Kevin Powell gathered reporters at Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn this morning to respond to what he called unfair reminders of his admittedly violent past in recent columns by Daily News columnist Errol Louis.
Powell, who is running for Congress against Representative Ed Towns of Brooklyn and has admitted to and apologized for past incidents of violence against women, said that he would never to do it again, and added that recent events related to Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and others have made it clear that public officials all need to be transparent about their shortcomings.
He noted he has Gloria Steinem’s support. (Along with others, she is helping to organize a “Women for Powell” event in September.)
At times, Powell seemed to be positioning both Louis and Towns as political enemies whose attacks are hindering his campaign.
Reading from prepared remarks in front of a handful of reporters, Powell said, “As soon as it was clear that my nearly 9,000 signatures were enough to get me on the ballot against the incumbent, Congressman Ed Thomas” — he was referring to Towns — “Mr. Louis’ column appeared. I do not think this is coincidental, given that Mr. Towns at the same time began referring to me in the media, and to anyone who would listen, as a ‘woman-beater’ and someone who had a criminal record.”
Powell continued, “For the record, I am not a woman-beater nor have I ever spent one single night in jail in my life.”
Powell didn’t dispute any of the facts in Louis’ columns.
Which, in essence, is what Louis wrote to me when I asked him for a response: “Unless Powell is challenging any of the facts in my columns — all of which he confirmed when I interviewed him — I will let my work stand on its own. I will definitely have something to say about all this on my talk show next week, so I urge everyone to tune in to WWRL 1600 AM from 6 to 9 am.”