One of the good guys is running for Mayor. Chicago elected Rahm Emanuel last April, by a huge majority. Yonkers, NY has an opportunity to elect one of the good guys -John Murtagh.
Like my Alderman here in the 19th Ward of Chicago, Matt O'Shea, John Murtagh is a young guy who has served his community out of a genuine sense of public service. In America these days we too often go for the packaged product - people of whom other people say are 'really great,' These yolks tend to make careers of public service via the back-door - they get appointed to positions of power, because they are endorsed by PACS, or come from politically approved families - Brahmins, like Chris Kennedy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Forrest Claypool & etc.
Good people learn public service from the sidewalks up to the porches and eventually are welcomed into the homes of real people. Grassroots, for politically naive, is made up of concrete and flagstones.
John Murtagh and I have maintained a respectful dialog for the last three years - he still cannot understand my loyalty to the Democratic ticket. My loyalties are tribal. I vote for good people, like Matt O'Shea, because I see the results of their labors and know their stories.
John Murtagh's family was targeted by retired distinguished professor of education and terrorist Bill Ayers. The Murtagh family home was fire-bombed, while I was a student at Loyola University.
Though no one was ever caught or tried for the attempt on my family’s life, there was never any doubt who was behind it. Only a few weeks after the attack, the New York contingent of the Weathermen blew themselves up making more bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse. The same cell had bombed my house, writes Ron Jacobs in The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground. And in late November that year, a letter to the Associated Press signed by Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers’s wife, promised more bombings.http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0430jm.html
As the association between Obama and Ayers came to light, it would have helped the senator a little if his friend had at least shown some remorse. But listen to Ayers interviewed in the New York Times on September 11, 2001, of all days: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” Translation: “We meant to kill that judge and his family, not just damage the porch.” When asked by the Times if he would do it all again, Ayers responded: “I don’t want to discount the possibility.”
Since that time, John Murtagh studied, married and entered public service. Now, his neighbors have tapped John Murtagh to run for Mayor, like we used to do here in Chicago.
Mayor Phil Amicone and former Republican gubernatorial candidate John Faso will join Westchester Republican County Chairman Doug Colety and Yonkers Republican City Chairman John Jacono as Honorary Co-Chairs of a “Unity for Yonkers” Reception for John Murtagh.
Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Dee Barbato, Councilman John Larkin, and Councilman Dennis Shepherd will serve as the Co-Chairs of the Reception.
The Reception Committee includes Republican Ward Leaders Henry Sershen, Helen Calabrese, Mike Ramondelli, Justin Tubiolo, Rich Barbato, Stan Alexander, Mike Breen, Pat Dickerson, and Geri Esposito.
The “Unity for Yonkers” event will be held on Thursday, June 23 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Byrne & Hanrahan’s, located at 640 McLean Avenue in Yonkers. Ticket prices are $150, $250, $500 and $1,000. You may purchase tickets using a credit card online right here or at the door on June 23.
We in the Murtagh campaign are delighted to have such a broad-based coalition of Republican leaders and activists coming together to support John Murtagh’s candidacy.
Meet John Murtagh
John Murtagh has been the voice of civic reform and transparent government in Yonkers for nearly two decades.
He co-chaired the Committee for Term Limits in 1994, leading the successful fight to make Yonkers one of the first municipalities in New York State to impose term limits on elected officials.
As a first-term Councilman in 2004, Mr. Murtagh refused to accept a “free” city car, making it clear from his first day in office that he would not participate in the go-along-to-get-along politics that has marred Yonkers government and overburdened Yonkers taxpayers for decades. Over the past seven years, he has fought to cut spending and end overtime abuse, and has been the leading conservative voice in local government.
Councilman Murtagh is the author of the tough new Ethics Code for the City of Yonkers and the Board of Education, and he successfully amended the Rules and Procedures of the City Council to increase public participation.
As co-chair of the Real Estate and Economic Development Committee from 2004 through 2005, Councilman Murtagh represented the community’s interests in a number of major development projects. Since winning re-election, he has introduced cutting edge “Green Building” legislation; legislation to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse, and to reform unethical lobbying practices in Yonkers.
Councilman Murtagh was elected Republican Minority Leader of the Yonkers City Council in 2010, and serves as Chairman of the Municipal Operations and Environmental Sustainability Committees. He is a member of the Real Estate and Economic Development, Budget and Rules committees.
Serving the Community
Mr. Murtagh is a former Chairman of the Four Rivers District Boy Scouts of America, and currently serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Westchester Putnam Council Boy Scouts of America. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Pregnancy Care Center, a counseling and residence program for expectant Westchester mothers.
Mr. Murtagh, an attorney with Gaines, Gruner, Ponzini & Novick LLP, is a graduate of Fordham College (B.A. 1982) and Fordham Law School (J.D. 1986). He served as an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham College of Liberal Studies, where he taught courses on urban policy and government. He is a frequent lecturer on open government and the Freedom of Information Law. His political and legal commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Journal News, City Journal, National Public Radio, WVOX Radio, The Westchester County Business Journal and NY Habitat Magazine. Mr. Murtagh has been a featured guest on Hannity & Colmes, Fox & Friends, Inside Edition, and the Greta Van Sustren Show.
He has been married for twenty-four years to Margaret Murtagh, a nursery school director. The Murtaghs have two sons – John, 23 and James, 19.
BTW - I made a drop to the John Murtagh Unity Campaign. My widower's mites helped Matt O'Shea, perhaps the lucky nickels will help John Murtagh.
Click my post title for more on a fine young man!