De Blasio Enlists Hasidic Leaders To Pressure Carlucci (Updated)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently enlisted ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders in Sen. David Carlucci’s district in the effort to get the Hudson Valley lawmaker to abandon the IDC and re-join the regular Democratic conference, a source familiar with the mayor’s actions confirmed.
While de Blasio did not reach out to the leaders himself, he did ask people affiliated with him to do so on his behalf. A second source confirmed that leaders in New Square, the all-Hasidic village in the town of Ramapo, Rockland County, were contacted.
However, Carlucci said today (through a spokeswoman) that he has not been contacted by any Jewish leaders and was not aware of de Blasio’s ask.
“There’s a lot of important work to accomplish during this final week of session, and I’m focused on getting things done for my constituents and the people of New York State,” Carlucci said in a statement. “I look forward to running on my record of accomplishments as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference.”
The source familiar with de Blasio’s effort said the mayor is very committed to trying to bring the IDC back into the Democratic fold – a requirement in order to achieve the goal of a Democrat-controlled Senate, which was part of the endorsement deal de Blasio helped broker between the Working Families Party and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The reunification effort is multifaceted and involves threatening IDC members with primary challenges (some of which are further along than others) if they don’t agree to end their power-sharing deal with the Republicans.
While IDC Leader Jeff Klein and the conference’s newest member, Queens Sen. Tony Avella, already have announced challengers with well-established campaigns and supporters – former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell and former NYC Comptroller John Liu, respectively – primary challengers to the other three members have only just recently started to emerge.
On Staten Island, MTA Board member Allen Cappelli has confirmed he’s mulling a challenge to Sen. Diane Savino. In Syracuse, Common Councilor-a-Large Jean Kessner said today that she’s starting to circulate petitions for a potential run against Sen. David Valesky, and called on the senator to agree to return to the traditional Democratic conference within the next 24 hours. (Valesky rejected this call, saying he would not engage in “extortion politics”).
Earlier this week, Democatic activist and Clarkstown Town Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner said she’s eyeing a primary challenge to Carlucci, and union officials have increased their pressure on the senator to abandon his fellow breakaway Democrats. Carlucci has since said he has no immediate plans to leave the IDC, and will make decisions about his political future after the legislative session ends next Thursday.
Carlucci’s home Democratic organization, the Rockland County party, has declined to endorse him for re-election. The DN’s Ken Lovett reported that Carlucci has urged his fellow IDC members to negotiate some sort of deal with the regular Democrats, but at least one other IDC member – Savino – denied that claim.
UPDATE: Several readers with intimate knowledge of the complexities of Orthodox Jewish politics called in to comment on this post.
One said the community is “beyond pissed” with the governor for calling for more oversight of the troubled East Ramapo School district, leading to the appointment by the state Education Department of a fiscal monitor. So, the idea that New Square leaders would do anything at this moment that might help the governor – like pressure an IDC member to return back to the Democrats and perhaps hasten the Democratic takeover of the Senate – is not realistic.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm, and is filed under Bill de Blasio, Democrats, IDC, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|