In the widely-circulated Wednesday weekend edition of the Orthodox Jewish newspaper Hamodia this week, both candidates in the special election to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger bought full page advertisements.
The Republican candidate, David Storobin, used his ad space to further draw attention to a letter signed by Rabbis arguing it is religiously forbidden to support the Democratic candidate, Councilman Lew Fidler. Mr. Fidler’s ad, meanwhile, sought to connect Mr. Fidler to local Jewish elected officials, Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Councilman David Greenfield.
The latest charge in the high-profile special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger emerged yesterday when The Politicker reported the New York Senate Democrats were running ads accusing the Republican candidate, David Storobin, of being a “shady lawyer” willing to work “overtime to keep child predators out of jail.”
The attack was based off of Mr. Storobin’s law firm’s website listing the federal crimes it will defend, which includes child pornography. The text, which further says, “We don’t need a State Senator who stands up for child molesters,” is juxtaposed with the large face of a crying child with Mr. Storobin providing an ominous stare in the background.
Brooklyn’s Jewish media has not been overly nice to Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler in the last two days. Yesterday, COMMUNITY Magazineconverted itself to an almost cover-to-cover advertisement for his opponent in his campaign for the State Senate, and today, one of the most influential newspapers in the district, Hamodia, wrote a fairly scathing piece as well.
Underneath the front-page headline “Scandalous Claims,” one of the newspaper’s editors went after Mr. Fidler for insufficiently supporting tuition relief for the district’s yeshivas while boosting his Republican opponent, David Storobin. “In truth, Storobin’s conservative qualifications appear solid,” he wrote. “But for Fidler to claim the conservative mantle, in support of funding for yeshivos, is just scandalous, say people involved in yeshivah aid.”
COMMUNITY Magazine, a monthly publication that claims a solid circulation in Brooklyn’s Sephardic Jewish community, not only endorsed the Republican candidate in the race to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, but they went nuclear in working to persuade their readers follow suit.
Their message starts on the cover, which contains a giant picture of Mr. Storobin with the influential Rabbi Chaim Yisroel Belsky, declaring it a mitzvah (commandment) to vote for the candidate on March 20th.
Further into the magazine is another copy of the National Organization for Marriage’s advertisement blasting Mr. Storobin’s Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler. Digging even deeper is “A Message for the Community,” a two page document organized by the group Jews for Morality where 49 Rabbis declare it religiously forbidden to support Mr. Fidler on account of his support for gay marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage has taken its anti-gay marriage efforts down to a local level, purchasing advertisements in the special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger. A reader found one of these ads in the Orthodox Jewish publication Country Yossi Magazine.
“We Need A Senator Who Supports Torah Values,” the ad’s headline reads, before going after the Democratic candidate. “Lew Fidler voted to support same-gender ‘marriage,’ a forbidden act under the Torah.”
The ad’s featured photo is the Republican candidate, attorney David Storobin, standing in between Majority Leader Dean Skelos and State Senator Marty Golden, surrounded by Rabbis. Below is a photo of Mr. Storobin with Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, who the New York Times once described as “prominent and influential.” According to the ad, Rabbi Belsky says it is forbidden “to provide public recognition or any kind of assistance to Lew Fidler … Rabbi Yisroel Belsky endorses David Storobin, who will support Torah Values.”
In a special election competition that had been increasingly marred with negative personal attacks between the two candidates, a substantive issue has finally emerged that the candidates are staking their ground on: tuition relief for private school students, especially those attending yeshivas in the heavily Jewish district.
Earlier this morning, the Republican candidate in the race to replace corrupt former State Senator Carl Kruger, David Storobin, sent out a positive press release touting his support for a voucher system granting money to parents of private school students.
“The voucher issue is a big one in this district,” Mr. Storobin said in the statement. “For the orthodox Jewish, it’s particularly important. Private tuition for yeshivas can be as much as $10,000 or more per high school student, and almost as much for children in primary school. To a family with five or six children, that is a tremendous burden.”
Councilman Lew Fidler, the Democratic candidate in the special election for former State Senator Carl Kruger’s seat, put out a long list of 266 endorsements when his campaign began. Now, it seems at least a handful of these backers, mostly rabbis, are no longer on board with Mr. Fidler as he campaigns in the heavily Jewish, southern Brooklyn district.
One of these original endorsers, Rabbi Chaim Benoliel, even signed a letter saying a vote for Mr. Fidler is contrary to Torah law due to his socially liberal positions. “It is therefore considered to be a great Chilul Hashem and Assur [forbidden according to Torah law] to vote for or to provide funding, campaign assistance, public recognition or any type of support to Councilman Lewis Fidler,” the letter reads. “To do so would amount to being mesiy’ayah ovrei aveirah (abetting transgression of the Torah’s commandments).”
Rabbi Shlomo Churba Cohen, listed on Mr. Fidler’s announcement as “Shurba Cohen,” is another backer that has withdrawn his support. Earlier this afternoon, Rabbi Cohen’s son Dovid confirmed his father wanted his name taken off Mr. Fidler’s endorsement list.