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March’s 44th City Council Race Rears Its Head in 13th Congressional Joust

October 21, 2010

It was months ago, but it never goes away.

Now, the infamous 44th City Council Special Election from March of this year is rearing its head in the 13th Congressional race between Democrat Michael McMahon and Republican Michael Grimm.

At the heart of this are three of the very figures who made March’s election so electric: Councilman David Greenfield, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, and Young Republican reformer Jonathan Judge.

This all rose to the top after Assemblyman Hikind crossed party lines to endorse Grimm for Congress, which Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn was the first to report (to my knowledge).

Meanwhile, the Jewish blog news site Yeshiva World News (accused by my colleague and others of being pro-Greenfield prior to the March Special Election) has declared the opposing endorsements of Assemblyman Hikind and Councilman Greenfield to be a political “showdown.”

So, what happened in the 44th City Council race? You will recall it was Vito Lopez’s candidate Mr. Greenfield, Dov Hikind-supported Joe Lazar and independent candidate Jonathan Judge (who is the president of the Young Republicans) who were the major frontrunners in the race. The Brooklyn GOP establishment also put up some no-name candidate, as well, but he was accused of forging petition signatures and received around 2% of the vote. Mr. Greenfield won the race ultimately.

That’s the basic background of the race.

Now, Daniel Miller of YWN had this to say (excerpted):

If you thought the race between Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Councilman David Greenfield was over, you haven’t seen anything yet. In their first public break since they made amends after Greenfield’s landslide victory over the Hikind-backed/funded/inspired Joe Lazar, Assemblyman Dov Hikind has decided to endorse a Republican challenger to defeat centrist Democratic Congressman Mike McMahon. Why does this even matter? Because the Hikind/Greenfield split over this race evidences a fundamental difference in philosophies between the two Jewish powerbrokers.

According to Hikind’s detractors, he has no loyalties to any political candidates and routinely makes his endorsement decision at the very last minute depending on whichever way the political wind blows. Hikind’s endorsement of Mike Grimm seems to follow that model. After all, just a few weeks ago Congressman McMahon was an invited guest on the “Dov Hikind Radio Show” where Hikind spent much of the show praising McMahon for his outstanding support of Israel.

So what happened? Polling happened. Recent polls show that Congressman McMahon is more vulnerable than previously thought. As a result, Hikind may have switched his support from Democratic McMahon to Republican Grimm to take credit for the possible victory of the Republican challenger. This seems to fit a well-established pattern by Hikind. Even as far back as 1994, Hikind seemed to evidence this “endorsement by polling results” strategy. At the very last minute, Hikind abandoned his close political ally Governor Mario Cuomo to endorse new-comer George Pataki in the hotly contested race for New York Governor. Coincidentally, polling showed that Pataki was on the cusp of defeating Cuomo. Ironically, Hikind could not possibly have imagined at the time that Mario’s son, Andrew Cuomo, would come back 16 years later as the Governor of New York. Sources say that Andrew has neither forgotten nor forgiven Hikind for turning on his father at the very last minute for seeming political expediency.

This brings us back to the current contest between Mike McMahon and Mike Grimm. Truth be told, the fate of the US Congress does not rest on this singular seat. By all accounts, the margin which will decide control of Congress will be a large one. So why did Greenfield decide to back McMahon? Those familiar with his thinking believe that there are two things driving him: 1. Greenfield has a soft spot for moderate Democrats – McMahon fits that mold to a tee. He voted in favor of middle-income tax cuts but stood up to Nancy Pelosi to vote against Obama’s controversial health care reform. 2. Greenfield follows the AIPAC model on supporters of Israel. The unofficial rule of AIPAC is that they always support incumbents who are pro-Israel. The reason is simple: if you don’t support incumbents who support Israel, those incumbents have little incentive to continue supporting Israel. In that regard, McMahon also fits the mold – he has an outstanding record of consistently supporting Israel. In Jewish terminology this falls under the category of “hakoras hatov” or gratitude for McMahon’s unwavering support of Israel…

As for Greenfield, he is a blank slate on endorsements. However, if Greenfield utilizes his Bloomberg-inspired style of micro-targeting voters like he did in his own election, he could make a real difference in this race. If he can identify, target and deliver Jewish voters for McMahon, Greenfield’s value as a political power-broker will take him well beyond the Jewish community.

Clearly, this is slanted against Assemblyman Hikind, who Team Grimm has recently called an “iconic Jewish leader.”

Hikind, for his part, had this to say of Grimm:

I am endorsing Michael Grimm because I know he will fight for New York and the Jewish community when he is in Congress. Michael Grimm is committed to the defense of Israel, preventing terrorism, and keeping our country safe and strong.  As a candidate, Michael Grimm is in a class of his own.

This was a very interesting development, which is why we were so quick to post it to our blog.

But thereafter we could not ignore the emails sent to us regarding the alleged involvement of former City Council candidate and Vito Lopez nemesis Jonathan Judge in this affair.

As one of our commentators noted on an earlier piece, it was Mr. Judge who supported Assemblyman Hikind’s choice for the 44th City Council race after he was thrown off the ballot by the corrupt Board of Elections and a Vito Lopez-appointed judge. Mr. Judge then supported conservative Democrat Joe Lazar in the race, much to Hikind’s delight, I’m sure.

More recently, Mr. Judge, considered by many to be the most visible reform figure in the Brooklyn GOP, endorsed Mr. Grimm for Congress prior to the GOP primary. This was seen by one political insider (who contacted us directly under the condition of anonymity) as an important moment in the run-up to the race:

To local Republicans, Judge’s support of Grimm sent a statement that Michael Grimm was not a creature of the establishment. Grimm was already receiving that sort of criticism across the Narrows in Staten Island, since Guy Molinari is seen as “the establishment” there to many. But in Brooklyn, Marty Golden and his cabal are seen as the “powers that be” (laughably). It was not coincidence then that Judge and the besieged 49th Assembly District leadership–both at odds with the Brooklyn GOP leadership–endorsed Grimm in Brooklyn over Golden-backed neophyte Michael Allegretti. The message was clear: Michael Grimm is the reform candidate.

Let’s not forget: Mr. Grimm did indeed carry Brooklyn.

So, now it is interesting–if merely coincidental–that Dov Hikind is also supporting Mr. Grimm. While we do not suspect this has anything to do with Mr. Judge, we are in the process of contacting him regarding the rumors.

Meanwhile, The Daily News is drawing a contrary image of the “showdown” painted by Yeshiva World News:

…[D]espite reports, such as this one from today’s Yeshiva World website, political peace continues to reign between Greenfield and Democratic state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who had tried his best to prevent Greenfield’s election to the Council in March by backing rival Joseph Lazar.

“We’re only married a short time,” Hikind assures. “There’s no problem between us. We’re working closely on a number of issues.”

So what if they have taken opposite sides in the red-hot Congressional race on Staten Island between NY-13 Democratic incumbent Michael McMahon — Greenfield’s choice — and Republican challenger Michael Grimm — Hikind’s freshly endorsed choice!

It’s just some people trying to stir the pot, said Hikind, and their conflicting preferences in the Congressional race is irrelevant to his relationship with Greenfield—who did not return a call for comment. (Probably too busy campaigning against himself.)

“I like the guy — forgive me,” Hikind said of Grimm, whom he endorsed Wednesday. “I do what I think is right. I’ve never checked polls. I have nothing bad to say about McMahon, but I like Grimm’s position of being against a two-state solution regarding Israel [and Palestine].”

The endorsement from Hikind, who is known for jumping party lines to make endorsements, was welcomed said Steven Stites, Grimm’s campaign spokesman. “He’s one of those guys in the communities of New York who’s seen as an iconic leader,” Stites said of Hikind.

The 13th Congressional District takes in all of Staten Island, where there are strong pockets of Jewish voters, and a piece of Brooklyn, largely Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, with some pockets of Jewish voters.

Grimm’s race, unlike Greenfield’s, won’t be a landslide for either candidate. Grimm has some notable endorsements besides Hikind’s, such as from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, that could play well in the conservative-leaning district.

Whatever our suspicions may be, we can’t be sure of anything more than what we’ve heard thus far.

Hopefully, we will soon have some more answers.

But nevertheless, it is interesting to see these elements from the 44th City Council race interacting with the McMahon/Grimm clash.

  1. I have it on the best authority.... permalink
    October 21, 2010 10:40 pm

    David Greenfield is already wearing out his welcome among his strongest supporters. Assemblyman Dov Hikind is probably just testing the waters to see if Greenfield is already losing his punch in less than one year.

    There is a common element involved in the old mix that hasn’t yet been mentioned — the Kings County Conservative Party. The Conservatives had backed Greenfield against the Hikind candidate, Lazar. The cross-endorsement of Grimm and Hikind has the look of a brokered deal about it. My first look would be at the Conservatives who traded a minor leaguer Doherty (a neophyte for the assembly against Hikind) for somebody ready to step into the bigs, Grimm.

    What does Hikind get out of it? Almost anything he wants. He’s made himself a major player in a district where he really only has a sliver of overlapping EDs. Nonetheless, if Grimm wins, Hikind is the biggest Democrat to support him, at least so far. In any case, lots of Orthodox Jewish voters would likely have voted for Grimm regardless of the counter-endorsements. So, Hikind is wisely leading by following, and Greenfield would look weak if McMahon does poorly among Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish voters.

  2. Brooklyn GOP Anti-Semitism Blatant on Eaton's Hate Blog permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:38 pm

    TJIUA’s remarks about the Hikind vote in the 48th AD in response to the Dov Hikind endorsement of Michael Grimm, along with the earlier pro-Brian Doherty rants against Assemblyman Dov Hikind clearly are classic attempts to paint Orthodox Jewish Candidates like Hikind as “The Other”.

    Similar negative remarks about the Republican candidate for the assembly in the 45th AD, Joseph Hayon, are similarly negative and polarizing.

    This is the kind of whispered “Gentlemen’s Agreement” insulating tactic that an Un-American Eaton-Press coalition might be espected to practice in pursuit of their joint Brooklyn Culturist-Tea Party-Republican agenda.

    One wonders why there are certain “leaders” active in the Brooklyn Republican Party who believe it is good politics to be openly disdainful of Jews outside, as well as inside, the Republican Party?

    • A minority report on the above permalink
      October 21, 2010 11:54 pm

      A lone dissenting member of the “The Jig is Up Atlas” survey and citicism group wishes to voice his opinion.

      Here ’tis: The counter-Hayon rant in favor of Edward Koch’s “‘NY Uprising’ Redistricting Pledge” doesn’t necessarily reflect any form of anti-semitism. Maybe, it just shows that TJIUA is a bunch of Koch suckers.

    • It's About Time Hayon permalink
      October 22, 2010 7:03 am

      Hayon rarely campaigns on the fiscal issues. I am impressed and fully supporting his position not to sign NY Uprising pledge. This pledge violates our basic Libertarian values of smaller government.

      The “No Name Republicans” drank Ed Koch’s Kool Aid. Who knows if they even read the pledge.

      How on earth did Marty Golden sign such a bigger government pledge?

      I am glad to know that Hayon is finally fighting for our fiscal values.

      I would like to put in a motion that Atlas Shrugs should start covering Hayon’s race.

      • Gerry permalink
        October 23, 2010 12:31 pm

        Hayon is a clown who is actually disliked by BOTH the Bay Ridge Cabal AND the reformers in Brooklyn. He is an enemy of reform–and everything else that’s good in the world, it seems lol.

      • It's About Time Hayon permalink
        October 23, 2010 7:23 pm

        Not true. Look what I found.

        You guys could hat Hayon all you want, but I see him breaking ground. Some of the local papers have been mentioning Hayon as a viable candidate. I am disappointed that Hayon is again not focusing on the fiscal issues.

        On the front page of the Flatbush Jewish Journal:

        “Two races to watch are the battle for state Assembly, pitting Democrat incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz against Republican and Conservative challenger Yoseph Hayon, and the race between Democrat Rep. Anthony Weiner and Republican/Conservative candidate Bob Turner. Hayon, has taken more conservative positions on social policy issues and highlighted his endorsements by some rabbis. Turner has been endorsed by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.”

        The other papers dont have an on-line format.

  3. In Brooklyn the 2010 elections will probably look a lot like 2009 and 2008 and 2007..... permalink
    October 23, 2010 3:59 pm

    Is there anything new going on with the Brooklyn GOP in 2010?

    Based on my observations, not really.

    If Grimm, Turner and Malliotakis hope to win, they will have to win it all outside Brooklyn, because as far as the Republican Party in Brooklyn is concerned, there is “no there” there.

    btw, is State Senator Martin J. Golden allowing the use of any of his proprietary lists for the benefit of any other candidate(s)? If so, for whom? If not, why not?

    • Conveniently ignored by TJIUA was the matter of Golden's lists permalink
      October 24, 2010 12:15 am

      TJIUA frenetically attempted to put a cover on all of the pots boiling-over here on ASIB’s Viking range. One of the sub-items that they didn’t address in their recent “cut and paste” jobs involved the use of Golden’s proprietary lists for his fellow Republican candidates. That showed amazing message discipline on behalf Marty Golden’s special interest group at TJIUA.

      But let’s turn up the gas on that one, shall we. On behalf of the rest of the Brooklyn GOP ticket, for whom we wish nothing but the best, we must insist that the issue of the use of Golden’s lists be addressed in a forthright and honest way.

      A good amount of what Jeffrey Kraus has done to earn his $85,000+ consulting fee from Councilman/State Senator Martin J. Golden involved the making and keeping of MG’s prime lists, with all kinds of special breakdowns.

      Marty Golden’s robocalls or targeted mailings to those on his own lists would be very helpful for Mike Grimm in the Brooklyn part of his district, or Nicole Malliotakis in the Brooklyn portion of the 60th AD, or Peter Cipriano in almost all of the 49th AD, or Brian Doherty in the Bay Ridge and a sliver of the Sunset/Boro Park part of the 48th AD.

      So we reiterate, “Is State Senator Martin J. Golden allowing the use of any of his proprietary lists for the benefit of any other candidates? If so, for whom? If not, why not?”

      • Brooklyn GOP howls when caught off base, just read TJIUA permalink
        October 24, 2010 10:59 am

        This is MUST SEE TV for Cipriano, Doherty and Malliotakis!!!!

        The other side of the divided Brooklyn Republican Party must really have felt the sting of several of yesterday’s postings here at ASIB. They always show it when they’ve been hit hard. As usual, it’s by their vicious personal invective, complete with open and implied threats. That must be the Eaton-Gallo input into the formula, but unfortunately for them, they always serve their whine before its time.

        The Sunday morning, October 24th “…Jig is Up Atlas” shows that Eaton’s hate bloggers must’ve gotten and earfull from Craig; or maybe Eaton decided to personally take his hand to the keyboard (and I don’t mean any Yamaha, Beckstein or Steinway). They have been working very had with their e-scissors, and clipboard icons with the usual and thoughtless cut and paste rebuttal that is their hallmark (for them, that’s giving their very best).

        Nonetheless, they still are very pregnant with the question that still begs — once more with feeling, now:

        “Is State Senator Martin J. Golden allowing the use of any of his proprietary lists for the benefit of any other candidates? If so, for whom? If not, why not?”


        TJIUA’s commentator(s) did a lot of diversionary jibber-jabber about Golden being on literature with this that or the other Moe, Larry or Curley, but they didn’t say “word one” about Golden’s hoarded personal data base. You see in Eaton’s and Golden’s Brooklyn GOP there are two classes of Republicans — Golden and everybody else.

        That’s why in 2010 we say:


      • Clorinda Is O for 5 permalink
        October 24, 2010 1:27 pm

        We hear the witch Clorinda is now working with Grimm. Didnt he see that she is the _ _ _ _ of death. All the campaigns she worked on failed, Blakeman, Capano, Capano, etc etc . She left peter C and he won. Lucky for him. She is a
        backstabbing old lady. time to get rid of her

  4. It's About Time Hayon permalink
    October 24, 2010 3:29 pm

    I found this on Hayon’s facebook page.

    • Joseph Hayon The Welfare Cheat permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:23 pm

      Joseph Hayon. Isn’t he the welfare fraud tax cheat? He uses our hard earned taxpayer money to feed his family. He is an embarrasment to his party and his people. Has anyone looked into his personal finances? Obviously not, otherwise he wouldn’t be running and he wouldn’t be collecting welfare. What a disgrace. Another Eaton blunder. Get a Job Joe!

    • It's About Time Hayon permalink
      October 24, 2010 9:02 pm

      How can I verify this information?

    • It's About Time Hayon permalink
      October 24, 2010 9:09 pm

      I was just thinking if this was true that Hayon was on welfare and he actually won (which according to statistics, he can win), he will include Obama and Pelosi in his thank you speech.

      “I would like to thank Barak Obama for providing me with welfare so that I can kick your Democratic ass.”

  5. Work Is A Dirty Word For Hayon permalink
    October 24, 2010 9:21 pm

    Anyone can win, just not Hayon. Ever hear of Workfare Joe?

  6. It's about time Marty Golden permalink
    October 24, 2010 10:05 pm

    Marty Golden signed the “‘NY Uprising’ Redistricting Pledge”, but absolutely does not support passage of any NY Uprising-type commission to recut state senate districts. Golden has one of the most gerrymandered districts ever created in New York. Any type of fair-shot neighborhood-based redistricting would wipe out the “Golden district”.

    Golden thinks he is getting away with gaming everybody on this one, just like he tried to do on the firearm microstamping legislation. Right now, an independent redistricting commission stands no chance of getting through the NYS Assembly.

    Here, here to Joseph Hayon! He’s up front with his opposition to the anti-democratic Koch, who would take all kinds of powers away from elected representatives and give it to appointed commissions. Hm, an oligarchy to preserve democracy what a concept; sort of belongs in there with things like dictatorship of the proletariat and Islamic Republic.

    But for now Marty Golden is for it, er….right.


    October 25, 2010 7:20 am

    As usual somebody at TJIUA drank some Jonestown Kool-Aid, this time for Marty Golden.

    “‘Golden Signed The Pledge A Long Time Ago, Though I Know McCall’s New Pal Hayon Didn’t!! said…’ Marty Golden signed the “‘NY Uprising’ Redistricting Pledge”, and absolutely does support passage of any NY Uprising-type commission to recut state senate districts.***
    He actually said he does support it at a debate last month….'”

    Thanks for helping to make the point, Golden says one thing and believes another; that’s called lying to the public — lying to voters –lying to Republicans.

    When he was interviewed at the 49th Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Club, he was asked about the Koch-pledge. He said that he had/would (we don’t recall which) sign it, but that it would be the worst thing in the world for Republicans. They still wouldn’t get control of the Assembly, and probably would lose the NYS Senate for good. He then assured everybody that it wouldn’t pass the Assembly and wouldn’t get voted upon in the state senate. We believe that he was right about it then, and is right about it now, if he still believes the same thing. He should be as forthright to every body else, that’s all. MOre like Joseph Hayon, for example.

    See what happens when you go to debates, you hear BS and you think it’s real. For example, you think it’s one sided and everybody is for Marty Golden, because that’s what you think you saw at the debates. Maybe it’s so, but we kinda doubt it.

  8. This is still "MUST SEE TV" for Grimm, Cipriano, Doherty and Malliotakis!!!! permalink
    October 26, 2010 7:07 am

    We must return to the issue of the use of Golden’s proprietary lists.

    Marty Golden’s robocalls or targeted mailings on behalf of Michael Grimm to those on his privte lists would be very helpful for Mr. Grimm in the Brooklyn part of the 13th CD. Nicole Malliotakis could use a similar boost in the Brooklyn portion of the district. Peter Cipriano needs all the help he can get throughout the 49th AD. Golden’s fellow-retiree from OTJ, Brian Doherty, could make a bigger splash in “the Ridge” portion of the 48th AD with a good word from Marty to his staunchest supporters. Every Republican candidate running along with Marty Golden in the 22nd SD could benefit from the $85,000+ paid to Jeff Kraus prior to the current filing period.

    So we again have to ask, “Is State Senator Martin J. Golden allowing the use of any of his proprietary lists for the benefit of any other candidates?

    If so, for whom? If not, why not?”

    Doesn’t Craig Eaton’s Brooklyn GOP purport to have an “All for one and one for all” ethos?

  9. It's About Time Hayon permalink
    October 26, 2010 11:56 am

    Why do you all exclude Hayon? Golden shares at least 20 ED’s with Hayon.

    • It's About Time Hayon Leaves permalink
      October 26, 2010 4:12 pm

      Hayon excluded himself by not caring about any constituencies beyond the Jewish community and being two-faced within his own party. No one likes him in the GOP. Ask around.

  10. It's About Time Hayon permalink
    October 26, 2010 8:11 pm

    I cannot talk about what Hayon did in the GOP, because I have no clue. I do know that Hayon campaigns everywhere regardless of religious affiliation. He primarily talks about religious freedom, which would include Catholics and Muslims. I wish he would focus more on fiscal, but in any event, he is still better that Cymbrowtiz.

    I have heard him speak once at a Community Board meeting, and I remember him including other constituents besides Jews.

    • McCall's Wit Reigns Supreme permalink
      October 27, 2010 12:34 pm

      If you don’t know what Hayon has done in the GOP, then your opinion of him is severely compromised. What he says in the GOP and what he does amongst the voters are apparently two very different things.

  11. This time there just isn't time for Hayon permalink
    October 26, 2010 10:43 pm

    Joseph Hayon is an independent Republican candidate against Assemblyman Cymbrowitz. There is very little chance that Marty Golden would do anything for him. The likelihood of Golden’s not using any part of his personal data base for Hayon’s benefit would not upset anybody in the least.

  12. We need more independents permalink
    October 27, 2010 7:54 am

    You write as if it is a bad thing that Joseph is independent. I think it is great that we finally have a Republican candidate that thinks as an individual and not as a mindless Eaton cult member.

    • Misfit Hayon permalink
      October 27, 2010 12:36 pm

      The only reason Joseph Hayon is an “independent” is because no one in the GOP is supporting him other than in name only lol

      One wonders why….

    • It's About Time Hayon permalink
      October 27, 2010 3:48 pm

      Again, I am requesting that Atlas Shrugs write about Hayon with supporting evidence of any facts — good or bad.

      Issues to resolve:

      Is Hayon with the GOP, against the GOP, independent of any organization?
      Did GOP or Young Republicans help Hayon collect signatures?
      How was Hayon two-faced to the GOP?
      What does Hayon say to the GOP?
      Other than the $500 donation, is the GOP helping Hayon?
      Who exactly dislikes Hayon? Do they dislike Hayon because he is Jewish?
      Why is Hayon affiliated with John Press?
      Is Hayon pounding pavement?
      Can Hayon win?
      Is Hayon on welfare?
      Which groups are supporting Hayon?

      Atlas Shrugs is known for uncovering truths. We would like to have the truth on Hayon.

  13. June 15, 2011 12:35 am

    Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to swap methods with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  14. July 16, 2011 9:23 pm

    I really miss writing here.

    We will be back after September 13th.

  15. Ole Possum permalink
    July 18, 2011 11:18 pm


  16. Cicero permalink
    July 20, 2011 9:39 pm

    Darn, I’ve missed ASIB! Wherefore art thou?

    Please come back soon!

    I miss the excellent commentaries from the blog writers and the thoughts and rants from readers.

    Reboot and recharge! Come back and keeping fighting the good fight!

    What happened to the ASIB facebook page?

  17. Wedding Dress permalink
    August 24, 2011 5:29 pm

    Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Thanks!

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