Monday, August 10, 2009

Mudslinging Takes Over District 20 Forum


Mudslinging Takes Over District 20 Forum20市議員選區政見會 候選人互揭瘡疤


It was billed as a debate, but it turned into an airing of dirty laundry.原該是一場辯論,卻變成一場互吐口水的烏賊戰。


The six Democratic candidates running for the seat of City CouncilmanJohn Liu (D-Flushing) participated in a candidates’ forum in FlushingMonday night, but what started as a cordial discourse on issuesaffecting District 20 quickly devolved into a fracas replete withallegations of everything from racism to planted questions.六位角逐劉醇逸市議員遺留席位的民主黨候選人,上週一參加一場候選人論壇,但原本設定位討論20選區重要議題的論壇,卻演變成候選人相互指控彼此種族主義以及問題為特定候選人量身訂做的混戰。


During the course of the forum, held at Korea Village by TerencePark’s Our Political Coalition, candidates Yen Chou and Isaac Sassonwere openly called racists, John Choe was criticized for calling theUnited States imperialist in a 2006 speech, S.J. Jung was accused ofliving in another state and Constantine Kavadas erupted against forumpanelists whom he accused of asking questions planted by opposingcampaigns.這場論壇在韓國村舉辦,由补容範「我們的政治聯盟」所發起,周燕霞與沙頌被公開指責為種族主義者,崔容準被指稱曾於2006年一場演說中發表美國是帝國主義者的言論,鄭勝振被指居住在外州,卡瓦德斯則單挑主辦單位,指輪談的問題是為特定陣營量身打造。


“This was a zoo,” said Chou’s campaign manager, Michael Olmeda,following the event. “An absolute mess.”周燕霞的競選經理歐敏達說:「論壇就像動物園一樣」,他在論壇後指出:「根本是一陣混亂」。


The bizarre fracas started shortly after Choe left to attend a meetingof his co-op board at the Mitchell Linden Houses. As Choe left he wasaccosted by a member of the audience, who demanded he answer questionsabout his views on North and South Korean relations with the UnitedStates.這場乖誕的混亂在崔容準離席,準備去參加他所居住的大樓管委會會議後開始,一位觀眾要求他回答他對南北韓與美國關係的看法。


In his absence, Sasson and several audience members harped on theKorea point further, saying they wished he had been in attendance toanswer questions about a 2006 speech he gave on free tradenegotiations between the U.S. and South Korea, where he referred to himself as a “byproduct of U.S. imperialism.”崔容準離開後,沙頌與幾位現場觀眾繼續在韓國問題上做文章,說希望崔能在場回答觀眾對於他2006年對美韓貿易談判所發表言論的問題,他當時稱自己是「美國帝國主義的副產品」。


Reached for comment, Choe rejected the criticisms of his views on international politics.崔容準受訪時,拒絕對自己關於國際政治的評論發表意見。


“This election is about the future of Flushing, not past statementsabout Korea,” Choe said. “It is about working together toward a futurewith better schools, good jobs and improved quality of life.”崔容準說:「這場選舉是關於法拉盛的未來,而非過往對於韓國問題的評論」,他說:「選戰應該是要討論大家未來能怎麼合作,讓學校變得更好,創造更多工作機會與改善生活品質」。


Shortly after Choe left, the discourse between the remaining fivecandidates quickly deteriorated.崔容準離開後不久,其他五位候選人間的混戰越演越烈。


Kavadas was angered by the phrasing of a question about contextualrezoning and ripped moderator Richard Jannacio, accusing him andseveral of the forum’s panelists of planting questions on behalf ofSasson’s campaign — an accusation the debate’s organizers flatlydenied.卡瓦得司對主持人Jannacio問問題的用詞大表不滿,他指控這位主持人在很多論壇的問題都是為沙頌的競選團隊量身打造,辯論的主辦人斷然否認此項指控。


Not long thereafter, during a period in which the candidates wereallowed to ask questions of one another, Jung asked Kavadas “if hefelt the quality of life in the district had deteriorated during thelast eight years.”其後不久,辯論進行到候選人交互詰問,鄭勝振問卡瓦德斯,他是否覺得過去的八年來,選區內的生活品質逐年下滑。


“The reason you’re asking me that is because you just moved to thedistrict from New Jersey last Tuesday,” Kavadas said.卡瓦德斯說:「你會這樣問我是因為你上禮拜二才剛從紐澤西搬到選區裡面」


Jung responded that he “moved to the district 20 years ago” and has been serving the community ever since. City Board of Elections recordsshow Jung did vote from an address in Rivervale, N.J., in November2008, but has since moved to an apartment on Sanford Avenue inFlushing.鄭勝振表示,他在二十年前就搬到選區,並且從那時候就開始為社區服務。選舉局的資料顯示,鄭勝振去年11月大選確實在紐澤西登記投票,但其後就搬到位於法拉盛三福大道的公寓。


“You can tell you’re the frontrunner in a race because your opponentsstart kicking you,” Jung said.鄭勝振說:「當你的對手開始攻擊你的時候,你就知道自己的選情越來越好」


Kavadas then accused Sasson of leading a “racist” campaign againstKavadas and unfairly taking him to court by challenging his petitionsin an effort to become the sole Caucasian in the race.卡瓦得司指控沙頌對他發起「種族主義」宣傳,並且挑戰他的連署,把他告上法庭,希望成為唯一的白人候選人。


“Absolutely untrue. I would defy anybody that would say anything likethat,” Sasson said. “Every campaign has the opportunity to challengepetitions and almost all of them did.”「這當然是不實的指控,任何人說類似這樣的話,我都會跟他們辯解」沙頌表示:「每一個競選陣營都有機會挑戰他人的選民連署,幾乎每個陣營都會這樣做!」


Next, Wu accused Chou of circulating fliers, saying he, the only otherChinese-American candidate, was not running in the race.其後,吳明曉指控周燕霞散發一份文宣,指稱他(唯一的另外一位華裔候選人)並沒有在競選。


“Why have you been telling people I’m not running?” Wu asked.吳明曉質問:「你為何不斷告訴別人我並沒有在競選?」


“Well, you’re here, you’re running and I acknowledge that. So, there’syour answer,” Chou said. Later, a volunteer for Wu, whom he said actedon her own volition, demanded an apology from Chou for allegedlycirculating what she called “racist” campaign literature callingSasson a “Jew” and contending any vote not for Chou would elect “theJewish candidate.”周燕霞說:「好吧,既然你在這,你確實在競選,我也承認,所以這就是我的答案」,稍後,一位吳明曉的女性義工要求周燕霞道歉(吳明曉說那是義工的個人行為),因為周燕霞散發一份她稱作是「種族主義」的「競選」文宣,不但稱沙頌為「猶太姥」(Jew)還說只要不把票投給周就會幫助猶太裔候選人當選。


At one point, the discourse became so heated and decentralized thatthe organizer, Park, had to remind the moderator, Jannacio, that hewas not supposed to participate in the discussion or critique thecandidate’s responses.場面到後來瀕臨失控,活動主辦人甚至還需要提醒主持人Jannacio,告訴他不應涉入候選人的討論以及評論候選人的回應。

3 comments:

  1. Issac is the one saysAugust 10, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    These candidates are stoogees. Isaac Sasson is so far ahead of them, he is brighter and more accomplished. Yen Chou couldn't press his shirts.

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  2. it's sasson's blog....

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