By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Banker takes on Assemblyman Brook-Krasny
A banker making his first try at public office said lowering taxes is the key to fixing New York State’s economy. Tom McCarthy, a Republican who is hoping to unseat Democratic Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny in the 46th Assembly District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Coney Island), said the state ranks 49th in the nation in job creation and that much of the decline is due to high taxes.
“The Democrats are more focused on milking the private sector for what they can get,” McCarthy told the audience at a debate sponsored by the Dyker Heights Civic Association on Oct. 9. Lowering taxes will spur employers to expand their businesses and hire more workers, McCarthy said.
Brook-Krasny, running for his fourth term in the assembly, countered McCarthy’s argument by saying that he, too, likes the idea of lowering taxes and that he voted to do just that. “We decreased taxes for 99 percent of the people in this state,” the incumbent said.
The debate between the two men focused largely on the economy and their backgrounds, as each sought to portray himself as a community-minded person.
Brook-Krasny said he was proud of the state legislature’s passage of New York Works, a $1.6 billion plan to create public-private partnerships that he predicted would lead to job creation. “Public-private partnership is the way to go,” he said.
“I favor public-private partnership,” McCarthy said. “But I would prefer making a better atmosphere to create success.”
McCarthy, a vice president at J.P. Morgan Chase who lives in Bay Ridge, said he is running for assembly because “I really think there’s something lacking in Albany.” As for the incumbent, McCarthy said, “I don’t think he’s part of the solution.”
Brook-Krasny said that as a member of the assembly’s Democratic majority, “I can do much more for my community.” But McCarthy argued that the incumbent’s standing in the majority party only means that “he votes 100 percent of the time with (Assembly Speaker) Sheldon Silver.”
Each man tried to appeal to voters at the debate by sharing his personal story.
Brook-Krasny, who emigrated from Russia many years ago to make a life for himself and his family, said “I built a life here in this beautiful country from scratch.” He started a business that catered to children’s parties, became involved in civic life in Coney Island, where he lives, and then decided to go into politics.
McCarthy, a former member of Community Board 10 in Bay Ridge, is active in Saint Anselm’s Church and is a past president of the Cathedral Club, a Catholic organization that raises money for under-privileged people. “I love this neighborhood. I’ve lived here all my life,” he said. McCarthy said he wants his three children to live in the community when they grow up. “And I want their children t raise their families here, too,” he said.
Brook-Krasny said he deserves re-election for his accomplishments in this term.
He voted to increase education funding and worked to increase public safety by sponsoring the so-called “hookah bill” to prohibit the sale of shisha, water pipes and other materials associated with the practice of smoking hookah. On the public safety front, Brook-Krasny said he worked with other elected officials and with community leaders to prevent the Bloomberg Administration from closing 20 firehouses around the city, including one on 79th Street and 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights. “We saved the Castle on the Hill firehouse,” he said, referring to the fire house by its nickname.