Levin Takes the Times’ Endorsement of an Opponent and Runs With It

nytblurb1 Levin Takes the Times Endorsement of an Opponent and Runs With It

Two weeks ago, The New York Times issued a brief 75-word endorsement in the seven-person primary to replace David Yassky in Brooklyn’s 33rd council district.

The pick was Jo Anne Simon, a civil rights attorney and longtime Boerum Hill community activist. “Jo Anne Simon has an impressive legal background and has been a strong community organizer who has done important work for the disabled. We endorse Ms. Simon,” the Times wrote.

Simon’s camp had been eyeing the endorsement for months, and, predictably, they began trumpeting the announcement right away. Less predictably, perhaps, so did two of her opponents.

In a television ad that came out last week, former Yassky aide Evan Thies, who is also vying for the seat, includes his own quotes from the Times.

Over a montage of Thies at work, a woman’s soothing voice tells us that the Times declared Evan an “excellent” candidate and said he was “active on reform and clean-air issues.” In fact, the Times said: “There are several excellent candidates vying to replace Councilman David Yassky, who’s also running for comptroller.” And later: “Evan Thies, an aide to Mr. Yassky, has been active on reform and clean-air issues.”

But it’s a third candidate, Steve Levin, who takes the cake for selective editing. In a recent mailer, Levin cribs the phrase “a prime candidate,” and puts it alongside his other endorsements. The Times actually said: “Stephen Levin would be a prime candidate except for his entanglement in the Brooklyn Democratic Party machine.” Levin is the chief of staff to Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who chairs the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

Here it is, in order, in its entirety:

There are several excellent candidates vying to replace Councilman David Yassky, who’s also running for comptroller. Stephen Levin would be a prime candidate except for his entanglement in the Brooklyn Democratic Party machine. Evan Thies, an aide to Mr. Yassky, has been active on reform and clean-air issues. Jo Anne Simon has an impressive legal background and has been a strong community organizer who has done important work for the disabled. We endorse Ms. Simon.