Tickled Pincus (or 45 Ways to Leave Your Party) [Corrections and Clarifications Added x 2]
A perhaps apocryphal story:
Last fall, shortly after the election, two young black-hatted supporters of 45th AD Republican Assembly candidate Joseph Hayon's Assembly race were walking down Ocean Avenue discussing local GOP District Leader Boris Pincus and his efforts, such that they were, on behalf of their candidate .
They were passing by a church and were spotted by two nuns.
The old nun said, "those aren't Priests, those are Talmudic students. Listen when they walk by. If they speak Yiddish they're Jews, if they speak Latin they're Priests.
Once again, we will plumb the murky depths of Brooklyn’s GOP wars.
On November 4, 2008, 45th AD Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz, a Democrat representing Brooklyn’s overwhelmingly Jewish and increasingly Orthodox and Russian 45th Assembly District, received 50.35% of the vote on the Democratic line.
The candidate on the Republican line got 47.18%.
That candidate was also named Steve Cymbrowitz, courtesy of his relationship with GOP District Leader Boris Pincus, and the perception that Cymbrowitz was unbeatable.
Cymbrowitz had also been the GOP choice in 2006.
The 2008 results necessitated that when a real Republican ran in 2010, Pincus had to unhappily acquiesce to his nomination, even though he would have preferred to support Cymbrowitz (although priorities being priorities, and Amigos being Amigos, State Senator Marty Golden and his socket puppet, County GOP Chair Craig Eaton would not permit a similar challenge to State Senator Carl Kruger).
The 2008 results came courtesy of something approaching a landslide for John McCain in the 45th.
By contrast, the real Republican running in 2010, Joseph Hayon, a religious Sephardic Jew active in the Brooklyn Tea Party, had to stand downwind from the flatulence of Carl Paladino.
Beyond that, Hayon spent an underwhelming $615 on his race, and had no help from Pincus’ Republican Club.
Yet, on Election Day, Hayon took 42.16% to Cymbrowitz’s 57.80% in what might be called the $615 wake up call.
One can bet that, next time out, there will be a Republican willing to increase that cash by more than 100-fold in a year when the Democrat will be running on a ticket with a President slightly less popular in the 45th than pork bellies.
I know that, as a Democrat, I should be concerned about this, but it’s hard not to consider it poetic justice.
Cymbrowitz's "Democratic" Club (though not always Cymbrowitz himself) has been telling people in its district to vote for Republicans for so many positions for so many years that people have started to take their advice a bit too seriously.
Luckily for Democrats, Republicans have greeted the first flowering of possible local success by forming a firing squad in a circle, and Hayon is now challenging Pincus for his District Leadership.
Over time Hayon has received both support and criticism from both of what once were Brooklyn’s competing GOP websites, the insurgent (and comatose) Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn and the regular (and completely repugnant and unreadable) Jig is Up Atlas.
The rap on Hayon is that he is a far right wing obsessively homophobic lunatic.
Even though this is printed in The Jig is Up Atlas, there is every reason to believe that it is the truth.
The interesting thing about the Jig’s citation of this fact is that it was done in an anti-Hayon article, when one would assume that the Jip would find this a good thing, given their relentless queer-bashing of David Weprin (always pictured with a rainbow flag) and Lew Fidler (blasted for the abomination of helping homeless LGTB teenagers).
The Jig once wrote some nice things about Hayon, but now writes:
“Hayon has lied about his resume. He was never a teacher. He just got his associate degree this year (supposedly). Teachers in New York State require a masters degree (at least be in the process of getting one).
[CLARIFICATION: I included the above quote to accurately report the level of vitriol in this race, which also included mutual accusations of petition fraud at a level which would rise to a felony. I did not include this quote for its truth, and since it appears in The Jig, I do not assume it to be the truth. and neither should anyone sane.
In response to the above quote, I recieved the following email:Hello,My name is Joseph Hayon. I have already informed the Jig that I will file a claim against them for their completely false and malicious statements against me. While I fully understand you reported with no malice, since it is untrue, I request you remove the Jig's statements. I was a teacher at a private school. The law does not require private schools to have any degree. The entire post by the Jig is malicious and untrue in nature.
There are a few other statements incorrect in your blog, but none of it is personal, so it doesn't bother me.]
Both blogs have also written negatively about Pincus.
The rap on Pincus is that he is a Republican In Name Only (RINO). This also appears to be backed up by rather substantial evidence.
While serving as a Republican District Leader and holding a Republican patronage position, Pincus has given money to both Democratic Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for City Comptroller.
The Comptroller candidate is named David Weprin.
Moreover a quick google search concerning Pincus makes him appear to be something of a liberal.
An Uzbeki immigrant (via Texas), Pincus is most famous for initiating projects promoting increased dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims.
By contrast, Hayon is most famous for heading the Brooklyn Tea Party, a group which has taken an activist position against the proposed Sheepshead Bay mosque.
Some of Pincus’ other activities also have a liberal tinge.
For instance, Pincus, while living in Texas, successfully lobbied then-Gov. George W. Bush to reverse a decision and come up with the funding needed to allow thousands of immigrants to retain food stamps.
Pincus has also been an outspoken force for modern values in the deeply conservative Bukharin Jewish community:
“Many of our young people are into drugs and quite a few are in jail. To deal with these kinds of problems, we should be turning to the mainstream American Jewish community for help in providing social services and taking advantage of the expertise American-born Jews have built up over many decades…Yet our community remains largely isolated from the mainstream Jewish community and mainstream society, and our unelected community leadership does everything to keep it that way…They live in America, but act as though we were still in Central Asia…A well-functioning community is one in which people are united in caring for each other….a community should be about helping single moms or teens in trouble or helping out-of-work people to find jobs. Our community is simply not providing those services.”
But neither Hayon’s obsessive extremism, nor Pincus’ bleeding heart and party disloyalty are as important to the various GOP factions as are the fact that Pincus is loyal to Craig Eaton while Hayon has, by default, been adopted (after what appears to be some bouncing around) by the rebels.
Everything else is commentary. These folks care much more about beating each other than they do about beating Democrats.
As such The Jig recently printed this unenthusiastic endorsement:
“It is because of all this and more that we must endorse Boris Pincus for Male Republican District Leader in the 45th Assembly District.Pincus is a RINO but Hayon is a fraud.”
I suppose it’s appropriate in a district where the Republican Leader is a closet Democrat for the Democrats to be closet Republicans.
Here’s the 45th AD’s Female District Leader, Pearl Siegelman, explaining last year why she, her Co-Leader Michael Geller and her club, the Highway Democrats, were supporting a Republican for Congress against an incumbent Democrat.
“We felt that Michael Grimm was the candidate most in sync with our Reagan Democrat philosophy…Congressman McMahon’s lukewarm response to lower taxation and his vote for cap and trade are troubling.”
Luckily, the Highway Democrats are a pretty inefficient lot. Despite the club’s turnabout, the 45th was the only AD in McMahon’s entire congressional District where he improved his percentage (rather significantly) in 2010.
As I’ve noted, this was not the club’s first Republican endorsement. It has done so at the National, State and City level on multiple occasions, and even supported Marty Golden in his first State Senate race against incumbent Vinnie Gentile.
This is not merely a revolt against left wingers; Gentile and McMahon are fairly conservative Democrats.
This year, in a move that surprised no one, Geller has refused to support David Weprin for Congress.
National Democrats in the 45th AD are a decided minority of the area’s population, and it is too much to expect that they be represented by liberals on the Party’s Executive Committee.
But it is not too much to expect Party Leaders there to not support Republicans.
Joe Bova in the 49th AD is a pretty conservative guy in a pretty conservative district; he’s even run for office with Conservative endorsement, and he sometimes takes a siesta on a general election day, but he and his club have never endorsed a Republican.
By contrast, the Highway Democrats’ language about their “Reagan Democrat philosophy” used to appear on their website, when they had one. National Democrats in the 45th AD (and there are more than a few) wanting to join a political organization based in their home area really have nowhere to go.
Therefore, I suggest a global solution to the 45th AD’s political confusion.
Geller and Siegelman are Democrats more out of blood than belief; they remain where they are because that was where the action was in the area; but that is clearly changing.
Pincus is a Republican basically less out of belief than because of ethnic ties and because it was an easy place for an ambitious guy with lofty plans to get a nice title.
Clearly, there needs to be a trade. Geller and Siegelman should take over the GOP leadership, and Pincus should become the Democratic Leader.
Eaton gets a District Leader not only loyal to his Senator, but to his ideology as well.
The slowly dying Democrats of the 45th get a Russian to display in their increasingly Russian District, and David Weprin gets a friendly District Leader in an unfriendly part of Brooklyn.
In Part Two, I will solve the problem of Peace in the Middle East.
[NOTE: Everytime someone touches the Brooklyn Republican Wars, it is like handling toxic waste.
In addition to the above clarification, I must note that my article initially misstated Mr. Hayon's position on the Sheepshead Bay mosque, saying he opposed it. Mr. Hayon says he does not oppose the Mosque unless its financing is coming from terrorist--something which its opponents are asserting.
I will note, however, that in the same article, Mr. Hayon tries to create the impression that the Brooklyn Tea Party never opposed the Sheephead Bay Mosque. However, however, overwhelming evidence indicates that they did oppose it.
I will also note that Mr. Hayon did not seek for me to correct my inaccuracy in saying he opposed the Sheepshead Bay Mosque.
Further, I must note that the assertions in The Jig that Mr. Hayon is obsessed with homosexuality are true (unlike almost anything else printed in that blog). I have verified this through independent and reliable sources, as well as the public record.
Finally, I must note that I told Mr. Hayon I would welcome any other corrections if they would make this article more accurate. He sent a few minor ones, and, as a result, a few more minor alterations, not really worth pointing out, have been made.]
UPDATE (9/5/11): A reliable source has just informed me that Siegelman and Geller have agreed to join other area elected and Party officals in signing a letter of support for Weprin.
Please note that, at the time this article was initially posted, an equally reliable source had stated that Geller and Siegelman were refusing to sign this letter.
Though what was stated in my original post is no longer true, I stand by the accuracy of what I said at the time.
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