Pol Position: Brooklyn Dems asleep at the wheel

Last Tuesday night was supposed to be a red wave. But the only place it actually showed up was in Brooklyn – the county with the highest amount of democratic voters – of all places.

And it’s the party’s own fault.

At the time of publication, Peter Abbate Jr., who reps parts of Bensonhurst is trailing by 151 votes and Coney Island Assemblymember Mathlyde Frontus is trailing by 797 votes. Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz lost handily by over 4,000 votes and State Senate Candidate Iwen Chu has a narrow lead of around 200 votes against her Republican opponent.

As New York State Focus reported, the county party did practically zilch in terms of Get Out the Vote Operations or phonebanks.

“There was no one to talk to. The executive director was gone; the county leader was having a baby,” Abbate told New York Focus. “I kept telling them they had to watch out.”

Maybe fewer galas and a little more canvassing? Or phonebanks that don’t start a week before the election? Or anything that actually resembles an actual party apparatus?

It seems like the party made more concerted efforts to stymie the reformers within the party than they did to actually win the general election. 

The party really needs to get its affairs in order if they don’t want a repeat of Republicans gaining in Southern Brooklyn in the upcoming spring City Council elections as the area has been swinging more conservative in recent years. 

In Our Opinion: Replace Jay Jacobs

In one of the traditionally bluest states in the nation, the Democratic Party is in shambles. 

New York elected its first woman governor, but only with a measly seven-point lead. Republicans are on track to pick up three seats in Brooklyn. And congressional Republicans have picked up four seats statewide, including Hudson Valley’s Sean Patrick Maloney, who was in charge of Democrat’s national operation to elect congressional representatives.

Across the country, Democrats had a historic night, fending off challengers in a midterm election amid high inflation and an unpopular president. Pundits predicted a red wave but Democrats have held onto the Senate, while the balance of the House of Representatives remains to be seen — even if they take control, it will be by slim margins.

But Democrats across the Empire State are calling on Jay Jacobs, the Cuomo appointed head of the party, to resign. We concur. 

Several hundred electeds, politicos and organizations signed onto a letter shared with BQE Media calling on the chairman to resign following last week’s election results.

“The New York State Democratic Party is better than this. We, the undersigned, are ready to work with Governor Hochul to elect a real party leader who embodies actual democratic values and is – as our party website clearly states – ‘committed to building a party that ensures New Yorkers have progressive, fair, and dedicated leaders at every level of government,” the letter reads. 

Despite having powerful clout across the state, the party has misstepped – like Cuomo’s reported support of the Independent Democratic Conference,  a consortium of conservative Democrats who worked with State Senate Republicans over New York City Democrats.

Fighting within your own party, or actively blocking wings of your party, is not going to create a solid governing coalition. And the party brass that has been running the Dem’s operation for the last few years have been doing just that. It’s time for them to clear house if they want to sustain wins in the future and not elect a Republican governor the next cycle around.

Flatbush murder of 12-year-old leaves community gutted

The East Flatbush mother of a 12-year-old who was killed by a gun bullet while eating with family is asking for some kind of justice.

Kade Lewin was pronounced dead at the scene after a flurry of gun bullets struck the car where he and his family were eating. His cousin, Jenna Ellis, 20, was the driver and was shot six times but is expected to recover.

“Please somebody say something. I’m asking for justice. Please. I’m asking for justice,” Kade Lewin’s mother Suzzette Lewin, said while holding back tears. Lewin continued to describe the gun violence she has seen in the neighborhood like when a gun bullet went through her mothers car window last summer.

“But I just want the neighborhoods to know that this violence must be stopped. It is way too many of our people are being targeted. And way too many innocent people are being killed,” Jennifer Jone Ellis, the aunt of Kade Lewis and mother of Jenna Ellis, said. “My nephew. He’s gone. No more to return in this world. My daughter laid up in the hospital blaming herself. Why should she blamed herself. It was in my neighborhood. I pay taxes. If you see something say something. This must be stopped.”

Police say that the investigation is ongoing and at the press conference Monday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell urged members of the public to provide information by calling (800) 577-TIPS

“This is their neighborhood. This is their community. Right down the block from where the shooting took place is where the mom was there doing hair. Watching that baby in the car. We’re so sorry. Words cannot take away what you are going through. But you’re representative of the best that this city and country has to offer and your children represented that,” Mayor Adams said. “But it’s time this entire city stand with families like these because there’s only one question we have to answer if we don’t get this right. Whose child is next?

Public advocate and Gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams, a native son of Brooklyn, also spoke at the express conference to rally against gun violence.

“I want to make sure I was here because I know the media sometimes plays up differences. But I want to make sure New York City sees their leaders standing together on message about the urgency of dealing with gun violence in our community,” Williams said. “He’s not coming back. He will not be back. He’s 12 year old. His mother raised him as best as she could. A student not in the streets doing everything right. Just like Jenna. They paused in the community to eat something — and was shot. It’s unacceptable. By any stretch of the imagination. There has to be consequences accountability for that.”

Beacon Eldercare FREE Zoom Seminar: Holiday Edition, Community Service

In the next Dessert with Andrew & Yvonne Zoom Seminar, the dynamic duo will discuss ways you can help those in need this holiday season. The seminar is titled, “Holiday Edition: Community Service.” From soup kitchens to nursing homes; learn about the various ways one can volunteer, and hear from organizations that are making a positive impact in our community.

Sliwa aims to ‘Save the Senate’

His bid for mayor fell short, but that doesn’t mean Curtis Sliwa is going to sit on the sidelines in 2022.
Sliwa announced this week that he is forming the “Save the Senate” Super PAC aimed explicitly at defeating Senator Chuck Schumer. First elected to the Senate in 1998, Schumer is seeking a fifth term.
“I am more committed than ever to advancing our Republican values and priorities and holding liberal elitists accountable for failing New York and America,” Sliwa says on the website’s mission statement. “Next up: Senator Chuck Schumer.”
Sliwa says he plans to raise millions of dollars through the political action committee, which will in turn be used to promote and help elect a Republican challenger to the Senator Majority Leader. Schumer has not faced a serious challenger in the last three elections.
“As senator, Schumer has delivered nothing more than Sunday press conferences with empty promises,” the website continued. “Between the rising cost of living, a broken healthcare system, struggling public schools, and lack of affordable housing, it is clear that Senator Schumer’s primary concern is keeping himself and his cronies in power.”
Bronx attorney and Albanian immigrant, Aleksander Mici, announced recently that he would seek to challenge Schumer on the Republican line. And Sliwa hasn’t totally ruled out throwing his red beret into the ring, but said he would only run as a last resort.
When Schumer was elected in 1998, he defeated Republican Al D’Amato. D’Amato is now a lobbyist, and recently told the Post that Schumer is virtually unbeatable. The senator visits every county in the state every year, and is a fundraising powerhouse.
Heck, D’Amato even endorsed the man who replaced him during the 2016 election.
As for the aforementioned Siena College poll, voters were also asked how they feel about Schumer. Among Democrats, 70 percent said they had a favorable view of the job Schumer was doing, while only 20 percent of Republicans polled could say the same.

Hochul in control

At this point, it looks like it’s Kathy Hochul’s job to lose.
According to a Siena College poll released this week, the current governor holds a double-digit lead over her next closest challenger, Attorney General Letitia James.
In a survey of registered Democrats, if the primary were held today, 36 percent said they would vote for Hochul to represent the party in next year’s general election, while 18 percent said they backed James.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams would get 10 percent of the vote, while Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congressman Tom Suozzi would each get 6 percent of the vote. Twenty-four percent said they are undecided or back another candidate, which means there’s still plenty of undecided voters out there for the candidates to sway.
Suozzi announced his intent to run last week, turning down an offer by mayor-elect Eric Adams to join him at City Hall and serve as deputy mayor.
Suozzi’s decision reportedly upset some in the Democratic Party, who would prefer that he focus on re-election to Congress, especially after the GOP did much better than expected in local races in Suozzi’s current congressional district, which includes parts of Queens and Nassau County.
With Suozzi focused on running for governor, the seat could be vulnerable to being flipped by Republicans, who are focused on taking back the majority in the House next year.
There was also speculation that Suozzi and the governor would be competing for the same voters, namely conservative-leaning Democrats, making it harder for her to win re-election and opening the door for a progressive candidate like James or Williams.
As for now, it doesn’t look like Hochul has to worry about that, but there’s still a long way to go until the June primary.

Pandemic predators

Dear Editor,
I’m shocked by accusations that “nonprofit” hospitals sued patients and filed liens against their homes during the COVID crisis, despite receiving state emergency funds.
The Coalition for Affordable Hospitals, a group of labor unions, claims that 55 hospitals sued nearly 4,000 patients for medical debt while getting over $442 million from the state’s Indigent Care Pool.
These pandemic predators exploited taxpayers and patients out of sheer greed. Among the worst culprits, says the Coalition, is Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system a biggest private employer with 23 hospitals, 650 outpatient facilities and more than 70,000 staffers.
Its president & CEO, Michael Dowling, got a total compensation exceeding $4 million last year, ten times higher than President Joe Biden’s salary. Not bad for the head of an enterprise designated as a “nonprofit, tax exempt” organization by New York State and the federal government.
In television commercials, hospitals portray themselves as compassionate lifelines to their communities. But their bottom line takes top priority in real life.
They are nonprofit profiteers who violated a basic mandate of medicine: “First, do no harm.” State leaders and regulatory agencies must probe and penalize them for financial abuse.
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Suozzi’s folly

Dear Editor,
I couldn’t believe the shortsightedness and purely narcissistic comments Congressman Thomas Souzzi made about running for governor.
Regarding Congress, he said “I’m hoping we win the majority again and we may not, it doesn’t matter. I’m running for governor.”
It doesn’t matter? The GOP taking over the House with Kevin McCarthy, who denies the treasonous attack of January 6 and shows no respect for the rule of law, as speaker doesn’t matter?
The same Kevin McCarthy who was against the infrastructure legislation that will provide jobs for New York State? That doesn’t matter because Suozzi wants the job he was made for?
I have news for you Mr. Suozzi, things are bigger than you. To say that it “doesn’t matter” makes Suozzi yet another Democrat like Senator Joe Manchin, who will sabotage the goals of a sitting Democratic president.
Yes it does matter, how can it possibly not?
Stew Frimer
Forest Hills

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