One man's historical perspective on city council


I’m taking some time off from writing about lowlifes like “Crooked Hillary,” Bill “The Rapist” (I mean “Alleged Rapist”), and Maxine “The Meshugenah” Waters; and about such national issues as the invasion of this country by illegal aliens (which is the correct legal terminology for these law breakers), to discuss local politics.

I’ll starting with commenting about attorney and former Community Board 8 chairman Dan Padernacht, who recently announced — now in 2018 — that he was going to run in 2021 for the city council seat currently held by the term-limited Andrew Cohen. Why would he make this announcement three years in advance? He won’t tell you as much, but the real reason is that he was politically screwed by the devious, slimy, morally corrupt Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz the last time that seat became vacant.

Here’s the story. Councilman Oliver Koppell’s term was expiring at the end of 2013. Assemblyman Dinowitz, with the connivance of his cohorts on (the supposedly non-political) Community Board 8, orchestrated a series of events that succeeded in manipulating his pal, Andrew Cohen, who wasn’t even a member of that committee, into the chairmanship of the aging committee of CB8 for the 2012-13 year — thereby giving Mr. Cohen instant credibility for what was to follow.

Later on, in December 2012, Assemblyman Dinowitz held a series of four town hall meetings for seniors through the 81st Assembly District featuring the now CB8 aging committee chair Andrew Cohen as guest speaker — thereby giving Mr. Cohen community exposure and positive publicity.

As a final chapter in this slimy campaign, and a tactic that proved fatal to Dan Padernacht’s extremely probable candidacy for the open council seat, Jeffrey Dinowitz and his gang that controlled (and still controls) the Benjamin Franklin “Reform” Democratic Club scheduled a hastily called, out-of-the-blue, unexpected and unheard of endorsement meeting in January 2013 (in the middle of winter) where (surprise, surprise) Andrew Cohen received the endorsement of the Ben Franklin Club. 

And in Riverdale, that endorsement in practical terms anointed Andrew Cohen as councilman.

I was then, and am now, a member of the Ben Franklin Club, and felt so betrayed and disgusted by the tactics used, that I wrote a series of three letters to The Riverdale Press, which were published on Feb. 21, 2013; March 21, 2013; and May 30, 2013, explaining in detail the accusations made above about how the despicable Assemblyman Dinowitz manipulated the voters of this community and corrupted CB8 and the Ben Franklin Club.

You can now understand why Dan Padernacht is now announcing his candidacy three years in advance.

There is no real democracy without choices. I think every incumbent should be challenged. It keeps them on their toes and responsive to their constituents. Democratic big-shot congressman Joe Crowley learned his lesson this year, as did Republican big-shot congressman Eric Cantor several years ago.

I hope when the council race comes up in three years that there are other candidates besides Mr. Padernacht running for that office. And I’m glad to see that state Sen. Jeffrey Klein has a primary this year as he did when Oliver Koppell ran against him several years ago.

I’ve known Jeff Klein for a long time, and think he’s one of the most qualified and competent politicians I’ve ever known. I would certainly vote for him if I could. However, I don’t live in the district. I hope he wins.

Still, in all, in the interest of democracy, I believe a primary is a good thing, even though there’s always the chance for an upset of a particular incumbent one supports.

Finally, for those many Alessandra Biaggi supporters who are unhappy with their treatment by the Ben Franklin Club, why don’t you form a competing Democratic club?

That’s what democracy is all about — Choices!

Alvin Gordon,