Shrug Off Atlas - A Call For Unity

The word "reform" is thrown around by all sorts - mostly by those who do not care about actual reform itself. Most of the time, it's the power-hungry who use it as a guise to take that which they think they are entitled: the mantle of leader. It's a useful tool because the promise of "reform" calls many "true believers" to action who wish to see brighter days ahead. Out with the wicked ways of old, in with the fresh and new.

But, how often is that promise little more than words? Sure, some change comes, some for the better, some for the worse. But it's mostly in name only - nine times out of ten, no real "reform" occurs. The "same old" prevails, and "reformer" transitions to "establishment". That's mostly because those leading the "reform" movement do not have true "reform" as a goal.

Most of the time, talkers of "reform" spew two things - what's wrong, and who they blame. That's the easy part. But when rubber meets the road, and the transition must be made from spotlight to the trenches - when the real work is to begin - a scant few "true believers" are left with little left to believe in, and no tangible accomplishments. Disenchantment, bitterness and apathy win out as a result.

Such is the case with "Atlas Shrugs In Brooklyn", an anonymous blog (and I use that term loosely) that have offered little than the above to the local political discourse. Let me correct that, they've also added a huge distraction from the real work to be done in this most important time for the Republican Party.

Scroll the postings on the site and you'll see a flame war the size of a California wildfire engulfing all chances of any real "reform" that may (or may not) had been the goal of its unknown author(s) and/or commenter(s). <After all, he/she/they are anonymous - I don't know how many there are involved!> The site is littered with anonymous / pseudonymous personal attacks of the "establishment" - and their families, businesses, partners, affiliated charities, associations and associates. And apparently, victims of such attacks and/or their supporters respond back in kind against those shrouded attackers with ad hominem slings and arrows of their own toward the "reformers" - all without the responsibility of owning their words. I've recently likened the site to the political equivalent of a fiery car wreck where gawkers gather to watch everything burn.

And the site owner(s) do nothing to direct the discourse constructively. To me, that's a clue that real "reform" isn't the goal - disparaging people in "leadership" is the true goal. After all, if the goal was something constructive like reforming the Republican Party in Brooklyn, wouldn't the site owner(s) moderate, direct and transition the flame battles from destructive to constructive? But instead of working toward "reform", no moderation occurs, and a blame game ensues, talking about "so-and-so started it" and what not.

It's a farce of a "reform" movement.

This site has brought the worst out of all sides who choose to engage in actions that would result in a spanking for petulance! Both sides who engage in the argument at Atlas are to blame for its current state.

If this is the best that we can expect from the movement to"reform", then count me out.

Allow me now to practice what I preach: in the spirit of true reform, I put this plan to begin working together out to all parties concerned:

Whether you are "establishment" or "reform" - minded, I think it's time that we all "shrug off" Atlas and its destructive, wasteful culture. No good has come from it, and no good is going to come from it in the near future. Stop contributing to the madness. Let the final embers burn off and let it fall to the wayside of irrelevance.

The bickering, insults and childish behavior must end. It's embarrassing.

To those who want reform: It's time to get constructive. Engage the leadership. After all, didn't Chairman Eaton say upon re-election that his door is open? If you believe him or not is not the issue - hold him to his words! Some have already. If you see that no one is there on the other side of the door to listen, then call him and the leadership out for not keeping their word.

Also, if you are true to reform, then stand up and be counted for reform. Let everyone know who you are. Come out of the shadows of anonymity. Take it from someone who stepped up to a challenge, you will have your name dragged through some mud, but you will earn respect and gratitude as well.

Finally, don't wait to be invited in - knock down the door if you have to. Change is never invited, so push, prod, nudge, but always in the spirit of cooperation.

To those currently in the leadership: If we are to grow, and ultimately win, we must be inclusive. Welcome newcomers and their ideas. How many times have we all complained that we need more people to shoulder the load? Give them direction and the benefit of your knowledge. New is NOT always bad. There is some enthusiasm out there to be embraced and harnessed in the year to come. We have a great opportunity here that we cannot waste, because if we do, then a generation of Republicans suffer for our waste.

The most important political cycle is upon all of us. We need all hands on deck. We need to have our ships sailing in the same direction. We need all resources and all energies directed together. If we don't, then we lose. It's that simple. We need soldiers willing to work and learn standing on the front lines fighting for the ideals that will ultimately save our state - less, more efficient government that doesn't tax the life out of all of us.

I know I will devote all of my efforts toward victory. Will you?


Anonymous said...

Atlas is now blocking posts from those they disagree with. They have finally shown their true colors.

Liam McCabe said...

One of my posts was erased on that site too.

Sean said...


I know you want to stay above the fray, however, since atlas has blocked all of my recent posts I am reaching out to other venues to release some very insightful information that I have come across.

The following post is being deleted by Atlas editors every time I post it:

Mr. Jonathan Judge:

The pieces are starting to come together. Your skills at building websites have gotten much better with the culmination of your efforts overtime resulting in this blog.

The internet is a great tool. It can be used for many things including to make lots of money. It is so great, that you have inspired us to use it to do a little research of our own.

We have uncovered that you are currently the registered owner of several domain names (beside this one).


How much were you paid by the candidates to build and maintain their sites?

Why can’t we find any disclosure statements that have you either listed as being paid by Lucretia Regina-Potter/Yvette Bennet or contributing your services to their campaigns as “in kind” contributions?

After all, you do own the domains, and you clearly buy, sell, and build websites for profit.

Is it ethical to give Bob Capano $25 and receive $82 in return for your services in his assembly race? Does this not violate your YR by-laws?

Is that not Gerry O’Brienesque?

The question certainly does beg- does it not?

We are still waiting for you to reply to the email we sent you. Must we keep digging?

AAA said...

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli this reform minded commentator commends you for your efforts regarding the blog atlas shrugs.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli you are a true leader, and this reform minded commentator looks forward to working with you and the Kings County Republican Party on the ground, pounding the pavement.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli the blog atlas shrugs has refused to post several of this reform minded commentators posts, and this completely goes against the intentions of this blog which were debate regarding all those involved in the Kings County Republican Party.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli this reform minded commentator has only one goal in sight to help the Kings County Republican Party in 2010 and beyond while the blog atlas shrugs on the other hand bashes those who feel like this reform minded commentator.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli taking personal IP address's to use them against people to block their comments, and to than hurt them goes against the idea of real reform.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli the blogs atlas shrugs if it continues on it's path will not only hurt itself, those who are aligned with the blog atlas shrugs, but more importantly all those who are in the Kings County Republican Party.

The question begs, Berardelli this reform minded commentator does not want to see this path continue.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli this reform minded commentator is willing to pound the pavement, and wants to extend an olive branch to you and even those on the blog atlas shrugs if it stops on it's path of destruction for the sake of all involved.

The question begs, Mr. Berardelli this reform minded commentator thanks you for allowing this post to go through, and hopes for a better 2010, for all those who are pounding the pavement for the better of the Kings County Republican Party.

The question begs, thank you.

AAA said...

The question begs, Dear Mr. Berardelli this reform minded commentator thanks you once again for providing a place where the real debate, is welcome, and the beginning toward helping the Kings County Republican Party is working to victory for 2010, in the several races we have a shot in, and re-electing our great State Senator Marty Golden.

The question begs, however isn't the idea of reform about hearing both sides of the debate especially regarding our county the Kings County Republican Party?

The question begs, we would expect these actions from the Chinese, and the Russians to name a few, not reform minded idealists.

The question begs, on the blog atlas shrugs why is it we have heard only negative stories regarding the Kings County Republican Party.

The question begs, when it comes to those who are willing to stand with the Kings County Republican Party, such as this reform minded commentator not allowed to give another side of the story?

The question begs, the idea of a blog criticizing those who are on the ground fighting to enhance the chances of victory in 2010 for the Kings County Republican Party is a moot point, unless those who are criticizing the Kings County Republican Party and their allies get on the ground to work with all those who want to help the Kings County Republican Party return our state, and county to a healthy two party system.

The question begs, in your great words, we all need to "Pound the Pavement" more.

The question begs, more importantly I call on Brooklyn Young Republicans President Jonathan J. Judge to come on this excellent blog of yours, and answer the following.

The question begs, did Mr. Judge who runs the blog atlas shrugs use personal IP address's to block comments such as this reform minded commentator, and use personal IP address's to attack those who oppose the opinions of the blog atlas shrugs?

The question begs, Mr. Judge built several websites for candidates, and receive money from those candidates, and did not disclose these as an "In Kind" contribution which is a violation of campaign finance laws.

The question begs, why did Mr. Judge give Bob Capano $25 for his race last fall for the 46th Assembly district, and then receive $82 back?

The question begs, isn't this a violation of the Brooklyn Young Republican by-laws?

The question begs, Mr. Judge please answer these very important questions, as this reform minded commentator for the sake of real reform needs to know.

The question begs, by answering these questions, this reform minded commentator is willing to work with all those for or against our chair in the Kings County Republican Party for a bigger, and brighter 2010 in the several races our party will have a chance to retake in Kings County and as well as helping to re-elect our State Senator Marty Golden.

The question begs, thank you Mr. Beardelli for being a leader of free speech, and "Pounding the Pavement", this reform minded commentator commends you once again.

Osher Gordon said...

This looks like it is just another post on Atlas with a bunch of anonymous comments complaining about something or other. I thought this was going to be about offering constructive ideas about reforming and advancing the ideas of our great party.

What we should be focusing on is growing all republican clubs in Brooklyn, this includes the YR club, the LaGuardia club, the Brownstone club, and we should try and open more clubs. Let 2010 be the year that five more Assembly Districts open republican clubs, this is ultimately the way we will grow and spread our message to all Brooklynites.

Osher Gordon said...

This looks like it is just another post on Atlas with a bunch of anonymous comments complaining about something or other. I thought this was going to be about offering constructive ideas about reforming and advancing the ideas of our great party.

What we should be focusing on is growing all republican clubs in Brooklyn, this includes the YR club, the LaGuardia club, the Brownstone club, and we should try and open more clubs. Let 2010 be the year that five more Assembly Districts open republican clubs, this is ultimately the way we will grow and spread our message to all Brooklynites.

Gene Berardelli said...

Osher, I'm glad you said something before I did! By the way, always good to hear from you.

I for one am a member of the YRs, and am on friendly terms with the LaGuardia club's leadership, and while I'm not as familiar with the Brownstone's leadership(I've seen their leadership at YR meetings), I look forward to conversing with them when I can. So I like to think that I have a unique perspective on things.

I agree about opening more clubs, but I think the existing clubs need greater visibility - and younger membership. We can't keep relying on the senior citizens of our Party - as great as they are - for shouldering the load. But at the same time, we need old party leaders to embrace the help of newer, younger members.

I have many ideas that I hope will come to fruition in the months to come that will involve all sides of every "faction", so keep your eyes open!

Russell Gallo said...

I have reservations about advocating for more clubs in Brooklyn. I say this because of what the existing clubs seem to be all about. I agree that the existing clubs need to be larger and consist of younger members that are true activists and not just bomb throwers.

District clubs are essential. So to that extent I agree that each district leader should organize one. My district has a very large club. They pay dues and collect signatures. Unfortunately, they nearly all work as inspectors on Election Day. There are few among them that are true activists. So the 47th AD has no trouble getting candidates on the ballot but have few people that would be able to "get out the vote" on Election Day. From what I can see, all of the existing AD clubs are pretty much the same in that respect. They have a limited but essential role in the pre-election phase for a candidate.

I also belong to the BK YRs. They are more of a "pie in the sky" overly idealistic group of young and not so young people. In all honesty, from my experience, they do not collect many signatures (evidenced by how many are on County Committee), most do not contribute substantial amounts of money to candidates, and few actually work on campaigns (with the exception of some limited activities in the 49th AD). They pride themselves in the pursuit of "reform". I do not think many of them really know the meaning of the word.

A change in leadership is what they really want. The YRs "fought" for their guy (with I think 17 or so proxies) and lost. The guy they wanted in charge is an old time party hack. They used underhanded tactics like sending out proxy cards to County Committee members that looked nearly identical to the ones sent out by the County at the behest of the overwhelming majority of district leaders. Many people were confused and signed both. I really don't see how that falls into the reform platform they claim to seek.

Any new club that is not a district club must demand that their members are active in all phases of the election cycle. Clearly the current district clubs and the YRs are not.

The Jig Is Up Atlas said...

Please help us spread the word about our new blog. We are trying to give a voice to the republicans in brooklyn that atlas has shut out of the debate by checking IP addresses and creating enemies lists.

We are also looking for people to contribute articles/posts to the blog. (hint hint AAA)

Plesae check us out and submit an article too!

Judas Judge said...

Posted on:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Open Letter to Gene Berardelli


I read your recent post on Atlas regarding your willingness to "pound pavement" for Jonathan Judge and am somewhat disappointed. I really respect you and all that you have done to build the party in your area of Brooklyn and beyond.

However, the fact is that the Brooklyn YRs did not "pound pavement" for you in your race. They did not "pound pavement" for Bob Capano and many believe that they actively worked against him led by none other than Jonathan Judge himself.

Judge has stopped participating in most County sponsored events and has made clear to all that he does not support the current party leadership in Brooklyn. He wrote on Urban Elephants that the race is basically already lost and Republicans should not expect to win there.

It is often said that he works well with democrats. Well I say he does work well with them because he works for them.

Rumors are that he is behind the atrocity called Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn. Even if he is not the sole blogger responsible for the site he is surely complicit in its daily operation.

While I do not believe that Judge will even run I am baffled by your early endorsement when the County has not yet weighed in on the race. Judge will not run because he works for Community Board 14 and is beholden to democrats for his job. He knows better than anyone that his fellow keyboard jockeys will not "pound pavement" for anyone; not even their fearless leader.

I suggest that we quickly find a suitable candidate in the district that will both work hard on a campaign himself and be able to get others to do the same for him. Judge is not that candidate.

Sometimes in politics it seems necessary to extend the olive branch to your adversaries. In this case the branch has been extended and rejected several times. Please do not get sucked in by this Judas.

Like I said already though, Jonathan Judge will not run. He has zero support from anyone outside of the thugs in the 49th AD. His livelihood depends on elected democrats and he tipped his hand in his silly UE post that he is hedging his bets by already conceding defeat for any Republican that attempts a run. He did this strategically so that he has cover to not run in a district that is certainly winnable and in which he SHOULD be the best Republican candidate. Had he followed your advice from the beginning and "pounded pavement" he would have a strong base in his own district by now; but he didn't

See more great posts at:

Gene Berardelli said...

Judas Judge:

The point I'm trying to make is that now is the time for unity. Factions lead to ruin. I was saying that I will support Republicans who run, no matter which "side" they may be on. I think we all need to do that. We need to get our house in order or we won't win anything anywhere.

Just as I've said at Atlas, I don't buy into rumor and inuendo. If it turns out that he is affiliated with any effort to weaken the current leadership, I'll be disappointed.

But I can't worry about rumors.

I believe I must remain true to the promises I make regardless of how anyone else acts or is accused of acting. I promised to keep the lines of communication open and to work for the benefit of the party. If others don't hold up their end...