For 40 years the Silver-Rapfogel machine has controlled Grand Street politics and plowed over anyone who stood in their way. They made sweetheart deals for the benefit of themselves and their friends. They stole millions from charities they ran and took bribes for state grants.
Now, after conviction and humiliation, the Silver-Rapfogel machine is still trying to maintain control of Grand Street with a coward’s tactic: anonymous smears against their political opponents.
Last week an anonymous flyer was distributed attacking Paul Newell for living in a Mitchell-Lama apartment. This week an anonymous postcard was mailed attacking Yuh-Line Niou for being Asian and having Asian supporters.
Paul Newell earned the enmity of Grand Street power brokers years ago by daring to challenge Silver in a primary. Yuh-Line Niou refused to back out of a special election this past April against the machine’s candidate, Alice Cancel. Now, days before the most consequential election on Grand Street in a generation, it’s payback.
The Silver-Rapfogel machine has used anonymous flyers for years. We’ve seen the same deplorable tactics used in our own coop elections. Remember the anonymous flyer distributed last year accusing Cooperatively Yours candidates Mike Turner and Jim Keenan of being criminals? Here’s a picture captured of one of Rapfogel’s neighbors distributing that letter:
If we don’t call them out, they’ll keep at it, more desperately now that their own crimes have made headlines. After Tuesday’s primary, they’ll turn back to coop politics and try to intimidate anyone who challenges Gary Altman for control of the East River board. Just wait, you’ll see. It’s worked for them for decades.
Please — don’t let yourself be manipulated. We can’t let convicted criminals control Grand Street anymore.