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Letters to the Editor — June 9, 2021
One candidate tweeted lewd comments about women, another claims to be progressive but tried to stop a public transit project, and a third has been labeled a North Korean sympathizer.
Meet the New York City Council candidates who won the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Her Courage to Change PAC last week blessed 60 City Council candidates with its coveted endorsement after they received perfect scores on a lengthy questionnaire about the congresswoman’s lefty policy concerns. They needed to say yes to cutting $3 billion from the NYPD’s budget, commit to abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and refuse any campaign contributions from real estate and fossil fuel interests.
An AOC stamp of approval is a big deal for Democratic City Council candidates running in crowded fields. Mayoral contender Maya Wiley got a bump in her race after receiving the congresswoman’s backing.
But the Democratic Socialist’s PAC apparently did no vetting of those who got its nod.
Among them is Brooklyn activist Chi Ossé, who is running to represent Bedford Stuyvesant, and whose campaign Twitter feed contained dispatches like this one:
“Bro…your girl smells like a halal cart”.
In another 2019 tweet, he wrote that “rumor has it” that then-15-year-old British actress Millie Bobbie Brown can “fit 37 pistachios up her ass.”
Ossé also tweeted, “Knocked over one of those Jesus worshippers on the subway this morning…feeling random and sinful”.
Ossé, who is 23, told The Post he no longer supported the tweets. “I would say that being young on Twitter is a mistake and I definitely condemn those statements,” he said. The tweets were deleted minutes after The Post asked about them.
In questionable taste, Marti Allen-Cummings, a self described drag artist running in Northern Manhattan, posted a photo to Instagram in 2014 of the murdered singer Selena, saying “If I was alive Jennifer Lopez would be working at Taco Bell.”
“As a professional drag artist and comedian who never planned to run for office, I have made off-color and, in the past, sometimes offensive jokes. I apologize for these jokes, and to the people hurt by my words,” Allen-Cummings told The Post.
West Village lawyer Arthur Schwartz, who is trying to replace Corey Johnson, would seem to run afoul of AOC’s New Green Deal agenda after he tried to halt bike lanes in the Village and sued to stop the 14th Street busway in Manhattan. Schwartz represented area block associations that didn’t want traffic from the busy crosstown street on their blocks.
Transit advocates derided Schwartz as a “wealthy property owner” standing in the way of improving the transit system.
John Choe, who is running to represent Flushing and other areas of Queens, also received AOC’s approval.
Choe co-founded a group in 1999 called Nodutdol that organized trips to North Korea to help “demystify” the country, and even reportedly honeymooned there. Speaking at a 2006 conference, he remarked that Kim Jung-un-led North Korea was “at the front line of the liberation struggles against imperialism.”
Choe, who was an aide to former Comptroller John Liu, left the position in 2011 shortly after The Post reported on his North Korea leanings. Liu’s office insisted the departure was unrelated.
A rep for AOC did not immediately return a request for comment.
Republican Councilman Joe Borelli, who is seeking re-election to represent part of Staten Island, filled out the PAC questionnaire, but never heard back. Borelli gave a thumbs down to proposals like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
“I’m still holding out hope for her endorsement in the general [election], I guess,” Borelli quipped.
Additional reporting by Jon Levine and Conor Skelding
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