Hell hath no fury like a county organization scorned.
Multiple Democratic insiders confirmed to Politicker that Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith, the fifth member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, could face a primary challenger in 2014. Mr. Smith, it should be noted, has flirted with running for mayor as a Republican and is not going out of his way to strengthen his Democratic bonafides.
“It’s clear that Malcolm Smith is on his last term in the Senate,” said one source. “Caucusing with Republicans is not a viable tactic.”
“Our Democratic Party, all I can tell you is, it went from darkness to light. It’s the best way to put it,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said last night as he stood before $300,000 of Christmas lights and animatronics. “And the wisdom prevailed and guess who becomes the head of one of the largest Read More
Move over Governor Cuomo. As we explained when Frank Seddio emerged on top of the Kings County Democratic Party, nobody does Christmas like Mr. Seddio. He loves the holiday. A lot.
Mr. Seddio, who has a personal Facebook page named “Canarsie Christmas,” hosts a massive annual holiday display at his home in Canarsie that has included balletic animatronic smurfs, countless lights and earned legions of local fans make an annual pilgrimage to E. 93rd Street to view his Christmas decorations.
Though Mr. Seddio’s new position as Brooklyn Democratic Chairman means he has far more political duties than he did this time last year, there’s no stopping his Christmas cheer and he is ready to come back in full force. To wit, public relations guru George Arzt sent out a 11-paragraph press release detailing the upcoming unveiling of Mr. Seddio’s holiday exhibition, which notes the mammoth $300,000 display will have “500,000 lights, almost 100 animated dolls, and a talking Christmas tree.”
meet the new boss
“I’ll tell you what. Monday is Columbus Day, I usually cook something,” Frank Seddio, the newly-elected Chairman of the Kings County Democratic Party said to begin our conversation in his Canarsie law office earlier today. “I’ll make you some eggplant parmesan. No reporters, just come as a person. Eggplant parmesan. I’m making a real special Sicilian dish that’s called ‘pasta con le sarde.’ It’s macaroni with sardines and it tastes ten times better than it sounds!”
We met Mr. Seddio in the morning, so the table before us lacked trays of food, but reporters interviewing him earlier this week were plowed full of macaroni, meatballs, sausages and breaded Italian-style chicken, he said, ticking off the list of dishes he had offered others. At one point in our discussion, a mailman walked in the room and Mr. Seddio urged him to drop by his Columbus Day feast as well. “Everybody comes to eat here when we have food,” he said.
Assemblyman Karim Camara, who was for a time the one hope reformers had to block Frank Seddio from succeeding Vito Lopez as the head of the Kings County Democratic Party, officially backed Mr. Seddio this afternoon in a move to unify the party right before the vote to replace Mr. Lopez. Barring a large meteor striking the planet or a something of that magnitude, Mr. Seddio now seems all but certain to be the new leader of the Kings County Democratic establishment.
Last Thursday, Walter Mosley was elected to succeed Hakeem Jeffries in Brooklyn’s 57th Assembly District. Mr. Mosley was supported by Mr. Jeffries, who left the seat to run a successful congressional campaign, and the race was largely seen as a referendum on Mr. Jeffries’ ability to deliver for another candidate in his Central Brooklyn base. Politicker sat down with Mr. Jeffries yesterday to get his post-game analysis on Mr. Mosley’s campaign and the endorsements that didn’t go their way. Mr. Jeffries also talked about his plans for moving to Washington, his thoughts on the future of the Brooklyn Democratic Party in the wake of the Vito Lopez scandal and discussed ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ on the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
meet the new boss
Last night, Brooklyn’s African American district leaders met in an effort to emerge with a united voice for Assemblyman Karim Camara to replace Assemblyman Vito Lopez as the chairman of the borough’s Democratic Party in the wake of his sexual harassment scandal. According to multiple accounts of people familiar with the meeting, this effort was unsuccessful.
The plan was to consolidate a significant number of district leader votes for Mr. Camara, which would provide a counterweight to the establishment favorite Frank Seddio for Mr. Lopez’s job. However, a substantial number of African American district leaders did not attend the meeting, Mr. Camara apparently wasn’t making the necessary calls, and not everyone agreed that all the stops needed to be pulled out for Mr. Camara’s candidacy.
innards of kings county politics
The race to replace Assemblyman Vito Lopez as the head of the Kings County Democratic Party wages on tonight.
Supporters of Frank Seddio are privately very confident they have secured enough votes, but those hoping for a win by Assemblyman Karim Camara are meeting right now to plan their upset and capture the needed majority of the county’s district leader vote.
The plan in question is effectively a double-bank shot.
With Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s announcement that he will not seek to continue his leadership in the Kings County Democratic Party, the race to replace him has currently shifted its focus to three names: District Leader Frank Seddio, Assemblyman Karim Camara and District Leader Jo Anne Simon. Mr. Seddio, an establishment favorite, is currently the frontrunner, and sources told Politicker that county insiders believe he’s already secured the necessary number of votes.
Ms. Simon’s and Mr. Camara’s paths to challenging Mr. Seddio are not equally steep, however.
Ms. Simon is most aligned with the reform-minded wing of the party, which controls roughly three votes out of the fifty-three total district leaders. On the other hand, Mr. Camara could potentially unite the reform vote with many of the African-American district leaders, eager to have their presence felt. While Mr. Camara, who endorsed the Lopez-backed candidacy of Councilman Erik Dilan when he challenged Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, isn’t the typical anti-Lopez reformer, he has shown some breaks with the establishment and has stature as the chairman of the Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus.
Veni vidi vito
It’s now certain that Assemblyman Vito Lopez will not be sitting atop of the Kings County Democratic Party in the future, so now the question becomes who replaces him.
The speculation has traveled around between various potential candidates with varying degrees of probability. While it’s impossible to discount other contenders, especially as there may be a big push for a female or minority candidate to replace Mr. Lopez, the early frontrunner seems to be Frank Seddio who has been calling around securing support for the bid.