Gregory Davidzon Happy With His Unsuccessful Write-In Campaign

Gregory Davidzon. (Photo: Facebook)
Gregory Davidzon. (Photo: Facebook)

A rival once bet that Russian media mogul Gregory Davidzon’s quixotic write-in campaign for City Council would get less than 100 votes. He was wrong. Continue reading “Gregory Davidzon Happy With His Unsuccessful Write-In Campaign”

Democratic Chair Baffled by Party Disunity in Southern Brooklyn

Frank Seddio. (Photo: Facebook)
Frank Seddio. (Photo: Facebook)

The chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party was left scratching his head when Democratic officials endorsed a Russian media mogul write-in candidate over the party’s nominee in a City Council race yesterday.

Frank Seddio was almost as amused as he was bewildered by the decision, less than three weeks before Election Day. Continue reading “Democratic Chair Baffled by Party Disunity in Southern Brooklyn”

Storobin Bets Davidzon Will Get Less Than 100 Votes

David Storobin (Photo: Facebook)
David Storobin (Photo: Facebook)

Republican candidate David Storobin has a not-so-friendly wager for his newest rival in a bitter City Council race.

Mr. Storobin bet that Russian media mogul Gregory Davidzon, who announced yesterday he’s waging a seemingly quixotic write-in campaign less than three weeks before Election Day, would earn just a handful of votes. Continue reading “Storobin Bets Davidzon Will Get Less Than 100 Votes”

Russian Media Mogul Launches Last-Minute Write-In Council Campaign

Gregory Davidzon. (Photo: Facebook)
Gregory Davidzon. (Photo: Facebook)

In a bizarre 11th-hour twist, Russian media mogul Gregory Davidzon has leaped into a heated City Council race in southern Brooklyn.

Mr. Davidzon, the owner of a local Russian-language radio station and magazine, announced today that he’ll be mounting a write-in campaign for a highly competitive seat with just three weeks to go before the November election. Continue reading “Russian Media Mogul Launches Last-Minute Write-In Council Campaign”

Russian Power Broker Looks Ahead After Salgado Loss

Erick Salgado.
Erick Salgado playing stickball.

Inspired by the Tea Party, Gregory Davidzon is trying to craft a right-wing of the Democratic Party.

The Brooklyn-based Russian media mogul, known for trying to crown candidates in local races, made another foray into citywide politics this year when he backed a little-known reverend named Erick Salgado for mayor.

Mr. Salgado, a social conservative who often boasted about being the only Latino Democrat running, finished a distant sixth in the primary Tuesday– a disappointing showing, Mr. Davidzon confessed. Continue reading “Russian Power Broker Looks Ahead After Salgado Loss”

Mayoral Hopefuls Flaunt Their Russian Ties in Little Odessa

The mayoral candidates take the stage in Brighton Beach.
The mayoral candidates take the stage in Brighton Beach.

Uttering Russian phrases and offering paeans to Soviet military sacrifices, the Democratic candidates for mayor battled for the affections of elderly Russians at a forum in Brooklyn earlier tonight.

All of the mayoral candidates, except absent Council Speaker Christine Quinn, strained to relate to the relatively conservative, Russian-speaking crowd packed into the first floor of a gaudy Brighton Beach catering hall in the heart of the immigrant enclave known as “Little Odessa.”

“Since my great grandfather was from Russia, you will have someone in the very highest levels of government who is Russian-American,” offered Anthony Weiner, parrying a question about whether he would include a Russian community representative in his administration. He drew light applause.

Unlike most of the forums the candidates have attended, a translator was present to interpret all questions and answers at the event, which was also broadcast over media mogul and Russian powerbroker Gregory Davidzon’s radio station. And unlike their televised debate a night ago, few sparks flew.

What flew, instead, was da–Russian for “yes.”

“Are you willing to include Russian-speaking people in the [mayoral] transition team?” a moderator asked.

“Uh, yes,” Mr. Weiner replied.

Da,” the moderator translated.

“Ah,  da,” the former congressman reiterated.

The rest of the contenders joined in the simple Russian word-fest. Long-shot Erick Salgado, a socially conservative reverend who is backed by Mr. Davidzon and has funneled thousands of advertising dollars to Mr. Davidzon’s station, was asked the same question and blurted out, “da, da!”

Mr. Salgado stressed again and again that it was the Russian community, not his own Latino community, that first encouraged him to launch his mayoral bid.

“I am the one who raised the most money among the Russians,” he declared. “If I don’t do what’s fair for all my friends, I think Gregory is going to be calling me every day at three o’clock in the morning.”

Comptroller John Liu further name-checked Ari Kagan, a local district leader and City Council candidate who has endorsed him, and managed to utter a few prepared sentences sentences in Russian. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio arrived late but he was more than willing to show he had a soft spot for Mother Russia. When an audience member asked if he would support the creation of a memorial to commemorate the sacrifices of Russian and American soldiers in World War II, Mr. de Blasio was quite enthusiastic.

“I’m reading an extraordinary book right now, my son actually gave it to me, about one of the truths of World War II that needs more recognition. That in terms of the sacrifices made, it was the army of the then-Soviet Union that overwhelmingly put forward the sacrifices that won World War II in terms of number of men and women lost and injured,” he said. “This is a fully underrepresented page of history, in terms of the memory of Americans and many people in western Europe as well, forgetting the extraordinary sacrifices of the Soviet soldiers.”

The candidates also discussed Hurricane Sandy recovery, potential tolls on the East River bridges and the community’s desire to increase the number of cops on patrol.

But Mr. Davidzon, chatting with Politicker after the forum, said uttering canned Russian phrases was not likely to win many voters.

“You know,” he said, “people like that somebody spent some time to learn the words, but it doesn’t work.”

Russian-American Council Candidates Battle in Brighton Beach

Republican David Storobin endorses fellow Republican Joe Lhota. (Photo: Jill Colvin)
Republican David Storobin endorses fellow Republican Joe Lhota. (Photo: Jill Colvin)

Over the past weekend, two Russian-American pols, embittered rivals running for the same City Council district this year, escorted their preferred mayoral hopefuls along the Brighton Beach boardwalk.

First, on a sultry Friday afternoon, Democrat Ari Kagan led Comptroller John Liu through the elegant Tatiana Restaurant on the boardwalk, greeting voters in the middle of a late lunch. Two days later, Republican David Storobin brought Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor in the Giuliani Administration, to do the same exact thing

And, although mayoral politics may have been the theme of the day, the political animosity from their respective Council campaigns was very present as well.

Continue reading “Russian-American Council Candidates Battle in Brighton Beach”