Richardson retorts, Hamilton caucuses with Republicans for “extra money in his pocket.”

Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson released a scathing video on Facebook Live Sunday accusing Sen. Jesse Hamilton of smearing her campaign for re-election after a slanderous mass email under the pseudonym ‘Woke Brooklyn,’ which she alleges was traced back to a domain registered under his name.

While Richardson has since launched a one-sided war on Twitter and Facebook, Hamilton has yet to respond.

The email from Woke Brooklyn, a GoDaddy-hosted website that has since been taken down, condemns Richardson for “selling out the black community” by supposedly blocking the Black History Bill, legislation that would require all New York State schools to implement K-12 curriculum incorporating African-American history.

Richardson and Hamilton jointly sponsored the bill when it was first announced in May last year. “Richardson has denied all of our children Black History Education because she is controlled by the white-led Working Families Party,” the email reads.

In her video rebuttal on Facebook, Richardson accuses Hamilton of allying with Republicans through his membership in the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate. Formed in 2011, the IDC consists of eight NYS senators elected to office as Democrats who caucus separately with Republicans. While the group announced its dissolution on April 4, it has purportedly blocked progressive legislation by restoring Republican control of the Senate in spite of the Democratic majority. According to Richardson, Sen. Hamilton joined the IDC on the eve of President Trump’s election.

Hamilton’s office could not be reached for comment.

“This is the reason why people don’t want to trust the Democratic Party,” Richardson says in the cell phone video, “because you have people who get elected as Democrats and as soon as they get elected they forget who put them in office just so they can get a little extra money in their pocket.”

While it is unproven whether Hamilton has received campaign funds from his involvement with the IDC, Richardson alleged that the IDC has blocked legislation such as the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a 2003 lawsuit requiring the state to pay an additional $4.2 billion to underfunded public schools.

She also mentions the comprehensive criminal justice reform package being held up in the Senate, as well as reforms to protect a district with “the second-highest concentration of evictions in the county.”

Richardson, who is running for re-election, is more concerned that politicians who defect from party lines could undermine the credibility of Democrats at all levels of government. “What I will not tolerate is somebody who does not recognize that the true blue wave is coming,” she said, “This whole Trump thing is out of control. New York State has to really be a real Democratic state.”

After vowing to “vote Sen. Hamilton out of office,” Richardson publicly announced her endorsement of Zellnor Myrie, a progressive candidate running against Sen. Hamilton in the upcoming elections.


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Kindra Cooper

Kindra Cooper is a freelance journalist and copy editor. She hails from Indonesia, where she wrote features for The Jakarta Post, Indonesia's largest English-language newspaper. Once in New York, she covered...

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