Edolphus Towns stepped into the Kings County Supreme Court yesterday in what is either a brilliant stall tactic or a sincere attempt to stem election fraud.
His opponent Kevin Powell considers it to be the former, fueled by the fact that Towns has dismissed repeated requests for a public debate, and was a no show to a scheduled debate to take place in the 1oth Congressional District in Brooklyn. The District encompasses Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York and Ocean Hill, as well as parts of Fort Greene, Prospect Heights and Williamsburg.
Towns has dismissed his opponent as a candidate that’s still green. Powell won only 32 percent of the vote against Towns in his 2008 run.
“Unfortunately for him, Mr. Powell is not as good at filing petitions as he is at mistreating women and losing elections,” says Hank Sheinkopf, spokesperson for Rep. Towns. ”There were so many serious problems with his petitions that our campaign believed we needed to protect the voters from being victims of this possible fraud. If indeed Mr. Powell followed the law, than he has nothing to worry about and will be free to lose again.”
Powell, an author and activist, is an outspoken critic on gender and domestic violence, well known around the country for his efforts. This is a point, he says, that Towns knows very well.
“Fact is that Mr. Towns, Mr. Sheinkopf, nor anyone else would even know the details of my past life if I had not put it all out there myself, over the course of my 24 years as a professional writer, both in magazines like Essence and Ms., and in much of my 10 books,” says Powell. “So it is actually comical when Mr. Towns’ camp makes statements about my past like they are revealing something new that in fact isn’t new at all. I have been saying all these things myself since 1992. And because I am both an ever-changing human being and a Christian, I believe deeply in redemption, as my own life is a testimony to that.”
The Powell campaign collected more than 8,000 signatures, far more than the 1,250 necessary to get on the ballot.
Amidst a storm of ethics violations with two long term Congressional veterans, Rep. Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel, Towns is challenging those signatures. But Powell believes the lawsuit is masking a fear that this time the 14-year veteran just might lose.
“Congressman Ed Towns is clearly hiding behind this lawsuit because it is abundantly clear he does not want to campaign this summer,” said Powell. “Of our 8,200 or so petition signatures gathered, Mr. Bernard Alter [Towns' attorney] submitted over 2,800 as valid, giving us 2.5 times what is required (1,250) to be on the ballot.”
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