05 May 2015

Throw a Case with a Dead Black Man, and Get Elected to Congress

Something is seriously wrong with Staten Island:
The Staten Island district attorney, Daniel M. Donovan Jr., whose office investigated [Covered Up] the chokehold death of Eric Garner in a struggle with the police last year, easily won a special election for the House of Representatives on Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
He threw it all at a grand jury with no direction, and then fought like hell to make sure that the grand jury testimony never saw the light of day.

He didn't think that a black man's death at police hands warranted a serious investigation.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Mr. Donovan, a Republican, was leading with nearly 60 percent of the vote, compared with about 39 percent for Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, the Democratic candidate, in the race to represent the 11th Congressional District. It covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

The victory makes Mr. Donovan the lone Republican from New York City in the House.

Mr. Donovan, in his victory speech, cast his election as a rebuke to Democrats in Washington and New York, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is widely disliked on Staten Island.

“You sent a message to President Obama, to Nancy Pelosi and, yes, even to Bill de Blasio, that their policies are wrong for our nation,” Mr. Donovan said. “They’re wrong for our city and they’re wrong for the community of the 11th Congressional District.”

Conceding defeat, Mr. Gentile declared his campaign a moral success for “starting a real conversation” about bringing political change in the district. “I want to say loudly that our work is not yet over,” he said.

The seat has been vacant since January, when the previous representative, Michael G. Grimm, a Republican, resigned after pleading guilty to tax fraud.

The election — held under unusual circumstances because of Mr. Grimm’s abrupt resignation and lingering tension around the Garner case — never developed into a heated contest. National Democrats, who were bitterly disappointed after spending millions of dollars in an unsuccessful effort to defeat Mr. Grimm in 2014, never got involved on Mr. Gentile’s behalf.


Neither candidate spoke often about the Garner case, which prompted demonstrations across New York and other cities late last year when a grand jury declined to indict a police officer who was captured on video placing Mr. Garner in a chokehold.

Mr. Donovan defended his office’s handling of the matter, expressing sympathy for the Garner family but saying that his team had managed the grand jury properly. He declined to answer detailed questions about the case, citing laws governing grand jury secrecy.
Mr. Gentile did not raise it because he believed that caring about a dead black man would not play well with the Staten Island voters.

 Mr. Donovan won because Mr. Gentile was right.


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