WPCNR Afternoon Tribune. By John F. Bailey. June 5, 2002. 4:00 PM E.D.T.: Adam Bradley, Chair of the White Plains Democratic City Committee. announced Tuesday he will primary Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow in an effort to unseat her as representative of the 89th Assembly District in the New York State Legislature.
ADAM BRADLEY CHALLENGER FOR THE 89TH, as he appeared on the March 15 edition of White Plains Week, where he first revealed his interest in primarying Ms. Matusow.
Photo by Rita Santos, Public Access Television
This will be the first run for public office by Mr. Bradley. He told WPCNR he is mounting his challenge to Ms. Matusow because of his concerns she is insensitive to issues of vital financial importance to White Plains.
Big Slice of White Plains Factor.
Matusow who previously represented only a small portion of White Plains, now represents 75% of the suburban residential area of the city, East-Southeast of Post Road, “the Southend of town” in the newly drawn 89th Assembly District, and 50% of the city’s population. The legislature redrawing of the state’s assembly districts based on the 2000 census, has split White Plains.
The City between Matusow’s district, the 89th, expanding the 89th into White Plains from Harrison, while narrowing Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s portion of White Plains in her district, the 88th. Paulin’s District contains the Northeast portion of the city West of Post Road and North Broadway, where the other half of the city population lives.
“Need Legislators In Forefront on Isssues.”
In an interview with WPCNR Wednesday Bradley said, “I plan to bring my message to the people, constituents and residents of the 89th Assembly District. I believe that we need vigorous leadership committed to reforming the backroom politics of Albany, and bringing back the government to the people. I also believe we need legislators who are in the forefront on issues on which they are deeply committed to.”
Need Assemblypersons who take stands.
“I look at my right and I see Amy Paulin, who on the issues she cares about is deeply visible, deeply public and in the forefront,” Bradley explained. “ I look to my left, and I see Richard Brodsky, and I see a similar legislator, who on the issues he cares about, is a leader in the forefront, visible, and deeply principled and committed to those issues. I look further up and I see Sandy Galef, and I see another legislator, deeply committed, because she really cares about those issues. I don’t think we (White Plains) have a legislator (Matusow), in our district that’s like that.”
“I think we deserve that type of representation. I may not agree with any of the three people I mentioned on all the issues, but I deeply respect the fact they are out there visible, in public, on the issues that they’re deeply concerned about. ”
Matusow’s Opposition to the White Plains Sales Tax Motivates His Run.
Bradley wants to bring this kind of representation to White Plains: “We need that type of vigorous representation, particularly as we deal in White Plains, in a small way with our half-percent sales tax.. She has been very clear she will oppose it. She will continue to oppose it.
Tried to Reason With Her.
We have tried to work with her on that particular issue on a number of occasions, and she was definitely not responsive.
I think it’s unfortunate, because when I was on your show, (White Plains Week) I made it very clear that I understood any principles she might have, but she had to look at very unique circumstances here in White Plains. I think it’s unfortunate that she (Matusow) is unable to do that. And she knows the circumstances.”
White Plains Sales Tax Less than 3 Other Cities.
Matusow has consistently voted against the extension of the White Plains ½% sales tax. Elimination of the sales tax, according to Eileen Earl, City Budget Director, would result in a 30% increase in property taxes for homeowners in White Plains.
Failure of the legislature to extend the 1/2% sales tax in 2003 would create a minimum $9 million budget gap in the 2003-04 budget.
“People need to understand why White Plains is very unique from any other community,” Bradley said. “You also need to know, that our sales tax even with the ½ % is less than Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Yonkers, the three comparable cities to White Plains in Westchester County.”
“This does tie in to why other communities should be supportive of me, because I view, obviously, my representation in the legislature is very different than is viewed by the present person (Matusow), because my belief is that if I’m elected Assemblyperson I am responsible to my constituents.”
“And when a community in my district in a very bipartisan fashion makes clear they have a particular need, I believe as a legislator representing that community I have an obligation to at least attempt to the best I’m capable of.”
Troubled by Matusow’s Incalcitrance.
Asked about the number of meetings White Plains leaders have had with Matusow on the issue, Bradley reported, “There have been numerous discussions between councilmembers, between me, and the positions have been made very clear. There’s certainly been a whole lot of discussion.”
Calls for Indian Point Decommissioning. Opposes Pipeline.
Asked about other matters he intends to press in the campaign, Bradley said he believed the Indian Point nuclear power plant should be decommissioned “as soon as possible, there’s no doubt about.”
He said ” the evacuation plan in place is deeply, deeply flawed, because it underestimated by 80,000, the people in the 10-mile zone. It’s flawed because it expects bus drivers in the middle of a nuclear catastrophe to drive into the catastrophe to pick up people.”
“It’s flawed because it underestimates the amount of traffic outside the 10-mile zone that the bus drivers, even if they can get there are going to be stuck in traffic. It’s flawed because it doesn’t account for a town like New Castle which has different schools, some in the 10-mile zone, some of which aren’t in the 10-mile zone. What are the parents supposed to do, decide which child they are to be dealing with?”
Bradley said he opposes the millennium pipeline, and the watershed is an issue, and so is open space.
“Open space is an issue in White Plains…and the preservation of it and the stabilization of our communities is equally important in all our communities because people chose to go to Bedford and Lewisboro for a reason. Preserving is very important in preventing the over encroachment of development.”
Working the New District.
Bradley is building bridges to other communities in the 89th District. He reports: “I’m been in New Castle, Beford. I’ve talked with people in many of the towns. I’ve been going to different committees, which I’m continuing to do.”
Awaits Legislature “Go-Ahead” on Petitions.
Bradley said he would begin collecting signatures to get on the ballot by June 18, but the number of signatures he is required to collect has not been determined yet by the legislature due to the delay in formulating the congressional district boundaries.
“I’m very comfortable. I’m running on a slate with two other people running for state committee, also from New Castle, also deeply committed to reform and open government. I believe that’s very important.”
“Decisions should not be made by political officials based on political expediency, they should be based on honest evaluation as to what they think is best for their constituents. I think that is something that’s very important here.”
He said he also would work for our getting a fairer share of state education aid.
Fundraisers coming up.
The newly minted candidate said he was planning on holding fundraisers shortly: “There are many people who are deeply committed to having more effective representation in this district. The fact is the present person has represented a small sliver of White Plains for many years, but was really not seen in our community because she simply did not attend to it.
Beyond that, Bradley said, “she now represents 75% of the area of this city, 75% of the homeowners, and encompasses almost 2/3 of the election districts in this city, and 50% of the population.”
Not happy with Redestricting.
Bradley said, “I was not happy (with the redistricting). I’ll be candid. I thought we had always been represented in the past in our city with a large portion of majorities.” He said he felt the district had been well served and should have continued, mainly in Assemblywoman Paulin’s district. “I certainly attempted as much as I could to try to see that that would happen. But it is what it is. And, as far as I’m concerned, I’m deeply committed to making sure White Plains has more effective representation in Albany.
What ails the Matusow Approach.
“The sales tax issue is a microcosm of the lack of representation we are getting right now. I also believe, firmly, in speaking to other people, that is the singular most important issue that comes out of Albany for the City of White Plains. 30% real property tax increases with drastic cuts in city services is not what you want your legislator forcing on the city.”
Gathers outlying town support.
Asked about support from leaders outside White Plains within the 89th district, Bradley said he’d been endorsed by George Latimer, (of Rye), by the Co-Chairs of the Town of New Castle, and the support of every elected official in White Plains, and elected officials in Harrison.
He has supporters, he says, from various towns in the District in place to begin collecting signatures for his petitions, beginning June 18. The petitions according to the Board of Elections is now due July 8 to 11, but may be moved up because of the legislative delay of the petition-signing kick-off.
He has been endorsed by the Independence Party, an endorsement sought by Ms. Matusow. Bradley characterized the Independence Party as primarily interested in “reform.”
The 89th Assembly District as newly configured, encompasses the towns of Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, Pound Ridge and 75% of White Plains.
White Plains 25% of the New 89th District.
Bradley, a meticulous student of election law, and a numbers expert when it comes to organizing campaigns, likes his numbers:
“White Plains is the largest community in the (89th) District. The piece of White Plains…represents approximately 25% of the district. It represents approximately 30% of the Democrats in the district. And, it represents probably a larger number than that of prime voting Democrats. I know it has more voters, and a community that is deeply affected by this race.”
White Plains Issue is Everybody’s Issue.
” The issue that resonates in White Plains is an issue that affects everybody else in this district. The community that I am representing has a bipartisan concern, I have an obligation to do what I can to aid that community. It’s one thing if it’s a political hot potato, it’s another thing when Republicans and Democratics share the same identical concern about the needs for their community.”
” In White Plains, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Republicans and Democrats alike recognize how important that ½% sales tax extension is every two years and what it means to our budget, our property taxes, and city services.
” It would be regressive not to allow for that. The 50,000 residents should not pay for the 250,000 people who come into our community Monday through Saturday. It would require increased taxes for those services. That would be regressive.”
Interested in Appearing with Ms. Matusow to Discuss the Issues.
Bradley used the interview opportunity to say he would “welcome every opportunity to appear with Assemblywoman Matusow and present our perspective and discuss the important and weighty issues we face in this state and this assembly district. I would welcome that type of discussion or debate on a regular or frequent basis so people can see for themselves what representation they want in this district.”
A Favorite Son.
Adam Bradley is a dashing and flamboyant figure on the White Plains political scene. His family moved to White Plains in the 1950s. His mother was the founder and first President of the Westchester Woman’s Bar Association and was a Family Court Judge. His father was active in White Plains, and a former Democratic Chair himself, and a Democratic State Committeeman representing the White Plains Assembly District.
Bradley himself has lived in White Plains all his life except for six years in Harrison. Bradley was counsel to Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, drafting legislation, speaking on his behalf and handling constituent relations. After leaving Brodsky, he asked Bradley to serve as his counsel for his county executive campaign, and an advisor.
Relentless, Fearless Political Competitor.
Bradley has been the guiding light in the White Plains Democratic circles for the last decade. He engineered a Democratic Party majority on the Common Council for the last eight years. From December through March of this year, Bradley won a highly visible legal battle over the call for a special election to decide Councilman Glen Hockley’s seat. Bradley, won a reversal from the Court of Appeals in March over lower court rulings for a special election between Glen Hockley and former Councilman Larry Delgado.
That dispute has not been forgotten. The issue of the jammed voting machine in District 18 is awaiting an Attorney General decision to open a quo warranto proceeding at this time. The Attorney General has had the case for consideration since March 22. Delgado attorneys promise a thorough presentation of their side of that story to the attorney general shortly.