In the Super Jewish District, also known as SD17, there are two candidates that currently look viable, running for the senate seat in this district: The Republican incumbent Senator David Storobin, and the democrat deputy NYC Comptroller Simcha Felder.
NYS Senate majority leader Republican Dean Skelos has decided to throw (unofficially) his support behind the democrat Simcha Felder rather than the Republican David Storobin.
The reasoning behind this decision is probably that at the point when Mr. Skelos threw his support behind Felder, Senator Storobin was still embroiled in his recount battle with Lew Fidler, and Mr. Skelos didn’t believe that Mr. Storobin would come out on top, so he wanted to have inroads with Felder.
Secondly, Mr. Skelos is under the impression that Mr. Felders name recognition in the Jewish Community would guarantee him the victory in that district. That’s why Mr. Skelos wants to be on the good side with Felder, and additionally Felder gave him his word that in return for his support, if wins he would possibly caucus with the republicans or at least not strongly oppose them.
But here is where Mr. Skelos is mistaking: Mr. Felder does actually have a strong name recognition in the Orthodox community, but not a positive one. We, his former constituents all remember that Simcha never stuck his neck out for the community, he never took a tough stand on behalf of the community, and he never stood out as a fighter for the community. He rarely passed any major legislation to benefit his constituents. He was always this vague politician that tries to have it on all sides. This is the reason why on a picture that Felder posed for with all his volunteers for petitions, you don’t see even a single orthodox Jewish volunteer.
Number two, even if Mr. Felder gave his word to be on caucus with republican or not oppose them, it means absolutely nothing. This is all until he will feel he can gain some power by saying something else. Mr. Felder would say or do anything if he feels he’ll gain some power from it.
Four years ago he was a proud supporter of Barack Obama, now that the tide has turned, the orthodox Jews elected congressman Turner by a landslide in an election that was a referendum on Obama, he switched his position and no longer supports this president, and he came up with this absurd spin, that he backed Obama to somehow support McCain.
Then-Councilman Felder testified in front of a Committee in Albany to argue against placing tolls on the East River crossings (aka “congestion pricing”), but when it came to the actual vote on March 30, 2008, Felder was of the 30 members to back it, while 20 others voted against it. The State killed it later.
Several years ago before the Republicans regained control of the State Senate, Mr. Felder said that he is a “Malcolm Smith Democrat”, and said that he looks forward to work with democrats in Albany, as he did in New York City. He also said he’s looking forward to help the Democrats regain the Senate. But at a later point he said that Political affiliation of a candidate is irrelevant to orthodox Jews.
Felder tried to get the independence party line, but when Storobin got it he said that he didn’t want it because one of the Party’s key people wrote something Anti-Semitic in 1989; 23 years ago.
So if anyone thinks that they can rely on Mr. Felder’s word, think again.
Furthermore Mr. Skelos, if at the time you gave your support to Felder, Storobin wasn’t yet a sitting senator, now he is. Why shouldn’t you, Mr. Skelos publicly throw your support behind a Republican that ran as a conservative republican, and won as a Republican, and behaves like a Republican? A candidate that works for the community as he proved himself in the first few weeks on the job?