Brooklyn’s 10th

A correspondent with labor ties offers this take on a potential challenge to Brooklyn Congressman Edolphus Towns:

There’s a lot of personal affection for Charles Barron among the unions that would like to punish Ed Towns for voting for the Central America Free Trade Agreement and being absent on important, close budget votes. But there’s not a lot of confidence at the moment that Charles can win. Unions continue to search for a candidate with greater fundraising strength and greater electoral appeal in Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene and Williamsburg, and hope that Charles might reconsider running if he sees a stronger candidate emerge (as he, gracefully, for example, did to support Virginia Fields).

Between organized labor and online groups*, there’s a significant amount of money available for a viable challenger against Towns (who really is viewed as a sellout). Defeating Towns would send a message of discipline that would be heard throughout the House Democratic caucus.

But Charles has a chicken-and-egg problem. He can’t win without *at least* $500k, but he probably can’t raise $500k unless there is confidence he can win.

On the other hand, even an under-funded Barron effort would give Towns a scare and force him to work hard for re-election – and keep him from straying from a progressive, pro-labor agenda. And that would be no small accomplishment.

*You’ve probably seen that the netroots have raised $130k for Henry Cuellar’s Democratic primary challenger: http://www.actblue.com/list/CiroforCongress

Brooklyn’s 10th