Connor-Squadron: Money Talks, Age/Experience Walks

squadron.jpgThe New York Sun notices 28-year-old Daniel Squadron's Democratic primary campaign to replace the long-serving Martin Connor, and their contrast is pitched as a traditional youth-versus-experience dilemma: Squadron with the energy to work the hustings and an ambition to "build something different"; Connor with a pledge to "make sure the reforms that we promise to bring about happen."

The candidates competed on these grounds elsewhere. When quizzed by the Grand Street News, Connor cited accomplishments, Squadron ideas. When each was asked to name his greatest achievement, Connor gave several pieces of legislation from which to choose, while Squadron cited his co-authorship of a book with Chuck Schumer.

In a recent debate, as recorded by the Times' City Room blog, Squadron showed some of the defensiveness the Voice's Tom Robbins caught in his recent article on him. At one point Squadron complained to Connor, "From day one, you’ve personally attacked me and my family for your perception of my wealth."

In campaigning, Connor brags to the Sun that he has "knocked on more than 6,000 doors in the district." Connor has been mainly visible at press conferences; on Wednesday he spoke in opposition to the construction of a new NYPD command center at Park Row.

The Times has endorsed Squadron in this race, but Tom Golisano has endorsed Connor -- and his endorsement came with money.

The difference between the two candidates on nearly all the relevant issues are minor -- with the exception of local development, which will have some impact on the Brooklyn side of the district.

This makes it easy for political reporters to portray the race in terms of the simple narrative the candidates themselves have encouraged, as Gotham Gazette does with its "New Blood v. Old Guard" story. It also makes it easy to forget that these things have a lot to do with money, in which department the newbie Squadron is much better fixed than the incumbent. If youth must be served, better it should be served on a silver platter.

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