In article in yesterday’s Hamodia, a newspaper for the Orthodox Jewish community of Boro Park, details how Senate Republicans delivered a $5 million grant for religious schools in the area to obtain school buses.
In a time of such fiscal austerity, that such an outlay would be available is unusual; that such an outlay would be touted in the papers and at a news conference shows the degree to which Senate Republicans want to put the neighborhood in play.
“In a year like this, when we are cutting funds everywhere and laying off teachers, to give 50 school buses to Boro Park,” said one local political operative. “You would think they would be quiet about it. This is crystal clear politics not government.”
Earlier this year, City Hall News reported that a major social services agency in the area, Agudath Israel agreed to support the GOP candidate for Carl Kruger’s Senate seat (once the disgraced pol resigns) in return for for tuition assistance funding for rabbinical students, which Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos fought to keep in the budget.
According to a Boro Park politico redistricting plays a major factor here, with the Republicans hoping to carve one more GOP-friendly seat out of Brooklyn.
The article in Hamodia describes “an unusual and very auspicious event” and says that Skelos “received numerous and thunderous rounds of applause from the mostly Orthodox Jewish crowd.”
Boro Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat, was in attendance and seemed to hint at where his sympathies would lie in a future race.
The article describes a Hikind, a local powerbroker who has been known to cross party lines, pointing to Skelos and saying “this man, he made it happen.”
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