Greg Meeks attended Al Sharpton’s emergency Paterson summit at Sylvia’s in Harlem yesterday, along with many Black and Latino Democratic leaders and other elected officials. The event was closed to the press, but Liz Benjamin of the Daily News reports that many sources inside the room say they are in favor of the Governor ending his short campaign for election, but do not feel he should resign.
“(T)he collective wants to put the focus back on policy not politics, including the areas of budget protection, job creation, education reform, health care, and entrepreneurial services,” Sharpton said, adding that the group would be seeking a meeting with both Paterson and “whoever announces that they will run for governor.”
The photo released from the event shows familiar faces of New York City politics looking terrified. Al Sharpton is flanked by Meeks and Senator Malcolm Smith. Rep. Charled Rangel is seated at the end, a few days after the House Ways and Means Committee said he broke ethics rules by taking two Caribbean trips paid for by private corporations.
It may not be the best company for Sharpton to be in, but these are his political allies. Meeks’ missing money from his charity was on the cover of the New York Post today, time telling the story of the Rosedale Jets football team in Rosedale, Queens, who applied for money through the nonprofit but were told their application was “never received.” First there were Hurricane Katrina victims shafter; now there are kiddie football players who can’t afford the proper equipment, all because Meeks allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on office supplies for an office the organization doesn’t have.
The New York Times has an interesting article on the legacy of Harlem politicians now coming to a close with Paterson’s decision. It seemed like happier times then–not as much scandal. Meeks has been an ally of David Paterson for years, both coming out of the same Harlem litany of politicians. While Paterson inherited his from his father, Basil (he served as State Senator in the same District as his dad), Meeks came into politics on his own. He didn’t come from a political family, but he was welcomed into the one established in Harlem and southern Queens.
NOTE: When I first saw the photograph from the summit, what struck me was Greg Meeks’s outfit. It’s rare to see a politician in something other than a suit, but it’s hysterical to see that politician in a Coogi sweater. I spent too much time thinking about other famous Coogi fans, and have compiled a link to my favorites: