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Bringing Accountability to the 42nd Assembly District

Bringing Accountability to the 42nd Assembly District highlights 42nd Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs and her poor leadership, dishonesty and a disconnect from the needs of residents of the 42nd district.

Rhoda Jacobs has demonstrated a commitment to securing the office of Assemblywoman for a 35th year - if necessary, using unethical, and prohibited tactics. At minimum, her campaign strategy lacks the level of integrity and competence required to represent this district.

We have become aware that Jacobs is currently drawing a New York State salary AND a New York State pension for the same job, effectively "double dipping" on taxpayers' backs. It should be noted that the national unemployment rate is 8.3% while the unemployment rate in the 42nd Assembly district is 13.6%. Exploiting government loopholes has allowed Rhoda Jacobs to collect salaries amounting to the income of 4 working class families' salaries in the Flatbush area.  This puts Rhoda Jacobs more in line with the "1%" than the working class residents who make up the majority of her district.

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-09-06/news/17934096_1_diems-rent-campaign

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/vito_double_dip_an_editorial_NKnL2t5jsaSn6lqArtVoSK

In exchange for her “double dipping”, Rhoda is less effective than the average elected Assembly member.  In OVER ten (10) years, Jacobs has failed to INITIATE any new legislation.  Her track record shows that in the past decade, she has only piggy backed on other Assembly member’s new legislation, by co-sponsoring the bill.

Jacobs also added individuals, without consent, to her slate of delegates and county committee candidates for the Primary Ballot and was censored by the State Supreme Court. Ultimately, seven (7) of Jacobs’ County Committee candidates and one (1) Judicial Delegate was knocked off her ballot. All have testified that they did not give consent.  Some said they signed some sort of form and did not know that it would cause their names to be added to Assemblywoman Jacobs’ ballot to run for County Committee or Judicial Delegate. While others who did not sign, testified that they did not give consent. One person thought he was merely signing an endorsement for Jacobs. Another person said he had given consent to be on a different candidate’s slate. It was found that a Republican and someone who was no longer living in the District or even the State for that matter, was also on her petitions to appear on the ballot.

Judge Weston ordered that the seven (7) candidates for Democratic County Committee be “stricken from the ballot". One candidate for Delegate to the Judicial Convention from the 42nd AD was also stricken. Some of the candidates were elderly and/or disabled and Caribbean immigrants. One was even mentally challenged.

http://www.ourtimepress.com/upload/August162012sm.pdf

Are we to believe that a 34-year Elected Official did not know how to properly secure petitions? Residents also testified that this took place at Rhoda Jacob's District office. Elected officials are not permitted to use taxpayer funded district offices to run their campaigns. (See public records transcript- New York Supreme Court Case: Skinner Vs. Nelson August 1 and 2nd 2012)

http://politicker.com/2012/08/rhoda-jacobs-survives-tough-ballot-challenge/

Similarly, former candidate Zachary Lareche had legal proceedings brought  against him for fraud. Lareche is known for being a perennial candidate for Assembly in the 42nd District.

Lareche’s petitions had something no election specialist had ever seen before: Voter names and addresses pre-printed on petitions. Just as Rhoda Jacobs had knocked Lareche off the ballot in previous years, when Bichotte saw that some of her petition signers had allegedly signed Lareche’s petitions as well, she challenged them. A further review of the petitions revealed that the signatures of those carrying the petition did not match. The Bichotte campaign brought in Jeffrey Luber, a Board Certified Forensic Document Examiner from the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory. Luber found hundreds of instances where Board of Election voter cards on file did not match signatures on Lareche’s petitions. In addition, there were different signatures for one person who was the signing witness on his petitions.” Lareche ultimately withdrew from the race.  

www.haitiantimes.com/lareche-off-the-ballot-in-the-42nd-district/

Since the close of trial, Jacobs’ illegal conduct and her connection to those who have engaged in illegal and unethical conduct has become ever more evident. Rhoda Jacobs is being strongly supported by Vito Lopez. Lopez has recently been reprimanded by the Assembly after an internal investigation found evidence of sexual harassment allegations brought by two female staff members in his office.

Vito Lopez has teamed up with Rhoda Jacobs and Mary Hobson against challenger and current District Leader Hon. Bichotte. Remember Mary Hobson? She is the former District Leader who served for 18 years and who was thrown off the ballot in 2010 for not being able to secure a minimum of 500 petition signatures to be a candidate on the ballot. It should also be noted that these two incumbents are exploiting tax payers’ dollars to collect two salaries.

Rodneyse Bichotte takes her civic duty very seriously. Her work as District Leader has helped to raise the standard for both aspiring and veteran elected officials. Bichotte is a woman of the people, focused on bringing accountability back to the political process.

In recognition for her commitment to integrity, honesty, and transparency in good governance, the Citizen’s Union has formally endorsed Rodneyse Bichotte in her election for the 42nd Assembly District seat in Brooklyn N.Y.  The Citizen’s Union has a renewed and heightened public focus and interest towards ethics, good governance and reform. This means standards for preferred candidates is higher than ever”, stated Dick Dadey, the organizations’ Executive Director.” As a result, Citizen’s Union is formally endorsing challengers running against elected officials facing indictments and investigations.
(http://politicker.com/2012/08/citizens-union-endorses-challengers-to-ethically-challenged-incumbents/)

As the current Democratic State Committeewoman and Obama Delegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Rodneyse Bichotte has shown a commitment to her constituents. She has fought for quality senior services and increasing the availability of affordable senior housing, stopping cuts to child care services, fighting for increased school funding and lobbying for passage of the New York State Dream Act. Bichotte promotes job creation, which includes increasing access to government contracts for small businesses, advocating for a minimum wage increase and fighting for workers’ rights to organize.

The 42nd District needs leadership for the new realities, not leadership that reflects dishonesty and a disconnect from the needs of the people.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Irena Schwartz September 11, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I used to work for Assemblywoman Jacobs back in 2006 and I can remember the excitement I felt working in that office. I remember helping constituents and feeling a sense of pride in knowing that I work for a member that really cares for the people. Unfortunately, I do not know what happened from then to now but that same excitement is no longer there. When people go into the district office on Courtelou Rd, they are not helped. I don't know if complacency and laziness has taken over the spirit of the office but I know that the constituents of the 42nd Assembly district are not being serviced. If Assemblywoman Jacobs is no longer in the business of helping and fighting for her people then I believe she should move aside and let someone else take that charge. I do not know the other candidate however I do know Assemblywoman Jacobs and I know her spirit so I think its time she lets someone else take a shot at helping the people.
FlatbushPolitics September 11, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Yes she is an Obama Delegate, Obama is doing anything and everything possible in his powers to stay another 4 years with his limo and air force 1 and all the parties and meeting all the Hollywood people, whats about he is not qualified to be a president nor a senator. the same goes to Rodneyse she is going to do anything and everything to get this assembly seat, she will go out and say lies to the people of the district, she will go out and smear Rhoda for not helping her community. Just to get that seat and take down a dedicated lady for the community. Shame on you Rodneyse your going to lose like obama is going to lose SHAME ON YOU AGAIN SHAME ON YOU RODNEYSE I pass by Rhoda's campaign office who do i see volunteering for her ? young and old Haitian, Muslim, Jewish, and more men & women who are basically there to show support for rhoda and give her a little "give back" for everything rhoda has done for them for so many years. come by and see with your own eyes. Shame on you Rodneyse your negative, smearing, slamming campaign is killing you.
John Cador September 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM
You are one of the. Reason why Rhoda must go. Your statement sure demonstrated Rhoda's sentiments toward our President. I am so glad that Rhoda recruited you as her spokesperson, you did an extremely great job at expressing how your candidate is out of touch with the people and the issues affecting the 42nd AD
John Harrison September 12, 2012 at 09:41 PM
This is curious, from both a factual as well as a conclusive perspective. First, from its title, there are posed two factually incorrect positions: that there exists no accountability in the 42nd Assembly District, and that, Ms. Bichotte could lend a shred of accountability. Ms. Bichotte cites a 20 year record of service, which, we are led to beleive, is the reason we should afford her the opportunity to serve in the Assembly. What record? Ms. Bichotte notes her accomplishemnents in fighting for seniors and the Dream Act, and against cuts to childcare and education. Maybe its just me, but the only time I see her is during an election season, when she is looking for tacit approval for her continued non-existence in the District. On the other hand we have a seasoned professional, who has been serving her district since the mid-seventies, not only on the issues cited by Bichotte, but countless others that have positively impacted the majority of its residents. Perhaps Ms. Bichotte's ill-logic, rewarding numerous years of an individual's hard work by showing them the door, makes sense to her. But, those of us who have fought the good fight for the people and the community for so many years are not fooled. Not at all.

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