Thursday, September 10, 2009

As Hunley-Adossa goes negative and avoids questions, her top campaign promise is... more CBAs

Delia Hunley-Adossa, challenging incumbent Letitia James in the 35th Council District, previously agreed to answer written questions posed by the New York Times blog, The Local, but has backed off, her campaign manager claiming she's too busy.

City Hall News, which suggests that Hunley-Adossa's run is inspired not by Atlantic Yards but by James reducing support for the 88th Precinct Youth Council the challenger runs, takes note of the candidate who avoids publicity:
“You can’t show all your hands at the beginning,” Hunley-Adossa said, by way of explaining her seemingly counter-intuitive election strategy. “So we’ve been playing our cards close to the chest.”

Going negative

Meanwhile, as The Local reports, Hunley-Adossa has sent a mailer implying--without proof--that James bought her office from the corrupt Brooklyn Democratic Party organization.

James does have a clubhouse history, but, as she tells the Local, when elected in 2003, she was not the Democratic Party candidate. She ran on the Working Families Party line; Geoffrey Davis, brother of slain Council Member James E. Davis, was the Democratic Party candidate.

Hunley-Adossa's priority: CBAs

Hunley-Adossa has not shown a deep knowledge of policy, as evinced in her performance in two debates (sponsored by CNG and News12).

But she did respond, at least in part, to a questionnaire from the Citizens Union (CU). In the questionnaire, Hunley-Adossa reveals that her number one campaign promise, despite its absence on her web site, is "Community Benefits Agreements for all development projects."

Her second priority: "Education: encourage the need for building knowledge."

Other questions

Here are responses from James and third candidate Medhanie Estiphanos. (The CU endorsed James.)

On some questions, Hunley-Adossa punted. Asked about proposals for creating a greater role for the city council in the city budget, James suggested a ballot amendment; Hunley-Adossa didn't answer.

James, unlike Hunley-Adossa, answered CU's questions about diversifying the city's economy, involving parents in the education system, increasing transparency of the Board of Elections , and enchancing transparency regarding the relationships between council members, their families, and nonprofits that receive city funding.

On the latter question, James opted for the status's quo, suggesting that--despite some recent scandals--the vast majority operate properly and the hurdles they face threaten their survival. (In some other council districts, those would be fighting words.)

Would Hunley-Adossa be full-time?

Also, James agrees that the job of Council Member should be full-time. Hunley-Adossa said no.

Presumably she might continue to operate her own security business out of her home. The bigger question: would she remain the head of Brooklyn Endeavor Experience, the questionable nonprofit funded by Forest City Ratner, a signatory to the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement?

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