YWN World Exclusive: Election Winners & Losers!

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It’s something of a tradition for YWN to proclaim the winners and losers the day after the election. So after a morning full of recommendations (and there were many) on who should be on today’s list, please find below our analysis of yesterday’s election. Of course, we won’t cite the obvious like winner Bob Turner or loser David Weprin. And if you have your own suggestions, we encourage you to add them in the comment section of this article.

Enjoy!

Winners

Chaskel Bennet
The Flatbush askan does it again. Sure, everyone and their mother endorsed Turner once the polls showed him ahead two WEEKS ago. Chaskel took a big chance as the first Orthodox Jewish backer of Turner two MONTHS ago and won big. His dreams of one day being an elected official himself might soon be realized. Chaskel is now the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the new Senate seat that will likely be carved out for the Jewish community in Brooklyn in next year’s redistricting.

Vito Lopez
The Brooklyn Democratic leader had a great night. His hand-picked candidates for New York State Assembly (Raphael Espinal) and Civil Court Judge (Sharon Hudson) beat out fierce challenges. The only race that he lost was Weprin’s – where his candidate got creamed in Southern Brooklyn. That’s no surprise. Everyone knows that Lopez is the undisputed leader of Northern Brooklyn. Southern Brooklyn, however, is a free-for-all of mini fiefdoms.

Phil Goldfeder
Despite a damning video that YWN exposed on election day showing Goldfeder refusing to oppose gay marriage, the Orthodox Jewish Goldfeder eked out a victory. True it was the smallest margin of victory of any Assembly candidate in the state. True he didn’t get as many votes out of Far Rockway as he would have liked. Also true that he needed a lot of help from the likes of Speaker Shelly Silver to win and now owes Shelly his allegiance. But a win, is a win, is a win.

Conservative Party
Few people remember, but Brooklyn’s Conservative party backed Turner first. That move all but forced the Republicans (who were still interviewing candidates at the time) to go along with their pick. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because they did the same exact thing last year when they boxed the Staten Island Republican party into supporting now-Congressman Mike Grimm. The party has solidified itself as the only true voice of conservatism (yeah, that’s a swipe at Republicans) and the counter-balance to the liberal Working Family Parties in New York State. What’s more, because of their strategic alliances they even had a good night with Democrats. They not only backed Republican Turner  but also backed successful Democratic Assembly candidate Raphael Espinal giving them a new Democratic ally in the most liberal of places: the New York State Assembly.

Orthodox Jews
Initial reports indicate that the Orthodox Jewish community provided as much as 20% of the vote in yesterday’s  race for Congress and the clear bulk of that went to Republican Bob Turner. The message is unmistakable – Orthodox Jews are mad at Obama and sick and tired of flip-flopping politicians (see David Weprin on gay marriage). As important, the Orthodox Jewish community now counts a record five  members of the New York State Assembly (all Democrats). In order of political philosophy (right to left): Dov Hikind, Mike Simanowitz, Phil Goldfeder, David Weprin  and Shelly Silver. Of course, it’ll be interesting to see how this new group gets along.

Richard Altabe
When it got hot Richard Altabe did not leave the kitchen, but he did take off the gloves. The questions were swirling about Phil Goldfeder’s tenuous position on same-gender marriage, yet the Far Rockaway askan fought back with a full-throated defense of Goldfeder and delivered a large amount of votes for his favorite son. No question about this: Richard Altabe is the leading askan in Far Rockaway.

Jeff Leb
So you want to run for office? Well your going to need lots of money and the right person to help you raise, spend and manage that cash. That can only mean one thing: you need a powerhouse treasurer. Armed with a new job as the Director of Administration & Government Relations for Otsar, in his spare time Leb is the go to guy for young Orthodox Jews looking for financial wizadry. Last year Leb was the treasurer for David Greenfield’s  Council campaign and this year he was the treasurer for Phil Goldfeder’s Assembly campaign. Leb is no slouch himself. The former Chief of Staff (and treasurer, of course) to Councilman Jim Genarro was recently elected in a landslide to the Five Towns Library Board.

Losers

Barack Obama
Can you hear them now? The district with the largest Jewish population in America sends a resounding message to Obama: we’re mad as heck, and we’re not going to take it anymore! Never before has an American President been so unsupportive of Israel and never before has the Jewish community so publicly upbraided a President. Despite the Democrats best attempt to spin this, the reality is that Orthodox Jews only make up 12% of the Congressional district (although they likely turned out in higher numbers). The rest of the Jewish population in the 9th is representative of Jews across the country. Mr. President, ever hear of a nice Jewish place called Florida?

Shimmy Pelman
Shimmy was the Chaskel Bennett of David Weprin’s campaign. The assisted-living mogul was the first Orthodox Jew to support Weprin and spent a lot of time, money and clout trying to line up Jewish support for Weprin. Unfortunately for Shimmy, his efforts were for naught. Weprin lost big and even bigger in the Orthodox community. Shimmy’s decades-long role as the go-to guy in the Queens Orthodox community may be coming to an end.

Joe Crowley
Joe may want to watch his political back. The Queens Democratic leader hand-picked David Weprin to run for this Congressional seat. Critics cried nepotism. After all, Weprin’s main claim to fame is that his father was the former Assembly speaker from Queens. Crowley didn’t care. He was more worried about a strong Democrat taking him on next year when this house seat is likely to got redistricted. Well, now he has to worry about a strong Republican. Bob Turner has vowed to run again even if he gets redistricted out of his seat.

Ezra Friedlander
There was a time in New York City when you couldn’t get Orthodox votes without the support of this smart hasidic political strategist. Those days ended long ago with the loss of Mark Green for Mayor. Friedlander worked over time, even dispatching his trusted aide – Dovid Lobel – to fight hard for Weprin. Sadly for The Friedlander Group, they no longer matter in political races. Good thing Friedlander has a robust event planning business. The invitation for the Agudath Israel breakfast that he manages already went out this morning.

Asher Taub
Asher Taub likes to remind everyone that he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress. He also likes to remind everyone that he supported Republican Bob Tuner before he switched to become a vocal supporter of Democrat David Weprin. Don’t worry, Asher, the Republicans won’t soon forget.

The Jewish Press
No, not the Jewish press (small “p”). They did a masterful job of reflecting the temperature of the Orthodox Jewish community and newer publications like Yated, Hamodia and on-line publications like YWN led the way in expressing the anger the community had towards Weprin. We speak of The Jewish Press weekly newspaper (big “P”). You may not remember this, but there was once a time when The Jewish Press actually mattered. No more. They were the only Orthodox Jewish publication to support David Weprin for Congress, proving once again that they are more loyal to the”establishment” than their Orthodox Jewish readers.

The Parkside Group
It takes considerable political talent to take a seat that is an easy win and manage it into a colossal loss. Parkside appears to possess such talent. The famed Queens political group is suffering it’s second Congressional setback in a row (last year they blew Mike McMahon’s race for Congress). Not only did Parkside write off the Orthodox Jewish vote, they wrote off the Russian Jewish vote as well. Rumor has it that Parkside owner Evan Stavitsky used this race as a way to get revenge on Russian media-mogul Gregory Davidson by freezing him out because Davidson backed a strong opponent to Evan’s mom – Senator Toby Stavistsky last year. You sure showed him Evan!

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(Dov Gordon – YWN)


50 COMMENTS

  1. The world is not totally different. Arguably, there is no a serious possibility of being a Republican in Brooklyn and Queens, and having a chance of winning. That will affect redistricting, fund raising, etc. It means many frum Democrats (who were “in name only”) have an option of switching. It means many other religiously-oriented minorities may feel free to switch. Yesterday, New York became “in play”.

    Also we should remember that a long term factor is demographics. Orthodox Jews are radically younger than secular Jews. We also live in Jewish neighborhooods. This means the change, will be long lasting and dramatic.

  2. Goldfeder won, but he will be watched under a microscope.

    We’re sick and tired of the flip-flopers.

    It’s a shame YWN didn’t start their campaign against him earlier, or he would have had a rough time winning.

  3. I would add Dov Hikind to the winners. While I am no fan of Hikind, he did come out strong this time and represent what we really wanted by constantly reminding us that Weprin voted against Hashem.

  4. Do you mean to say that it has become somewhat of a tradition for YWN to spread Sinas Chinom for no good reason?

    That seems to be the case.

    We know who won and who lost. Stop trying to make more Machlokes and declare your own winners and losers. It’s nothing more than gratuitous Lashon Harah.

    Even if you agree with all of the information that has been publicized by YWN over the past few weeks, any true yirei shomayim should look himself in the mirror and ask if this is what he should be reading during Elul. The tone and flavor of your posts were entirely inappropriate for a self-respecting frum website.

    The editors of YWN should be asking themselves if this is what they should be publicizing during Elul (or any other month of the year).

  5. Of course I’m happy with the election results, but I don’t think this post of winners & losers is worthwhile, it is divisive to Jews, our focus needs to be on achdus.

  6. Are you really sure Jeff Leb is a winner here? I received a mass mailing signed by a group of my “neighbors” and included Jeff Leb that urged a vote for Weprin.

  7. Also glad the topic of toieva was shot down in this very noteworthy election, Americans are so afraid of saying that they don’t believe in gay marriage because they will be called politically incorrect names, like “non-believer of civil rights”. At least this time the frum Jews stood up and stated unequivocally that this is our red line. Now maybe there will be other moral people in America who will not be afraid to say their true view on gay marriage. I’m tired of the liberal media trying to squash the voices of the opponents of this tragedy.

  8. …you are forgetting one more loser:

    Yeshiva World News.

    For all you have done in may many cases is spread lashon hara, rechilus and sheker all along under the guise of “Yeshiva” World News.

    Shame on you.

    Please make sure to post this so others can dispute my point of view.

    Moderators Note: Sure thing “MoneyMike”. Comment approved.

  9. #17 – I dispute your point of view.

    When people jump into political races, and PUBLICLY endorse people, and PUBLICLY write op-eds etc, then they can and SHOULD be held PUBLICLY accountable.

  10. @googy
    I doubt YWN was embarrassed. I assure you.

    @90871nort
    …but YWN is NOT the bottom line. The rabbanim are…and YWN uses their “power” to sway the rabbim…without the Rabbanim’s discretion.

  11. Dear YWN,

    There was a time when you would be able to read Yeshiva World News and get an objective report of the news. In other words, it was the website to go to hear the news “as it happened.”

    Lately it seems that things have changed. The writers have injected their own feelings into their reporting. However, this is something that will automatically happen, that a writer passionate about his topic or reporting on an event will write what they see or perceive happened.

    That being said this aricle “Winners and Losers”(I have personally never had seen it before) is highly in appropiate. If it were to have been a list with an explanation is one thing, however, the writer has taken the liberty to REDICULE the losers. This is not “torahdig” and highly inappropiate. This is especially wrong to be come from a website that strives to be reporting for the Yeshiva world.

    “Mr. Googy Eyes in post # 19 you wrote MoneyMike, how about that you just were mivayesh ywn in front of tens of thousands?”

    This Winner and loser article was posted in public, and Money Mike (and myself) were being “Mocheh” in public.

    Thank you for listening and I look forward to seeing articles written al pi derech HaTorah!

    Moderators Note: here are some other articles written “al pi derech HaTorah”

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=41601

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=74502

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=89534

  12. #20- did you ask YWN if you embarrassed them?
    Do you know for a fact that YWN does this without the rabbonim? and even if they did, do you think that the rabbonim saw the video of Goldfeder before throwing their support behind him?

    Do you know that Rabbi bender called Goldfeder yesterday and blasted him? Of course you will be lied to and told that this never happened, but IT DID.

  13. ywn hit them where it hurts.
    watch all goldfeders supporters come here now and blast away.

    this is the real world my friends. cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    where is asher taub?!

  14. ywn had some pretty amazing election coverage, and this is part of it.

    Stop with the “lashon hara” nonsense. there is nothing wrong with this article.

    People really need to grow up.

  15. I’ll reiterate once again. I called YWN murderers.
    I know. I make things up without any facts, or knowing if people consult with rabbonim etc. I just can’t control myself.

    Period.

  16. Personally, I love reading YWN’s post-election coverage and I share it with my friends. I find it always to be very informative and sometimes humorous as well. Its a pity that so many people get so wound up over things.

    I am not involved in the political world and appreciate YWN giving me a glimpse into it in a way that the “average Joe” can understand. Thanks !

  17. Why are people so worked up over this? YWN did a phenomenal job in reporting.

    It is becoming apparent that most of the anti comments are people with some type of connection to some of the candidates.

    How sad.

  18. No problem stick to the reportin and get away from rdiculing. The point of the article was not informative, it was for enjoyment! see the last word of the introduction.

    I am not writing to protect any candidate, i don’t know any of them, and didn’t vote for any of them, i don”t even live in their districts.

    This article could have been written in an onformative way rather then in a reduculing way. That’s the only point I am making.

  19. Stop complaining. This is a watershed event in American Jewish history. You’ll be able to tell your great-grandchildren that you remembered when Jews used to be considered liberal Democrats, and finally got the nerve to start voting Republican and radically changed the face of American policy. They will of course assume you invented it all and are pulling their legs, since why would frum Jews ever be part of a corrupt party that favors sexual perversion, stabbing Jews in the back and printing money (though by that time, the idea that money is something you print well be alien to them)

  20. #15 – I just spoke with Jeff Leb and got explained his rationale by signing on to a letter for Weprin. I may not agree with it, but I appreciate his positive motivations which had the community in mind.

    I want to thank YWN for mentioning Jeff because he is a great person who is usually behind the scenes and it is nice to see that you did the research to figure out who the “brains” are behind the winners. Great article !

  21. @5 T Macher
    Depends who you ask….the Phil-bashers may not agree.

    Could be Saftalas just ran his last campaign because he supports/works for people who don’t give straight answers about toaivah-marriages…

  22. I appreciate that YWN provides great coverage of these local elections that are of particular importance to our communities, and just as importantly, provides a forum for we in the frum community to openly express our views on these issues. YWN has become a valuable source of information for many and is gradually becoming a force in political events as well. I applaud YWN for standing up for Torah values and publicizing the candidates that align with or diverge from such values, and not necessarily those that our community “leaders” choose for us for politically convenient reasons.

    However, as someone once said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. A post that names certain people winners and losers, especially if some of those are frum Jews, is simply not appropriate or in line with Torah values, not right after Tisha B’av, not during Elul, and not ever. We understand that politics is tough, and can be a hard-fought battle, but that is no excuse to make such statements publicly and, seemingly, for little or no practical purpose.

    I would also suggest that YWN remain somewhat objective in its reporting and not be unofficially endorsing candidates and announcing winners and losers as it will become just another voice telling us what to think and who to vote for, which is not appreciated and eventually alienates people (e.g., New York Times) but should instead stick to informing and enlightening its readers and letting them decide.

    Stay classy YWN.

  23. Here’s POLITICO’s look at the winners and losers from the closely-watched race.

    WINNERS

    Paul Ryan – Three months ago, Democrats successfully seized on the House Budget Committee chairman’s controversial plan to rewrite Medicare in an upstate New York special election. But that message didn’t work this time for Weprin, who hammered Turner over the plan and who raced into senior centers during the final days of the race to brand the Republican as scary. Icing on the cake for Ryan: The approach didn’t work for Democrats in Nevada either, where Republican Mark Amodei won by a landslide in Tuesday’s other special election.

    Rudy Giuliani – Turner had no more high-profile endorser than the former New York City mayor, who won the district both times he ran for mayor and provided Turner, a relative political newcomer, with establishment credibility. Giuliani’s team—mayoral campaign veterans E. O’Brien Murray and Bill O’Reilly—also helped to lead the Turner effort.

    Republican Jewish Coalition – It’s not every day that Jewish Republicans can hawk an electoral success. But this time they can. No, a Jewish Republican didn’t get elected, but the RJC rallied around Turner’s bid and boosted his efforts to frame the race as a referendum on President Barack Obama’s policies on Israel in a district where Jews comprise nearly one-third of the population. The RJC sent mailers to 30,000 Jewish households, all designed to highlight the notion of Obama’s frosty relationship with Israel.

    New York Republican Party – Going into the race, the state GOP didn’t have a lot to crow about. New York Republicans had lost three consecutive special congressional elections, and last year fielded hapless tea party candidate Carl Paladino in the gubernatorial race. Ed Cox, the New York Republican Party chairman, can now point to a win.

    Pete King – On Capitol Hill, Turner had a loyal supporter in King, an outspoken and camera-friendly GOP congressman who took up his campaign’s banner and helped him fundraise. On Tuesday evening, King was in attendance at Turner’s Queens post-election party for a victory lap.

    National Organization for Marriage – The socially conservative organization helped to sow unrest with Weprin and Orthodox Jewish Democrats over his support for same-sex marriage. The organization dropped $75,000 on mailers highlighting Weprin’s position and dispatched Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein to record an anti-Weprin robocall. The National Organization for Women wasn’t the only conservative group involved in the race – the Family Research Council also hammered Weprin in a New York City district that is more socially conservative than its neighboring seats.

    Ed Koch – The voluble former Democratic mayor proved that even after all these years, he knows how to stay relevant. It was Koch who helped lead Turner’s Israel offensive, declaring that a vote for the Republican was a way to send Obama a message over his Mideast policies.

    Magellan Strategies – The little-known Republican firm was the first outfit to project that Turner was in a position to win, releasing an automated poll one week ago showing the Republican leading Weprin by four percent. Even the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling recognized its significance, Tweeting after the Turner win: “Props to Magellan Strategies on NY-9. Never easy to be the first pollster out with something no one’s really expecting.”

    Working Families Party – Yes, the labor-backed Working Families Party, famed for its get-out-the-vote operation, got behind Weprin and provided him with a helping hand in voter turnout efforts. But, perhaps sensing that the race was a loser, the party didn’t help out quite as aggressively as they could have – refusing to aggressively publicize their support for Weprin and instead choosing to focus their attention on a state Assembly race in Brooklyn.

    LOSERS

    Joe Crowley – The buck stops with Rep. Crowley, the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, who hand-picked Weprin. Despite myriad organizational advantages, his old-school machine failed to put its candidate over the top Tuesday even though, just a day earlier, Crowley promised that it would. The congressman may have thought picking an establishment-oriented candidate like Weprin was a safe pick — a pol who was unlikely to challenge a New York incumbent after the upcoming round of redistricting redraws the city’s maps. But Weprin’s campaign missteps became a serious problem and at his election night party, Crowley was nowhere to be seen.

    Downstate Democrats – With New York losing two seats in reapportionment, Weiner’s vacant seat was a perfect target for elimination – a way for Democrats tasked with redrawing the state’s congressional map to protect long-serving incumbents. But with the seat now in GOP hands, the ripple effect is that a downstate Democratic incumbent could now be axed.

    New York Assembly – Message to both parties: Stop nominating lawmakers from New York’s lower legislative chamber. They just can’t win special elections. Assembly members have now lost in each of the last four House special elections in the state—just read the polls to see how poorly the Assembly is regarded by voters.

    Andrew Cuomo – The popular governor is known for his cautiousness—in May’s upstate New York special election, Cuomo didn’t get behind now-Rep. Kathy Hochul until the last minute when the picture was clearer. But he gave Weprin, an establishment party figure, a forceful seal of approval and went so far as to cut a robo-call for the assemblyman.

    The Parkside Group – Weprin ran a lousy campaign, and it was the Parkside Group, a New York City consulting firm, that was at the helm. There was much grumbling about the way the Weprin campaign was run: witness DCCC chairman Steve Israel’s election night statements thanking his two unsuccessful special election candidates — Nevada’s Kate Marshall was thanked “for her tremendous effort and first-rate campaign” while Weprin was simply thanked “for his tremendous effort.” Some of Weprin’s decisions were just odd – like when his campaign decided to send a costumed wizard to a Turner event to mock him. Or the time Weprin decided to duck a debate and said it was because of Hurricane Irene, which had already passed.

  24. Let me first state. I do not live in the voting district, and live on East 9th Street in flatbush.I think YWN left out one big winnner. Moderator please respond. That is Rabbi Boruch Beer Bender.
    He founded Achiezer and singlehandedly runs what is arguably the greatest most all encompassing chesed organization ever known to klal yisroel. there is no more powerful person in the five towns all while helping everyone confidentially. i know because my mother lives in cedarhurst and we owe Achizer her life. my cousin was involved in the Goldfeder campaign and told me that Bender without bieng in the headlines has known phil for years and works with him weekly on issues that people have. he has supported phil throughout and will now have a real partner in assemply.

  25. 47- the greatest most all encompassing chesed organization ever known to klal yisroel.

    That was a joke, right?

    Not taking away from the chesed and the greatness of what they do, but please. Do us a favor.

  26. The biggest losers are the middle class. Another rich Republican in Congress. Hashem have mercy on us. Turner, the producer of the scandalous “Jerry Springer Show” does NOT represent Jewish values.