Today’s news:

Grimm shouted down by libral-leaning Bensonhurst residents

Bensonhurst residents accuse him of being a Tea Party Republican

Brooklyn Daily

Rep. Michael Grimm’s new Bensonhurst constituents aren’t welcoming him with open arms.

More than 20 members of the Bensonhurst West End Community Council — a group that represents neighborhoods which fall into Grimm’s new, expanded district — slammed the Republican Bay Ridge legislator for his political views on Monday when he showed up to introduce himself.

Council members demanded to know how Grimm would fight for the interests of Bensonhurst, which they called a liberal-leaning neighborhood.

“How can you represent us, when the overwhelming majority of us here are Democrats and you are a Tea Party Republican?” asked one woman, who wished not to be identified.

Grimm was about to answer, but the woman pelted him with more questions, until he interrupted her.

“You asked me a question, let me answer it,” Grimm snapped. “I’ve earned that respect.”

Grimm admitted that his core beliefs were the same as the Tea Party, but said he was first and foremost a champion of New York City’s needs.

“I am fair and I am pragmatic, and I will fight for what’s good for the community,” Grimm said.

Grimm’s cross-harbor district was limited to Staten Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, and a small amount of Bensonhurst until March, when senate Republicans expanded his domain to include most of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and portions of Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay.

Yet Bensonhurst may not be as liberal as some at the meeting may think: in 2008 Sen. John McCain won Bensonhurst over President Barack Obama, according to the city’s Board of Elections.

The Marine and former FBI agent said he showed up at the Bensonhurst West End Community Council to show that he was not a Staten Island legislator.

“You will have a Brooklyn congressman, not just a Staten Island congressman,” Grimm said. “Just because I live in Staten Island doesn’t mean I won’t represent your needs,”

But some meeting attendees remained suspicious.

“Most of the people here are Democrats,” said resident Harriet Goldstein. “Because of the Tea Party and because he’s from Staten Island, which is more conservative, he can’t relate to us.”

But there were a few willing to give him a chance to prove himself.

“He speaks well, and I’ve heard good things about him from people who live in Staten Island,” said Maria Messina-Walsh. “I don’t care what he is or where he’s from, as long as he keeps his promises.”

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Reader Feedback

Ronald Kraemer from Dyker Heights says:
A Tea Party Republican gets my vote! Don't let a few liberal/progressive voices deter you, Congressman.
May 2, 2012, 1:53 am
George from Mill Basin says:
Typical agenda-driven, biased crapola from Courier-Life, again, trying to pretend you've covered a story from all angles by adding the only differing point of view in the final 15th and 16th paragraphs. You're why newspapers are dying.
May 2, 2012, 7:58 am
Audrey from Dyker Heights says:
As the wife of a retired lifetime member of Local 3, I can tell these folks that Grimm has one of the most moderated voting records in the House and votes consistently in the interest of trade unions. He has voted to preserve funding for vital programs like the poor and CSBG, which even Obama wanted to cut. It sounds like these screaming old ladies did not do their homework on this fine young man.
May 2, 2012, 2:23 pm
Joey Suits says:
Grimm has YET to show his face at Community Boards 10 and 11. Why you hiding, Mikey?
May 2, 2012, 4:50 pm
CARMINE from BENSONHURST says:
ALLOW ME TO CORRECT SOME STATEMENTS WITH ACCURACY. THE LIBERALS AT THE MEETING WERE NOT BWECC COUNCILMEMBERS BUT RESIDENTS OF THE CO-OP, WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE LIBERAL VIEWS AND QUESTIONS, HOWEVER THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE RUDE TO AN INVITED GUEST, ESPECIALLY ONE WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY HONORABLY. AND ODDLY ENOUGH THIS IS THE FIRST BWECC MEETING I'VE SEEN THEM AT...ON BEHALF OF THE COUNCIL I APOLOGIZE FOR THE RUDE TREATMENT RENDERED BY THE FAR LEFT INDIVIDUALS.
May 2, 2012, 9:33 pm
Jen from Gravesend says:
Grimm has been my congressman since the last election and I haven't been at all happy about it. Moderate? Give me a break. This guy is classic far-right crazy. And he doesn't pay a bit of attention to his constituents. I wrote to him to please support women's access to reproductive health care, including the right to choice -- a few months later, I got a letter from him saying that he "shares" my "pro-life" views to limit exactly that access. Wake up, people! He doesn't care at all what the people in his district have to say; he just follows the strict right-wing line. These attendees were exactly right; he does not represent us, and moreover he has no interest in representing us.
May 4, 2012, 2:32 pm

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