felderfocusFrom the Morning Memo:

IDC Leader Jeff Klein apparently isn’t the only member of the Senate with journalistic flair.

The Gotham Gazette reported last month that the Bronx Democrat, who has had a contentious relationship with the local press, decided to step up his public relations game by publishing a “newspaper” of his own.

The Riverdale Record, billed as the “official publication of Senator Jeff Klein and Our Community,” features all the news the senator sees fit to print and is paid for by his political campaign committee, Klein for New York.

It turns out the Riverdale Record has some competition in the former of “The Felder Focus” – a 15-page, full-color publication sent to constituents of Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat.

Unlike Klein’s paper, The Felder Focus looks like a cross between a magazine and a tabloid (in terms of size, not content), and is heavy on the photos. The lead “story” of the Fall 2015 issue is about Felder’s “heartfelt speech” on the Senate floor in favor of a bill that helps the parents of special needs children seeking to obtain tuition reimbursement from New York City for sending their kids to a non-public school.

Other stories include a blurb on Felder calling on Manhattan Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler to reconsider his support for the Iran nuclear deal, (he hasn’t), the “sweeping” success of a Felder-sponsored community clean-up and some helpful safety tips from the senator , (“If you see something, say something”).

And my favorite: “Want Free Ice Cream? Wear a Helmet” – a story about Felder’s partnering with stroke and brain injury advocates in response to reports that Brooklyn’s 66th Police Precinct is the second most dangerous for cyclist in all five boroughs. (Kids wearing bike helmets were given coupons for free ice cream or ices at participating neighborhood stores).

Not exactly hard-hitting news, but it’s not meant to be, according to the senator. During a brief telephone interview, Felder said his publication is meant to be a beefed up newsletter that goes out to constituents once or twice a year.

He prefers this method to inundating voters with multiple pieces of mail. And, unlike Klein’s paper, The Felder Focus is taxpayer funded, paid for from the mail allocation provided to the senator – and all his colleagues, in varying amounts – each year.

Felder and Klein also have one more thing in common: A relationship with the Senate Republicans. Felder has been sitting with the GOP since his election to the Senate in 2012, helping the conference maintain its slim hold on the majority.

Klein and his fellow IDC members no longer have a formal power-sharing deal with the GOP, but they do have a special relationship with the majority that affords them greater privileges than the so-called “regular” Democrats enjoy.