Courier Life’s

Brooklyn Politics

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Holy dilemma, Batman!

A veteran observer of borough politics is predicting the strong likelihood of runoffs in both the comptroller and public advocate races. The primary is Sept. 15 and the runoff is Sept. 29 — a two-week span that includes two of the holiest holidays in the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

This could put Jewish candidates like comptroller hopefuls David Weprin, David Yassky and Melinda Katz, and public advocate candidates Mark Green and Norman Siegel, in a kosher pickle when they decide whether to campaign or atone.

“As one Orthodox friend put it,” the person said, “this isn’t Purim we’re talking about here.”

Also, the person said, it’s Jewish voters who must be taken into account. “How many people are running out after fasting to go vote?”

Fidler’s visual cues

This week’s name recognition prize goes to Marine Park City Councilman Lew Fidler who put — we kid you not — a violin in the corner of a recent campaign mailing.

But what are violins known as down past the Mason Dixon line? Fiddles! Yee Haw!

Fidler’s name isn’t spelled the same way and there are very few ole’ timey music lovers in the 46th Council District (but a good politician would never count out that particular voting block), but that doesn’t matter. We’re just glad his last name isn’t Tuba — it would have taken up too much space on the page.

As of this writing, Fidler was facing three challengers in the Sept. 15 primary: Ayo O’Johnson, Alan Sasson and Elias Weir.

When Brooklyn Heights City Councilman David Yassky’s bike access bill was brought to the floor last week, everyone approved it — except for Bushwick City Councilman Erik Martin Dilan.

Yet no one blinked: after all, Dilan was speaking up for building owners — something the chair of the council’s Housing and Buildings Committee should do every day.

He was representing his constituency, so to speak: owners of large buildings who don’t want to put in the extra cash and time to provide access for bicyclists wanting to take their wheels to their upstairs offices.

“We weren’t too surprised, he spoke out against the bill a year ago,” one insider said.

Once the mayor signs off on the bill, bicyclists will be allowed to take their bikes into buildings and up to their offices for safe keeping.

Yassky said that the bill was a no-brainer, since it would both encourage biking to work and help the environment.

Don’t shrug off Brooklyn Republicans just yet!

So says author John Galt, one of the scribes on the new pro-Republican blog “Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn” ( which is dedicated to bringing borough Republicans back to their former glory.

Although it takes the name of the famous Ayn Rand novel, Galt says the new blog is “not about the battle between capitalism and socialism within Brooklyn, per se.”

“It’s about the political party — and the only major party — whose values aggressively inoculate individual liberty, good government and capitalism against the plague of statism and socialism that is spreading at all levels of American government,” he says. “But above all, it’s about fixing... Brooklyn’s Republican Party ... so that the people of Brooklyn can begin to shrug off the burdens from an ever-imploding, uncompetitive Republican Party and the dysfunctional, corrupt government of New York that is born out of partisan monopoly.”

While we credit his moxie — and his love of the classics — we’re not sure that the blog’s going to get a whole lot of hits. After all, Democrats outnumber Republicans in this borough eight to one.

Nagging along

Williamsburg’s progressive community turned out for the latest debate in the race for City Council in the 33rd District, sponsored by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth and held at the Williamsburg Northside Preschool (152 N 5th Street), to witness a heated exchange of words between candidates Doug Biviano, Jo Anne Simon and Evan Thies.

Much of Biviano’s new aggressiveness and change in tone is likely due to bringing on two new consultants, Morgan Pehme and Gary Tilzer, founders of, who have been working for CB1 District Manager Gerry Esposito, a candidate in the 34th District City Council race.In both races, Pehme and Tilzer have been highly critical of the Kings County Democratic Party and have supported candidates they believe are not a part of “machine politics.”

“To bring real change to Brooklyn, we must first defeat the powerful special interests, like (Democratic Party Leader) Vito Lopez, that benefit from our dysfunctional political system and government,” Biviano said.

Gladys Santiago, a Williamsburg resident and perennial candidate for city office, has been removed from the ballot for City Council in the 34th District after a petition challenge made on August 3 by a campaign rival.

Santiago was challenged by Williamsburg resident Kevin Ying and Ridgewood resident Andy Marte, and Kings County Democratic Party attorney Carl Landicino, who is representing Maritza Davila, one of Santiago’s opponents.

Incumbent Councilmember Diana Reyna (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick) and CB1 District Manager Gerry Esposito are also candidates in the race.

Several campaign sources have said that they were surprised that Reyna did not file a challenge against Santiago, who has some support within Williamsburg’s Dominican community.

It’s not over yet, as Santiago will at some point have her day in court to challenge the challenge.

Santiago received just over 200 valid signatures.

Send political tips, gossip and hearsay to

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group