Brooklyn Dems call out Sen. Felder

Brooklyn Dems call out Sen. Felder
Associated Press / Hans Pennink

Brooklyn Democratic County Committee member Ernest Skinner says he has delivered over 20 signed and notarized affidavits from registered Democrats in State Sen. Simcha Felder’s district and a letter to Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio asking that Felder be removed from the Democratic Party for what Skinner described as Felder’s “lack of sympathy and loyalty to the party.”

Skinner said on Thursday that the affidavits include 16 quotations and public actions “that show Sen. Felder’’ lack of sympathy and loyalty for the Democratic Party.

“These include publicly endorsing Republicans, talking about how the Republican Party is superior for him, stating he has no interest in Democratic control of the State Senate, and explicitly saying that he is not loyal to the Democrats and that he has betrayed their part,” said Trinidadian-born Skinner, who has a Democratic political club in Brooklyn named after him.

“For too long, Sen. Felder has betrayed the Brooklyn Democratic Party, and they have done nothing about it,” he added. “I know many fellow Democrats in Senate District 17 who feel abandoned, both by their state senator and by their party.”

Noreen Harnik, a Midwood, Brooklyn resident, who lives in Senate District 17, explained her reason for signing the affidavit.

“If Simcha Felder wants to run for election, that’s his right,” she said. “But if he wants to run as a Democrat, then he has to show some actual loyalty to that party.

“Otherwise, he should run as something else,” Harnik added. “If I vote for a Democrat, I expect to get a Democrat.”

Sen. Felder was originally elected to the New York State Senate in 2012 as a Democrat.

Skinner said before Felder “stepped foot in the Senate chamber, he announced that he would be caucusing with Republicans in the Senate.

“He has continued to caucus with them through today, giving them the majority they need to control the chamber,” he said.

On May 23, the New York State Democratic party passed a nonbinding resolution to remove Sen. Felder from the party.

They called on the Brooklyn Democratic County Committee to disenroll him.

But Skinner said Frank Seddio, chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, refused to accept their recommendation.

Skinner quoted Seddio as saying that state party members “would have a better chance at being struck by lightning in their offices” than having Felder thrown out of the party.

But Skinner said Brooklyn Democratic Party rules allow for members to file a complaint with the Brooklyn Democratic Party Committee, which would then hold hearings and issue a report.

“Seddio has publicly stated that no action may be taken unless and until action is demanded pursuant to the party rules,” Skinner said.