On the day before Independence Day, Anthony Weiner promised to make New York City independent of Albany’s control once and for all.
“Every July 4th, we should all think not only about the independence of our country, but we should think a little bit about the independence of New York City from the shackles of Albany,” Mr. Weiner said today on the steps of City Hall.
With the next Tuesday’s vote in the special election to replace former State Senator Carl Kruger fast approaching, the latest advertisement, on the back cover of both Hamodia and the Flatbush Jewish Journal, quotes the Democratic candidate, Councilman Lew Fidler, in a way to cast doubt on his own religious convictions.
Quoting a 2008 article from this publication about the Jewish vote in the 2008 Presidential election, the advertisement leads, “Lew Fidler, who refers to himeslf as a ‘bacon and eggs kind of Jew.’”
This afternoon, the Republicans controlling the New York State Senate filed their formal objection to the congressional redistricting plan currently being considered by a three-judge panel, and their arguments directly centered on the need for incumbency protection measures for Republican Representatives.
“Professor Persily generally dismisses the Senate Majority Defendants’ (and other parties’) concerns about ‘respecting the cores of prior districts,’ insisting such claims are merely ‘pretextual arguments for protecting incumbents,’ they wrote in their letter. “As a threshold matter, incumbency protection is a traditional redistricting principle, as Professor Persily himself has previously recognized.”
The letter further argued against placing incumbents politicians in the same districts if at all possible.
“[A]voiding incumbency pairings actually enhances the reality and appearance of judicial impartiality,” they wrote, again contending protecting sitting Representatives should be more highly prioritized in the process.
on the attack
“COUNCILMAN LEW FIDLER SUCKED YOUR MONEY INTO HIS WALLET,” one direct mail piece in southeastern Brooklyn reads.
The message, placed next to an image of Democratic Councilman Lew Fidiler — altered to dress him up as a construction worker as he’s engineering a contraption to literally steal money from a wallet labeled “your wallet” — is repeating itself over and over again in advertisements sent by the Senate Republicans in their effort to sink Mr. Fidler’s campaign in a March 20th special election for the State Senate.
While the Assembly Democrats declined to weigh in on the Special Master’s court-drawn map released yesterday, the Senate Republicans had a number of specific issues raised with individual districts. However, despite the judge indicating no desire to protect incumbents whatsoever, the Senate GOP’s legal arguments continued to press the point, along with arguing the need to better conform to tradition and protect select communities of interest.
Unsurprisingly, the Senate Republicans arguments seem to favor Republican incumbents’ reelection chances. For example, with GOP Congressman Michael Grimm’s new 11th district, they pushed for public housing to be removed from the seat and for ideologically conservative Orthodox voters in Midwood to be added instead.
Dean Skelos, the Majority Leader of the State Senate, received a glowing profile in the Orthodox Jewish magazine Mishpacha this week, furthering the outreach Republicans are doing to the rapidly growing, but traditionally Democratic, community. Mishpacha, published out of Jerusalem, could have hardly been more positive: Mr. Skelos’ feature photo is him hard at work, captioned, “DEAN of the SENATE.”
The substance of the profile is even more favorable.
“There are no shortcuts when it comes to climbing ladders, whether they are painter’s ladders or political ones,” reads one passage. “Dean Skelos has scaled both types — rung by rung — en route to his present position as New York state senate majority leader. In an exclusive interview in his district office in Rockville Centre, Long Island, Senator Skelos made it clear that he wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
money in the bank
The New York Public Interest Research Group’s Bill Mahoney took a look at campaign filings from the New York State Senate Democrats and Republicans, and found a significant gap between the competing parties.
“While a few Senators’ filings have yet to appear online, the 54 who have filed provide enough information to establish a general picture of the conferences’ fundraising success,” Mr. Mahoney said. “The Republicans’ candidates and parties have nearly five times as much money in the bank as the Democrats’ and have raised nearly three times as much.”