Which Downtown Dem likes Trump: Under Cover, Week Oct. 21, 2015

Sweeney & Trump
What Downtown Democratic politico keeps a Donald Trump book on his coffee table and has good things to say about the presidential candidate’s immigration views?

None other than Sean Sweeney, the Soho Alliance leader who has also been one of the powers of Downtown Independent Democrats for decades.

Before we go further, we should say that Sweeney also loves Bernie Sanders’ socialist views, and would enthusiastically support Sanders for president, if the Vermont senator wins the Democratic nomination.

But Sweeney won’t vote for Sanders or Trump though. He’s not a U.S. citizen.


Sweeney calls Trump a “blowhard,” but we were tipped off that Sweeney and Trump are somewhat sympatico on immigration from a recent Washington Post article examining Trump’s N.Y.C. history — BTW, the national press has apparently learned what we here at UnderCover have known for some time — Sweeney gives good quote.

The immigration line was only a passing reference so we wondered if the reporter got it right. He did.

“You’re waiting in line at a movie and someone cuts,” Sweeney told us. “I don’t understand why people feel sympathetic for migrants who cut ahead of the line.”

Sweeney does not think everyone here illegally should be actively rounded up and deported, nor does he say there are many Mexican rapists crossing the border, as Trump maintains, but he is concerned about who is coming in from Mexico and how easy it is, particularly when there are so many persecuted people in Africa and Asia who can’t get into the country.

Sweeney was 3 when he came to the U.S. from Scotland with his parents, who he says had to show they had money in the bank before they got a Green Card.

Sanders would bring some much-needed Glasgow-style socialism to the U.S., Sweeney said, but he also thinks Hillary Clinton would be a “great president.”

“Hillary or Bernie — I would be happy with either.”

Oh yeah, about Sweeney’s copy of Trump’s 2008 book, “Never Give Up.”

Trump devotes a whole chapter to his fight to get the Trump Soho hotel built, and we presume it was his ghostwriter who acknowledged the developer “had a few more problems than expected” which caused “a lot of unnecessary anxiety.”

“I have caused Donald Trump ‘unnecessary anxiety,’ and I want that on my gravestone,” Sweeney told D.C.’s Post, which gave Sweeney the kicker, a.k.a. the last quote.

“Look at the top of that building,” Sweeney told Post reporter Paul Schwartzman as they looked at the jumbled lines on the hotel roof. “What’s going on with it? What is that thing? It looks like his hair, you know?”

Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess Ronni Anderson in FiDi’s new Anderson Contemporary gallery.
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Ronni Anderson in FiDi’s new Anderson Contemporary gallery.

FiDi Art
Despite at least two decades of on-and-off efforts, the nabe now known as FiDi is still not thought to be part of the Downtown art scene. But those efforts got a big boost last week with the opening of Anderson Contemporary at 180 Maiden Lane, which opened with a reception featuring the photography of Russell James.

The gallery’s director, Ronni Anderson, used to own Mayson Gallery on the L.E.S.