Back in July, Brooklyn DA Charles (Joe) Hynes was chuckling about his opponents in the September primary, Kenneth Thompson and Abe George. He passed along his latest canvassing results to his cronies with the comment, “Take note that the two clowns got 6 percent.” We know how that turned out. In two short months, one of those “clowns,” Kenneth Thompson, got the last laugh and won with 55.5% of the vote.
He was basing his optimism on a divided field before the campaign heated up. He didn’t count on Abe George withdrawing from the race and throwing his support to Thompson. He didn’t count on the beating his reputation was taking in the media because of wrongful convictions and his favoritism to ultra orthodox perverts.
Instead he read way too much into early canvassing reports (see the report below) by the political consulting firm, The Advance Group, which is now in the spotlight for what look like violations of election law. Early surveys are often misleading because voters don’t seriously focus on a race until the decision point is coming up real soon. It is also possible that there were serious flaws in their methodology just as the Romney campaign consistently miscalculated its prospects in the run-up to the presidential election last November.
However, Hynes periodically circulated his canvassing reports to Brooklyn DA staff (using its official email system) to bolster staff confidence in his electoral prospects. I hear he still does that. He also uses staff email to promote fundraising for his campaign. Yesterday, Chapin Fay, his campaign manager, sent out emails to Brooklyn DA staff, including ADAs, promoting his fundraisers that night and two nights later. It is a violation of the New York State Bar’s ethics advisories to do this. But hell, this has never been a concern for Hynes and others on his staff.
I hear that defense attorney Arthur Aidala was the host for the Tuesday evening event at American Whiskey (247 West 30th St, New York, NY 10001, RSVP: Koren Frankfort: firstname.lastname@example.org). Hynes has done favors for Aidala, a defense attorney, such as his sweetheart plea deal for Menachem Deutsch.
These days Hynes is working on an even more flawed electoral strategy. He figures that since he got 44.5% of Democratic voters in the primary, he will get the same percent of their votes in the general election and will also pick up almost all the votes on the Republican and Conservative lines and enough of the non-partisan votes. What is much more likely is that he will get roughly the same percentage of Brooklyn votes as Republican mayoral candidate, Lhota, whos is polling 40-50% behind Bill De Blasio.
These days it is the political pros who are calling Hynes a clown.