Williamsburg, NY - Former Mayor Ed Koch: Don't Vote For Powell He Is A Woman Beater
Williamsburg, NY - Former Mayor Ed Koch, who is endorsing Rep. Ed Towns today, told me he decided to stick with the veteran Brooklyn congressman in part because the two have known one another for more than three decades and also because he believes Towns is a “fine person, a man of character.”
When I brought up the fact that he has called for a reform movement in the New York Democratic Party and Towns’ primary opponent, Kevin Powell, has cast himself as the “change” candidate who will bring new life to representation of the 10th CD, Koch replied:
“Am I wrong to say the papers have said he beats up women?...You don’t change people for people who have no record, for people who, whether they say they’ve changed or not, have a history of beating up women.”
“You don’t change someone who has fine character, has done a good job and you’ve known, as I said, for at least 35 years, for someone who has no record of achievement and has demonstrated a bad habit.”
Powell has been trying to downplay his violent past - not rejecting it outright so much as insisting he has put that part of his life behind him - by highlighting his support of women, including feminist Gloria Steinhem, and creating a Women for Powell committee.
Powell also addressed this issue in an open letter to Towns posted on Facebook (via Liza) that’s actually less a letter and more of a chain-of-consciousness screed - kind of surprising for a guy who touts his experience as a professional writer.
“I have nothing to hide. Nothing. My life is an open book, a testimony of the possibilities of personal growth and redemption and change if one is willing to do the hard work,” Powell wrote.
“So once again, for the record—yes, between the years of 1987 and 1991, I did have a pattern of violence against women. And, it took me even longer to control my temper and aggression toward other males.”
“But thanks to years of therapy, spiritual development, and personal evolution, and the support and encouragement of women like bell hooks, Susan Taylor, Pearl Cleage, Dr. Johnetta Cole, and Gloria Steinem, I have moved beyond that destructive behavior to become a pro-feminist, anti-sexist man committed to gender equality and nonviolent conflict resolution.”
But that hasn’t satisfied Towns supporters and outside commentators like the DN’s Errol Louis, who isn’t buying Powell’s claims of conversion.
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