Turncoat Dem’s days in party may be numbered

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He’s on thin ice!

Democratic Midwood state Sen. Simcha Felder — who controversially caucused with Republicans up in Albany, along with turncoat Dems in the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference — may be booted from the blue party next year, after activists demanded he be excommunicated during a Kings County Democratic Party County Committee meeting.

“I asked that someone who has betrayed the party, Simcha Felder — I have affidavits from several people who are residents of [his district], who asked that the Executive Committee meet and consider removing Simcha Felder as a member of the party,” Ernest Skinner, of the Ernest Skinner Political Association, said to exuberant applause from committee members at the Feb. 12 meeting.

Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio said he would address rank-and-file members’ demands to kick the turncoat pol out of the party before the next biannual committee meeting in August.

“It will be addressed by the next meeting,” Seddio said off mic, within earshot of this reporter and others in his immediate vicinity.

But Skinner, who heard the comment, repeated Seddio’s statement loud enough for the audience to hear.

Felder, who in November won his fourth Senate term after running on the Democratic, Republican, and Conservative party lines, caucused with Republicans several times since assuming office in 2013.

But after the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference broke up last April — and six of its members subsequently lost their seats in the November elections — Felder is now a lone rogue legislator in Albany, because the Legislature’s Democratic majority barred him from joining their conference at the start of this year’s session.

• • •

He’s got another backer.

The front-runner in the Feb. 26 special election for public advocate, Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush), earned the Brooklyn Democratic Party’s endorsement on Tuesday, after overwhelmingly winning a straw poll conducted following a candidates forum at its Feb. 12 meeting.

More than 600 county committee members, including proxies for those who couldn’t make it to the meeting, cast their votes for Williams — several hundreds more than voted for his challenger and colleague, Councilman Rafael Espinal (D–Bushwick), who came in second place with 119 votes.

Williams thanked the audience for their support following his straw-poll victory, promising to make the borough proud in exchange for earning the local Dems’ support.

“I take none of these votes for granted, I came here so nervous and tried to give the best speech I could give. Thank you so much for this, I hope I can continue to make Brooklyn proud. Brooklyn, thank you so much for standing up one more time,” he said.

The Brooklyn Democratic Party endorsed Williams days after his fellow public-advocate candidates blasted him for his past track record on several issues, including gay marriage and abortion rights, during the first televised debate for the citywide race.

Both Assemblyman Michael Blake (D–Bronx) and former Democratic Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito tore into the councilman for his past opposition to gay rights and abortion, with the Bronx state pol even ripping on him for racking up 27 speeding tickets, including “multiple speeding infractions in school zones.”

“In the past you have been against a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality, and so I think the question is at hand, would you like to share with individuals why you were opposed to those things in the past?” Blake said.

Williams rebuked the claims, emphasizing he now supports abortion rights, but failing to note his change in stance on issues such as gay marriage — an omission his campaign staffers quickly tried to address on Twitter, reported our sister publication Gay City News.

“Just for the record, since people try to distort mine: I 100 percent support the right to access safe and legal abortions, and I 100 percent support marriage equality,” read the tweet posted to Williams’s account during the debate. “It’s unfortunate that people try to falsify my record [because] they have no other response to my years of fighting for equity and justice.”

Seven of the 17 contenders for the seat — including Williams, Espinal, Blake, Mark-Viverito, Assemblyman Ron Kim (D–Queens), attorney Dawn Smalls, and journalist-activist Nomiki Konst — will again face off in the second, and last, televised debate ahead of the special public-advocate election, which will air on Feb. 20 at 7 pm on Spectrum News NY1.

The hopefuls, whom the debate’s host bills as the “leading candidates,” got their spots in the lineup based on certain criteria set by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, including meeting a fund-raising and spending threshold of $170,813 by Feb. 15, and receiving an endorsement from a local, state, or federal pol who represents the city, or from a membership group with more than 250 members residing in the city.

Public Advocate hopefuls who participated in the first debate, including Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (D–Manhattan), and Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez (D–Manhattan) and Eric Ulrich (R–Queens), will not join the second event, because they did not meet the requirements to appear.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Posted 12:00 am, February 19, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Jose from East Flatbush says:
It appears that if Simcha Felder's name was Steven Fields and if he was black, he would have been readily accepted back into the Democratic fold, given committee assignments and all would be forgiven. During the time Felder sat with the Republicans and his district was well-rewarded with extra grants for schools, libraries and parks, etc., something that the Democrats would never have delivered because Felder's district is overwhelming white. With Jumaane Williams, we have a rogue councilman who spits in the face of every American who served in our armed forces with his refusal to recite our Pledge of Allegiance and stand for our Flag at council meetings, can not handle his own personal finances, is a deadbeat on a $600,000 loan he is still responsible for his failed sandwich shop, walked away from his mortgage, had his Canarsie home foreclosed after he lost his case in court and it was taken away from him, etc. Of course, if his name was Jake Levy, he would have been expelled from the city council. Williams, after encouraging Amazon to set up its headquarters in New York, was among those who killed this deal as he joined in with the Ocasio-Cortez's forces; this resulted in our city losing 25,000 high paying jobs and probably another 100,000 jobs in outside support industries. These offenses make him the perfect candidate for DeBlasio's/Cuomo's/Ocasio-Cortez's New New York. This Democratic was hoping to be among those hired by Amazon and now I just can't wait to vote for Trump in 2020; will I too be expelled from the party?
Feb. 19, 2019, 10:35 am
Igor from Ocean Parkway in Midwood says:
I recall that over the years Simcha Felder has always stood up for the average person, not himself. He is a good man and deserves better treatment than he is getting.
Feb. 19, 2019, 11:02 am
B. from Bk says:
Felder blocked speed cameras. He needs to pay a heavy price.
Feb. 19, 2019, 12:33 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
It’s disgraceful the way that Dems are treating a good person. Simcha Felder has more integrity than every liberal in this state combined. He will be more than welcomed in the Republican Party. Also, how much money is being tossed down the sewer on this “Public Advocate” election. It’s a no show sham of a “job” that allows some apparatchik to collect a paycheck that is money stolen from taxpayers. Eliminate this thievery of a scam position now!
Feb. 19, 2019, 12:36 pm
Billy from Sunset Park says:
Felder should be an independent. He provides for his constituents, but does not involve himself in a bigger picture. He does not work on city or state wide issues--he is purely local. Felder used a unique situation in a deadlocked Albany to receive additional l local benefits in return for caucusing with the GOP. But again, what he received was local benefits for his district. The man is neither evil or progressive. He should be an independent--he is the very definition of one.
Feb. 19, 2019, 3:20 pm
Al from East New York says:
I agree with Henry Ford's comments. This special election for an alleged Public Advocate is a waste of million of dollars. And this position is no longer needed. There needs to be a law that if an office is vacated within a year of the election due to the position holder winning another election, then the cost of a new election should be come out of the pocket of the one vacating office. Democrats today are disgraceful almost in their entirely. All they want to do is tax, give out freebees even to illegals, give convicts the right to vote and have declared war on everything plastic. Simcha Felder at least had the courage over the years to stop taxation on our plastic shopping bags. With Democrats who appear to only have a 9th grade education like Ocasio-Cortez, Rafael Espinal,Jumaane Williams and others, our free shopping bags may be going bye-bye along with our plastic forks, spoons,knifes, straws and stirrers. This trio does understand that the plastic pollution which is in the ocean, on the beaches and in whales come from China and none come from the Americas. This plastic is in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic. Their lack of knowledge of world geography is shocking. Without plastic bags, how are we consumers going to carry home our food? Paper bags just don't work in the rain. With out straws, how are we to drink? Kids and the elderly need straws. Espinal is now leading the charge against plastic forks, etc., so he probably wants us to eat with our fingers. Since 99.9% of all plastic is from China, how is their plan going to keep the Pacific Ocean clean? Its not. Maybe Gov. Cuomo will show the same leadership with these self-proclaimed environmentalists like he did two years ago and blocked the tax and ban on our plastic shopping bags. These trio are part of the group which ran Amazon out of LIC, even before it got there and cost the city/state about 100,000 jobs.
Feb. 19, 2019, 3:34 pm
Howie from Park Slope says:
Felder did not block the speed cameras. Felder insisted that the bill to keep speed cameras also included the requirement that all school have a Policeman in the building, something which existed in the 1960's/1970's and 1980's. With the mass shootings at schools in recent years, why did the Democrats refuse. The Democrats refusal to mandate that all schools have policemen is what killed speed cameras, not Simcha Felder. Wouldn't it be nice if people got their facts correct without sending in their comments?
Feb. 19, 2019, 3:39 pm
Mary from Brownsville says:
Now that it looks like Rafael Espinal is not going to get the backing needed to become the Useless Public Advocate of NYC, perhaps he can explain to the public how banning plastic this and plastic that in NYC will keep plastic from entering the Pacific Ocean, of which NYC doesn't border and is thousands of miles away? And he can then explain how wooden forks and spoons are better for the environment than plastic even though trees need to be cut down and they need more fossil fuel to make than plastic.
Feb. 19, 2019, 3:45 pm
Henry Ranz from Homecrest says:
I live in the district currently represented by Simpha Felder. I'm sure he will be happier running as a Conservative and as a Republican than as a Democrat . And so shall I
Feb. 19, 2019, 3:56 pm
Henry Ranz from Homecrest says:
By the way, Simcha Felder has worked very hard to make sure that religious Jewish males in Orthodox Jewish Schools did not have to meets normal educational standards of secular schools so they could get a limited religious education. He held up important legislation, to make this so.
Feb. 19, 2019, 4:01 pm
Luis from Sunset Park says:
Why hasn't Jumaane Williams been evicted from the city council? Williams is a poor example for the children of our city. He's a deadbeat, shows hatred for America and was one of the many instigators who cost the city its expected jobs from Amazon. Is this someone who has the qualifications to advocate for the public? Only in Ocasio-Cortez's world. How does Williams travel from home to city council meetings? Subway or does he use a fossil-fueled car? How do the Senators and Congressman who signed onto Cortez's New Green Deal travel to and from Washington? Plane? Car? Train?
Feb. 19, 2019, 4:23 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
It’s disgraceful the way that Republicans are treating a good person. AOC has more integrity than every conservative in this state combined. She will be more than welcomed in the Demacratic Party. Also, how much money is being tossed down the sewer on this “Trump” election. It’s a no show sham of a “job” that allows some apparatchik to collect a paycheck that is money stolen from taxpayers. Eliminate this thievery of a scam president now!
Feb. 19, 2019, 5:59 pm
Ike from Sunset Park says:
This is the only state in the country practicing fusion voting, allowing Felder to run as a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative Party member, etc., all at once. It's absurd and appalling, and should be banned ASAP. And with that corrupt creature Frank Seddio in charge, I'm not hopeful that we'll ever get Felder out of the Democratic Party. I'm embarrassed to have this traitor as my state senator. He just sent out a mass e-mail referring to Lincoln as the 17th president. He (or his staff) doesn't even know which president Lincoln was! There's his religious education for you. Corrupt for-profit yeshivas at work!
Feb. 19, 2019, 9:38 pm
Jason from Windsor Terrace says:
Ike from Sunset Park: At least Felder's office new that Lincoln was one of our Presidents, unlike most NYC Public High School Graduates. Felder's office was only off by one President, close enough to pass a Public School history test. NYS has a history of fusion candidates, those who run on more than one party line going back to the 1930's. Albany will never change this law as it favors incumbents. Don't blame Felder for this law.
Feb. 20, 2019, 10:42 am
Simcha from Borough Park says:
I will reward my friends and punish my enemas.
Feb. 20, 2019, 11:02 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
LOL Bolsheviks and their Useful Idiots
Feb. 20, 2019, 2:35 pm
Dahomey from Crooklyn says:
Wow, you all are hyped up. Sounds like the fusion candidate looks out for his constituents which so many people refuse to do as elected officials these days. Jumaane Williams take on abortion and gay marriage may get a vote from me; since he is okay with people choosing heterosexuality. Anyone elected willing to cross the isle for the betterment of their constituents is someone I want to vote for. I had problem with IDC. Because they lost their seats, I changed parties. And, yes, Trump will win a second election, why? The silent majority agrees with him, they will re-elect him.
Feb. 20, 2019, 4:48 pm
Dahomey from Crooklyn says:
I had NO PROBLEM with IDC! Hopefully they will all cross over, run as Republicans and win their elections.
Feb. 20, 2019, 4:49 pm
No third term says:
Wasn't Simcha Felder Bloomberg's ally in him getting an illegal third term?
Feb. 21, 2019, 10:17 am
Mart from Ditmas Park says:
When Cuomo did a force closure of the IDC, he promised all that they would have his support in any primary challenge, which he didn't do. Felder was the only one who won as he is very popular in his district. Cuomo is running scared of Ocasio-Cortez and New Yorkers are being punished by Andy Cuomo's cowardice. Cuomo abandoned support for the Amazon deal by remaining silent after it was announced. Instead, Cuomo was and unfortunately still is, presenting himself as a hero of the environment by telling us we can no longer have free plastic shopping bags at the stores and wants to ban while he travels to Washington and other places on a private plane using a large load of jet fossil fuel, instead of flying commercial or riding Amtrak.
Feb. 21, 2019, 10:35 am
Sid from says:
I will always give Felder credit for standing up to alleged environmentalists when he stopped them from taking away our free store plastic bags. Hope he will be able to stop Cuomo and the rest of Albany in the upcoming months from being manipulated by Ocasio-Cortez and the term paper she wrote in the 7th grade which is now known as her New Green Deal. When I was Ocasio-Cortez's age, we demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, not Amazon. We all knew that high paying good jobs are hard to find. Ocasio-Cortez did much damage and Gov. Cuomo should have spoken out against her babbling and perhaps it is time for him to step up and prevent her environmentalism for costing more state jobs like the 2,000 jobs a factories which manufacture plastic bags in NYS.
Feb. 21, 2019, 3:39 pm

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