Western Brooklyn

Grimm Fundraiser Says Recchia Wants To Build Low-Income Houses In District



A Staten Island supporter and fundraiser for embattled Congressman Michael Grimm put out a letter saying the pol’s Democratic opponent, Domenic Recchia, wants to build “low-income housing in our neighborhoods,” spurring accusations of racially charged “fear mongering.”

The New York Post reports:

Staten Island Republican Party vice chair Bill D’Ambrosio wrote a July 9 fundraising letter on Grimm’s behalf claiming that Democrat Dominic Recchia would be a champion of low-income housing in the congressional district that covers mostly-white Staten Island and more racially mixed south Brooklyn.

Recchia’s base is in Brooklyn; Grimm’s is on Staten Island.

“His [Recchia’s] strategy for becoming Staten Island’s congressman relies on using votes from Brooklyn housing projects . . . Staten Islanders should have no doubt that this Brooklyn political hack will sell them out to pay back these votes, and surely build low-income housing in our neighborhoods with his cronies at City Hall,” D’Ambrosio said.

The full letter, which you can read at the end of this post, cites a New York Times article, in which Recchia seems to drool over the addition of the reliably Democratic votes in the Marlboro Houses.

Asked about the votes he picked up from Mr. Nadler’s district, he twisted to the back seat, grinned widely, and repeated “Marlboro Houses, Marlboro Houses” like an incantation.

Frank Seddio, chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Club, and Staten Island Democratic leader  John Gulino are accusing the campaign of race-baiting. Here’s the full statement they issued jointly yesterday:

Kings County Democratic Chair, Frank Seddio, and Chairman of the Democratic Committee of Richmond County, John Gulino, today jointly condemned remarks in a fundraising letter issued by Bill D’Ambrosio, First Chair of the Staten Island GOP, in support of Congressman Michael Grimm.

In the letter D’Ambrosio says Democratic candidate, Domenic Recchia, will rely on “votes from Brooklyn housing projects” and “pay back these votes, and surely build low-income housing in our neighborhoods.”

“We call on Congressman Grimm to denounce the outrageous bigotry demonstrated by GOP Deputy Bill D’Ambrosio,” said Seddio. “I cannot believe that 50 years after we passed the Civil Rights Act, we still have people like D’Ambrosio who will use bigotry and base fear mongering to solicit money and votes. There is no place for this contemptible language in this campaign.”

“It’s insulting to Staten Islanders to think their support can be bought by this kind of hateful language,” said Gulino. “The GOP has resorted to raising money by insulting Brooklyn voters while engaging in fear mongering with Staten Island voters. I strongly urge Congressman Grimm to condemn and disassociate himself from this hateful letter.”

The D’Ambrosio’s letter was sent to supporters in response to a July 7th article reviewing the race that appeared in the New York Times. In the letter D’Ambrosio also refers to Recchia as a “foreigner from across the bay.”

The Grimm campaign is not condemning the letter’s insinuations, and instead is doubling down on the attack. The Post reports:

“That’s BS,” Grimm campaign manager Guy Molinari said in dismissing the racism claim.

Being opposed to low-income public housing is a legitimate policy position, Molinari said, not a racial appeal.

“We’ll speak for ourselves. We certainly are not in favor of low-income housing. They are,” Molinari said.

“A lot of the crime in this city is at or near low-income housing. Who can be for that? You’ve got to be crazy.”

Here’s the full fundraising letter from D’Ambrosio:

Congressman Michael Grimm is a “war hero” and
his de Blasio Democrat opponent
Domenic Recchia is a “foreigner from across the bay”

Dear Friend:

Domenic Recchia’s campaign is already on the ropes. Even the New York Times has confirmed that our Congressman Michael Grimm is loved and supported by his constituents, and is heading towards victory in November!

Recchia’s abysmal record as a tax-and-spend Brooklyn liberal is making it impossible for him to connect with Staten Islanders, and it isn’t hard to figure out why. As Coney Island City Councilman, he voted with his liberal buddy Bill de Blasio over 90% of the time, and raised your property taxes 18.5% — the highest in New York City’s history.

The Times has made it clear that little-known Recchia is unwelcome on the Island.

“I know who you are,” said Robert Kowth, 84, who wore a T-shirt of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that read “Staten Island, Gateway to New York.” “I’ve been a Grimm supporter since he was born,” Mr. Kowth added, shooing Mr. Recchia away. “So enjoooy!”

But Domenic still thinks he has a chance. His strategy for becoming Staten Island’s congressman relies on using votes from Brooklyn housing projects. “Marlboro Houses, Marlboro Houses…thousands of votes out here,” said Recchia in the New York Times. Staten Islanders should have no doubt that this Brooklyn political hack will sell them out to pay back these votes, and surely build low-income housing in our neighborhoods with his cronies at City Hall.

What’s more insulting about Domenic Recchia’s candidacy is that he claims that “damage from Superstorm Sandy motivated him to run for Congress.” As a City Council Member Recchia did absolutely nothing to bring Sandy aid to over 5,000 Staten Island applicants, and he failed to hold a single hearing or call on then Mayor Bloomberg to fix the problems with the Build it Back and Rapid Repair programs. Someone needs to tell Dom that Congress has already done its job in providing $60 billion in federal Sandy aid, an effort led by Congressman Grimm. More importantly, while Recchia’s constituents were neglected and let down by his lack of action and advocacy, Michael Grimm gave Brooklyn and Staten Island residents, and millions of homeowners across the country, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which lowered their flood insurance premiums and stabilized home values.

The truth is, Domenic doesn’t even really want this job. He wanted to be Comptroller and according to political consultant Hank Sheinkopf “the New Bosses of New York just decided that Recchia wasn’t the right guy.” So let me get this straight, Bill de Blasio doesn’t think that Domenic is good enough to be Comptroller, but he’s fine to be our Congressman? Are these guys for real?

The Times could not have said it any better ” the election will ultimately be determined on Staten Island” and we need your help to make sure our voice in Congress isn’t stifled by a de Blasio democrat like Dom Recchia.

Thank you and God bless you,

Bill D’Ambrosio

First Vice Chair
Staten Island GOP

P.S. – We need to send a message that Staten Islanders won’t accept Bill de Blasio and Obama’s failed progressive policies that have weakened us on the world stage, ballooned the size of government and our national debt, and failed to create jobs or revitalize our economy. Domenic Recchia will be a rubber stamp for these dangerous policies, whereas Congressman Grimm will continue to fight them and deliver real results!

Comment policy


  1. Why can’t they just change the districts to separate Brooklyn from Staten Island. Save the confusion. Brooklyn doesn’t want to be apart of S.I anyway.

  2. D’Ambrosio is part of the crooked SIGOP – a RINO stronghold that has supported this sleaze Grimm all the way. Congressmen have NOTHING to do with housing construction, nothing! This is a demagogic FALSE ISSUE, but Grimm, also a RINO, has nothing else left except race-baiting and scare-mongering.

  3. There are many of us that would love that to happen. Unfortunately, Staten Island is about 200,000 residents short of having their own representative in Congress. What I (and many others) would have liked to have happen in 2010 when the lines were redrawn after the Census was for SI to be divided in half, with half enjoined to Manhattan and the other half to either Brooklyn or the Rockaway section of Queens. SI is the only “Borough” that has this problem and it’s not fair to those of us who live on the Brooklyn side of the District to have our Congressional represenation decided in this manner.

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