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Council Candidate Releases Explosive Medium Post Days Before Election Day

Jonathan Bailey, candidate for the 26th Council District (Photo: twitter)

June 18, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A candidate running to represent the 26th Council District released an explosive Medium post Wednesday just days ahead of Election Day.

Jonathan Bailey, a former co-chair of the Queens Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and a candidate for District 26, argues that political opportunists are co-opting the progressive-left platform, without truly embodying the values of the movement.

He provided several examples of such, and pointed to a mayoral candidate and opponents in the D-26 race for not being true to the cause. He took aim at candidates who received the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s political action committee (PAC)—yet presented it as though they had received AOC’s individual endorsement.

“Identifying the differences between leftists and liberal opportunists is a muscle that people will continue to develop — and one that was put to the test with Dianne Morales’ candidacy this year,” Bailey wrote. “The next decade is going to be full of politicians commodifying the politics of the left and trying to reinvent themselves as leaders of the latest wave of activists turned politicians.”

Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales’ campaign imploded last month when several staffers were allegedly fired for attempting to unionize.

Bailey fired a shot in his Medium post at his opponent Amit Bagga—a former deputy director of the city’s 2020 census campaign—whom he suggests is not a bona fide leftist. He questions Bagga’s position on the NYPD as well as his treatment of workers.

Amit Bagga and Maya Wiley cross endorse at Queensbridge Houses on Sunday, June 13

Bailey points to an open letter addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio that Bagga failed to sign last year.

The letter—signed by more than 700 former and current de Blasio staffers—was critical of the mayor’s handling of the demonstrations against police violence and the defund NYPD movement.

He also referred to an email alleging that Bagga, who has several high-profile progressive endorsements, mistreated his former colleagues during his time at City Hall.

Bailey in his Medium post linked to an anonymous and unverifiable email that was allegedly written by former Bagga staffers. It says that Bagga had created a toxic work environment and that he failed to stand up to the mayor on the issue of police brutality.

The e-mail is dated Feb. 25 and was sent from an anonymous Gmail account, [email protected]

Bailey said that the email “is an open secret in political circles” and has been circulating for months.

“People spoke about this like it’s just an open secret,” Bailey told the Queens Post.

He said that he decided to make it public, since no one else would.

Bailey thanked Thomas Muccioli, a paid consultant for D-26 candidate Julie Won, “for getting the NYC workers letter out there” in a tweet.

Muccioli, who has worked on Won’s campaign for months, didn’t respond for comment. It is unclear how widely Muccioli disseminated it and whether he could verify its content.

But Bagga’s campaign views the e-mail and Medium post as nothing more than a coordinated attack by his opponents.

Several former staffers of Bagga’s have since reached out to the Queens Post to say that they admired him as a boss and that he supported them professionally and personally. They said they never personally witnessed or experienced his alleged behavior outlined in the email.

They said he chose not to sign his name on the de Blasio letter out of fear that the census effort would suffer. They noted that he didn’t want to create issues with City Hall, since the census effort was difficult enough due to the pandemic and President Donald Trump’s interference with the count.

A spokesperson for Bagga’s council campaign said he was proud of the work he did with his census team despite the challenges they faced.

“Amit is extremely proud of the incredibly difficult work done by the NYC Census 2020 team in the middle of COVID-19 and daily attacks from Donald Trump,” the spokesperson said. “Thanks to the team’s efforts on this existential exercise, we saved our state from losing a seat in Congress when we were supposed to lose two.”

Bagga’s campaign also said that the accusations in the email were not true.

“The false information presented in this anonymous letter [e-mail] is nothing more than a political attack by other candidates in this race, and we will not let this undermine NYC’s historic census campaign, or our goal to bring opportunity, dignity, and power to every single New Yorker.”

Bailey, however, didn’t just take aim at Bagga. He also said that candidates were using Ocasio Cortez’s “Courage to Change” PAC as a means to suggest they are true progressives.

AOC’s Courage to Change PAC, for instance, backed seven of the 15 candidates in the District 26 race, including both Bailey and Bagga.

However, Ocasio Cortez herself did not endorse anyone running in District 26—backing just three council candidates in Queens.

Bailey said that the PAC endorsements didn’t truly analyze candidates, but rather acknowledged those candidates who just “checked the boxes of the PAC’s progressive litmus test.”

He said that candidates are leveraging their signing of the CTC pledge as an AOC endorsement.

“It’s a very confusing time for the residents of our district,” he said.

Bailey, who works in Amazon logistics and co-founded Amazonians United NYC — finished his controversial Medium post with some words for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as well as for district voters.

“In conclusion, Jeff Bezos should leave Earth, you should consider ranking me first on June 22nd, and everyone should prepare for all the work that our movement is committed to continue, regardless of what happens next Tuesday.”

 

email the author: [email protected]

24 Comments

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Dori

Omg, More Scandals! Whomever Wins, I Certainly Hope they do a Better Job than JVB; who was very Selective about who He would Help in the Community. He Helped Some, but Not others!?
Not All Constituents were Treated Equally??
So, my Advice for the Next City Council Person, you must do a Better Job in Serving your Constituents!!

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Hold on a sec!

It’s one thing to pick on an easy target like Josh ‘BB-IQ’ Bowen. But trying to beef with our about to be elected council member is crossing a line. Brent has done few things right in this campaign, but his concession is a lot more gracious than yours.

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JaimeB

An unqualified Communist nitwit publicly attacking a more qualified socialist, who would probably be slightly less destructive? That’s a plus for Bagga in my book, even though I didn’t rank either of them. Indeed, eating glass sounds lie a more pleasant proposition than a councilmember to the left of do-nothing van Bramer.

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Anonymous

I could not vote for any of these idiots. Never heard of any of them until they started campaigning.

Why is Bailey taking his cues on who’s not a real progressive from Won’s campaign though? Between her relationship with real estate (bravo for refunding their donations – but if you’re so anti-development, why did they donate in the first place?) and her push for public-private partnerships, she ‘s one of the candidates most likely to sell us out. How can somebody who has more than 20 individual $1000 donations claim to be a grassroots campaign? This is publicly available information on the finance board website.

They’re all full of BS. Why isn’t the Queens Post reporting that?

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Francisco

Amit will get the progressive and south asian vote and he will win. The rest of the votes will be scattered among the remaining 25.

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Tom

Who cares if Bagga had a toxic work environment. If you can’t stand the heat get out the kitchen! I care about a good candidate! Good Amit.

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Lucky number 7 train

Lol! Socialist attacking each other for not being enough socialist? Oh comrade bussiness as usual.

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Nectarine

Just an info point: None of these candidates have been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America.

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Lucky number 7 train

Read the second paragraph of the article. I know I know next you’ll tell me that democratic socialist are like regular socialist there very different. Yes dear whatever you say.

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Nectarine

I say this as a leftist: Leftist infighting is the bane of our existence. Stop splitting hairs and start pulling in the same direction.

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Gardens Watcher

We know you have been trying to cozy up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Bailey, but you didn’t win her endorsement either. Nor Sen. Ramos’ or JVB’s.

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Gardens Watcher

Bailey shows his nasty temperament once again. Unfit for public office.

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soohee

I agree. That is why i am voting for Julie Won for city council and Andrew Yang for mayor of nyc. They are more genuine and are better at understanding the needs of the people

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Kim

Would be wonderful if the city included zero and negative numbers in the new voting ranking system.

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Zena

This will only help Amit get elected. His name recognition due to his publicized endorsements in addition to this critique will only elevate his name. Amit is a POC and a queer and very vocal about it. Others may perceive that as being an attack and see Bailey as trying to get media attention now that voting has begun. A bit too late for some to change their voting ranking but perfect timing to have some rank him even higher.

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Not fit to run a hot dog cart

Communists versus Mensheviks…

Marxists, Leninists, Trotskyists, Socialists…blah blah

History has seen this all before.

Do not trust any of them regardless what shade of Communism they claim to be.

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