Democrats explore ways to expel Simcha Felder
Democratic are looking to expel Simcha Felder from the party after the state senator-elect announced he would caucus with the Republicans, helping them in their bid to regain the majority in the closely divided chamber.
George Arzt, a spokesman for the Kings County Democratic Leader, told me Democratic party officials are looking at "both the Kings County and state Democratic Party rules" to see if Felder could be ousted from the party.
"If they do not have provisions, they will propose ways of expelling members for actions of this type," Arzt said.
Already, Assemblyman Nick Perry, also of Brooklyn, wrote on Twitter that Felder "should be removed from [the] Dem[ocratic] Party. Let the GOP have him."
In a statement this evening, the Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Frank Seddio, said, "Felder's entire campaign was a lie."
"Every elected Democrat has an moral obligation to support the leadership of the party in the Legislature, but Felder has elected to betray that trust, not to mention the sacred trust of voters," Seddio said.
Felder was strongly supported for reelection by local Democrats in the area, including City Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Greenfield did not respond to a request for comment.
Hikind, when reached on his cell phone, said the outrage was a "hypocrisy" and "makes me want to vomit."
Hikind, who proudly supported a number of Republicans for various office, said he should be included in the expulsion plans too. "Please beg that I be included in that," he said.
"Every Democrat is good for the people? That doesn't make sense," he said. Felder "was never dishonest with the people."
"Simcha would have won this election if he ran on the Republican line, Democratic line, whatever," Hikind added, saying he could win as a Republican in his district "without a problem."
Hikind also noted that many Democrats overtly, and quietly, supported Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he ran for re-election on the Republican line, in 2009 and 2005. "What ever happened to them?" Hikind said.
A spokesperson for Felder did not immediately have a comment.
UPDATE: Felder released the following statement:
"The Democratic party doesn’t sound very democratic today. I’ve said before, and happy to say again: my first priority is doing what’s best for the 17th district. That means working with a Senate Majority committed to bringing economic and tax relief to the communities I represent, demonstrating compassion for the poor and respect for the middle class, and a commitment to improving public education and easing the burden on tuition-paying parents. I look forward to working with them to accomplish our legislative agenda and making New York a better state."