Editorial: A little information goes a long way, Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

A little information goes a long way

Last week, an attempted rape of a woman in a Stuyvesant Town elevator sent shockwaves through the community, which despite the occasional assault or robbery, has a reputation for being safer than most neighborhoods.

Far less shocking, but still disturbing was the fact that there was no attempt by the owner of the complex to reach out to residents. Town & Village reported on the crime on our blog shortly after the police released information about the attack, as did other local news outlets, and the Tenants Association sent out an e-mail blast to warn neighbors.

There was a time when, if there was a crime in the community, fliers would be posted in prominent spaces in lobbies, but sadly that hasn’t been the case in years.

In a recent high profile sex crime incident, in which, the “Stuy Town groper” victimized two women in the complex, fliers were distributed, but they came from local State Senator Brad Hoylman and his aides, not property management.

CWCapital didn’t respond to a request from this newspaper on Friday to speak with the chief of Public Safety or anyone else who could provide more details about the attack, other than to say (on Monday after the arrest) that security had been beefed up over the weekend and that a comment would be forthcoming. We’re still waiting.

The point here as long as management prefers to let tenants hear about crime in their apartment complex from the media and the TA, it’s going to appear that they care more about not scaring away potential renters than protecting those who’ve already signed on the dotted line.

CW already knows how to communicate with tenants when management wants to, sending emailed newsletters and Facebook posts to promote events and the soon to open ice rink. It would take no more effort to keep tenants in the loop about criminal activity.

Say yes to debating, not mud-slinging

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who’s held her position in Washington for 22 years, is currently running against Nicholas Di iorio, a former seminary student and former Pfizer employee whose party (Republican) automatically makes him a longshot. Di iorio has spent the past several weeks calling Maloney out for not accepting invitations to publicly debate him.

When asked why she wasn’t debating him, a rep for Maloney said she has agreed to a debate (scheduled for October 28 in an event held by the 17th Precinct Community Council).

Still, Di iorio this week issued press releases accusing Maloney of not debating him, but rather only agreeing to “show up” at the event, a candidates forum, then “speak for 20 minutes and take questions from the audience for 10 minutes.”

Maloney spokesperson Kathy Lynn responded to say the event, which she described as a debate, would have the format of candidates each getting a five-minute opening statement, followed by each candidate getting a short rebuttal.

Following that, the audience asks questions that are facilitated by a moderator,” Lynn said. “This is the format proposed by the 17th Precinct and both campaigns agreed to this when they accepted the invitation to participate.”

When asked for clarification on what the event was, an officer at the 17th Precinct told a T&V reporter it’s “not really a debate,” because there would be no formatted questions, but candidates from local races would have the opportunity to speak and take some questions.

So okay, it’s not technically a debate, but she’s also not shying away from questions.

Now this event aside, as to whether or not we think Maloney (or any candidate) should agree to participate in a debate event if invited and if their schedule permits, the answer is of course.

In Maloney’s case, the fact there hasn’t been a Republican elected in Manhattan since Roy Goodman left the State Senate may make expending the energy on a debate seem like a waste. Maybe, for her, it is.

Still, we think it’s still important for longtime candidates to continue to prove themselves to voters and also to show that they have nothing to hide.

That said, we also think Di iorio might have a better shot at being taken seriously if he’d tone down the near weekly ripping of Maloney via press releases.

As the election looms closer, the candidate has begun sending out statements bashing Maloney on everything from her trip to China to get a panda for New York (while Di iorio went to Israel) to authoring lots of bills that haven’t passed the house to not doing enough about Ebola.

These are fair game topics, but after a while, constant mud-slinging can begin to look like a too-desperate attempt to get attention and voters tune it out.

It’s also worth noting that the past two elections Maloney has run in, most recently with Republican Chris Wight and prior to that with Democrat Reshma Saujani during the primary, were pretty contentious. The attacks on Maloney in both races were nonstop and still Saujani and Wight were easily clobbered by Maloney.

It’s hard to say whether or not the negative campaigning had anything to do with it, since a well-known incumbent is always going to have an extreme advantage over a political newcomer. But it obviously didn’t help.

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