Debates, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
That after both the campaign of U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Brownsville, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay) and her primary opponent Adem Bunkeddeko claimed resounding victories on Tuesday’s New York 1 News debate – the only scheduled debate before the June 26 Congressional Primary.
According to the Clarke campaign release following the verbal sparring match, “In a markedly lopsided and heated exchange between the candidates, Clarke effectively blasted her 29-year-old opponent for his Trump-like fabrications and distortions of the truth, particularly his scurrilous claims that Clarke lacks a record of achievement.”
The Clarke release went on to say that throughout the debate, Clarke pointed toward her many accomplishments across a wide-range of important issues, including affordable housing, protecting homeowners from foreclosure, improving public health, national security and disaster relief.
“Clarke also exposed her opponent’s lack of even basic knowledge of how the legislative process works in Washington, how bills are written and passed, and her own legislative record through her five terms in Congress. When asked by host Errol Louis if he would like to amend his allegations over Clarke’s lack of legislative achievements in light of facts indicating otherwise, her opponent refused to modify his statements,” according to the Clarke release.
The Clarke release also said the pivotal moment during the debate was when Clarke questioned how Bunkeddeko – who has made creating and maintaining affordable housing a cornerstone of his campaign – could possibly deliver on this promise while accepting money from a long list of Republican donors, top CEOs, presidents and executives from a number of right leaning companies.
This list included L&M Development, Newmark Grubbman Knight Frank, BlackRock, Loews Corporation, Boston Properties, Taubman Center, Oaktree Capital, Gotham Asset Management, Trate Enterprises, News Corporation, Perella Weinberg Partners, Allen & Company, Lazard, Tishman Speyer, SL Group and Camber Property Group
Not to be outdone, the Bunkeddeko campaign release claimed the challenger, “clearly won the first and only debate in his race against 12-year incumbent Representative Yvette Clarke.”
“After 12 years and over a million dollars in taxpayer-funded salary, I hoped Ms. Clarke would be more willing to explain her weak record and why she deserves to be sent back. But with next to nothing in deliverable results for the district, it’s obvious why she’s been unwilling to debate anywhere in the community,” said Bunkeddeko in the release.”Regardless of Ms. Clarke’s smoke and mirror tricks, the NY1 debate showed every voter why our community needs change in who we send to Washington. Ms. Clarke’s unfounded accusations and Trump-style interruptions showed a fearful career politician at last being held accountable to her record.”
In the debate, and in his campaign, Bunkeddeko’s release said he “has as exposed Clarke’s failure to pass a single piece of legislation she sponsored, even when Democrats held the majority.”
“We won this debate, and we believe the voters will agree that with Trump in the White House, Brooklyn can’t afford a Congressmember who can’t pass legislation or get the job done. I wasn’t born into a political family or raised to run for office; my parents were war refugees and we had to work hard for everything we’ve got. I have a record of community service, a commitment to progressive values and the experience and vision we need to take on Trump and protect Brooklyn’s working families,” said Bunkeddeko in the release.