Vito Makes Last Ditch Effort to Show He's Still the Kingmaker
Yesterday, members of the Brooklyn Democratic Party got an unpleasant surprise in the mail. An invitation to their upcoming county committee meeting was accompanied by a self-addressed stamped postcard inviting people to designate disgraced outgoing chairman Vito Lopez as their proxy in a brazen attempt by Lopez to continue dominating the party's proceedings and prevent meaningful reform.
o add insult to injury, the meeting location had been moved from its typical downtown Brooklyn location, to a location 30 blocks from the last subway stop, in an obvious attempt to deter party members and press from attending the meeting.
Lopez has used the same dirty tricks to wield his influence for years. Like any good con artist, he solicits proxies in misleading ways. The meeting notice (images below) appears as a jury summons and states that "if you return by mail a signed and dated proxy" to Lopez "you are not required to attend this meeting." The truth is, no one is actually required to attend the meeting, nor sign his or her proxy to Vito Lopez or anyone else. Through this ruse, Lopez always holds the most votes at the biannual meeting, even outnumbering the actual members in attendance.
Lopez has historically used his hundreds of proxies to solidify his power and stifle common sense reforms that would enhance transparency and democracy in the party. For example, he used his control over county committee to add 11 unelected members to the executive committee (handpicked by him, of course) and to prevent any real debate about the party's operation. Those 11 appointed members were also given voting privileges to ensure that Lopez was almost guaranteed the votes necessary to re-elect himself as Party Leader. This is an insult to democracy.
"Does Vito have no shame? Not content with bringing disrepute and dishonor to the county and party, he wants to sully them even further by leaving his dirty finger prints all over the party's transition to a new era," said Alex Low, president of New Kings Democrats. "The party's future lies in the hands of the thousands of spirited, law-abiding party members, not in the hands of a repeat sexual predator." We call on all county committee members to reject Vito's fraud, attend the meeting and help shape the future of the party."