LARRY LITTLEFIELD: But consider this -- you haven't said anything good about Fidler. Now Fidler has shown up on websites where I have had discussions from time to time, and engaged in discussions on public policy. And I have disagreed with him most of the time. But at least he had intelligent things to say, had a point of view, made his case fairly, and engaged in the discussion respectfully. Very rare among our political overlords. I'll bet no one currently up in Albany both knows something about what the government actually does and is willing to engage on the topic
Those who remember my 2010 State Legislative endorsements know that I no longer really care much whether the Democrats ever retake the NY Senate.
I can now reveal my true identity: I am Andrew Cuomo.
It is now a matter of apathy to me who gets to run Racetrack Empire.
It’s actually an exaggeration to say my position is the same as the Governor’s. Although I agree that accomplishing all your legislative goals in one fell swoop is worth the price of sacrificing John Sampson (in fact, sacrificing John Sampson may be an incidental bonus), I think that reapportionment implicates fundamental issues of fairness and democratic accountability.
When legislative lines are drawn to de facto disenfranchise large portions of the population, and to ensure a preordained result contrary to the will of the populace, it is time to get out the veto pen, even if you are pleased with the ultimate results that map will yield.
That is so much bigger than the temporary question of who gets to run Racetrack Empire.
As for the State Senate Democrats, my biggest concern is that they get a grown up into the Room ASAP; which is why I've been pushing so hard for Lew Fidler’s election to the State Senate.
As I joked late last year:
one more thing Governor, we have to schedule that election for Kruger's seat. A March date would probably be best for the Senate Democrats." and why should I be interested in helping that bunch of gibbones
The consigliere replies: "You should be enthusiastic about helping Lew Fidler. His election will double the IQ of the Conference."
The Governor looks at his aide with fury: "But that's the problem.”
Much of radical moderate Littlefield’s point is echoed across the ideological spectrum, whether it be by leftie progressive reformers like Mole 333 or conservative, barely Democratic Democrats like Ed Koch.
In all three cases, their feelings have little or nothing to do with who Fidler’s opponent is, and almost everything to do with who Fidler is.
I’ve known Lew Fidler a long time. He’s a truly remarkable individual, a character for sure, but a character who has character.
He’s a person of honor and decency, whose word is his bond. He’s the guy everyone trusts as an honest broker. He’s the guy who will take you aside, friend or foe, and explain to you what’s really what.
He’s the fat wonky kid with thick glasses who skipped grades, finished school early and is obsessed with Star Trek and simulated sports.
But, he’s also the fat wonky kid with thick glasses who was always voted most popular, had the best sense of humor and married the prettiest girl.
He’s the fat wonky kid so bent on self improvement that he once spent a month in North Carolina doing the Duke University Rice Diet and acquiring a case of gout from his rapid weight loss (something which came back to haunt him in a campaign a quarter century later).
He’s the guy who empathizes with victims of violent crime and drug addiction, because both have stricken his family in the worst possible way, but he’s also the guy who refuses to exploit it for political advantage (and is probably going to yell at me for even mentioning it).
In an area full of parochial pols with limited worldviews, Lew Fidler always makes sure to stay on top of what his constituents want and need from their government, and most of the time, he gets it for them.
I submit that no one else is doing that anymore.
Fidler understands his constituents and he cares. But he also cares about the world beyond as well.
Representing a district where there was no possible political benefit to be gained from working on behalf of the needs of homeless LGTB children, he made the matter a personal crusade.
Fidler understands his constituents, but he isn’t afraid of doing what’s right.
Representing a Council District that is over 40% black (with black voters being an even higher percentage of the Democratic primary vote), Fidler has, time and again, publicly called “bullshit” on the rhetorical antic of his colleague Charles Barron, while others in a better political position to do so stood silent. [He’s also managed to convincingly win the black vote in every one of his races, against opponents both black and white].
Fidler’s Judaism burns within him—before he was ever elected to anything, he was one of the most outspoken supporters of the Crown Heights Jewish community in the aftermath of the 1991 riots. He headed the Hillel Foundation at Brooklyn College at a time when Jewish students were under political attack and he stood tall.
But no good deed goes unpunished.
Fidler is now enduring a sordid attack on his purported lack of Jewishness from David Storobin, an opponent (who’s tried to convince the world that he himself is an Orthodox Jew, even as he spends his Sabbaths posting on Facebook); a despicable and reprehensible young man who’s built his entire campaign on screaming “faygeleh” and “Nazi.”
Then there is the property tax.
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