Judging Brooklyn

The Politicker isn’t spending enough time at the Board of Elections to know the details of the Brooklyn Democratic Party Organization’s attempt to reverse the victory of a reformer for the Surrogate post, amusingly reported today in the Post. If you are, we’re curious.

But whoever the next Brooklyn Democratic leader is — and if it’s Vito Lopez, I’ll certainly claim you read it here first — the Surrogate messes are likely to seriously tarnish that person’s rise. Because while the challenge to Lopez Torres’s election hardly looks good, it pales in comparison to the Assembly’s creation of a second Surrogate post, timed in such a way that the party would be able to handpick one of its own for the seat.

Erik Engquist of Crain’s, reigning expert on Brooklyn politics, had a funny description of this process in a recent email to Maurice Gumbs (italics added):

“Nobody outside of a few legislative leaders (Pataki, Bruno, and Silver, the Republican chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, and maybe a few more insiders) knew about this bill until it was wheeled into the Senate anteroom. Connor was there along with Sampson and Carl Andrews. They all expressed surprise, even shock at its appearance. Then Andrews and Sampson proceeded to vote for it when the roll was called afew mintues later.

“Most senators did not have time to read it (not that they would have anyway). The Assembly had a little more time, but still, there was no chance for any opposition to be mounted. This all happened in an hour or two.”