressive membership recruitment drive
• I will make the Brooklyn Young Democrats a key resource for learning about careers in public service here in Brooklyn by organizing round tables of community leaders and professionals geared at introducing our membership to opportunities to become servant leaders here in Brooklyn

Rasheen Nicholson

Position for which you wish to run?
Central Regional Vice President

Why are you seeking this position?
I am seeking the position of the Central regional vice presidency to help the Brooklyn young democrats continue to grow as a borough, city wide and state wide organization that helps broaden the views and message of the great democratic party, to continue to help fight for the rights for all people in the borough or who comes to seek our help democrat or republican. I am also seeking this position to help be a median for our party for those who are out of touch with social and political issues and want to be involved and see that issues in their community are being observed and resolved.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
In 2007 I served as chairmen of publicity for the NAACP chapter at Southern Connecticut State University.
I helped get the message of upcoming events and note worth information out in the public through flyers, facebook and word of mouth.

2008 I was founder and President of Organization of Black Unity at Southern Connecticut State University.
OBU served as a bridge between campus life and the local community in New Haven. My organization was very vocal with other local organizations and state leaders on helping shooting down a proposal from the state to enact the Three strikes rule in the state of Connecticut. The Organization of Black unity was also a recognizable group all through out campus with educational events and awareness that affects the campus community.

2010 I served as Vice President of the College Democrats Southern Connecticut State University chapter.
Our goal was to rebuild and revitalize the party on our campus. Also to address issues that people have on our campus, local community, State and National level and bolster membership.

I also hosted my own radio shows called wake up radio and the Blitz zone, which catered towards left wing political views.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
I would love to be a part of the rapid growth of membership and progress that I see in this organization. I vision a more expansive Brooklyn democrats within the college universities, communities and most of all in the halls of elementary, middle school and high schools. I would be very happy to see if we can get get more involved with political awareness and growth within the youth this year and years to come.

Priscilla Consolo

Position for which you wish to run?
Southern Regional Vice President

Why are you seeking this position?
As a resident of southern Brooklyn my entire life, I have seen first-hand the continuous Republican attempts to take over our traditionally Democratic community. To be quite frank, I am absolutely tired and disgusted with the Republican party’s mud-slinging, lie-spreading, manipulative and ethically-questionable games they persistently play with our residents. To me, this position is much more than just a place on this club’s executive board. Rather, it is a way for me to stand up and take action against the Republican party’s ceaseless scheming political tactics. I refuse to let southern Brooklyn turn red, especially with its high volume of Democratic voters. However, that threat – "a sea of red"- is becoming more and more desired by the Republican party, who are willing to deceive voters and play dirty tricks in order to achieve this goal. By being elected to this position, I believe I will help motivate my fellow young Democrats in Southern Brooklyn to take a stand against the Republicans. As the Southern Regional Vice-President, I will be able to expose the untruths and falsifications infecting the southern part of our borough by this red-colored disease. Southern Brooklyn has never been and will never be dominantly Republican – even in the GOP’s wildest dreams.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
The people of southern Brooklyn already have been acquainted with me and my work. Community-wide events which I have been apart of, and many of which I have led, have already been featured in numerous local newspapers and news stations. Thus, I have several established and strong relationships with the local press and journalists.

Furthermore, many of the local community leaders, in addition to a wide-range of elected officials, have been acquainted with my efforts. To phrase it in the most humble way possible, I’m pretty much known as that truly determined and tremendously hardworking high school kid from Gravesend (can she really be THAT young?) – who has become notorious for refusing to give up or back down.

Leading by example is perhaps my greatest achievement so far, and I have done so in a number of ways. First, last winter and spring I initiated a community grassroots campaign to preserve quality education in my neighborhood. I founded and organized the "Save I.S. 303" operation, which was a movement to halt a NYC Department of Education proposal to "co-locate" a charter school within my former middle school. It is important to note that I am not opposed to charter schools or co-locations in general. But rather, I am highly against any initiative of the DOE which will create unfairness and hurt our students – both of which were evident in this proposal. I brought the issue to the attention our local State Assemblyman, William Colton. I began working with him and his staff, as well as the teachers, students, and staff members of I.S. 303. I volunteered to hold meetings with parents, create posters, organize protests, contact the media, community leaders, and educational activists, and walk door-to-door throughout the neighborhood to gain signatures on the petitions we wrote. Furthermore, I gained the assistance of a local nonprofit legal organization, Advocates for Justice, who helped us ultimately file a lawsuit and an appeal to the city and state education departments. Ultimately we won the revisions to the proposal which made the plan more equal to the benefit of all the students. For those of you more interested in this, here is my speech at one of the DOE-issued public hearings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC0tDtrKV1A

As a result of that campaign, I was offered an internship with our local Assemblyman, William Colton, over the summer. Working as an intern in his district office, I organized a community campaign to keep our neighborhood clean. With the assistance of Assemblyman Colton, I coordinated the movement. The operation was titled "Speak-Up & Clean-Up" and enlisted the aid of six-hundred youth volunteers in total. Through interning in Mr. Colton’s district office, I learned many constituents were complaining about the unsanitary conditions enveloping the neighborhood. I spoke with Colton about the issue and we initiated the campaign. Thus, I organized three large neighborhood clean-up events where student volunteers, including myself, swept and gathered trash scattered throughout selected areas. We also passed out flyers I created which listed suggestions on maintaining cleanliness. In our largest clean-up event, four-hundred young volunteers cleaned up a major commercial region of our community, covering over twenty blocks.

In September, Assemblyman Colton gave me a part-time position on his staff, making me possibly the youngest person working for a State Assembly Member. While working on Assemblyman Colton’s staff as his Special Assistant, I have attended union rallies, visited senior centers, and helped solve the various problems of our constituents. Currently, I am executing a campaign to restore full service on the B64 and B82 bus lines in southern Brooklyn, which were the victim of recent MTA service reductions.

In addition, I am currently the Vice-President of Membership of the United Progressive Democratic Club, previously serving as an Executive Board Member.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
I believe we need to start reaching out to the younger generation of Brooklyn Democrats within our greater community. The majority of members in this club are in their mid-to-late twenties and early thirties – college graduates and full-time employees. However, we’re forgetting about the younger Democrats in Brooklyn. What about those in high school or college? Aren’t their support and help just as valuable? If I’m elected to this position, I would first invite students attending Brooklyn high schools and colleges to join this club. Furthermore, I would extend this invitation to all students in Brooklyn between the ages of sixteen and thirty-six. Most high schools and colleges already have democratic clubs and/or other political organizations. I would contact those clubs and organizations and inform them of the BYD’s and the importance of joining our group. The more we expand our influence, the more new members we recruit. And with an increase in membership and a tighter association between us, young Democrats of all ages will be able to become a stronger force within our borough.

My second initiative is to gain more media coverage of the BYD’s – especially with our events. The only way to make people aware of our club and enlighten them about our mission and our work is to have coverage by the press. The local news channels and newspapers would certainly be interested in hearing about our club, which is still blooming and continuously flourishing. As the Southern Regional Vice-President, I would set up a "Press Committee" to handle contacting the local media. This committee would be responsible for making phone calls, distributing press releases and advisories, and most importantly, developing relationships with local journalists. By gaining media exposure, we would make more people aware of our efforts, which will only further help us increase our influence and membership.

Seamus Campbell

Position for which you wish to run?
Secretary

Why are you seeking this position?
I have served as Secretary for the past year. I have worked hard to keep accurate minutes, to tally who has attended each of our events, and to make the work of my fellow Executive Board members as easy as possible. All I want is to do is to continue that legacy.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
I have a BS in Information Science from Fordham University and for the past 1 and 1/2 years, I have served as Webmaster to the Brooklyn Borough President. My skills in the IT field. It forces me to me meticulous in data gathering and integrity while never overlooking even the smallest of details.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?
I intend to fully implement a membership database system that I have created which would track member attendance, funds paid, and voting eligibility with very minimal work by any members of the Executive Board. With it, any member can see if dues are paid, if they have not been to enough meetings to constitute a right to vote, etc from a simple web app.

Ted Anastasiou

Position for which you wish to run
Treasurer

Why are you seeking this position?
I’m seeking this position because I believe in the mission and values of the Brooklyn Young Democrats, and would be proud to serve the organization and its chapter members in the coming year. If elected Treasurer, I am confident that BYD will be able to raise enough funds to support events and project initiatives to expand its membership base and raise the organization’s profile across the borough and City.

What previous and/or relevant experiences would you be able to draw from, and what strengths would you, given your particular background, bring to position you are running for?
As national chair for the Law School Democrats of America, a caucus of the College Democrats and the official law student arm of the Democratic National Committee, I oversee, among other areas, our finance operations. We have partnered with Lawyers for Obama and the New York Democratic Lawyers Council to raise money for the presidential re-election campaign. Given the success of such collaborations, I would like BYD to pursue joint ventures with similar organizations and constituencies in the wider New York area to ensure that we achieve our fundraising goals for the next year.

In addition, I both interned and worked in the finance office for the Andrew Cuomo’s attorney general campaign, and will rely on my fundraising experiences there if elected as BYD Treasurer.

What is your vision for the Brooklyn Young Democrats in the coming year?

In order for BYD to have enough financial support to achieve its goals, I think it would be best to implement a series of low-dollar fundraising events and speaker panels to not only raise money, but also provide a way for young Democrats to meet and connect with one another.

Our February meeting will be at Eamonn Doran’s (174 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 112016) at 7:30pm. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/263200437085402/.

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Yes, I Am A Buffoon (not!)

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 04:30

This evening, while waiting for a video to upload to YouTube, I finally sat down and listened to the latest episode of Brooklyn GOP Radio in which I was named Buffoon of the Week. Below is the audio of the segment.

I have to admit, it was legitimately entertaining. Firstly, for the first minute or so, there was a debate on how my name was pronounced (it is pronounced Shay-muss, for the record). It brought back funny memories for me on how many birthday cards and checks I have received wherein my name was spelled “Shamus;” the banks accepted those checks, for the record.

They listed their list of grievances against me and how I was being advantageous on calling David Storobin a white supremacist. Fine, whatever. They did predict a rebuttal coming (as found here), so props to them on their ability to predict the future.

However, right after they announced their pre-cognition, they said “This was written on the Brooklyn Young Democrats’ website, which we will not plug here” (for the record, they refused to link to my blog post in the once in which they condemn mine). Ironically, our site, the next morning had the most amount of traffic since April (which was caused, unfortunately, by the death of our Northern Regional Vice President Hope Reichbach -knowing her, she would be loving this free publicity).

Then, we were accused of having not much of an organization. Our organization is almost 2 years old (after a long hiatus), theirs is about 1 year old (after the former Brooklyn Young Republicans lost their charter and the current ones emerged in their stead, I should add). I cannot say how large their group is, but we do average 50 or so people at each meeting (which is caused by us rotating meeting locations to various parts of the borough) and our mailing list has about 200 names on it.

The best part, however, is that we were accused of being the Brooklyn Young Republicans chapter (which lost its charter). Interestingly, we have been accused of this before. The blog “The Jig Is Up Atlas” once used our logo (which I myself designed) in reference to the former organization (I would link to it, but the site no longer exists, thankfully, I do have a copy saved in my personal RSS reader and you can find it here). (As a side not, many of the officers of the former BYRs have donated to the current BYRs, look for yourselves (the NYS Board of Elections website is down currently -10:36 PM 1/29/11- I will post a link in the morning)).

Of course, my argument was never meant to call Mr. Storobin a racist, but simply to ask where all of his blog posts went. They say that asking why a user-generated blog post was taken down was a low. I was not attacking a single blog post that was deleted, but rather, 7 years’ worth of blog posts. If Global Politician was just some random site and one of their contributors was running for state senate, I could understand them taking down posts attributed to the contributor. It could be considered an in-kind donation to his campaign. I am not an expert in campaign finance law, but I do know that whenever Tom Allon, who is running for Mayor of the City of New York, is mentioned in any of the publications his company, Manhattan Media (publisher of City & State NY),he is mentioned as such as to avoid improprieties. Storobin was Editor-in-Chief; if a simple statement went out that said that no post was meant to be an endorsement and/or an in-kind contribution to his campaign and the stories continued to exist, this all would be a non-story. The story I am raising is why the posts were deleted. Seriously, that’s it.

Gene Berardelli say that the Brooklyn Young Democrats and Councilman Fidler owe an apology to Mr. Storobin. For the record, we, the Brooklyn Young Democrats, have no coordinated our activities with Councilman Fidler’s campaign. All we have done is endorse him (done by a majority vote of our Executive Board) and educate our membership on campaign events (which we do for any Democratic campaign that reached out to us). As for any statements I have made, again, I refer you all to the bottom of this web page: “The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Brooklyn Young Democrats, New York State Young Democrats, Young Democrats of America, Kings County Democratic Committee, New York State Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee or any related entity.” I have apologized for any false insinuation I have made, but, by no means, should things I say in my name, be construed to be representative of the Brooklyn Young Democrats or any other related organization.

Apparently, there is a “stronger” word that is meant to be used against me other than “buffoon,” but it was not uttered.

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YouTube Is A News Source?

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 23:21

Or at least that is what can be inferred that David Storobin thinks based on this article by PolitickerNY’s David Freedlander.

He [Storobin] said that Mr. [Councilman Lewis] Fidler held rallies for gay groups that netted one $85 million in city funding, and another rally for a different group which netted them $3 million in funding per year.

Asked in an interview what he was referring to, Mr. Storobin said that he gleaned the information from YouTube [emphasis mine] and suggested The Politicker search the website for Mr. Fidler’s name. The rallies he is referring to could not be located.

You know who also considered YouTube a legitimate news source? Pastor Terry “Burn A Quran Day” Jones.

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DOWNSTATE YOUNG DEMOCRATS’ STATEMENT ON THE PROPOSED STATE SENATE REDISTRICTING PLAN

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 22:09

NEW YORK, NY, January 27, 2012: The Downstate Young Democrats, an organization that comprises the New York State Young Democrats chapters of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens and Staten Island, released the following statement regarding the proposed redistricting plan for the New York State Senate released yesterday by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).

“We vehemently oppose the proposed State Senate maps released yesterday. This is gerrymandering at its absolute worst, a petty and cynical attempt by the Republican-controlled Senate to maintain its majority at all costs. There was clearly no care given to the goals of reform that countless legislators pledged to uphold in the 2010 election cycle. This proposal tears apart neighborhoods, ignores demographic trends and actively seeks to diminish the voice of young progressive voters. Furthermore, through blatant manipulation of district size, Republicans have weakened the voting power of New York City residents in comparison to their upstate counterparts. This transparent charade threatens to undermine the progress Albany has made in the last year of restoring the public’s faith in our democracy. We applaud Governor Cuomo for stating publicly he will veto these proposed district lines, and it is our hope that he will keep to this promise for the good of New York State. We as Young Democrats will not stand idly by during this debate. We will continue to fight for an independent redistricting commission that will ensure fair and representative voting for all New Yorkers, regardless of party affiliation.”

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I Have Been Named “Buffoon of the Week”

Thu, 01/26/2012 - 06:15

That is correct, Brooklyn GOP Radio has named yours truly their Buffoon of the Week. I suggest you read their piece before you continue on this one.

The arguments they raise in their blog post are valid, but not relevant to the argument I have been making. No one has denied that David Storobin was Editor in Chief of Global Politician. Russel Gallo, in the post states “Campbell “demands” to know why the article that prompted Fidler’s contemptible comments was removed by the source website – like Storobin or anyone else is supposed to know! The Storobin campaign does not run the website. The website has an editorial board and accepts online submissions. Clearly, there can be any number of reasons!” I never asked why one post was deleted. I wanted to know why ALL of Storobin’s posts were deleted. The site is 7 years old. By letting people see the posts Storobin wrote, there would be a more well-rounded picture of him as a person, how he thinks, and his stances on the issues (which would probably HELP him influence voters). Taken out of the larger context, one post by itself could invoke different connotations about how the writer thinks. Thus, having all of the posts there helps the public understand the broader context. (As I like to say, in the past 50 years, the average soundbyte in the press has gone from 40 seconds to 8 seconds and how much can really be said in 8 seconds?)

I never said or meant to imply that I thought he had white supremacist views, I quoted Crain’s Insider’s story which, at one point, stated “Storobin had founded and written for a website whose articles have been picked up by white-supremacist chat rooms.” I will admit that I misspoke when I ever implied that Mr. Storobin held pro-white supremacist views. I meant to imply that if those chat rooms picked up articles that were either in his name or not, it could be construed, since he is Editor-in-Chief, that he and/or his editorial staff endorsed pro-white supremacist views. I should note that I could not find any statement on GP that said that the views on the site were those of the writer themselves (on this site, on the bottom of every page is a statement “This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Brooklyn Young Democrats, New York State Young Democrats, Young Democrats of America, Kings County Democratic Committee, New York State Democratic Party, Democratic National Committee or any related entity”). I never meant to say or imply that Mr. Storobin held such views and I do apologize. I never intended to put words in his mouth or make false claims, obviously, I have and I am sorry. I sympathize with what Mr. Storobin has had to endure as a Soviet immigrant, my Irish-Catholic family had to endure a lot just a century ago to get themselves established in society; though I wasn’t alive then, family stories have lived-on.

I should mention that I spoke to an acquaintance of mine, who is a Democrat and a Russian Jew as well, two days ago about this story. He did point out that much of the story was driven by claims of guilt by association, I did agree. In fact, I was considering writing a post about how much guilt by association claims influence our political rhetoric. In the draft I had in my mind, I was going to mention this story and Newt Gingrich’s connections to Freddie Mac. In all honesty, I got caught up in something and writing the blog post took a back burner in my list of priorities.

But, the argument that I tried to drive home and, unfortunately, tangents by both myself and the opposing side caused this to happen, was that we live in a democracy where our leaders are accountable to us. We deserve to know how they think and how they feel on this issues. My argument was why would someone who had a chance at free media exposure (via a site he controlled from long before he was a senate candidate) and give his constituents a chance to see how well-versed he was on a variety of topics allow posts to be taken down? Mr. Gallo states that there could have been a variety of reasons why the posts were deleted. I have been saying that all along. Yes, I did imply that the fact that they were deleted just before he announced his candidacy looked suspicious. But, I did say time and time again that since GP was a database-driven website, likely, the database would be regularly backed-up. If there was some problem, technological, human, or otherwise, that caused the posts to vanish, why wasn’t the database just restored? I have asked that question time and time again to no response.

The argument, made by Mr. Gallo to me via Twitter, that started all of this, was “dvid [David Storobin] is a jew. Not many white supremacist jews out there brother.” The point I tried to make which really caused all of this to snowball is that being part of a group, any group, does not make you exempt from holding beliefs contrary to those of the members of the group or hating the group altogether.

I am being accused of using smoke and mirrors and reading directly from “page 57″ of the Southern Brooklyn Democratic “playbook” (three problems with that accusation: I live in North Brooklyn, if such a playbook actually exists, I don’t own a copy, and also, what’s so important that is written on page 57?). But they are doing the exact same thing. I said, here is the accusation, they tried diverting to their Twitter story, I kept hitting at them on why ALL of the posts were deleted, they said the accusation was oxymoronic, a debate on ethnic heritage ensued; once that was done, I re-asked my original question, they said they didn’t know, I asked why they didn’t restore the posts from their database backups, they didn’t respond and then they say a variety of reasons why the post (NOT plural) vanished. They are playing smoke and mirrors as much as they are accusing me of doing.

I asked two questions: why were the posts deleted and why weren’t the posts restored from backups. I was told that they didn’t know what happened to the posts and they haven’t responded to my backup question. If they said that no backups to the site were ever made, that is an answer and I would take them at their word.

I am being accused of being in cahoots with Fidler because he and I have been echoing each other’s rhetoric. However, the first and, so far, only time I have met Fidler or any member of his staff was last Wednesday. I do not work on the campaign and I do not speak for the campaign. The only person I speak for when I blog in my name is myself. For the sake of transparency and accountability in our democracy, I demanded to have some questions answered and a game of smoke and mirrors was played against me and construed me into a type of person I myself would revile. This is not fair to any of us. All of us say and imply things we do not mean when we try to save our own hides and/or try to side-step a topic of contention. It is just fact. I joke that if I was a television interviewer, I would lock myself and the interviewee in the studio until I was given concrete answers because seeing talk show guests avoid a question is one of my biggest pet peeves.

I want all campaigns, not just political ones, to be of ideas and transparency. We all have done and said things that we are not proud of. They say it is never the crime, always the cover-up that does someone in. Since I was little, my parents had a rule for me: if I told the truth, I would not get in trouble. How often do we see our elected officials have to leave office in disgrace and how many of those occasions were made worse by trying to cover-up the act? I truly baffles my mind that our leaders do not trust in how forgiving the public can be.

I have done dumb things in the past and said things that I shouldn’t have. But I don’t run away from my past. I don’t blog under an alias and I know that I have some tweets and Facebook posts that would make most people think less of me. I don’t delete them, I man-up to them and explain what I meant and/or the greater context. If I was wrong, either by self-reflection or by new facts coming to light, I will admit I was wrong. I am human, I have made mistakes, but is in falling that we rise up even higher. If that all makes me a buffoon, then name me “Buffoon of Eternity.”

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Videos from the Welcome to 2012 Party

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 23:06

In attendance at our Welcome to 2012 Party last week was Ned Berke from Sheepshead Bites who interviewed Senate candidates Councilman Lewis Filder and Andrew Gounardes and Councilman Dominic Recchia. Videos are below:

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Proposed New Constitution

Tue, 01/24/2012 - 15:00

Based on the input have I received from the Constitution Rewrite Committee, in particular, our Northern Regional Vice President Jason Otaño, Esq., and my fellow Executive Board members, I, Seamus Campbell, in my capacity as Brooklyn Young Democrats Constitution Rewrite Committee Chair and Secretary have written a new Constitution and Bylaws. I, now, do hereby submit my proposed new Constitution and Bylaws for the Brooklyn Young Democrats. I ask my fellow members to read through the document and provide proper feedback in the comments section and to bring those opinions to our next meeting on February 8, 2012

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BROOKLYN YOUNG DEMOCRATS ENDORSE LEW FIDLER IN UPCOMING SENATE SPECIAL ELECTION

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 18:26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2012

General Contact: BrooklynYDs@gmail.com

BROOKLYN YOUNG DEMOCRATS ENDORSE LEW FIDLER IN UPCOMING SENATE SPECIAL ELECTION

Brooklyn – The Brooklyn Young Democrats is proud to formally endorse Councilman Lewis Fidler in his run for the New York State Senate Seat recently vacated by Carl Kruger.

“I live in the 27th senatorial district and my council district neighbors Councilman Fidler’s,” said Brooklyn Young Democrats President Amanda Pizzuti. “He is a strong progressive and common-sense voice in government. I know that he will properly represent me and the other 150,000 other residents of the district. My neighborhood got a hard blow last September with Bob Turner’s election with his out-of-touch and draconian beliefs; but I am confident that the seat will stay Democratic and we will have an advocate for our values.”

Fidler, earlier this week, was formally endorsed by the Kings County Democratic Committee as their official nominee for the special election. Fidler will run against Republican David Storobin in a special election to be held on March 20.

###

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Answer the Question: Why Delete the Posts?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 04:21

For the past week, I have been co-covering the story that GOP State Senate candidate David Storobin posted pro-white supremacist blog posts on a web site he created called Global Politician. For anyone who follows me on Twitter, you likely, this morning saw a debate I had with Russell Gallo (Brooklyn Young Republicans President), Gene Berardelli (BYR Assistant Secretary/Chair of Publicity and Communications) and Jacob Kornbluh (BYR Special Advisor to the President) over the story. Personally, I would have let this pass. Then, I read this story this evening in City & State NY. (Full disclosure, the video was taken at the Brooklyn Young Democrats’ Welcome to 2012 Party last night; I recorded the exact same video, yet the-powers-that-be chose to use the video recorded by Sheepshead Bites.)

In case you didn’t read the tweets (and I am sure 90% of you didn’t), let me sum up: last night, I inquired about why Storobin’s blog posts on Global Politician were deleted. First, early this morning, I was told that since Storobin is Jewish himself, he could not be a white supremacist. I countered that Adolf Hitler was one-quarter Jewish. I was, of course, (and rightfully so) attacked for that. I later made another metaphor: Voldermort (from the Harry Potter books) was 1/2 “mudblood” (a witch/wizard that is born to non-magical parents and/or a witch/wizard that has one magical and one non-magical parent), yet he aimed to eliminate all mudblood and partial-bloods. (In my opinion, their argument is like saying that since I am an Irish Catholic, I have to espose pro-IRA views because they are my kin, which I do not.)

However, whenever I asked why the blog posts were deleted, I was referred to a story City & State NY reported on last week on Storobin’s former Twitter account (@Storobin4Senate; in that story, Kornbluh said that he gave Storobin his account which had 800 followers at the time of the transfer. Twitter is VERY good at preventing its posts from being archived (except from the Library of Congress, but I don’t feel like traveling down to Washington to just look up a tweet). So, I will give Kornbluh the benefit of the doubt.

Notice the deflection, though. They are equating the tweets with the blog posts. They are not the same thing. I want to know, and I feel that the American people deserve to know why the posts were deleted. I asked the BYRs, in the Twitter debate, if the website’s database back-end lost the posts for whatever reason and, if so, why wasn’t the database restored. (It is common practice in database-powered websites to have a backup of the data, in a Structured Query Language (SQL) format, be automatically generated on a regular schedule. For example, I get a backup of this site’s posts and pages sent to me via email one per week for in case something goes awry.) I was never given an answer. The posts STILL EXIST. I linked to them in a previous post.

To go on a small tangent, I find it mildly amusing how the Brooklyn Young Republicans are equating tweets with blog posts. Any media studies student can tell you that in the past 50 years, the average sound-byte has gone from 40 seconds to 8. How much can be said in 8 seconds? Similarly, how much can be said in a tweet versus a blog post. I go on this tangent because by only 140 characters to express a much larger point causes some details to be missed; thus, tweets could be easily be taken out of context and the tweets could be justifiable. But a blog post serves as an essay-format of a tweet. Blogs are to essays as thesis statements are to tweets. Why, then, would a possible source of context be deleted? If anything, it would give the public a stronger understanding of how Mr. Storobin feels on the issues.

Back to the story at hand, I will admit that I sometimes put my foot in my mouth. However, when I am wrong or I misspeak or my views on an issue change, I will man-up to it. People correct me all the time on Twitter and Facebook. When they are right and I realize my fault I admit it. Similarly, I will say when I agree or disagree with someone I normally wouldn’t based on arguments made. I know what I stand for as a politico, I am willing to defend or condemn views that, respectively, I continue to hold or no longer hold. If there is a smear campaign against me (EVER), I am willing to sit down with my accuser and give my side of the story and detail my opinions. To be cliche, “I am an open book.” I have, to date, NOT asked why Mr. Storobin has (or has not) held views promoting white supremacy. I am just asking why the posts have been deleted.

I have never met a person alive that has advocated for a less transparent and a less accountable government. Our elected officials report to us. Why would someone, seeking to represent us, try to hide something from us? His constituents are looking for someone to trust, yet he could be lying to them? Though I do not live in the district, many close friends of mine do; I would be ashamed of my government to have a single representative that was not speaking for his or her constituents.

So, I implore David Storobin, his supporters, the Kings County Republican Committee, and/or the Brooklyn Young Republicans to answer one simple question: Why were the posts written by Mr. David Storobin, Esq. deleted from GlobalPolitician.com prior to when he announced that he was planning to seek the state senate seat vacated by Carl Kruger?

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I’m Counting This As A Win

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 04:30

Earlier today, I blogged about Brooklyn GOP candidate David Storobin’s website Global Politician, which has been criticized for promoting sentiments of white supremacy. I included a link to the GP Internet Archive page, which proved that Storobin’s posts, though deleted, still are available for viewing.

The almost laughable pro-Brooklyn GOP blog The Jig Is Up Atlas has been promoting Storobin’s senate run. Correction: has.

One of the first stories that appeared on my Facebook News Feed this evening was one by Gatemouth that reported that TJIUA has become a private blog. For all intents and purposes, the blog is dead. I cannot say which was the final nail in the coffin for TJIUA, Gatemouth reporting the story in the first place or me posting links to the questionable content which would make Storobin face his past. But, all I can say is: #WINNING!

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The Missing Journalism of David Storobin

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 16:12

This morning’s Crain’s Insider had an interesting story about David Storobin, the Republican slated to run for the State Senate seat vacated by Carl Kruger (I added the links):

Brooklyn Republicans this week tapped David Storobin to run in the special state Senate election to succeed Carl Kruger with—they claim—no knowledge that Storobin had founded and written for a website whose articles have been picked up by white-supremacist chat rooms.

Storobin, a Brighton Beach attorney and vice chairman of the Brooklyn GOP, served as editor-in-chief of the site, Global Politician, and published scores of articles over several years, blogger Gatemouth recently revealed on the Room Eight politics site. Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton said that was news to him.

Storobin’s postings on the site recently vanished. Storobin said he has no idea who took down the postings or why, but he stood by his work. “My views have evolved over the years, but there’s nothing I’ve been ashamed of,” he said. “I’m very proud of the stuff I’ve written.”

A May 2005 Storobin piece that resurfaced on another website is an interview he conducted with an official from Freedom Front, a white-separatist group in South Africa. The group supports a whites-only colony there called Orania and accuses the South African government of using affirmative action to keep whites out of the job market.

If Storobin is not ashamed of the articles, why have they disappeared? Well, they say that once something is published on the Internet, it exists forever. It does. Ladies and gentlemen: I present the Internet Archive‘s collection of ALL postings ever on Global Politician: http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.globalpolitician.com/.

I have not (and likely will not) go through the 7 years of articles. Unfortunately, the website does not have a digest of articles filtered by author. If you find any articles of interest, please comment with a link.

Moral of the story: be careful what you post on the web.

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A Bad 48 Hours for Marty Golden

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 23:38

This has not been a good week for State Senator Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge). Nothing seems to please him anymore. Nothing is up to snuff for him it seems.

Yesterday, City & State reported that Golden has procured more than $770,000 to the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst Beautification and Preservation Alliance. The non-proft “held a summer concert series and ran a free bus service for neighborhood seniors – both named for Golden.” One problem: Golden founded the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst Beautification and Preservation Alliance; in fact, Golden himself registered the non-profit with the New York State Department of State. This is not good news since many New York politicians have lately been under scrutiny for having non-profits as their pet-projects on the side and use the organizations for political means (or at least give the impression to do at first glimpse). Being lumped into the same pile as ex-Sen. Pedro Espada’s ethics problems with his Soundview Healthcare Network must not be fun for Marty.

Then, yesterday afternoon, Colin Campbell of the New York Observer (formally of The Brooklyn Politics blog) reported that “Marty Golden is ‘Disappointed’ by Cuomo’s State of the State Speech.” You gotta feel bad for Golden, he had to travel all of the way up to Albany, start the 2012 Legislative Session, and head over to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center to hear Governor Cuomo’s State of the State, all just to be “disappointed.” Golden said in a statement

As a former New York City Police Officer, I am disappointed by the Governor’s failure to focus on an agenda to keep New York’s citizens and families safe. One of the most basic fundamentals New Yorkers must enjoy is a safe State in which to live, work and raise a family. We can’t ignore the fact that there are areas of criminal justice that must be addressed.”

Oh dear, Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t address public safety in his State of the State Address? Please tell us that that was the only issue Governor Cuomo failed to address.

The Governor also failed to mention efforts to eliminate Medicaid and auto insurance fraud in our State. The longer we allow such acts of fraud to continue, the longer we will suffer financially as a government and as consumers.

But wait, didn’t Governor Cuomo, when he served as New York State Attorney General make one of his key policy issues trying to eliminate such frauds? Okay, I guess Golden can make one mistake every now and then. Wait, that wasn’t the only other thing he got wrong?

Colin Campbell reported this morning that Golden challenger Andrew Gounardes said that Golden is being disingenuous. “Unfortunately, Marty Golden strangely chose to criticize our Governor for being weak on public safety, despite the fact that the Governor proposed expanding the DNA database to cover all crimes,” Gounardes said in a statement. Uh-oh. This just in: it gets worse:

Mr. Gounardes then digs up the past and calls Senator Golden’s criticism “hypocritical and disingenuous,” due to a 2010 vote on legislation to require ammunition to have traceable microstamping. Senator Golden had missed the vote, but said he would have opposed the bill anyway.

(Gatemouth has an interesting piece on these aforementioned stories.)

Now, Celeste Katz of the Daily News is reporting that Senator Golden is upset that a new safe-sex PSA is using slang language (i.e. “raw dogging” as a euphemism for non-protected sex) and promotes safe-sex via satire (the PSA shows what the possible side-effects of unprotected sex are like pregnancies and various STDs). Golden said in a statement

I believe that such an improper advertisement, paid for by the New York taxpayers, should be shown only in age-appropriate high school classroom settings. The fact that this video is available for people of all ages to view on the internet is alarming. . . In this day and age, it is dangerous to indirectly advocate for safe sex. This campaign has the potential to confuse our youth and encourage them to actually engage in unsafe sex. This advertisement campaign must be reevaluated as it is my belief that it could actually cause unintended consequences, such as a rise in teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Is this true? Let’s see what raunchy language and innuendos this PSA has

Oh no, I don’t know if unprotected sex is safe or not. Hold on, there is more to Kazt’s article

[Daily News reporter Simone] Weichselbaum reported that state DOH spokesperson Peter Constantakes defended the tax-dollar sponsored videos as not “obscene” or “x-rated,” while students said using teen talk instead of medical jargon is a most effective way to get their safe-sex message across.

Brooklyn state Assemblyman Rafael Espinal said the videos “capture the realities of what is happening in inner-city neighborhoods like the ones I represent” — although he cautioned that the videos are “too raw” to be viewed by kids under 13.

Yikes, I guess Marty Golden is batting 1,000 when it comes to being out-of-touch of the needs of the people of Brooklyn. I just hope for his sake that this is the only bad press that he gets this election cycle.

(I got $10 on Senator Golden making another out-of-touch statement in the next week. Any Takers?)

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Senator Diaz Is Some Pastor

Sat, 12/24/2011 - 20:29

Notoriously anti-gay State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz is at it again. In a Spanish-written essay, he criticized co-habituating politicians; namely, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

From Politicker NY:

I, for my part, don’t want to offend anyone, but the Bible, the word of God; calls it fornication to live as husband and wife without having made this union a wedding officially blessed by God and man,” Senator Diaz wrote in remarks translated from the original Spanish.

For a Pentacostal minister, it seems Diaz forgets two important Bible passages: “Let he without sin cast the first stone” and the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14).

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George Allen: Hypocrite?

Sat, 12/24/2011 - 18:01

2 weeks ago, I blogged about how George Allen appearing in Christmas Every Day could have been considered an illegal campaign contribution. The other day, it recalled that in Allen’s cameo appearance, he supports the protagonist’s efforts to stop a Wal-Mart type store from coming to a small town.

For the hell of it, I decided to check the Federal Election Commission’s website to see if any big-box store has donated to Allen. Lo and behold, it seems that Wal-Mart donated $5,000 in Allen’s 2000 race and two sets of $5,000 in his 2006 Senate race.

So, George Allen is against big box stores when he is an actor but not a legislator? Okay.

http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_give/2005_S8VA00214

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FAA Clears Santa

Sat, 12/24/2011 - 17:50

In case you were worried, the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Santa Claus for his flight today. http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/12/faa-certifies-santa-one-for-global-delivery-mission.html

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