Felder Takes Big Risk by Caucusing with Republicans Early
Simcha Felder will either be a political genius or a political loser when all the votes are counted in two upstate State Senate races. The Democratic State-Senator elect made big news last week when he decided to caucus with the Republican party. As a result, the Republicans now have 31 out of 63 seats in the New York State Senate. They need 32 to control the chamber. If the Democrats hold on to their lead in the two upstate Senate races that are currently being re-counted, they will have 32 seats and the Republicans will have 31 meaning that Felder will have caucused with the wrong side.
The only saving grace? Even if the Democrats win those two seats, it is still possible that some Democrats, namely the four members of the Independent Democratic Caucus will join the Republicans. If that happens, then Felder will have made the smart move by aligning early with the Republicans in exchange for political promises. Sources tell us that in return for aligning with the Republicans, Felder has a commitment that he will chair a major committee, receive more funding for his office and more funding for his community. Those same sources say that Felder did not receive a commitment for the Republicans on any specific legislation that would benefit tuition paying parents.
Pesach Osina Running for City Council
Pesach Osina, a senior aide to Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, has told several of his close associates that he will soon announce a run for the City Council seat to replace Councilman James Sanders who has won a seat in the New York State Senate. This column was the first to report that Osina is a likely candidate for the seat several months ago. Goldfeder released a statement last month declaring his support of Osina immediately after this column was published.
Osina has become the face of the relief efforts in Far Rockaway and by all accounts was one of the hardest working people dealing with the post-Sandy recover in Far Rockaway. Osina will face several minority candidates bolstering his odds of winning the seat in a likely March 2013 special election. Of course, Osina will have to run again in September. As a result, he may very well win but only be able to hold onto the seat for eight months.
David Yassky For Comptroller?
Informed sources are telling us that current TLC Chair and former Councilman David Yassky is thinking of running for comptroller. Yassky ran for comptroller in 2009 and ended up in a runoff with John Liu which Yassky lost. This would mean that as many as three Jewish candidates would be running for comptroller in 2013 – Yassky, Councilman Dan Garodnick and Manhattan Borough President Scott Srtinger.
Insiders say that this could provide an opening for Council Finance Chairman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. who is mulling jumping into the race. “All three of these Jewish candidate are liberals that would be vying for the Manhattan and liberal Jewish vote in New York City. This can only help Recchia run as the ‘outer-borough’ moderate and could very well provide his path for victory.”
Five-Towns Suffers Because of Political Missteps
While Far Rockaway was getting all the attention and focus of the recovery efforts, their neighbor to the North, the Five Towns of Long Island was virtually ignored after Sandy. On some blocks, the electricity is still out. Insiders say that political missteps by key community leaders including Dr. Asher Mansdorf, the President of the local school board shut out the community from political access needed to make it a priority during the storm.
“Shelly Silver begged Mansdorf and other key leaders to support Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg for re-election to the Assembly. He was furious when Mansdorf not only refused, but put up his own candidate Republican David Sussman,” said one insider. Sussman went on to win big in the Five Towns but lose big everywhere else resulting in Weisenberg’s re-election. As a result, the community leaders had nowhere to turn when they needed help. Apparently, local legislator Howard Koppell pulled a Hikind and was in Florida while the storm hit. Our sources now tell us that a young group of askanim are thinking of forming a new political club to breakaway from Mansdorf and the establishment who they believe have not guided the Five Towns well in recent elections.
Dov Gordon is a political maven with unrivaled sources in the New York political world. This is a small selection of his exclusive insider political opinion & analysis column published in Yeshiva World News print edition every Friday. Have a tip for Dov? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see from his column, he guarantees all his sources confidentiality. Please note, this column is an opinion piece. The views reflected here are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YWN.
(YWn Desk – NYC)