|Marc Fliedner, via New York.|
I'm pretty creeped out at the moment by the startling news that's been coming out about Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (yes, his papa was Jimmy Carter's patrician secretary of state while Mika Brzezinski's papa was doing all the foreign policy work, in an illustration of how our country seems to have developed a full-blown aristocracy since I was a kid), as summarized by David Freedlander at New York Magazine:
Vance, first elected in 2009, is running for a third term in November without an opponent from any party on the ballot after winning the Democratic primary without opposition in September. In the last couple of weeks Vance has come under withering criticism, first from a ProPublica/WNYC investigation into a decision not to prosecute Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump for misleading prospective buyers about their Trump Soho property, and then after The New Yorker revealed that Vance declined to prosecute Harvey Weinstein for allegedly sexually assaulting 22-year-old model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez even though Gutierrez came forward with a recording of Weinstein discussing the assault.
In both cases, lawyers for the accused made sizable donations to Vance’s campaign, with Trump personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz giving Vance a $32,000 check on the heels of a private meeting with the district attorney, and Weinstein lawyer David Boies donating $10,000 after Vance dropped the investigation into his client. Vance has since returned the Trump money, and denied that the fundraising had anything to do with the decision to not prosecute, saying that neither case had enough evidence to prove criminality.To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, bumbling into the appearance of having been bribed to not indict an extremely socially powerful criminal may be regarded as a misfortune; but doing it twice looks like carelessness.
And then there's learning the news at this particular moment, less than a month before the election, when there's seemingly nothing that can be done to stop him from getting a third term if we're not satisfied with his explanations, which we really aren't so far—independent nominations closed off, New York laws making it impossible to think about getting an alternative name anywhere on the ballot, not even a Republican to vote for.
But a write-in candidate has bubbled up today, a civil rights lawyer named Marc Fliedner who ran in the summer primary for Brooklyn DA and says he's willing to move across the river, and a background that's both intersectional (he's gay) and Bernieish (Berners backed him in the Brooklyn race, in which he got 10% of the vote):
“I’m not doing any fundraising, I don’t have any staff, but it is accurate to say that I am a candidate via this grassroots write-in effort,” Fliedner said in a phone interview this morning. “It’s important we give voters an ethical choice in a landscape totally devoid of women’s rights and equal justice.”No, I don't think he's going to win, and I can hardly even believe Vance could be as bad as he looks at the moment (I wish I could hear some acknowledgment that he knows how bad he looks). It's just a thought that not absolutely everything is necessarily going to hell.