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.”
off the list
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.
Councilman Lew Fidler, the Democratic candidate in the special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger, is sending out direct mail advocating a heavy increase in state funding to Jewish education institutions. Restraining yeshiva tuition costs is one of the key political issues in the district’s Orthodox neighborhoods, a fact Mr. Fidler is surely aware of.
Yeshiva tuition aid also played a key role in the politics surrounding Mr. Kruger’s seat as he was battling his federal corruption charges. Last April, City & State reported Majority Leader Dean Skelos received a promise of electoral support from the politically powerful social services organization Agudath Israel when he muscled through $18 million in tuition assistance for rabbinical students despite a then-$10 billion deficit.
Mr. Fidler’s plan, outlined in the mailer, goes far beyond that $18 million:
on the attack
At a chilly press conference in southern Brooklyn this afternoon, the Republican candidate in the special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger, David Storobin, laid out a barrage of attacks against his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler.
“Mr. Fidler’s character renders him unfit to serve in the State Senate,” Mr. Storobin firmly stated early in his speech. ”This is not a statement I make lightly. I realize the implications of what I’m saying.”
the grey lady
At a Brooklyn Young Republicans Club meeting yesterday afternoon, David Storobin, the Republican candidate in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate, took issue with the New York Times reporting unknown political analysts see his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, “as the overwhelming favorite in the district.”
Describing the issue as “lazy journalism” in response to The Politicker asking about the report, Mr. Storobin gave the pitch for his electoral strength.
Republican David Storobin might see his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, directly outraising him in the race to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger, but at a Brooklyn Young Republican Club meeting Sunday afternoon, Mr. Storobin said there would be significant statewide resources providing financial parity in the race.
“We have a tremendous amount of money being put into our campaign by the Senate Republicans,” Mr. Storobin stated. “In the last ten years, all of the money that all of the other candidates got times ten is not even close to what we’re getting.”
getting ugly out there
Things are certainly heating up quickly in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate.
David Storobin, the Republican candidate, held a press conference this afternoon to call his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, to “apologize for false, malicious remarks.” The initial remarks in question came from a video posted on Sheepshead Bites, where Mr. Fidler said Mr. Storobin “is busy scrubbing what little history he has because he’s embarrassed about his ties to skinheads, and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups.”
The special election to replace corrupt State Senator Carl Kruger is getting underway, and GOP candidate David Storobin is ramping up his advertising efforts. Sheepshead Bites notes “[c]ampaign posters for Republican underdog David Storobin’s State Senate campaign have popped up all over the neighborhood in the past week.
Additionally, a reader who lives relatively far outside of the special election district noted that she was seeing advertisements for Mr. Storobin’s Facebook page.