brooklyn & queens
“I sing your praises, sometimes I get in trouble for doing that but I will continue to do it forever,” Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind told Republican State Senator Dean Skelos on his post-Shabbos radio show late last Saturday night. “I just want to personally thank you for being so amazingly responsive to all of New York State, but to the Jewish community in particular. You are really just a superstar.”
Mr. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate and one of the “three men in a room” that control decision-making in Albany, received this high praise for adding yeshiva tuition tax credits into the state budget and his recent work to fund bus service to those same private religious schools. Mr. Hikind is a longtime assemblyman and power broker in the Jewish neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn and, despite being a Democratic Party official, has been more than willing to endorse Republicans.
At the end of last year, Mr. Skelos traveled to the Masbia soup kitchen in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn where, after donning a velvet yarmulke, he chopped carrots, peeled potatoes and ladled kosher soup to the needy. He proceeded to tell a story about smuggling Jewish artifacts into the Soviet Union and joked that his own Greek Orthodox beliefs gave him insight into Orthodox Judaism, letting Yiddish words like tzitzis and shul roll off his tongue all the while. Cameras rolled and mobile phones snapped photos for the Jewish media to consume later, of course.
For Republican voters in New York, it’s Election Day today and you have the choice of voting for Mitt Romney for president, or for one of the three other names on the ballot, two of whom are still technically vying for the nomination.
And it’s sentences like the above that has fueled former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s latest beef.
“You guys in the press have been beating down any opposition to Romney for months. You started four or five months ago telling us, ‘Romney’s going to win. Romney’s going to win,’ and trying to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he declared on Inside City Hall last night. “That’s wrong!”
it won't end
After 20,000 votes cast in a state senate special election that took place over a month ago, Republican candidate David Storobin still leads by 3 votes.
The legal teams of Mr. Storobin and his Democratic opponent Lew Fidler met in court earlier this afternoon to continue hashing out their arguments over absentee votes and fraud allegations. And, according to the campaigns, not a lot seems to have happened. One or two dozen more ballots challenged by Mr. Storobin got green-lighted to eventually be counted, which benefits Mr. Fidler, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
More ballots were opened for the March 20th State Senate special election this afternoon, and Republican candidate David Storobin doubled his margin … to two votes, multiple tipsters told The Politicker.
The latest gain comes from absentee and provisional ballots where the respective campaigns withdrew their objections. 41 ballots were counted in total, with 21 going to Mr. Storobin and 20 going to his Democratic opponent, Lew Fidler.
The latest turn in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate has given the Republican candidate, David Storobin, a gigantic lead of one vote over his Democratic opponent Lew Fidler, multiple tipsters told The Politicker.
Contrary to what both of the campaigns had reported, the final result last night was actually a tie, a symbolic number in what has been a grueling race.
And, with all of the invalid absentee and provisional ballots finished being reviewed and contested today, Mr. Storobin’s lead has hopped up to that single point.
Things are getting tense at the Board of Elections office in Brooklyn today where the count of absentee and provisional ballots from last week’s State Senate special election continues to progress, and the Democratic candidate, Lew Fidler, has narrowed his deficit to only 10 votes and is reasonably likely to be leading at the end of the day.
However, the campaigns of both Mr. Fidler and the Republican candidate, David Storobin, are contesting ballots initially ruled valid, causing those votes to be temporarily set aside until all of the uncontested votes have finished being counted.
As absentee ballots were being counted today for last week’s State Senate special election, both campaigns had the opportunity to challenge ballots initially ruled valid, causing those votes to be set aside for later evaluation in a fairly normal procedural process. However, in a statement blasted out this evening, the campaign of the Republican candidate, David Storobin, charged that operatives working for the Democratic candidate, Lew Fidler, were systemically gaming the count by targeting ballots with Russian names on them (Mr. Storobin is himself a Russian immigrant).
Although the total number of challenges from both side are not immediately available, it is generally true that if one campaign challenges many more ballots than the other, it creates an appearance of a larger lead than reality, which sets in when many or most of those contested ballots are confirmed to be valid and returned to the count after the uncontested votes have finished being tallied.
never ending elections
The absentee ballots in the tight special election between Democrat Lew Fidler and Republican David Storobin are being counted in Brooklyn today, likely deciding which individual will ultimately be headed to the New York State Senate when the process is finally over.
Before today, Mr. Storobin held onto a 119 vote lead in the race, but that total is changing by the moment, and both campaigns are projecting confidence.
The Park Slope Food Coop is currently embroiled in a debate over whether to boycott a handful of Israeli products in protest of the government’s treatment of Palestine, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a candidate for Mayor in 2013, entered the discussion Sunday afternoon by calling the potential boycott “an outrage to our collective values as New Yorkers.”
Republican David Storobin is currently ahead in the recount of last Tuesday’s special election in Brooklyn, and at least some Democrats see a long-term advantage if his lead holds after all of the absentee ballots are counted later this week.
The advantage, the argument goes, is that due to redistricting, the district Mr. Storobin campaigned for is dismantled, and the new district Mr. Storobin has vowed to seek reelection in does not contain his base in the Russian community. Instead, the new district contains a very heavy Orthodox Jewish population, which would open the opportunity for Democrats to run a conservative, Orthodox Jewish candidate against him.