Fidler Calls Out Felder (Updated)
Democratic NYC Councilman Lew Fidler, who lost a special election earlier this year for former Brooklyn Sen. Carl Kruger’s seat to Republican Sen. David Storobin, who just lost to Democratic Senator-elect Simcha Felder, is calling on Felder to either explain the terms of his “transactional” deal with the Republicans that resulted in his agreement to caucus with them, or admit he has undergone an ideological change and switch parties.
(I just realized the first part of that sentence reads like a Brooklyn politics version of Tinkers to Evers to Chance…I know it’s confusing; bear with me).
Fidler says he agrees with Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio’s verbal excoriation of Felder, delivered via statement late yesterday afternoon. Seddio called Felder’s decision to caucus with the Republicans a “disgrace” and “complete betrayal of his constituents,” insisting he has a “moral obligation to support the leadership of the party in the Legislature.”
Fidler didn’t go so far as to endorse Seddio’s effort to oust Felder from the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
But he did say Felder should “do the right thing” and voluntarily leave the party and register as a Republican if he indeed feels his ideals are more in line with the GOP’s.
Fidler also couldn’t help but take a dig at Felder for agreeing to support Christine Quinn for council speaker back 2006, but conveniently feeling nature’s call just at the moment when he would have had to cast a vote for her – a vote for the city’s first openly gay speaker that no doubt would have riled his fellow Orthodox Jews to no end.
“Throughout the campaign, Simcha had assured the voters – and me personally – that he would sit with whichever party delivered the most for his district. Transactional for sure, but apparently honest. I took him at his word as did most voters,” Fidler said.
“Simcha’s explanation yesterday was a subtle yet wholly significant explanation from what he had promised. It waxed poetic about philosophies and abounded with some nonsense about the Republicans in the Senate being compassionate towards the poor and for the middle class.”
“That begs the question: When did Simcha Felder come to understand the philosophies of the political parties? What changed about the philosophies of the parties since the election that Simcha was not aware of before the election? If he knew, the philosophies of the parties before the election, why did he not state publicly that he would sit with the Republicans?”
“That is the true issue here…was Simcha Felder being honest with the voters of the district? Since it would be hard to imagine that Simcha learned anything about party philosophy after the election, Simcha did a disservice to the voters of his Senate district. Surely, countless thousands chose him over his Republican opponent because he was the Democratic Party candidate.”
“Therefore, Simcha – and not his spokesman – owes an answer to those questions – and specific answers, not pabulum – to those questions.”
“Additionally, if Simcha chooses to revert to his transactional answer, then he needs to tell people what pieces of silver were offered and by whom. Whatever was promised is being paid for out of the public till and the public has a right to know that as well.”
UPDATE: Felder spokesman Kalman Yeger (who ran Fidler’s failed Senate campaign before going to work for Felder) sent the following statement, but also noted his “profound respect for Lew, my mentor and friend”…
“As Senator-elect Felder said repeatedly from the moment he began his campaign, he would caucus with the group of Senators that would most benefit his district. When he takes office in January as a member of the Majority Conference, the people of Brooklyn will benefit from his decision.”
“Simcha looks forward to working with all of Brooklyn’s elected officials – Democrats and Republicans – to provide the most and best to their shared constituents, and firmly believes his decision will enable him to do so.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on November 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm, and is filed under Brooklyn, Democrats, Downstate NY, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|