Brooklyn’s new Democratic boss is Frank Seddio

Brooklyn Daily
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The new boss of the Brooklyn Democratic party is Frank Seddio — a member of the old guard Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club and a longtime ally of scandal-scarred Assemblyman and former party leader Vito Lopez.

Party officials almost unanimously appointed Seddio to fill the powerful post in a meeting at Kingsborough Community College late Wednesday night.

“This is the new Brooklyn,” said Seddio, a former judge and Assemblyman who before the vote served as a Canarsie Democratic district leader. “It’s not them and us but we. It’s a wonderful experience to have the support of so many of my colleagues and the support of so many people who had been in opposition.”

Seddio — who Lopez appointed to his first party gig and later won the district leader spot on his own merits — became boss after 36 Dems voted in his favor, even though some of them were wearing stickers that read: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

Councilman Charles Barron and his wife Assemblywoman Inez Barron were the only Dems to vote against Seddio, while Brooklyn Heights district leaders Chris Owens and Jo Anne Simon abstained.

Seddio was considered the runaway favorite before the vote, though he was expected to face some competition from Simon, who painted herself as a reformer capable of cleaning up the party’s tarnished reputation after female staffers accused Lopez of sexual harassment.

But before borough Dems chose their boss, Simon said she realized she couldn’t win and that collaboration was the best course of action — so she bailed out of the running.

“I’m committed to working toward an improved party for a shared future,” said Simon, who launched a failed Council campaign against the Lopez-run Democratic machine in 2009. “We’ll work together and it’ll happen or it won’t.”

District leaders — who are elected to their obscure party seats — predicted a Seddio landslide in the days before the vote, claiming “at-large” members controversially appointed to their posts by Lopez would sway the vote.

But before choosing the new boss, party officials passed a resolution eliminating all voting powers for the “at-large” members — bringing an end to a party policy that critics complained was a power grab by Lopez.

And Seddio had no trouble landing the influential job — which will allow him to choose judges across the borough — without the help of Lopez appointees.

Seddio says Brooklyn Dems will only be more active under his oversight, and the party will be more transparent.

“[Expect] more participation by the leaders [and] a more democratic process,” he said. “Our meeting goal is to attract Democrats to get Obama reelected and [Sen. Kirsten] Gillibrand and to get a Democratic mayor next year.”

The boss gig only opened up after Lopez — who did not attend the meeting — agreed to step down amid allegations that he groped and attempted to kiss employees.

The influential Bushwick politician also lost his title as chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Housing, but he has not resigned from his Assembly seat and is seeking re-election.

His predecessor as party boss, Clarence Norman, was disbarred and removed from the chair position in 2006 after he was found guilty on corruption and bribery charges.

Posted 3:12 pm, September 20, 2012
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Reader feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
This example of cronyism is an insult to even the most novice among us of political backroom politics. This ensures the continuation of clubhouse favoritism which will ignore the most honest and competent people with political aspirations. Mr. Seddio would have us believe that he plans on cleaning house of all of his predecessor followers and supporters who made a living off his corruption. Mr. Seddio would have us believe that the people who allowed him to get this position are going to forfeit all the perks they had under Mr. Lopez.
As the sign stated at the meeting hall;
"Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss ".
My apologies to The Who.
Sept. 20, 2012, 5:30 pm
r185 says:
How about noting that, as The New York Time stated about Seddio's distinguished stint as a judge, "He (Seddio) resigned from the bench in 2007, just 17 months into a 14-year term, amid an ethics inquiry into the tens of thousands of dollars he donated to Democratic leaders and organizations before he assumed the post with the party’s backing."???
Sept. 27, 2012, 6:37 am

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