A Democratic councilman for a Republican-gerrymandered ‘super Jewish’ Senate seat

Briefing: Felder. (Gotham Schools via flickr)
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Former City Councilman Simcha Felder walked into the offices of Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish newspaper, and announced he was running for the newly created "super Jewish" State Senate seat in Brooklyn.

The district includes Borough Park and Flatbush and currently is divided up between six state senators. Combining those two neighborhoods was "a longstanding dream" of Jews in the area, according to Hamodia. Felder's successor in the Council, David Greenfield, disagrees, calling it a "super ghetto."

The district was created by the Republicans in the State Senate, who were allowed by the governor to reconfigure the state's now 63 Senate districts for maximum partisan advantage.

Reuven Blau predicted Felder's move back in November. Felder currently works as a top aide to New York City Comptroller John Liu, who only last month, gave Felder a $15,000 raise, according to Blau.

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Celeste Katz sees Felder's entrance onto the campaign trail as another sign of how bad Liu's own campaign problems really are

Felder represented part of the district when he was a councilman for two terms. Its many Orthodox Jewish voters are mostly socially conservative and very much in favor of expanded entitlement programs like school vouchers.

Those are the voters who helped propel Republican Bob Turner into congress and helped make longtime Democratic councilman Lew Fidler's State Senate race against a Republican newcomer a coin toss.

Felder is a Democrat and said he'll run on the Democratic line. But he's signaling he won't be walking lock-step with the caucus, which means the Republicans who drew the district could win an ally, even if they don't win the seat.

Some Links:

2012

The "persistent wariness" and "lingering effects" of the economy, rather than just the actual growth of the economy, is giving Romney an opportunity to oust Obama, according to a Times / CBS News poll. [Jeff Zelen and Allison Kopicki]

Instead of picking a "Game Change" V.P. Romney should go for the "double vanilla" ticket, like Clinton and Gore. [Michael Barone]

2013

State G.O.P. chairman Ed Cox said, "Ray Kelly would be a superb candidate" and "He'd make a terrific mayor." Drafting him into the race "is very much a bipartisan effort." [NY1]

More on Stringer and the commuter tax. [Garth Johnston]

"[I]n supporting the commuter tax, Stringer is backing away from his previous support of congestion charging." [Andrea Bernstein]

Super Jewish State Senate district

Former councilman Simcha Felder will run for that seat; Felder's successor in the Council has called it a Jewish "ghetto". [Adam Dickter]

Felder is leaving a month after getting a $15,000 raise from Liu. [Reuven Blau]

Flashback: Reuven Blau had the scoop in November. [Daily News]

Cuomo

Cuomo has "a real opportunity here to kind of solidify himself as a national reformer" if he passed campaign finance reform, making New York the first state to do it since the Citizens United decision, according to an advocate from a Washington-based organization. [Cara Matthews]

The current state campaign contribution limits are "crazy" said Fred Schwarz, former city Campaign Finance chairman. [NY1]

Cuomo "stubbornly resisted" legalizing medical marijuana which, by the way, is legal in Chris Christie's state, an editorial page notes. [New York Times]

NYPD

A former Times reporter who is now a Fox contributor said the AP didn't find anyone adversely affected by the NYPD surveillance program and didn't deserve a Pulitzer. [Judy Miller]

The NYPD is in a win-win position, said Matt Apuzzo, because "if we were to be attacked tomorrow, nobody presumably would say, 'This proves your programs don't work and we should stop doing them.'" [Terry Gross]

Taxis

Yellow-taxi owners filed a suit in Manhattan Supreme Court to block the Cuomo and Bloomberg plan to allow livery cabs to make street hails. [Jill Colvin]

The suit says the state law was invalid because there was not a home rule message from the City Council. [Pete Donohue]

The suit was filed by "The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade — helmed by deep-pocketed multiple medallion owner Ron Sherman." [Jennifer Fermino]

Images

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Bloomberg and Dick Clark in 2003. [Kristen Artz]

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Weiner and Abedin on the train. [Kelly Ann Collins]