Thursday, August 06, 2009

Good By-and Good Riddance to-Guillermo

Guillermo Linares, the quisling council member who sold his own people out in the Pathmark controversy in the mid-nineties, has been knocked off the ballot-and his comeback attempt has been thankfully aborted. Or, as Shakespeare once said: "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it." (Macbeth)

Here's the report from Daily Politics: "The city Board of Elections ruled that former Councilman Miguel Martinez's committee on vacancies did not comply with the Election Law, essentially invalidating its selection of Guillermo Linares to take over the disgraced former lawmaker's petitions."

And it looks as if Linares' lawyer has thrown in the towel: "Jerry Goldfeder, the attorney for one of Linares' opponents, Ydanis Rodriguez, has already started a court proceeding to invalidate Linares' petitions. The case was adjourned until tomorrow, pending the elections commissioners' ruling today...UPDATE: I'm not sure if there's a record for the shortest-lived comeback attempt, but this one might be a contender. Goldfeder said he received a call from Berger, who says Linares is NOT going to be pursuing an appeal of the board's decision, and thus will not be running to reclaim his old Council seat."

No appeal is very appealing to, not only us, but to the scores of supermarket owners who mistakenly put their faith in Linares-only to be stabbed in the back when he switched his support to Abyssinian Church and Pathmark; a move that the NY Post excoriated at the time. Linares's support of the Pathmark effectively denigrated the years of sacrifice that these risk taking entrepreneurs had made in the city; especially after the big chain supermarkets had left.

Juan Gonzales captured the perfidy of this Judas: "But the Pathmark issue is even more complicated. It's about whether small businessmen with loyalty to a neighborhood, guys who never get any government subsidy or break on a bank loan, must always face rigged competition against the giant firms that inevitably demand a guaranteed profit through tax abatements or low-interest loans or government subsidies of some sort before they will invest in the inner city."

Guys with loyalty to the neighborhood like Alfredo Rodriguez, Luis Salcedo and Mariano Diaz, loyal Linares supporters who misplaced their faith in the first Dominican elected official in the United States. In fact it was Rodriguez, who Linares (the night before the Pathmark vote), told: "Alfredo, I'll never do anything to hurt you or your family."

There are many times in a three decade career that we have experienced political treachery in one form or another; but the Linares betrayal of his own people ranks first in the political Hall of Shame. The people of Washington Heights have dodged a major bullet.