New York City

Dirty Seawright Campaign Hits New Low

The dirty Seawright campaign for reelection reached new lows, this summer, turning to tactics she condemned when attacking opponents in May. Now, as autumn approaches, she’s worse.

By David Stone

UPDATE September 17th: Seawright Campaign That Couldn’t Get Dirtier… Does

The Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island saw a different, far less attractive Rebecca Seawright, this year.

First, when she failed to qualify for the Democrat and Working Families Party lines for November voting, she attacked her opponent, Lou Puliafito. She accused the Republican of “Soviet-style” tactics and of disenfranchising voters.

Roosevelt Island News: Rebecca Seawright with her daughter at Roosevelt Island Day 2018

Puliafito had nothing to do with her flawed nominating petitions, and technical challenges are far from unusual. But in her immediate fury, she cut loose.

In a series of assaults, coordinated with Albany leadership, Seawright duplicated tactics for which she condemned her opponent.

But it didn’t stop there…

In July, disgusted that Seawright’s ineptitude lead to an empty Democratic Party line, a second Democrat, Patrick Bobilin, a progressive, entered the race.

Bobilin suffered the same assaults Puliafito did, but against her own party opponent, Seawright did worse.

As seen in videos, Team Rebecca member Peter Patch menaced Bobilin while collecting signatures, and that included pulling down his face mask to yell at him.

Dirty as they were, empowered out of Albany as they were, Seawright’s hypocritical assaults all failed.

You might think that’s enough, but it wasn’t.

Lou Puliafito campaigning in 2016.
Lou Puliafito campaigned against Seawright in 2016.

Attacking opponent on the job…

“It’s petty and vindictive,” Puliafito told The Roosevelt Island Daily/News, after discovering, this week, that the Rise and Unite Party candidate set up shop on the ground floor of the building where he works.

As anyone walking the streets on the Upper East Side knows, the area has plenty of empty storefronts. So, why invade her opponents place of work?

To vindictive and petty, we add “dirty,” but there is no truth in the rumor that Seawright now wants space in Puliafito’s home for quick naps and campaign meetings.

Adding diversion to the mix…

Bereft of achievements worth bragging about, after six years in office, Seawright creates diversions. She tried painting Bobilin as a violent radical and a nonresident, but her latest assault against Puliafito is positively Trumpian.

The president, for example, tells audiences that his opponent, Joe Biden, supports defunding police departments, but he doesn’t. Seawright frantically accuses Puliafito of supporting Trump, although the Liberal Republican insists on keeping his focus local..

Here again, voters wonder why she veers off into topics not on the ballot or related to the responsibilities of a New York State Assembly Member.

End of Update

“We must assure freedom of choice for the voters of the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island.”

Incumbent 76th state assembly member Rebecca Seawright said that while accusing her Republican opponent of Soviet Union-style tactics.

Lou Puliafito‘s great sin…?

Raising objections to her filings for reelection.

Notwithstanding that her political next door neighbor Dan Quart did exactly the same thing, vying to run unopposed…

And the Seawright campaign now goes the same route, trying to push progressive Patrick Bobilin off the ballot. The fishing expedition seeks technical errors in his petitions, not winning policy arguments.

Target of Seawright's dirty campaign, Patrick Bobilin, Independent Candidate for NYS 76th Dist. Assembly
Independent progressive candidate Patrick Bobilin now attacked on technical grounds, not policies, by Seawright campaign.

Oh, and just for the record, the Republican was right. Her election petitions had multiple major errors, and the Board of Elections tossed her.

Rebecca Seawright’s Dirty Campaign in Perspective

When Seawright ran against a field of male opponents to replace Micah Kellner in 2014, she had a smart, easy going appeal . It was much like Hillary Clinton before oppo attacks targeted redefining her.

I covered that first race and voted for her. A less polarizing representative who knew how to work with others was just what we needed.

But that patina is gone.

Over three terms, she evolved from a progressive eager to make a difference, especially for women, into a Cuomo camp follower.

Her record of accomplishment is undistinguished, and that helps explain a campaign rooted in tactics, not policies.

“She’s filed a general objection with the Board of Elections,” Bobilin confirmed.

“It signals to me that our campaign has momentum with a 100% volunteer effort of about 50 petitioners collecting nearly 4,000 signatures in just 3 weeks,” he added.

“…wouldn’t put anything past her.”

Seawright, aided by a formidable party machine and a campaign in motion for months, gathered only 5,100.

Bobilin also sees her attack as “hypocritical,” given her prior statements condemning the same tactics, but a major party operative said worse:

“I wouldn’t put anything past her,” he said.

Earlier in September, Seawright’s duel attacks on Bobilin, plus another on Liberal/Republican Lou Puliafito, were rejected in a New York State Supreme Court ruling. But she’s appealing, she says, through her surrogate, Peter Patch.

If her latest dirty campaign attack fails, Seawright faces challenges from both Puliafito and Bobilin in November, but if it succeeds, she’ll have successfully sat on both sides of the fence.

At the expense of constituents’ trust.

6 replies »

  1. I read David Stone’s latest partisan and baseless attack on Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. Why is he so worried about whether her opposition has met the legal requirements to legitimately be on the November ballot? If there are no problems with eligibility, hey, no sweat. But if there are, the voters ought to know. And no amount of Mr. Stone’s abusive vitriol should be allowed to cover that up!

    • Sadly, you either missed the point or decided, much like a seasoned politician, to change the direction. That doesn’t work. I take no position at all on whether or not Patrick Bobilin meets the requirements, but Seawright’s hypocrisy matters. If she assumes one easy ethical standard for herself and another others, that’s a message voters ought to know about.

      That’s not partisan. I haven’t endorsed anyone But it is about good government, which should matter to you as well as her and citizens of the 76th.

      Now, regarding partisanship, please take a moment to detail your relationship with the Seawright campaign. Are you a genuine, impartial commenter or a surrogate?

  2. David, your response to my comment about your obvious partisanship reminds me of Shakespeare’s famous line,” Doth protest too much”. Hamlet, Act III.
    David, incidentally, the fact that you do not let
    comment on your opinion pieces stand on its own without resisting the impulse to immediately respond, mirroring politicians you like, puts you in the best position to self-define being a surrogate or other messenger. You might change it to call it “ Comments Plus My Response”. More accurate. Or you could try fairness instead.

    • Sorry to disappoint you, but I have more than a thousand posts, and it’s always been my policy to respond to comments. Normally, it’s to engage in debate or to concur. In your case, it’s to try steering you in a responsible direction.

      I notice you’ve again missed the point, arriving the odd conclusion that this post is somehow about me. It’s not. It’s about Seawright’s apparent double standard. It would be so nice if you could direct yourself to that issue.

      Thank you.

  3. So your purpose is to try “steering” me in a responsible direction? How patronizing!
    Some men have been trying for centuries to steer women. Let us put those days behind us once and for all. Let us instead celebrate the upcoming anniversary of the constitutional amendment enfranchising women the right to vote.
    David. we do not need to be steered; just respected.
    You are entitled to support the Republican candidate or anyone else you want. I am entitled to support Democratic Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright as well, joining 5160 Assembly district residents who signed her petition for re-election on the “Rise and Unite” party. We are both partisans in favor of the person we believe will be best for the position. The difference between us? I acknowledge that; you do not.
    Incidentally, your system of responding to comments on your articles with an immediate response presents an inequitable 2 to 1 ratio in your favor vs readers. But, hey, it is your blog so you are under no obligation except ethical to present a balanced picture. So try to always be the last word. Except that on November 3 the voters will speak last.

    • Why do you have so much trouble responding directly to an issue? Try. I’m pretty sure you can handle it. I give you credit for Trump level diversionary tactics, attacking on fabulous grounds, dodging questions. Now, please, answer the question of Seawright’s double standard. And if it’s not too much trouble, answer the question of your relationship to the campaign. C’mon, now, you can do it. Focus. Focus. Focus.

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