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Pro-Amazon Restaurant Owner Comes Under Fire for Ripping ‘Marxist’ Candidate’s Campaign Poster

Josh Bowen, the owner of a Long Island City restaurant, tore up a poster of Council Candidate Jonathan Bailey and posted it on Facebook (Screenshot)

May 17, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A prominent Long Island City restaurant owner has come under fire for tearing up a city council candidate’s campaign poster and uploading a picture of its remnants to social media — accompanied by a strong anti-socialist message.

Josh Bowen, the owner of Mothership Meat Company who was an outspoken advocate for Amazon HQ2 coming to Long Island City, tore up a campaign poster of progressive candidate Jonathan Bailey and posted a photo of the pieces on his personal Facebook page Sunday.

Bailey, who is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is running to represent the 26th Council District, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Dutch Kills and parts of Astoria.

The Facebook post included a few choice words from Bowen:

“It’s hilarious when a bonafide Marxist thinks that businesses are going to hang your campaign sign,” Bowen wrote in the post. “Save your rubles comrade, no business owner is going to proclaim, ‘I’ve always wanted to be a Kulak. Sign me up.’”

Bowen, who said the poster had been dropped off at his 27-20 40th Ave. restaurant, ripped up Bailey’s image — tearing his head off his body. The restaurateur, however, said the way it was torn was coincidental.

Bowen’s harsh message also made reference to a protest Bailey had participated in outside Council Member Daniel Dromm’s apartment building last year prior to the passing of the city budget. The protesters called for the NYPD budget to be slashed in the wake of the George Floyd murder.

“And just adding that this is the asshole who was menacing Daniel Dromm, who is an actual hero, at his house and banging on his door like he’s some bad ass with a mob behind him,” Bowen wrote.

Josh Bowen at Mothership (Facebook)

Bailey, who disputes the allegations concerning Dromm, said he was alerted to Bowen’s Facebook post by a number of concerned residents. He also believes that Bowen deliberately tore the image of his head off.

“It’s very clearly intentionally torn,” he told the Queens Post. “It’s very purposefully torn at my head.”

However, Bowen claims that Bailey’s response to his Facebook post is all “crocodile tears.”

“He tries to portray innocence but he threatened a man at his home and wants to shed crocodile tears over a picture that with 8-1 matching funds, I paid for,” Bowen said, referring to the city’s public matching funds program for candidates running for public office.

Bailey’s campaign put out a statement condemning Bowen’s post.

“Bowen not only mischaracterized Jonathan Bailey’s commitment to small businesses, he also mischaracterized Bailey’s interaction with Daniel Dromm,” his campaign stated.

The campaign said that Bailey is an ardent supporter of small businesses and his platform includes a commercial rent stabilization plan to help them. He would also aim to stop commercial landlords from warehousing space.

Bailey said his interaction with Dromm, who chairs the city council’s finance committee that oversees the city budget, has been mischaracterized.

He said that he was one of about a hundred protesters outside Dromm’s apartment building (Dromm’s office was essentially closed due to COVID-19) demanding that the NYPD budget be cut. Bailey said that he entered the building with one other protester and knocked on Dromm’s apartment door twice after he didn’t hear an answer the first time.

Dromm, however, characterized the knocks as “banging” on his apartment door, though the council member told the Queens Post at the time that he didn’t feel threatened.

In response to Bowen’s Facebook post, Bailey — who fought against Amazon coming to Long Island City — criticized Bowen for being a supporter of the Amazon HQ2 deal in the neighborhood. Bailey was critical of Amazon’s plan, saying that it would have led to rent hikes and gentrification in Long Island City.

Bailey is well versed in all issues pertaining to Amazon. He works in logistics for the company and co-founded Amazonians United NYC — a collective of Amazon workers fighting for worker rights and better pay. He also was instrumental in organizing the protests against the e-commerce giant opening HQ2 in Long Island City.

However, Bowen maintains that his Facebook post regarding Bailey was only a statement about his political beliefs as someone who lives in the district, which Bailey hopes to represent. He said his post had nothing to do with the Amazon debate.

Bowen said he doesn’t regret making his post.

“Since I’m required to respond, I have no regrets on the post on my PERSONAL Facebook page,” he said in a statement to the Queens Post. “What I said was factual and nothing on it alluded to anything other than politics. Jonathan Bailey is a Marxist. If he is not, he can publicly state that and I will apologize.”

Bailey, however, characterizes himself as a socialist.

He said many people just regurgitate the popular misconceptions about socialism without fully understanding it.

“The Fox News attitude that socialism is the root of everyone’s problems is a myth that has been perpetuated for so long that a lot of folks will hate folks fighting for working class interests regardless of their understanding of any of the things that people are fighting for,” he said.

Bowen also said that he had stopped publicly speaking about Amazon and attending meetings at least two years ago and that Bailey was looking to “renew a fight” on the issue.

He claims that he only learned Bailey had been instrumental in the fight against Amazon HQ2 three days ago.

Jonathan Bailey (Photo: Queens Post)

“This guy has no resume but whining about Amazon so it was a natural fit when he stalked my personal Facebook page and found something he thought would renew a fight no one cares about any more,” Bowen said.

Bailey, however, said that Bowen elected himself to be a “mascot” for the e-commerce company and its desires for a LIC headquarters.

Bowen was a staunch supporter of Amazon coming to Long Island City and even flew out to Seattle to urge Amazon executives to rethink their views once they shelved the idea of coming to the area. He also got into a heated text exchange with Matt Wallace, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s chief of staff, over the Amazon deal.

Van Bramer, who opposed Amazon, posted a screenshot of the exchange on Twitter. Bowen viewed the council member’s decision to post the texts for the world to see as a low blow — and filed a lawsuit against him.

Bailey’s campaign also said that the way in which Bowen tore the image of the candidate implied violence at a time when Black activists are under threat.

“Bowen’s framing, along with the implied violence of ripping Bailey’s head off his poster, is particularly jarring as we witness increasingly violent rhetoric and actions against Black liberation activists,” the campaign stated.

Bowen, however, said that there was zero racial overtones in his Facebook post.

“The race stuff is total garbage and anyone who knows my life, my family or my business knows that,” he said. “In the meantime, NYC is spinning out of control with homelessness, crime and hunger and trying to go after a business owner, expressing his first amendment rights, on his personal FB page, is at the top of this guy’s list.”

“Guys like this are going to get Curtis Sliwa elected,” Bowen added, mentioning the Republican mayoral candidate.

However, Bailey said Bowen’s fear is irrational.

“We’re just trying to fight for working people — that’s all,” he added. “We’re not out here trying to hurt anybody.”

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51 Comments

Click for Comments 
I rip posters

Imagine a politician that is so thin skinned with no emotional intelligence that instead of moving on to the next voter, has to come down from the soapbox to wrestle in the mud with some dude that called him names. People were aghast about Trump and his boorish antics, well this guy has already proven that hell lose focus and start punching down, digging up bullcrap and throwing weak accusations around. Lile really? Was this a magical voodoo poster of him? Is this some magical Dorian Gray portrait? Will this tyrant start accusing anyone that steps on a portrait of his likeness to a hate crime? Little tyrant in the making, he doesnt have what it takes to be a public figure. Take this crybaby outta here

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Sunnysider

It is so amazing to me that people actually fear that the United States of America is going to become Marxist or Socialist or Communist. That’s Fox News fear-mongering for you! Democratic Socialists are Capitalists — they just want stronger regulation so that Capitalism works for a larger majority of Americans. The massive gap in wealth in this country is not a fantasy, and our economic structure is trending away from Capitalism and more towards Oligarchy at the moment. Capitalism requires a large and robust consumer class — Democratic Socialism (i.e., regulated Capitalism) will safeguard that requirement. But the conservative movement has hated facing that reality since FDR’s New Deal, and they will do or say anything to make other people believe that there is some cartoon-y evil Communist plot afoot to take over America.

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didn't his restaurant fail?

The cardboard poster so tasted better than the brisket at jb smokehouse 😂

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New mothership customer

I’ll be eating here – and for those who bash a man who disagrees with another party’s standing shame on you – that’s what America is about – Bowen is entitled to do what he wants on his property – he’s a taxpayer and business owner – he has the truth to express his dismay at the real loss of Amazon HQ – soft socialist politicians who have hurt feelings for a torn poster should stay home – I always notice the “left” let emotions and hurt feelings rule their positions – never about the facts

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Taxpaying citizen

Bowen is a hero no doubt about it -and kudos to Bowen pointing out “8 to 1” – Jonathan Bailey is a sad pathetic clown with a gimmick for a haircut – never heard of something so stupid “tore the head off in the picture” he should take his “hurt feelings” elsewhere – do we want a sad politician who’s worried about and can’t handle the way a piece of paper picture was torn? I’d bet Bailey would have no problem burning a flag in a heartbeat – he should also go to school and learn about socialism not romanticize it – he should also speak to Cubans & Venezuelans and ask them how they feel about that politic view which he is entitled to hold – better yet let’s see Bailey move to a socialist country if he doesn’t like America(which he’ll never do) – we lost Amazon because of fools like this – read between the lines – the socialist endgame is ZERO police ZERO jails and ZERO borders and play the “victim” to the hilt

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Chris

I’m sure when his restaurant closes because people don’t want to support him he’ll blame everyone but himself, just like when he had to close his other restaurant. I’ll never eat at his place again

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Joseph GRAVINA

Thank you for that Post. I knew nothing of Bailey before, but now seeing his crybaby race baiting attitude, I applaud Bowen for his candor. Showing up at a political rival’s home or any one who you think you can bully is criminal. Feeling as though we are in s time when “black activists feel threatened”is laughable and typical of the Deflection tactics of the left. Amazon not coming to LIC should haunt his political career forever and rightfully so.

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Michael O

@Joe
I think you’re too young to remember but back in the day we went to and protested the homes of welfare hotel owners and slum lords and it’s an effective tool. These parasites hide behind LLC’s and stacked partnerships. We tracked them down through weeks of research. When we arrived, took away their anonymity and let there neighbors know who they were living with, things were rectified. We would have a all men’s welfare hotel in Maspeth if it weren’t for the right to protest at a residence. They steal or sell your right to home security then you should be able to take their right to the same.

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Alex

Dear Bowen @ Mothership,

#okboomer (lol)

Please stop conflating Marxism and Communism with Socialism. Jeez, pick up a book or at least hit Wikipedia before you post. Lol.

Proud Kween from Queens

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Semantics

Nice try. They’re all different shades of the same color.

Crimson, scarlet, burgundy, vermillion, maroon…They are all RED.

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Adopt21

I wanted Amazon to join LIC, however, I find Josh Bowen’s, the owner of Mothership Meat Company , comments and actions off putting. He and his establishing are not getting my business anymore.

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Vinny

I have to admit, this is one case where I’m totally ok with separating my love of the art with my disagreement with the artist’s politics.

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Gardens Watcher

Sounds like this candidate is playing the victim card to gain publicity.

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Who ripped the poster?

Sounds much much much much more like a struggling restaurateur’s attention-seeking behavior as his business goes up in smoke. Seriously, I’d increase his insurance premium 10x right now because he’s all but about to light it up to collect.

Seriously, though, what is it with Josh Bowen’s antics? Courting rightwing nutjobs in LIC as a business strategy? That’s way nuttier around here than running for office as an armchair socialist. Bailey isn’t remotely qualified and won’t win either way, so why lose even more customers by playacting like a Trump-spawn, Josh? Seek help.

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Joe

The last thing Queens needs is a socialist or even worse, a Marxist trying to disguise his/her lefty ways with a “softer” label…
These kids should read and learn history before claiming their political “views”. The Berlin wall fell in 1989, do they have a clue what that meant?

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Wolves in sheeps' clothing

It’s about time these marxists were called out for what they truly are. They like to hide behind labels such as “progressive” and “socialist” because their policies and tactics have been abject failures throughout history.

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Anonymous

Josh Bowen IS a burnt end – what a clown. And a right wing clown to boot!

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Michelle Lanceman

Slow news day? Easy there Nancy Pelosi. Might be time to consider an alternate career if ripping up a politcal opponent’s material is so egregious. Politics is a contact sport..not a safe space.

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Alex R.

#okboomer
Lazy and simplistic of Bowen to conflate socialism with marxism/communism.

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This is news?

Or a dog whistle to the left to attack someone who’s politics are contrary to the majority.

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Left-of-Karl-Marx

I think this fits the definition of a hate crime. only makes sense for the social workers to arrest Bowen, try and sentence him for 10 years without the possibility of parole. That’ll teach him not to rip posters in inappropriate places.

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Meat sandwich

Good for you Mr.Bowen standing up to these politicians and wanna be politicians. I love how they always say that so many people are miss informed about socialism but they are the ones who see the light and have the secret sauce. Mothership you have a new customer.

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Anonymous

very nice! a business owner standing up to a socialist bully! go shop at his restaurant!

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Moshe Dayan

I think I’ll go to pee at “Mothership” to protest its owner’s ape like behavior. Oh, and Bowen really need to read Marx because he knows a sh*t about Marxism or socialism.

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Linda

To the vulgar Moshe – have you ever lived under Marxism or did you just read a book? My family lived under it. That’s why we are here and loyal to THIS COUNTRY.

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Albert Camus II

I was FORCED to read Marx in college. What a waste of time. Marx was not very intelligent, and made up what he couldn’t articulate. But, he could spell wonderfully!

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Love is love

Wow that Jonathan is thin skinned! I must shop at this restaurant. I love it when socialists who don’t work for a living try to boss around those of us who do.

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Mac

It’s funny to see a Trumper say “ Save your rubles comrade”. Nobody supported Russia and Putin more than Trump. From the attempt at troop withdrawal to Putin’s liking to the outright refusal to punish Russia and Putin for their transgressions around the world to publicly defending Putin and Russia at the expense of allies.

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Smac

If you can assume he is a “Trumper” based on what his beliefs are, then I can assume that you you must be a purple haired, self hating homosexual or transexual who thinks IT can save people of color because you are so smart and think you know what’s best for them? That sounds about right.

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Patrick

I will be eating at this restaurant. I applaud the courage of this owner against these phony fascist progressives especially the Amazon clerk who’s head was ripped off!

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St. Rd. Ave.

@Patrick Yes, it’s very courageous to be a meathead willing to give fodder/content to Fox News.

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Anonymous

if the poster is on his property he has a right to tear it up – it is his property – people should stop being so think skinned and grow up

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Mac

It’s funny to see a Trumper tell anyone to “ Save your rubles comrade,” Nobody supported Russia and Putin more than Trump who tried to withdraw troops to Putin’s liking to ignoring and outright refusal to punish Russian transgressions around the world to actual public defense of Russia.

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Trevor Kaine

That’s been debunked even by CNN and Fox. The Steele dossier was created by the Clintons and DNC.

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Four Russian spies on one campaign

Trumps Russian ties have never been debunked just ask Manafort and Paige. 8 people went to jail over them and I’m sure there is more unregistered foreign agents to come.

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Four Russian spies on one campaign is Trumps legacy

Trevor-That has not been debunked just ask Manofort, Paige and Stone. Eight “unregistered” foreign agents and liars went to jail over it. More will come.

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Biden is senile

Biden close to Russia
You don’t have facts
They hacked our oil supply and Biden did nothing
Biden the puppet

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FACT: Ronald Reagan would fall asleep during White House Meetings

Something will be done about the hack unlike Trump who has publicly denied Russian hacking allegations.

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Reagan fell asleep in White House Meetings

I have facts. Trump publicly denied Russian Hacking on several occasions. The hack under Biden just occurred and will be addressed.

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