Op-Ed: Anybody But Elana Baron For Surrogate Court Judge

There’s an old saying that goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

This idiom came to mind this afternoon when I received a mailer from Surrogate Court Judicial candidate Elena Baron saying that this website, Kings County Politics, endorsed her in this coming Tuesday’s election.

Elana Baron

At first glance I was flattered. After all, we’re the only hyper-local news site that focuses on the people, politics and policies that govern Brooklyn. There was only one problem. This was an outright lie. KCP hasn’t endorsed Baron or anybody in this race.

Interestingly, I heard about the mailer yesterday from one of our readers, Seamus Campbell, who alerted me via our Kings County Politics Facebook page. He did a Google site search within KCP for parts of the sentences. Nothing came up.

Campbell then looked for parts of sentences in a full Google search and found they were part of a story on the website Shorefront News.  Baron’s campaign worker Avraham Tischler wrote the story.

The Shorefront News fits in nicely with that infamous Coney Island/Brighton Beach underbelly. Besides giving a wink to Baron in the race, for example, it gives a nod and a smile to the three alleged thugs who recently got busted running a bribe-for-cheap-apartment scam in the Luna Park Mitchell Lama Development.

Surrogate Court Judge Margarita Lopez-Torres.
Surrogate Court Judge Candidate Meredith Jones.

There are two other judges in the Surrogate Court race are. The incumbent is Judge Margarita Lopez-Torres. She has both the backing of Kings County Democratic Party Boss Frank Seddio, and the Court Street and Metro-Tech estate attorneys that get a nice piece of change in Surrogate Court, where estates are settled.

The third candidate, Meredith Jones, has some solid ideas on how to actually make the Surrogate’s Court more accountable. However, The Brooklyn Eagle reported that Jones also has taken estate lawyer campaign donations.

Now, I do get that Brooklyn’s court system needs a bit more watching. This is particularly true in real estate. Here you have the city government taking property through the Third Party Transfer program from mainly black and brown folks, growing private deed theft and several dozen foreclosed homes on the court auction block every Thursday.

But just because Baron is not taking money from connected attorneys, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her hand in some other cookie jar, particularly in the Southern end of the borough, which has its own housing corruption issues.

So pick your poison here. KCP is endorsing anybody but Baron because we don’t like being played that way.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

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