Clarke Bipartisanship Draws Bunkeddeko Criticism

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

In a highly Democratic Party borough where hell hath no fury like working across the aisle for the good of everyone, U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay) was roundly criticized for doing just that.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Clarke, a staunch Democrat and very vocal critic of President Donald Trump, recently partnered up with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to create a Smart Cities Caucus to be launched this March. 

The announcement for the new caucus was delivered by Venture Smarter, a firm which aims to use technology as a tool for city and regional planning, as part of their Smart Regions Congress Leadership Forum held Feb. 15. The initiative hopes to cover everything from broadband connectivity in urban, suburban, and rural areas to cybersecurity to using smart technologies and strategies to tackle the opioid and heroin epidemic.

While it is hard to argue with the goals of the caucus, Clarke’s opponent in this years’ Democratic Party Primary, Adem Bunkeddeko, takes issue with Clarke’s choice of collaborator. Bunkeddeko is one of the growing number of Democrats, who see some bi-partisan deals as compromising progressive values and prefer a more hardline approach.

Issa, who announced that he would not be seeking reelection earlier this year, is probably best know nationally for a his time as the Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government affairs from 2011 to 2014 where he lead, among others, the investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.

Adem Bunkeddeko

“Of all the people to reach out to across the aisle, Darrell Issa might be one of the worst choices imaginable for Rep. Clarke, and she should know better than to align herself with him. This is a man who proudly boasted of using his Congressional Office to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; shut off Rep. Elijah Cummings’s microphone to silence him in Oversight Committee hearings; and called President Obama ‘one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times,'” said Bunkeddeko.

“In the era of Trump, we need Democrats who fight tooth and nail for our values, not pander to right-wing extremists like Issa who helped Trump get elected in the first place,” he added.

Clarke’s Campaign Spokeswoman Ronnie Oliva shot back: “Philosophically, there are very few things that these two Congress Members would agree on. However, the modernization and utilization of technology to generate jobs, create a 21st-century transit infrastructure for our urban communities and ensuring all Americans have access to the internet through broadband is something they both have an interest in advancing.”