Weekday Politics / YouTube News today blogger brooklyn helped catch...
Weekday Politics / YouTube

Empty-nester Katia Kelly started blogging as a way of highlighting goings on in her neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY and staying in touch with family and friends she’d left behind when she immigrated from Germany thirty two years ago.

But she might have helped to bring down drumpf.

Katria often carried a camera on her walks through Carroll Gardens to document changes to the neighborhood to use on her blog Pardon Me For Asking.

It was on one such foray that she noticed that the brownstone at 377 Union street was deteriorating badly, sporting broken windows and a boarded up front door.

A helpful neighbor filled her in…


“A neighbor saw her with her camera and began chatting. Kelly said she was just taking photos for her blog. The neighbor said, “You want a scoop?” She alluded to a “celebrity” who now owned on the block. Kelly figured she must mean some Hollywood type, since they have been spotted with regularity in recent years. But then the neighbor said, “Paul Manafort.”

She poked around and, yes, confirmed it was Manafort. And she discovered an odd series of transactions, as well as a mortgage amount of $6,803,750 that exceeded the current value of the home, all the more given its lousy condition. She got nervous and asked her husband and children if she should do anything about a man close to the president. They said go for it.”

After posting what she’d found out digging in public records about the property, a contractor mysteriously showed up on Union Street to spruce up the brownstone.. but the cat was already out of the bag.

Reporters and lawyers saw her post and started digging, turning up evidence of money laundering…

“The lesson? “The bigger picture for me is just the fact there here is somebody who pushed all the limits and got away with it for a really long time. We should all be proud the system seems to work.”

On a more fundamental, media level, here’s the bottom line for Michele Bogart, a professor of art history and criticism who lives in Brooklyn: “As local coverage in the daily papers has been eviscerated, blogs like PMFA have really come to play a crucial role. They’re not only places for neighborhood  gossip and debate, but also for significant news. In circumstances like these, when one persistent local sleuth helps blow open a national story, we really see how just much is lost with the abandonment of the micro-local by mainstream media.”

Good job, Katia, and thanks for teaching us, once again, that all politics is local.

It doesn’t get more local than your own block…

I will bookmark your blog in case you dish up any more scoops.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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