On Valentine’s Day, Republican State Senate candidate David Storobin held a press conference where he attempted to shoot an arrow through the reputation of his opponent, the well respected City Councilman, Lew Fidler:
“Mr. Fidler’s character renders him unfit to serve in the State Senate…. Lew Fidler is…the kind of person who would say or do anything to get elected…the kind of person who would sell out a member of his own faith, his own community, just so he can rise another rung on his career political ladder…””
There was enough bullshit slung at the event that three different columns could not address it all.
I tried to finish the job here and I still could not do it.
This piece was supposed to be a handy, point by point attempt to address everything Storobin had said at his press conference, but I had to quit halfway into the job because so much Storobin had written was in the realm of badly written sci-fi and I had to find a pimply junior high school nerd to sift through the rest of it.
1) Mr. Storobin argues that he has been dragged kicking and screaming into making his campaign about personal attack on his opponent instead of about issues because of false accusations made by Mr. Fidler.
The fact that this is a mixture of overwrought exaggeration and outright lies is more fully discussed in this link. In reality, Mr. Storobin’s was planning the victim of a minor private insult, which he elevated into a press sensation. In reality, Mr. Storobin was planning all along to go negative. Mr. Storobin’s professions of innocent victimhood are most reminiscent of the strange Ultra-Orthodox fringe group in Jerusalem which has taken to spitting on the children of other Orthodox Jews, and donning yellow stars while comparing the Israeli government to Nazis.
2) Mr. Storobin argues that Lew Fidler is “the hand-picked candidate of political boss Vito Lopez.”
Like Mr. Storobin, Mr. Fidler was indeed chosen as the candidate of his Party (and one other) by a Party committee.
Much of Storobin's campaign has been dedicated to the crooked tendencies of Brooklyn Democrats, including Storobin's fictitious assertions about the number of Brooklyn Democratic Leaders who’ve gone to prison. Storobin only exaggerated that number by 300% (though Storobin's number would be accurate if Storobin were talking aboutthe number of GOP State Senators who' been convicted of crimes in the last decade).
As to Fidler's being the boss choice, as I’ve noted, the Democrats choose their candidate in the 27th SD by a vote of the 287 County Committee members elected in that district. I've sat through more than one really contentious County Committee nominating process to call it “boss-controlled.” Boss influenced is more like it, and even then a boss like Vito Lopez can only do so much to control the outcome of locals voting on locals in an area where he's not a local.
In the case of the 27th, this meant Lopez could not stop Lew Fidler and therefore didn't even try.
As has sometimes been noted, Lopez and Fidler have not had the most friendly of relationships, and there is every reason to believe that if Lopez could have stopped Fidler, he might have very well tried to do so.
In this link, Mole333, perhaps Brooklyn’s most anti-Lopez blogger, hails Fidler for publicly and courageously standing up to Lopez.
At two County Committee meetings in a row he was one of the strongest reform voices and the one most critical of the machine despite his machine ties. Of course it put at risk his machine ties, but he had no fear of that risk and preferred standing on principle rather than take the easy route. Not sure he ALWAYS does that, but it is clear that he has little fear and does not care too much about the easy route.
And the key thing for me was that he stood up to the machine, right in its face, several times and though this pissed off party boss Vito Lopez, Lew is too strong and too much of a fighter for Vito Lopez to take on. And I think that really is key: Lew Fidler doesn’t fear Vito Lopez and, if Vito fears anything after all he has been through, he may feel just a twinge of it when faced with Lew. I see Fidler as the only person who just might be able to bring Vito down (it would be a tough fight!) and Vito knows it, too. If nothing else, Lew has made clear to Vito’s face that Lew can and will stand up to a challenge from Vito. That is someone I want around.
In this link, we find actual video footage of Fidler standing up to Lopez at the Party’s County Committee meeting. In 2010, Lopez threatened to come after Fidler’s District Leadership; Fidler’s response was to get up in front of a crowded room and tell Lopez “Make My Day.”
By contrast to Fidler’s taking the nomination more in spite of Lopez than because of him (with Lopez now forced to pull out the stops, or to risk being made to look weak by the GOP) , the GOP chose Storobin, the Party Vice Chair and handpicked candidate of Party Boss Craig Eaton and the real Party boss, Marty Golden, --not by a vote of County Committee members from the affected district, but instead by a vote of a couple a dozen Party Executive Committee, members--most of them from outside the Senate District. That is a process that is “boss controlled.”
3) Storobin sat Fidler is “the direct descendant of “Big Tony” Genovese…”
This is a pure and simple ethnic slur of the late Mr. Genoviesi (more details in this link).
4) Storobin say “Mr. Fidler is a man who has given money and taken money from the now disgraced Carl Kruger.”
Mr. Storobin’s campaign is the creature of two entities: The Republican State Senate Campaign Committee (RSCC), and its wholly owned subsidiary (through its Brooklyn member, State Senator Marty Golden) the Kings County Republican Committee.
As I’ve noted before, both these entities have long been structurally enmeshed with Carl Kruger.
How enmeshed? Fidler once got a $1000 check from Kruger. The Party organization which handpicked Storobin got $1,950.
3029 AVENUE S
BROOKLYN, NY 11229 1,650.00 07-APR-02 FRIENDS OF CARL
2002 July Periodic
2950 AVENUE S
BROOKLYN, NY 11229 250.00 29-SEP-05 FRIENDS OF CARL
2006 Jan Periodic
As to the RSCC, Storobin, whose own campaign committee is almost bereft of funds not obtained from himself or his mommy, has not only admitted, but publicly boasted, that the RSCC will be “independently” spending a bundle on his campaign:
“We have a tremendous amount of money being put into our campaign by the Senate Republicans…In the last ten years, all of the money that all of the other candidates got times ten is not even close to what we’re getting.”
Where did that money, which is almost solely financing Mr. Storobin, come from?
From places like this:
LIPSKY, RICHARD 2,000.00 17-OCT-02
NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
2002 11 Pre General
LIPSKY, RICHARD 2,000.00 18-OCT-10
NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
Before GOP State Senate candidate David Storobin denounces Lew Fidler again for a three year old contribution he got from Carl Kruger (before Kruger’s indictment), perhaps he should also call upon the people who are financing his campaign to return the ill-gotten gains they received from Richard Lipsky, who recently pled guilty to being Kruger’s bagman.
Will Storobin call upon his mentor, Brooklyn Republican State Senator Marty Golden, to return the $3000, count it, $3000 (!!!) Golden got from the Lipsky’s wife?
2011 LIPSKY, DOROTHY 3,000.00 18-DEC-10
Given their enmeshment with Kruger, the idea that the RSCC and the Kings GOP are trying to use Kruger as an issue is mindboggling, especially against Lew Fidler.
To quote Woody Allen, Fidler loves Kruger “like a brother.”
Back in 1993-94, when this seat last became vacant, Fidler was, for a short time, a possible candidate for this seat against Kruger and others, but between some issues in his own club (at the time infested with Garsons) and having two young children he opted out.
But that didn’t stop Carl from playing really mean, ugly and personal.
When a City Council seat opened in 2001, Fidler was supposed to be the presumptive choice of the area’s Democratic Party Leaders, but for a while, Kruger had his hat in the ring, just for the pleasure of leaving Lew twisting in the wind. Kruger played the game for as long as possible, just to fuck with Fidler for the sport of it.
Fidler was livid.
As Robert Caro once noted: “There is an expression used in Albany to describe the relationship of two men between whom there exists bad feeling when that feeling has existed for years, has resisted every attempt at reconciliation and has only deepened with the passage of time, to a point where ‘dislike’ is not so fitting a name for it as ‘hatred.’ In discussing such men, one assemblyman will say to another, with a knowing shake of his head: ‘They go back a long way’”
Lew Fidler and Carl Kruger go back a long way.
Once or twice over the decades, Kruger and Fidler have been forced by the occasion to utter a nice word about the other in public.
But as rare as those occurrences have been in public, such an occasion has never occurred in private.
In 2007, after one of my periodic attacks on Kruger, Rock Hackshaw asked me, "Why has [Kruger] succeeded in holding on to his seat? Was it Tony Genovese and the Jefferson club that held it all together for him ?"
I answered, “Perhaps initially, but it's probably mostly the inertia that saves all southern Brooklyn pols from having primaries until the Russian population in their districts reaches what sociologists like to call "the tipping point". Plus he raises mucho dinero. As To TJ, talk is,
[repeat of David Greenglass joke]…If and when the Commission ever give sanction to a hit upon Mr. Kruger, one can rest assured that, Tony Blundetto style, the Jefferson Club will insist, as an act of mercy, upon carrying out the execution itself.
One can also rest assured that when the word goes out that they are looking for a volunteer to carry out the distasteful task, the line in front of the club will run three thick around the block and down to Flatlands Avenue."
And as I later noted, “rest assured, as the poor potential volunteers suffer through waiting in the cold of a pouring winter rain storm, Lew Fidler’s staff will be giving away free coffee, doughnuts, hot toddies, complimentary umbrellas and words of encouragement to those on line.”
So here we are presented with the irony of Carl Kruger’s longtime GOP allies trying to hang the burning tire of Carl Kruger’s disgraceful career as a public nuisance around the neck of one Kruger’s most vociferous enemies.
And people ask me why I don’t write fiction
That’s probably enough for now, but it is a clear indication of the quality of though involved here. Storobin’s campaign thinks history began on the day in December Kruger resigned, and that they can just make the stuff up and have their candidate read it from a sheet of paper they put in front of him.