Archive for the tag 'david storobin'

Oberman

Oberman

The Trump Village co-op board headed by former City Council candidate Igor Oberman filed a libel suit against a tenant who established a blog to vent criticism of the board’s actions.

Oberman filed the suit against resident Yuliya Bezvoleva on behalf of the Trump Village Section 4 board last month, claiming that her website, TV4News.org, was causing financial harm by getting in the way of potential sales according to the New York Post.

The website has been active since the spring of 2012, documenting perceived violations of co-op board bylaws and other abuses. The oldest post on the site claims one boardmember was actually ineligible to hold the position, and was also bumped to the top of the list for coveted parking spaces. Such privileges for boardmembers are a frequent complaint, with another post alleging that the board used the co-op’s money to construct a personal, fenced in garage.

The site also shared news during Oberman’s 2013 campaign for City Council regarding concerns over his fundraising, which included donations from firms doing business with the board. That election ultimately saw Chaim Deutsch elected to replace Michael Nelson.

Another post took issue with co-op funds used for events on the 1,114-unit property that were open to the public. (Full disclosure: two such events, as noted on the website, were marketed with paid advertising on Sheepshead Bites. The ads were paid for by the Board.)

The lawsuit claims several of the site’s posts include false information, and specifically flags a story from October 2013 questioning why some board candidates were disqualified without explanation, and another from November of that year pointing out Housing Court cases against residents.

Oberman claims in the lawsuit that the website is scaring off potential buyers, and is also ruining his reputation.

“Several potential employers have asked me about . . . the Web site,” Oberman said in an affidavit, according to the Post. 

He declined to comment to the newspaper, but his attorney called the website’s claims “pure fabrications.”

Bezvoleva said the lawsuit is just another illustration of the board’s heavy-handed tactics against critical tenants.

“There is no freedom of speech, and there are no public meetings,” Bezvoleva told the Post. “When we do have them, we have lots of security guards. Sometimes police officers get invited to make sure nothing happens.”

Last year, as Oberman ran for Council, it was reported that the board was mired in lawsuits from former employees and critical tenants who were served eviction notices, allegedly to strengthen Oberman’s control over the board.

Bezvoleva was one of the residents fighting off an eviction notice at the time, after she launched an anti-Oberman petition drive.

Lawyer Mark Nussbaum

Nussbaum (Source: RUNY)

I’m not quite sure why one would release a statement in response to a quote published a month and half ago, or why one would attack a former elected official of the same party who has said he will never run for office again. But that’s exactly what’s going on this week, with Republican District Leader Marcus Nussbaum of the 46th Assembly District “taking issue” with former State Senator David Storobin for comments he made after the election.

Storobin blamed his loss in November’s race for the 48th District of the City Council, ultimately won by Chaim Deutsch, on low turnout in the Russian-speaking community. Following redistricting, the area became known as a “Super Russian” district, in which Russian speakers are the largest voting block. But apparently that didn’t benefit Storobin.

Nussbaum, who rose to local prominence after providing pro bono legal representation to Bay People in their fight against the Voorhies Avenue mosque, rejected Storobin’s narrative, saying that his loss was because of his failure to garner support from the party. To add some context here, the Brooklyn GOP is in the midst of a power struggle, with a faction led by State Senator Marty Golden looking to unseat county boss Craig Eaton, and Storobin wasn’t exactly a favored son of either side.

Here’s Nussbaum’s press release in full:

Marcus Nussbaum, one of the two newly elected Republican District Leaders in the 46th Assembly District, has stated that he strongly disagrees with former State Senator and City Council candidate David Storobin’s recent statement that he lost his election because the Russian electorate did not come out to vote.

“This analysis labels the Russian community as disinterested in civic affairs. I found this to be in accurate. As I campaigned, talking with hundreds of Russian constituents, I found the overwhelming majority to be very much concerned with government affairs and eager to cast their votes,” Nussbaum said.

Mr. Storobin’s remarks were included in a Politicker article entitled “Non-Russian Triumphs in ‘Super-Russian’ Council District” written by Ross Barkan last November 7th. Mr. Storobin blamed turnout for the letdown, “It’s disappointing the Russian community tends not to come out in high numbers,” he said, reflecting on his bid.”

Nussbaum explained, “I am of Russian descent, and convinced that my victory last September, together with that of my running mate, Lucretia Regina-Potter, happened because of the strong support that we received from the Russian Republican community. In order for us to receive such support, we personally asked for it by meeting with as many Republican voters as possible throughout the entire 46th Assembly District.”

“In spite of the fact that the established factions did not support us, we were able to overcome those obstacles and their very strong opposition. In my opinion, Mr. Storobin lost because he failed to reach out to those people, including myself and my co-leader, who had just succeeded in convincing a large number of Republican voters to actually come out and vote in a Primary election,” Nussbaum stated.

“Could it have been political rather than cultural considerations that were at play?” Nussbaum asked. “At this stage, one is inclined to conclude that perhaps Mr. Storobin did not value our support, or worse, he may have been instructed not to reach out to us by his alignment with one established Republican faction.”

“The result of all of the bickering and infighting among Brooklyn Republicans is that it is almost impossible for Republican candidates for public office to be elected. We must stand united, work for a common victory, and overcome these petty differences in order to succeed. It is not a community that is disappointing, but perhaps the candidates that take the community for granted,” Nussbaum concluded.

City Council candidate David Storobin

Following his defeat on Tuesday to Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch, former State Senator David Storobin told Sheepshead Bites that he has no plans of ever running for office again, and also threw a jab at his Republican colleagues, likening them to a “debating society.”

The comment was made in an e-mail to us, following a tweet we posted in jest after the results of Tuesday’s election came in.

In reply, Storobin sent us this:

On twitter, you wondered about my future runs for office, against Cymbrowitz or someone else. Let me put this to rest: I didn’t run for the last two years because I’m obsessed with campaigning for public office. I’ve always been interested in politics and felt it was a way of making a difference for the better. The way things lined up, I had to run 3 times in a row, a nightmare I would’ve never started had I known how long it would take. But once I was in it, this is what I had to do. Under the circumstances, those were the correct choices, regardless of the final outcome.

My one regret in all this is that all my time in public eye has been very divisive because that’s the nature of elections where you have to distinguish yourself from your opponent, particularly when you are trying to be “the first”, both as a Russian and as a Republican, which upsets a lot of the traditional political balance.

I wish I had the chance to work without the divisiveness of elections. The one article I enjoyed the most about myself featured a quote from a CUNY professor who said I wasn’t just a Russian Senator, I tried to work for everyone in my brief tenure. I wish I could’ve done more of that – help my neighbors, regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation or even if they like me or not.

And now things will go back to normal. I will go back to being a lawyer. Brooklyn Democrats won’t have to worry about getting re-elected. Brooklyn Republicans will go back to being a small debating society. Everything makes sense to everyone again.

After we requested clarification on whether or not this means he was done with politics, Storobin was unequivocal:

“Yes, I have no intention of ever running for office again,” he wrote.

If this is the end of the line for Storobin’s political career, it was a brief but historic stint. Storobin made his mark as the first Russian-American to sit in the State Senate, a distinction he won after an uphill campaign in a 2012 special election, taking on one of the city’s most powerful politicians, Councilman Lew Fidler. The victory was an upset, and seen by observers as an indicator of a Republican resurgence emerging in Southern Brooklyn.

Unfortunately for Storobin, his two subsequent campaigns, one to take on Simcha Felder for the “Super Jewish” district last year, and this year’s run for City Council, did not have the same success.

deutsch-victory-1

Photo from Deutsch’s primary victory night in September

Although the district has seen its share of narrow victories in the last few election cycles – including a whopper of a race that saw David Storobin beat Lew Fidler by just 13 votes last year – this was not one of them.

Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch beat Republican Storobin by 2,716 votes, pulling in 55.1 percent of total votes, in the race to replace Michael Nelson.

“Throughout this campaign, I have walked the streets of this district. I have met the people and I have listened to the their concerns,” said Deutsch during his victory party last night, as reported by Brooklyn Daily. “I understand the unique difficulties that face the residents of this district and I am eager to tackle the issues.”

In order to achieve victory, Deutsch needed to cross ethnic lines far outside of his Orthodox Jewish base in Flatbush. He picked up Asians in Homecrest and Pakistanis in Brighton Beach, as he did in the primary. But, to cross the finish line, Deutsch must have picked up a sizable percentage of the Russian vote that went to Ari Kagan in September.

Indeed, it appears that predictions that Working Families Party Igor Oberman would prove a spoiler to Storobin by pulling in those who vote along ethnic lines, thereby splitting the Russian vote, were unfounded. Oberman brought in 850 votes, or 5 percent. Had all those votes been added to Storobin’s 6,645, the Republican candidate still would have been 11 points behind Deutsch. The Democrat would have won this race in a head-to-head match-up.

The Russian “kingmaker,” Gregory Davidzon, had also launched a write-in campaign. Those results will not be available for several days, or even weeks.

Aside from Deutsch, other Democratic candidates for City Council had a satisfying night in Southern Brooklyn, despite the fact that it’s one of few areas where Republican Joe Lhota took a sizable percentage of the vote in his race for mayor.

Here are the other results of other Southern Brooklyn City Council races:

43rd District (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights)

  • Vincent Gentile (D) – 12,638 votes (62.7%)
  • John Quaglione (R) – 7,162 votes (35.6%)
  • Patrick Dwyer (Gm) – 342 votes (1.7%)

44th District (Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst)

  • David Greenfield (D) – 13,638 (82%)
  • Joseph Hayon (R) – 2,990 (18%)

45th District (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood)

  • Jumaane Williams (D) – 19,889 (96.8%)
  • Erlene King (R) – 664 (3.2%)

46th District (Mill Basin, Marine Park, Canarsie)

  • Alan Maisel (D) – 19,746 (80.3%)
  • Anthony Testaverde – 4,834 (19.7%)

47th District (Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach)

  • Mark Treyger (D) – 8,267 (71.2%)
  • Andrew Sullivan (R) – 3,112 (26.8%)
  • Connis Mobley (ScC) – 224 (1.9%)

48th District (Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Midwood)

  • Chaim Deutsch (D) – 9,361 (55.1%)
  • David Storobin (R) – 6,645 (39.1%)
  • Igor Oberman (WF) – 850 (5%)
  • Alexander Lotovsky (Other) – 138 (0.8%)

With tremendous thanks to WNYC, for the live election breakdowns.

Candidates vying for the 48th City Council District participated in an unorthodox, but incredibly informational, forum last Thursday, hosted by the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association.

The learning-style forum gave local citizens the opportunity to interact directly with three City Council candidates for the 48th District: Republican David Storobin, Working Families Igor Oberman, and Democrat Chaim Deutsch. The format of the panel departed from the usual, and featured three reporters asking questions, which a citizens panel then answered as if they were the council members. The candidates then weighed in, saying how they’d approach the issue and responding to the residents’ proposals.

Moderated by City Councilman Lew Fidler, the panel touched on important concerns, including local development, parking and traffic, garbage and the revitalization of our commercial districts – the concerns residents said would guide their vote in the November 5 election.

The media panel brought together reporters from local, citywide, and New York policy publications: Michael Powell, a veteran metro reporter from the New York Times; Cristian Salazar, editor of the Gotham Gazette, a policy analysis publication; and our own Ned Berke, editor and publisher of Sheepshead Bites.

Attendance for the event filled up the Carmine Carro Community Center in Brooklyn’s Marine Park, where the event took place. Ed Jaworski, the president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association and organizer of the event said that the event was “an opportunity for the public, candidates for office, and current office holders to learn from citizens. It‘s a focus on citizen input, that is, bottom-up consideration.”

William Chin, one of the citizen panels, said, “It was an unbelievable turnout.” But he added that though the content was good, there weren’t many “campaignable promises.”

Storobin, Oberman, and Deutsch had dissenting opinions about what it would take to draw business to local shops, find a balance in the equitable distribution of wealth, and educate proprietors on the basics of business stability.

In fact, one of the few things the candidates did agree upon was the rejection of Bloomberg’s 16-ounce soda ban, with Storobin calling it “preposterous” and Oberman adding, “We don’t need another politician concerned about soda.”

The entire panel can be watched in the video above.

Many say Davidzon (right) is only running to cause Storobin (left) to lose, but it might mean losing out on business for the media mogul.

Many say Davidzon (right) is only running to cause Storobin (left) to lose, but it might mean losing out on business for the media mogul.

A high-ranking source in the Brooklyn Republican Party is elated that Russian media mogul Gregory Davidzon is throwing his hat into the ring with a surprise write-in campaign for the 48th Council District, saying that it’ll prove whether or not his support is worth paying for.

Davidzon has long held himself up as the “kingmaker” of the Russian community, a title that picked up traction in the mainstream political press after his support helped garner wins in the Russian community for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Comptroller John Liu and, most surprisingly, Congressman Bob Turner.

But the kingmaker’s power has come under doubt in the last few election cycles, having failed to earn wins for candidates he supported, including Lew Fidler in his race for State Senate against David Storobin, Ben Akselrod in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and, most recently, Ari Kagan in his race for the 48th District Democratic primary.

The recent record has some politicos wondering if it means the power broker’s influence is ebbing.

“It’s a free poll for us,” a high-ranking source in the Republican Party leadership, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sheepshead Bites. “We can finally see how much support he’ll bring in. It’ll be a way to tell if it’s worth paying for.”

The source was referring to the consulting fees Davidzon commands in return for advertising, on-air support and Davidzon’s personal endorsement, for which candidates have been known to pay upwards of $10,000. Many have turned to the broadcaster and publisher after he gained a reputation for an almost slavish following of Russian-American seniors who vote at his whim.

That means the write-in campaign could be bad for business if Davidzon fails to garner much support in the race, as it could prove that fan-base a profitable myth.

“I’m dying to see what he can do now. If he gets two percent of the vote, it’s not worth fighting for his support anymore,” said the GOP source.

Davidzon has spent the last several days making phone calls to those in both parties seeking endorsement, having won several prominent ones already from both parties. But, our source, who was also approached, said that Davidzon disclosed that he has no hopes for winning the race, only at causing Republican contender David Storobin to lose.

“He’s acknowledged to me privately that he can’t win, but he just wants to chip away at David’s lead. There’s a bit of a rivalry right now about who really is the king of the Russians,” he said.

He added that Davidzon’s been successful at picking up the support of Republican leaders, since Storobin is on the outs with the party.

“Storobin isn’t well liked in the party right now,” the source said, noting that the party is in the midst of a civil war. [Our source is a supporter of current chairman Craig Eaton].

Still, he said he’d be withholding his support from Davidzon in favor of party loyalty.

“I can’t [support Davidzon]. There’s a Republican in the race, even if we don’t like him, we just can’t do that,” he said.

Our source isn’t the only one staying out of the fray. Republican operative Gene Berardelli, also of Craig Eaton’s Kings County Republican Party, said it’s a lose-lose to get involved.

“As a Republican, I don’t know what to make of it. On the one side, you want someone from your party to win, on the other you don’t want to offend Davidzon because he can get you votes in the future,” said Berardelli. “This is one of those situations where you just back away very slowly.”

He added that some of the support Davidzon has received, like that of Democratic Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny and Democratic District Leader Ari Kagan, endorsements that have baffled Democratic Party leadership, comes from fear of losing the mogul’s support down the line.

“He’s one of those guys where you go against him, and you offend him, he will never forget,” said Berardelli, noting the Brook-Krasny faces reelection next year.

davidzon

Davidzon

Proclaimed “Kingmaker” of the Russian-American community Gregory Davidzon has announced a write-in campaign for the 48th District of the City Council, a seat currently occupied by term-limited Michael Nelson, and for which three prominent candidates are already vying.

Davidzon announced his campaign during an hour-long segment on his radio station, Davidzon Radio, yesterday, touting his experience as a “successful businessman and community leader.” He hopes to beat out two other Russian-American candidates, Republican David Storobin and Working Families’ Igor Oberman, and Democrat Chaim Deutsch, an Orthodox Jew.

Support for the candidates in the race has largely been split along ethnic lines.

“I realize that this is an unusual undertaking, however, I was encouraged by many members of the community − ordinary residents and political leaders − to run. While I do have the backing of elected officials from both political parties, I made it clear to them that I always have been and will remain independent; focused fully on what is best for the community and the people,” Davidzon said in a press release.

Davidzon is not a member of any political party, and is not registered to vote.

The owner of a Russian-language radio station and newspaper, Davidzon said the issues he hopes to promote include public safety and quality education, saying he supports “school choice.” In his press release, he spoke out against taxes, as well as fines, fees and other charges the city has been using to drum up revenues.

The write-in candidate is no lark: he’s already garnered the support of District Leader Ari Kagan, who lost the Democratic bid in the race to Deutsch. Kagan is also an employee of Davidzon’s. Other surprise endorsements include that of Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, and various Democratic and Republic district leaders from around the area.

His Democratic Party-backed opponent, Deutsch, shied away from commenting on the development.

“We’re not interested in talking about our opponents,” a spokesperson for Deutch told YWN. “What we’re interested in is talking to the residents of southern Brooklyn and listening to their concerns about the critical quality of life issues the district faces and how to best address them.”

Storobin, meanwhile, was more forthright, predicting that Davidzon is unlikely to garner more than 100 votes in the race.

“I will make a bet with anyone that he will not break 100 votes,” Storobin told Politicker. “Davidzon has almost the highest negatives of any person in the Russian community, by far the highest negatives.”

Of course, there’s little love lost between Davidzon and Storobin. Davidzon backed Storobin’s opponent, Lew Fidler, in his State Senate race last year, and spilled much Russian-language vitriol on-air about the Republican candidate, spurring an FCC complaint from the candidate.

That’s why some observers believe it’s an attempt to undermine Storobin by dividing the Russian-American community, the largest voting bloc in the district, even further.

“This proves there’s still major bad blood between Storobin and Gregory,” a Brooklyn Democratic source told Politicker. “It’s nothing more than Gregory doing what he can to prevent Storobin from winning.”

City Council candidate David Storobin

The following is an editorial by Ned Berke, editor and publisher of Sheepshead Bites.

To hear Republican City Council candidate David Storobin tell it, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is little more than a guarded country club, complete with international television programming, an expansive library, educational opportunities, and beachfront soccer tournaments, and the only thing worth complaining about is small basketball courts and the variety of dried fruit that comes in your cereal.

The candidate shared his experiences during a guided tour of the facility during a recent visit in an op-ed in The Yeshiva World News, concluding that it “isn’t the hell the media claims” and that liberals have failed to take into account that prisoners are gaining weight at the facility.

“Is this satire?” one Sheepshead Bites reader asked after reading the article.

Nope. Just a shameful ploy to recruit conservative votes by setting up liberal straw-men, and knocking them down with anecdotal accounts extrapolated to universal truths in a grand display of oversimplification.

We can’t blame our reader for thinking it a joke, though. It makes The Onion read like The Economist.

Let’s dive in.

Continue Reading »

Council candidate Ari Kagan

Ari Kagan

Democratic District Leader Ari Kagan officially conceded the Democratic primary race to replace term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson last week, thanking his supporters and vowing to stay active in the community.

Kagan held off on his concession for nearly two weeks, waiting for the official, post-recanvassing vote tallies to be released by the Board of Elections in the hopes that he might pick up the 300 votes needed to overtake the presumed winner, Chaim Deutsch. But as recanvassing wrapped up, Kagan came in just shy of 3,000 votes, not enough to upset the victory.

On Monday, he released the following statement to his supporters:

Dear Friend,

Once again, I wanted to thank you for the tremendous support you gave my campaign. Hundreds of people from throughout our community donated money and volunteered their time to help our efforts. I am truly grateful to each and everyone one of you who pitched in.

The Board of Elections has finally finished counting all the absentee and affidavit ballots cast in our race. In total, we received nearly three thousand votes,earning impressive support in every neighborhood in this incredibly diverse district. Unfortunately, we’re still a few hundred votes short of winning this race.

While I am deeply disappointed that I will not be the Democratic nominee for City Council in the 48th District, I am incredibly proud of the campaign we ran. Over the past six months, we ran a positive race, highlighting important issues facing southern Brooklyn – including Sandy recovery, upgrading our local infrastructure, improving schools and public transportation, helping small business owners, protecting the rights of co-op shareholders and preserving services for our seniors.

I couldn’t have done this without you. Words cannot adequately describe how proud I am to have your friendship and support. I look forward to continuing to be a strong voice on the issues that matter to our communities as a Democratic District Leader, journalist and community activist. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

 Sincerely,
Ari

Since releasing the statement last week, Kagan said he has resumed his responsibilities as community liaison to Comptroller John Liu. He has also gone back to his show with the Russian Television Network, with his first broadcast hitting airwaves this Friday – as well as his newspaper and radio work.

Kagan said he has not yet endorsed anyone else in the 48th District race, saying that he will soon and will campaign hard for that person.

“If I make an endorsement of any candidate, I will campaign with that candidate. Who will believe my endorsement if it’s just an endorsement on paper?” he told Sheepshead Bites.

Although Kagan declined to say who he would support, the likely target of his endorsement is Chaim Deutsch. Kagan was a vocal critic of Igor Oberman, who is running on the Working Families Party line, and who Kagan recently blamed for helping undermine his campaign. He’s equally unlikely to endorse Republican David Storobin, having won his campaign for district leader in 2012 on the premise that the 24-year incumbent, Michael Geller, had a history of endorsing Republicans.

Asked why he hasn’t already come out in favor of Deutsch or another candidate, Kagan said it’s a matter of timing.

“I already had a conversation and congratulated [Deutsch] on his victory. Look, I need some time, that’s all I’m saying. Don’t jump in front of everybody,” he said.

Council candidate Ari Kagan

Ari Kagan

Following our report last week about potential voter suppression in the 48th Councilmanic District primary, in which a defeated Ari Kagan suggested Democratic candidate Igor Oberman had undermined the Russian-American vote in order to benefit Republican David Storobin, Kagan has now self-published a roster of allegations against the duo, claiming their negative tactics contributed to his narrow defeat to Chaim Deutsch.

Here’s the cliff notes, with some notes from us in italics. It’s broken up into three part – allegations about Oberman’s campaigning, allegations about his association with Storobin, and complaints about anonymous attacks which he loosely ties to Oberman and Storobin:

Oberman’s negative campaign:

  • Oberman spent most of his time, effort and money “to attack” Kagan
  • Oberman produced a “disgusting” TV commercial saying he accepted $200,000 from Manhattan developers to destroy affordable housing an rent regulations. A “Secret Mission” mailer went out with the same. (A developer-backed PAC spent about that much trying to influence this election in favor of Kagan, which surely is fair game for criticism. However, Kagan didn’t “accept” any money, nor could he coordinate with the PAC, making the claim a little deceptive. From what we’re hearing in multiple campaigns, the PAC backed candidates supported by the county Democratic club and did not actually evaluate their candidates)
  • Oberman booked a radio commercial saying a “journalist cannot run for City Council – only a lawyer can.” (This is the first we’ve heard of this. Can anyone confirm?)
  • Oberman sent a mailer claiming Kagan was part of the Communist Party. (That happened. And Kagan was part of the Communist Party. Which, I think, is kind of a prerequisite to being politically active in a communist system, no?)
  • Oberman said that Kagan never denied the allegations that he was once a KGB agent. (Kagan claims he did, and points out that as an aide to Congressman McMahon he needed to pass a security clearance.)

Oberman – Storobin connection

  • Oberman is a “close social friend” with Storobin (Storobin denied this to Sheepshead Bites, saying they’ve never been to each other’s birthday parties.)
  • Storobin made claims that Kagan was incompetant, lazy, solicited bribes, and “I have no brain.” According to Kagan, these claims were repeated by Oberman. (We have not seen materials to back this up.)
  • “On September 9, 2013, at 3 p.m. they came together to Brighton 6 Street building to criticize me there.”
  • A previous employee of a Storobin campaign distributed palm cards for Oberman near the Shorefront Y on election day.
  • Both repeated accusations against me almost verbatim at their radio appearances.

Anonymous activities

  • There were four separate robo-call campaigns with a female voice saying, in Russian, “Don’t vote Kagan, he was a KGB agent.” (I don’t know about four calls, but we did hear these calls went out.
  • There was an anonymous literature drop in Brighton Beach saying that Kagan never worked a full-time job and “no elected officials wanted to hire me.” Kagan says this was likely done by Storobin, who had previously made the same attack against him. He also pointed out that he was offered full-time work for Comptroller Liu, but turned it down. (We can’t verify that.)
  • Other attacks made by Storobin also appeared in anonymous Russian language fliers.
  • An anonymous robo-call went out on Rosh Hashanah purporting to be from the Kagan campaign with the goal of putting off Jewish voters.
  • A flier was distributed with photos of Kagan with Senator Eric Adams and Coney Island activist Sophia Williams, both African American, with Russian text that said, “Don’t vote for Ari Kagan! He is supported by Obama socialists!” Kagan described this as “racist.”
  • Postcards were mailed telling voters in Russian that their poll site had changed to a non-existent location.

Here’s how Kagan sums the whole things up: “The bottom line is simple – attacks by Mr. Oberman and Mr. Storobin as well as anonymous calls, flyers and fake post cards played an important role in my defeat.”

Why?

“Their goal was clear – to prevent me from winning the Democratic nomination, so Mr. Storobin would run against non-Russian in a heavily Russian district.”

These are some pretty intense allegations. But, at the moment, the evidence is only circumstantial.

We look forward to seeing some hard proof of who was behind some of the more despicable acts, like the apparent attempt at voter suppression.

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