11/14/12

Simcha Felder: Political DINO-Mite

If you're looking for a poster child for the Brooklyn Democratic Party's "Democrat in name only" (DINO) problem, look no further than career politician Simcha Felder.

Brooklyn Democratic party chair Frank Seddio called the Conservative/Democrat's decision to accept Dean Skelos' invitation to caucus with the Republican conference in the State Senate when he takes office "a disgrace". 

If voters had meant to elect a Republican, said Seddio, they'd have voted for David Storobin, the Republican candidate.

Seddio, accusing Felder, in so many words, of stooging for the Republican Party, called Felder's decision to join the Republican caucus a betrayal of both the Democratic Party and the voters who elected him.

Seddio's problem is that many of those voters knew exactly what they were doing. Brooklyn DINOs, primarily Orthodox Jews, vote "their" candidates, not their party affiliation.

Before Felder, son of a prominent Orthodox rabbi, replaced Storobin as State Senator for the 17th District, he was Deputy Comptroller of the City of New York, chief of staff to Assembly Member Dov Hikind, and three-term City Council Member from the 44th District, encompassing parts of Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst.

Depending on whose account you believe, Felder, popular among his conservative constituents for his loyalty to Israel, either refused on religious grounds to vote for Council Speaker Christine Quinn because she is gay, or duped his fellow City Council Members, who were counting on his vote for Quinn, by skipping the roll call for the vote.

Felder, known as a foe of pigeons, flyer guys and the United Nations (which he calls "anti-Israel"), is a dedicated advocate of public funding for religious schools who endorsed Michael Bloomberg for a third term as mayor. 

The article from the Daily News.

According to the New York Post, the only thing different about Felder's soul-selling move and past Democratic defections was Felder's bold-faced public acknowledgement.

City Council Member Lew Fidler's take on Felder's defection (according to a Felder spokesperson, voters were duly warned of his fickle nature) [Politicker.]

The Democratic Party looks for a way to expel Felder [Capital New York.]

What's the connection between Felder's Dean Skelos-induced Republican switch and Brooklyn's new Republican-created "Jewish Super-District"?  Did Felder make a pre-election deal with Skelos? [Daily News]

Does the Democratic Party have legal grounds to expel Felder [Capital New York]?

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