Only a couple hours after news broke that Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is battling sexual harassment allegations, registered a campaign account for a City Council run, the Democratic club launched a “molester free zone” campaign, complete with a fairly direct flier, illustrating exactly how negative the marquee race will get should Mr. Lopez officially enter it.
“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.
“The goal of the coalition is to clean up Brooklyn Democratic politics, which has been marred by countless scandals for decades, including the recent guilty plea of Senator Carl Kruger, the multiple arrests of Assemblyman William Boyland, and, on a larger scale, the indictment of three of the last four chairmen of the Kings County Democratic Party on corruption charges,” the statement read.
In a rare contested vote for a district leader seat in the Kings County Democratic Party, Council Member Erik Dilan defeated Congressman Ed Towns by a 36-10 margin.
The Dilan victory is a show of strength for the Bushwick council member and an embarrassing defeat for the longtime congressman, whose son, Darryl Towns held the position prior to accepting a post as Housing Commissioner under Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The vote also may have implications for the Assembly seat which Darryl Towns vacated to join the administration. His sister, Deidra Towns is running to replace him–against Rafael Espinal, a staffer to Dilan.
The margin of Dilan’s win surprised local politicos, and can be read as a sign of strength by County Leader Vito Lopez, who lobbied district leaders on Dilan’s behalf in the days leading up to this evening’s vote.
Neither Towns nor Dilan were present for the vote. Towns was at an event for his daughter’s campaign, while Dilan waited outside until the district leaders summoned him into the meeting after the vote.
The vote, held at the Stars and Stripes Regular Democratic Club in Bensonhurst, was closed to the press.