A Queens Democratic party official says Rory Lancman is 'lying' about the recruitment of a second Jewish candidate
Assemblyman Rory Lancman seemed to pass a point of no return earlier today when he accused the Queens County Democratic organization of trying to disenfranchise Jewish voters by recruiting a second Jewish candidate into a congressional primary for the Gary Ackerman seat.
The idea, according to Lancman, is that the party-backed candidate, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, would benefit if another Jewish candidate entered the race, and, presumably, took votes away from him.
The executive secretary of the county organization, Michael Reich, strongly denied the allegation.
"I don't know where Rory is getting this," Reich said. "He obviously made it up because it didn't happen. I don't believe I had a conversation with Jeff Gottleib since sometime last year; probably September, maybe sometime before that. So, it just did not happen. I haven't spoken to him. I haven't spoken to anyone surrounding him or anything of that. That Democratic Party does not do this."
Reich then turned the incident around, making Lancman the aggressor.
"If someone decides they want to run, and they get enough signatures, aren't they entitled to run?" he said. "We didn't tell Rory he can't run. We didn't tell Liz Crowley she can't run. So, I think it's a sucker's holler on his part. I think he's lying, because he has no proof of it and he's making a bald statement without any support behind it. And I find it very curious, and again, I only know the facts because I read it on the blog, he never had the courtesy of calling me or Joe Crowley or anyone in the Democratic Party to say, 'Hey, what's going on here.' Now, I've spoken to him many times before but he never called. And if he did he would have gotten a straight answer."
Before Gottlieb, another Jewish Democrat was reportedly approached and asked to enter the race: Matthew Silverstein. He didn't return my call but Silverstein told CityandStateNY that he was asked to run, but declined. Silverstein did not elaborate on the conversation. When I asked Reich about it, he denied any involvement.