Saturday, November 24, 2007

Columbia University's "Dinkinsgate Scandal" Connection--Part 4

After New York City voters decided in the 1993 mayoralty election that David Dinkins did not deserve a second term as New York City’s mayor, the Columbia University administration hired the local Democratic Party politician to be a professor “in the practice of public affairs” at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. And during the last few years Columbia University Professor Dinkins ( ) has apparently attempted to use his remaining special political influence in New York City politics to help his private employer undemocratically implement its land-grabbing campus expansion plan north of West 125th Street in West Harlem, despite the objections of local community tenant activists. Not surprisingly, when Columbia University Professor Dinkins tried to sell Columbia University’s expansion plan to the 700 community residents who attended the local community board’s hearings in August 2007, the former New York City mayor was booed, hissed and shouted down by West Harlem residents and their Columbia and Barnard student supporters.

Following, is another section of an article on “The Dinkinsgate Scandal” which first appeared in the August/September 1991 issue of the Lower East Side newspaper, Shadow:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Dinkins worked as a loyal shitworker for Harlem’s Carver Democratic Club leader J. Raymond Jones, who became the head of Tammany Hall in the 1960s. Carver Clubhouse leader Jones had earned the trust of the Downtown White Establishment political bosses by organizing the 1949 electoral defeat of Harlem’s politically radical African-American City Council representative, Ben Davis. Davis had been jailed on the trumped-up charge of “teaching and advocating the violent overthrow of the government” of the United States because of his U.S. Communist Party membership in the 1940s. In The Harlem Fox, the now-deceased Jones recalled:

“The job fell to me to devise some means to defeat Davis at the polls in 1949. So into this drama I placed one of my own boys, Earl Brown—we knew Brown could not win without the backing of Republicans, so we decided to make him a sort of fusion candidate—Brown was elected to the City Council that fall…”

Carver Clubhouse leader Jones also made a deal with Democratic Party Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn in 1960 to support Lyndon Johnson’s 1960 presidential candidacy, in exchange for Rayburn’s agreement to appoint former Harlem Congressional Representative Adam Clayton Powell to be Chairman of the House of Representative’s Education and Labor Committee.

After making his 1960 deal with Rayburn and LBJ in Washington, D.C., Jones “returned to New York that night and the very next day—received a telephone call from Ed Weizl, Johnson’s New York lawyer,” according to The Harlem Fox. According to Jones, “Weizl informed me that Lyndon’s top strategist, John B. Connally, the man who had masterminded Johnson’s senatorial campaign in 1948, would like to see me the next day."

Carver Club leader Jones then met with John Connally at Weizl’s apartment on Central Park South and they “decided on a public relations campaign to sell Johnson as a Southwesterner and a supporter of civil rights,” according to The Harlem Fox. Jones next “set up an agency we called the Holloway-Rand Agency, named after my wife and sister-in-law” with J. Dayton Brooks, the politician who coined the phrase “All The Way With LBJ.” To finance the Carver Club leader’s Holloway-Rand Agency, Lyndon Johnson’s campaign manager gave Jones $25,000 [in 1960s money].

After Lyndon Johnson became the U.S. Vice-President in 1961, he also rewarded Jones for his campaign support by securing the Democratic Administration’s appointment of Jones’ wife, Ruth Jones, to the well-paid job as Collector of Customs for the U.S. Virgin Islands. A few years later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on a visit to Lyndon Johnson’s home state of Texas, Johnson became President and an even more rapid escalation of U.S. military intervention in Vietnam began.

By the early 1960s, Carver Club head Jones had made the loyal Dinkins his protégé and, according to the 1990 Current Biography Yearbook, “With Jones’ support, Dinkins was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1965.” In 1966, a reapportionment law eliminated Dinkins’ assembly district. But, in 1967, Tammany Hall leader Jones named Dinkins to succeed him as the Carter Democratic Club District Leader and Dinkins continued to head the club for the next 20 years at the same time he held New York City government patronage jobs.

Next: Columbia University’s “Dinkinsgate Scandal” Connection—Part 5