John Lisyanskiy Attacks Mark Treyger For Real Estate Board, Bill Colton Endorsements

Lisyanskiy calls Treyger a “puppet”

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The race to replace term-limited Coney Councilman Domenic Recchia is getting real … estate.

Candidate John Lisyanskiy bashed his Democratic primary rival Mark Treyger for accepting the endorsement of a powerful real estate lobbying group — and accused Treyger of being an opportunistic pawn of Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurs­t).

Lisyanskiy alleged that the Real Estate Board of New York — a coalition of wealthy developers — endorsed Treyger as part of a larger plan to gentrify working-class Coney Island. The former aide to Council Speaker Christine Quinn warned that, if elected, Treyger would be a “yes-man puppet” to the powerful land interests currently re-shaping the People’s Playground.

“Real estate tycoons have had their greedy eyes set on Coney Island for decades,” said Lisyanskiy. “Seaside residents are in constant danger of being uprooted by developers who would love nothing more than to sweep away communities to make room for swanky developmen­ts.”

Lisyanskiy also blasted his rival for having moved out of the district, only to return just in time to run for the Council seat. The Community Board 13 member argued that Treyger — who bought a house in Bergen Beach with his wife in 2012, then sold it this year — had shown a lack of dedication to the district covering Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Seagate, and Gravesend.

The Ukrainian-born candidate also claimed that Treyger’s longtime employer, Assemblyman Colton, is the real force driving his opponent’s campaign. Lisyanskiy pointed out that Colton has had an ongoing feud with Recchia (D–Coney Island), and asserted that the state legislator is attempting to install Treyger in the seat to extend his own power.

“He is looking to install one of his own puppets that he can control,” Lisyanskiy said of Colton. “People need to see that and understand that, and select the most qualified person — not someone who is handpicked by an elected official and special interests.”

Treyger brushed off Lisyanskiy’s attacks, pointing out that he has also received endorsements from other business groups and from several unions. The Bensonhurst native said he had been involved with issues in the district for years, and ladled praise upon Colton.

“I am willing to put my longtime record in this district — where I was born, raised, and live, up against any other candidate in this race,” Treyger said. “I am especially proud to have the support of my close friend, Assemblyman Bill Colton, who I consider to be the gold standard of community service and dedication.”

Colton denied pulling the strings in Treyger’s campaign, saying he was surprised in March when his former spokesman expressed interest in running for the seat.

“He is no way a puppet. He has been involved in issues because he believes in them,” the pol said. “When he indicated to me he had an interest in running for city council, I told him he should do it.”

A spokesman for the Real Estate Board denied his organization had sinister designs upon Coney Island, and said it had endorsed Treyger because it believed he would create a good environment for business.

“We back Mark Treyger for one reason and one reason only: He is the candidate most likely to create jobs and economic opportunities for the people of the 47th Council District,” the spokesman said.

The Real Estate Board is not the only development interest backing Treyger. Louis Jerome — whose family owns a number of Manhattan properties and the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City — has thrown the weight of his recently-formed Small Business Coalition behind Treyger. The Coalition, which includes a number of southern Brooklyn businesses, has launched an extensive phone and door-to-door operation backing the 30-year-old — vowing to ring 10,000 Democratic doorbells and 20,000 Democratic phones on his behalf. A source at the Coalition echoed the Real Estate Board’s comments about Treyger’s economic outlook.

“We’ve made District 47 a top priority for the Coalition because we think that Mark Treyger is the clear pro-small-business candidate,” the insider said.

Jerome considered running for the Coney seat himself, but backed out to form the Coalition.

Lisyanskiy clashed in February with another candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant council seat, neighborhood activist Todd Dobrin, whom Lisyanskiy called “an empty suit.”

Pastor Connis Mobley of the United Community Baptist Church is also running in the Democratic primary, while Tea Party activist Andy Sullivan is campaigning for the seat as a Republican.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 1:23 pm, August 6, 2013
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Reader feedback

Ned from Bensonhurst says:
A couple of weeks ago Lisyanskiy said Treyger was a puppet of the UFT, now it's Colton. He can't seem to get his own talking points memorized. It's a bit embarassing. Treyger appears to speak from the heart.
Aug. 6, 2013, 9:52 am
Genevieve from Gravesend says:
This guy John Lisyanskiy sounds like a whiney little jealous schoolboy. People are supporting Treyger because they know he's going to win.

However, John made an interesting comment in this article. He's blaming an ongoing feud between Colton and Recchia as the reason Mark is running. So, does that mean John, that it's the reason you're running too? (And we know that it can't be the Colton side supporting your run.)

I think that little comment says its all. Now we all know why John is running. He's really the one being backed by powerful special interests. However, John is hiding this all from the people.

People haven't been truthful here. And they will get caught. They will pay the consequences.
Aug. 6, 2013, 1:43 pm
Rob from gravesend says:
Lies, Lies, Lies

The fancy home TREYGER bought in BERGEN BEACH said it all. he turned to the community and said SEE YOU! Then COLTON CAME CALLING. NOW HE SAYS THIS...

Colton denied pulling the strings in Treyger’s campaign, saying he was surprised in March when his former spokesman expressed interest in running for the seat.

“He is no way a puppet. He has been involved in issues because he believes in them,” the pol said. “When he indicated to me he had an interest in running for city council, I told him he should do it.”

By the people for the people, PEOPLE must know the truth!
Aug. 6, 2013, 2:58 pm
Rob from gravesend says:
oh and Treyger gets endorsed by Assembly member Camara whom treyger most likely never met, and congressmember Meng, which he also never met. Why because COLTON does all the bidding here. And he got endorsed by Borough Park Councilman David Greenfield. What do these people have to do with our district??????

Liers, opportunists should be ashamed lying to people like that! PEOPLE WILL LEARN THE TRUTH.
Aug. 6, 2013, 3:04 pm
Bella from Warbass, Neptune Avenue says:
I have spoken to a gentelman who recently left mr. Lisyanskiy campaign. He is a very bright young men and my best friend son. He told me that Mr.Lisyanskiy has mental problem, he takes medicine 2 times daily. I want everybody to know this. How we , in russian community can elect a sick men? I am on the Board in our housing project, and I urge all our tenants to reject mr. Lisyanskiy as unfit to be our represantative.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:01 pm
Tanya from Coney Island says:
I can’t understand this nonsense. Coney Island has so much to talk about and work on. I can’t understand this parade of endorsements and accusations. How we, the voters, can take John seriously. How we, the voters, can believe that someone who has nothing in mind but badmouthing opponents can represent us and our needs. John is nothing but a mentally unstable person that desperate for power. John, you better look for a job. I am from Russia myself and seeing that John in 47 and Ari Kagan in 48 are trying to get Russian votes by saying "we understand Russian problems better” makes me sick. I am an American first and problems do not speak different languages.
Aug. 6, 2013, 11 pm
Efim from Beechhaven houses, West 1 street says:
My friends, I am 72 year old men from Soroki, Moldova. I am here for 19 years. I am a democratic club member for 8 years. I know Mark Treger for all this time. This men teaches children, then he goes to fight for us every day. I never met a nices person with a heart of gold. Yeasterday I was in Colton office, and they told me that one of Treger opponent called him names. I am sorry for my english, I am still lerning, but I want to say few words to Lisanskiy. How dare you saying lies about our president? You know Mark has a beatifil family, how do they feel when you do this?I feel sorry for your father who raised you!You will never win!
Aug. 7, 2013, 6:27 am
sal from coney island says:
People in glass house shouldn't throw stones....

I have looked on the NYC Finance Board & one of the contributors to the Lishanskiy campaign is none other than the wife of Rasputin Restaurant owner Eva Levitis whose husband Michael has been indicted by the US gov't for various felony charges.

John with friends & donators to your campaign like the Levitis's what does that say about you ?
Aug. 7, 2013, 8:34 am
Pat Singer from Brighton Neighborhood Assoc. says:
Let me make something clear. The above comments are not mine. I know people associate "Pat" with Brighton Beach as
Pat Singer. This time it's another pat.
I actually have no comment on this recent
Aug. 7, 2013, 11:44 am
Joey from Bensonhurst says:
The sad part here is this:

John Lisyanskiy has to release statements like these to the press because this is all he has to talk about.

John can't discuss a long track record of serving our neighborhoods. John can't announce that he's helping people in the here and now. John can't say how he's going to help people once he's elected.. because he won't. All John is going to do is help himself.

John can't talk positive about himself, so instead he talks negative about his opponents.

John, stop calling peoples' names. And let us see you actually DO something.

People want to talk the big talk, but few are willing to walk the big walk.
Aug. 8, 2013, 12:51 am
Peter Wang from Gravesend says:
Thank you John Lisyanskiy for organizing the entire Chineese community to come out to vote for our president honorable Mark Treyger. It is a compliment to be called Colton's puppet. You know why? Because Treyger and Colton deliver ! So keep up the attacks. More the better. Remember Titanic?
Aug. 8, 2013, 6:24 am
alisa from midwood says:
I have just one question.
Mark, are you going to restroom with Assemblyman permission?
If you close your eyes they are like twins.
Mark, you are adult , please you have to have your own opinion.
Be a manch.
If you know what is it
Aug. 13, 2013, 5:33 pm
Yakov from Gravesend says:
Few days ago mr. Lisyanskiy visited our building on West street. I heard about mr. Lisyanskiy during superstorm, and originally wanted to support him. I am a 25 year old student. However, when I saw him in my building, and the way he behaved like a crazy men, I have doubts. His eyes were running back and forth ubnormally. Since I am a medical student, I see he has mental problems, and he is in need of medication.I even noticed that a person escorting mr. Lisyanskiy was afraid to stay close to him, since his boss was exhibiting aggressive behavior. We have to think twice, before we vote for this sick men.
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:32 am
Greg from Bensonhurst says:

Does John take us for fools? Looking at his list of contributors, he's got a whole bunch of developers who have given him over 20 thousand dollars. He's talking about special interests? He's got the biggest crook - Recchia backing him. Recchia's special interest is to get John elected so that he can control him as his "puppet". John really needs to look at himself before he throws stones at someone else. He's extremely shady.

You don't fool us!!! Shame on you John!!!
Aug. 14, 2013, 1:14 pm
Vova from Gravesend says:
Lisyanskiy is a fraud.

Just found out that he's got some shady contributors. Also, he didn't even get matching funds. His opponents did. Wonder why? Lisyanskiy is dirty. Disgracing the Russian community.
He pretends he cares about everyone, meanwhile he's making back handed deals, paying people off. We know all about you John. Dude, your gig is up.
Aug. 14, 2013, 7:20 pm
Peter Wang from Gravesend says:
Our dear and honorable future councilman Mark Treyger! I am happy to inform you that we , in Chineese community have reached out to our voters using a phone bank. Over 2000 people from our community living in 47th district will vote for you and together with our Russian, Black and Latino brothers and sisters will put you over the top . I can assure you that the corrupt and sleezy opponent, the puppet of the current speaker, will be defeated with a big margin!
Aug. 14, 2013, 9:52 pm

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