Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Feb. 11, 2016


Fired-up Babes for Bernie: Radical feminist icon Susan Brownmiller apparently finds irony in Gloria Steinem’s demeaning, bomb-dropping comment to talk show host Bill Maher last Friday that younger sistas have been drawn to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign because they want to meet boys — “and the boys are with Bernie.” (Steinem later apologized on Facebook and said she misspoke.)

“It’s funny about Gloria chiding young women,” Brownmiller told us when we asked for her reaction. “In 1968 she hopped from Gene McCarthy to Bobby Kennedy, and after his assassination to George McGovern.”

It should be said here that Brownmiller, a longtime West Village activist and author of the groundbreaking 1975 book on rape, “Against Our Will,” has been “feeling the Bern” at age 80 and obviously doesn’t feel under obligation to vote for Hillary Clinton. She collected about 200 signatures for Sanders in the 10th Congressional District — among some 85,000 delivered by activists to the state Board of Elections last week to help put the self-described socialist and independent on the New York ballot as a Democrat before the April 19 Democratic primary.

Clearly, Brownmiller is to the left of Clinton, noting on her Facebook page that had Elizabeth Warren taken a “long shot” and run for the Oval Office, the liberal Massachusetts Democratic senator would have been her candidate.

Blonde British-born drummer Tennessee Thomas, a 30-year-old feminist who runs the Deep End Club in the East Village and participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement, also likes Warren but was far more disturbed than Brownmiller by Steinem’s incendiary remark about where the boys are, calling it “disappointing and sexist.” Thomas, who has held training sessions for Team Sanders volunteers at her retro clothing store / “community club” at 156 First Ave. and also hosted seminars on reproductive rights, made it plain that she supports Sanders “because of the issues he raises about the power of big money” on Wall St. and in the electoral process.

Neither Thomas nor Brownmiller could be reached for comment on the fiery feminazi statements made by Madeleine Albright, the former first female secretary of state, during a rally last Saturday for Clinton in New Hampshire. There, Albright sternly told babes for Bernie that they ought to be supporting Clinton in her second historic bid for president.

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” she said, drawing a backlash from younger women across the country.

Veteran Assemblymember Deborah Glick is a Clinton supporter who will be running for re-election in September against 66th Assembly District Leader Arthur Schwartz, a labor lawyer who is also Sanders’s New York City campaign counsel. Glick said the “unscripted” remarks by Steinem and Albright are typical of emotional statements made in the heat of the moment by passionate supporters of varied candidates.

“They say things the candidates wish they had never uttered,” she noted.

Glick believes that older Democratic female supporters of Hillary Clinton “are frustrated with the youngsters who believe they’ve become equal and don’t necessarily see that they aren’t yet. Most have  not experienced what the older women have,” in terms of sex discrimination, she said.

As for the supporters of Sanders, Glick, 65, regards them as reminiscent of people like herself who once supported the unsuccessful presidential campaign of George McGovern.

“We don’t have a left country,” she said. “We have pockets in parts of New York, parts of Vermont. But the general public is not there.”

As for Schwartz, on Tuesday night, he officially kicked off his campaign at Lima’s Taste, at 122 Christopher St., by hosting a party to watch the New Hampshire primary results roll in, as Sanders romped over Clinton.

The conflicts over which presidential candidate will have most traction in the Democratic primaries was evident among members of the Village Independent Democrats, who voted not to endorse anyone, said the club’s treasurer Frieda Bradlow, 83, who served as campaign manager of the late City Councilmember Miriam Friedlander.

Asked where she stood, Bradlow replied: “In certain ways, I feel very pro-Hillary, while in other ways, I’m for the principles on which Bernie Sanders stands. I think people are conflicted.”

But Bradlow didn’t show any conflict when asked what she would have done in her younger days if someone told her who to vote for.

“When I was a young woman and anyone dared to tell me who to vote for, I would have knocked them on their keister,” she said.

In related news, Councilmember Corey Johnson and some V.I.D.’ers were in New Hampshire campaigning for Clinton.

— Mary Reinholz


Breaking it down: So what to make of all the endorsements in the run-up to the County Committee’s vote last Sunday to pick the the Democratic nominee for the 65th Assembly District special election?

Sean Sweeney, a leader in the Downtown Independent Democrats political club, gave us his take. “Councilmember Corey Johnson has endorsed Gigi Li — I suppose impervious to the scandal around her petitioning,” Sweeney said. “But that is Corey’s bow to Councilmember Margaret Chin, Gigi’s handler, for Margaret to support his bid for Council speaker next year. Councilmember Rosie Mendez will be out in a couple of years, so she is backing Alice Cancel, because she knows Alice for many years. Friendship trumps politics in this case.

“Comptroller Scott Stringer’s endorsement for Yuh-Line Niou, I feel, is predicated on the simple fact that there are more Asian voters in the city than there are D.I.D. voters. Simple calculus. State Senator Brad Hoylman has only endorsed Yuh-Line at the County Committee level, but not necessarily when the primary comes in September.

“State Senator Daniel Squadron has not endorsed. He is close to both District Leader Paul Newell and Virginia Kee, of Chinatown’s United Democratic Organization. It will be interesting to watch what happens.”

We asked Mendez about Sweeney’s tip that Johnson is angling for speaker.

“He’s doing a good job!” she said, of his performance in the City Council.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the current speaker, has one year left in office, after which she will be term-limited out of the Council.

Sweeney added that D.I.D. refrained from endorsing either Newell or Jenifer Rajkumar “because, although two of our qualified and respected district leaders were running, for us to have endorsed might have given others the impression that we were engaging in club politics. This County Committee meeting was too important for club politics to interfere, so D.I.D. remained neutral.”

Correction: In last week’s articles on the 65th Assembly District special election and Don Lee announcing his campaign for the seat, there were references to the general election being in September. Obviously, that’s incorrect. The primary election — open to any Democratic candidate who qualifies to get on the ballot — will be in September and the general election in November.