Archive for the tag 'frank seddio'

Sampson (File photo)

State Senator John Sampson, facing three primary challengers and multiple federal corruption charges, has the backing of Brooklyn’s top Democrat even as his reelection chances look bleak.

The influential chair of the Kings County Democratic Committee, Frank Seddio, says that the organization is not formally backing the embattled pol. Seddio, however, is also a district leader in Sampson’s area and the head of the powerful Thomas Jefferson Club. In those capacities, he’s tossed his hat in with Sampson.

“I’m the local district leader in this area. John Sampson represents almost my entire political district, 59 percent of my district, and he’s been our senator for the last 18 years,” Seddio told City & State. “So our club is supporting him. The county (Democratic committee) doesn’t take positions on these types of things.”

Seddio has put his attorney to getting Sampson challenger Dell Smitherman, considered a leading contender for the seat, kicked off the ballot. The attorney, Bernard “Mitch” Alter, has formally requested that the Board of Election toss out hundreds of petitions – signatures needed to get on the ballot – which would leave Smitherman out of the race.

Sources told City & State that Seddio views the race as a test of his leadership within the county party, not just within the Jefferson clubhouse that Sampson is a member of.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the inner workings of Brooklyn politics described the situation differently, linking Seddio’s support for Sampson directly to the official Brooklyn party organization.

“Frank Seddio, the chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, is taking two races very seriously and as a test of his leadership,” said the Brooklyn political insider. “The first is the recently vacated seat of Eric Adams, and the second is the Sampson seat. He is doing everything he can … to ensure that John Sampson is protected and reelected.”

While the county organization might not be formally backing Sampson, there’s little to differentiate between Seddio’s wishes and that of county. Having Seddio’s support, for example, could give Sampson access to campaign donors eager to curry favor with the county boss, not to mention that it’s already given him access to election lawyers as the petition process shows.

Similarly, Seddio’s influence as county boss extends to all of his other roles, insiders say.

One insider with a Democratic club told Sheepshead Bites that Seddio was unhappy with the group after they released their first batch of endorsements, which included Smitherman. Seddio requested that he be consulted on future endorsements – a request that was granted as the club needs Seddio’s approval as a recognized chapter of the Democratic party. In that role, he was able to vouch for his candidates as district leader and head of the Thomas Jefferson Club, but his words were given extra consideration because he’s county chair, the insider said. (The insider notes that they now consult with him on all endorsements, although they do not always endorse the candidates Seddio supports.)

Seddio’s support is about all Sampson can count on, though. The 18-year-incumbent and one-time head of the State Senate Democratic Conference has seen support dry up, raising only $34,000 for this year’s campaign. Smitherman reports having $47,000 on hand, and Sean Henry reported nearly $56,000. Both Smitherman and Henry have also scored crucial union endorsements.

Sampson was indicted last year for corruption. Among the list of charges is that he stole nearly half a million dollars from the sale of foreclosed homes.


A Staten Island supporter and fundraiser for embattled Congressman Michael Grimm put out a letter saying the pol’s Democratic opponent, Domenic Recchia, wants to build “low-income housing in our neighborhoods,” spurring accusations of racially charged “fear mongering.”

The New York Post reports:

Staten Island Republican Party vice chair Bill D’Ambrosio wrote a July 9 fundraising letter on Grimm’s behalf claiming that Democrat Dominic Recchia would be a champion of low-income housing in the congressional district that covers mostly-white Staten Island and more racially mixed south Brooklyn.

Recchia’s base is in Brooklyn; Grimm’s is on Staten Island.

“His [Recchia’s] strategy for becoming Staten Island’s congressman relies on using votes from Brooklyn housing projects . . . Staten Islanders should have no doubt that this Brooklyn political hack will sell them out to pay back these votes, and surely build low-income housing in our neighborhoods with his cronies at City Hall,” D’Ambrosio said.

Keep reading to see the full letter, the response from Democrats, and how the Grimm campaign is doubling down on the allegation.

And they’re off!

The race for the 48th District of the City Council, currently occupied by term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson, officially kicked off yesterday as 45th Assembly District Leader Ari Kagan became the first candidate to officially throw his hat in the ring.

But it wasn’t without drama. The event was delayed as a protester heckled the candidate for approximately 10 minutes at the start of the event, calling him a “foot soldier for the KGB.”

Continue Reading »

Assemblyman Alan Maisel (center) via

Assemblyman Alan Maisel is looking to scoop up Lew Fidler’s soon-to-be vacated City Council seat. Maisel recently filed papers that would put him in the running for the recently redrawn 46th Council District, which includes Sheepshead Bay.

While early speculation pointed to lawyer Frank Seddio possibly taking the seat, his recent ascension to Kings County Democratic boss took him out of the running. Maisel, a friend of Seddio, is a longstanding member of the influential Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, which Seddio also leads.

Maisel’s legislative activity, connection to the community, and affiliation with the Jefferson Club gives him a leg up on the competition, which includes Democrat Mercedes Narcisse, a former president of the Avenue L Merchants Association.

Who will replace Maisel? It’s way too soon to say, but we can’t help but note that Lew Fidler will be looking for a job…

UPDATE (2/5/2012): In the comments below, Councilman Fidler squashed our musings that he may replace Maisel by pointing out that he does not live in Maisel’s district, and so cannot run for his seat.

Facebook via

They come in threes now.

Another candidate has stepped forward with the intention of running for Councilman Lew Fidler’s City Council seat, says Politicker NY.

“If the seat opens, I will be contesting it,” Ivrol Hines, the publisher of the New York City Liberal Liberty Star, told Politcker. “I just think we need someone who actually lives in the community, cares about the community, and shares the concerns and the problems that regular citizens do. And that’s why I’m getting in there.”

At the moment, Hines would be up against Frank Seddio and Mercedes Narcisse for the Democratic nomination. They both showed interest for Fidler’s seat roughly a week before Hines did.

While Hines’ publication dubs itself as “New York’s first choice for Caribbean news,” he doesn’t mind splitting the Caribbean vote with Narcisse.

“I’m not really worried about that. I think the more people we have out there, the better it is. Let’s get all of the issues on the table,” said Hines.

His campaign is firmly standing on the education approach.

“Each year, our budget gets cut. More and more kids are coming into our classrooms,” he said. “There’s nothing a teacher can do when you have 30 plus kids, 7, 8, 9 years old, sitting in one class room.”

An exact date for the race is still unclear. Fidler is running in the March 20 special election to replace disgraced State Senator Carl Kruger. If he wins, another special election will likely be held for Fidler’s council seat. If not, Fidler is term-limited out of the council in 2013.

Correction: 1/27, 4:35 P.M. The newspaper was incorrectly titled in the post above. Mr. Hines publishes the New York Liberty Star, not the New York City Liberal Star.

Frank Seddio with Lew Fidler (Source: Facebook)

With Councilman Lew Fidler running for disgraced State Senator Carl Kruger’s seat, Frank Seddio is hoping to fill Brooklyn’s 46th City Council District seat, which would be empty if Fidler wins the special election in March.

“I’m very confident that somebody like Lew would win any district that he has to run in, because he’s that kind of hands-on kind of guy,” said Seddio to Politicker NY. “I will be putting together a committee pretty shortly, probably focusing on 2013, but if it becomes open, I’m definitely running.”

This past weekend, he created a Facebook page for his campaign for the 46th District that serves neighborhoods like Bergen Beach, Marine Park, and Sheepshead Bay.

Seddio is a lawyer, former judge, and the leader for the Democratic party in the 59th Assembly District. And just like Fidler, he is also member of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, a powerful, local political organization.

Of possible contention come election time, Seddio is also a close friend of Kruger’s and defended him early on when corruption allegations emerged.

“I know Carl for 40 years. I’m astounded that this whole thing happened. In my wildest dreams, I never believed he would do something like this, but it’s happened. He’s now resigned and he’s not a factor anymore,” said Seddio. “It’s a sad thing. It besmirches all of us, but it’s not a factor anymore.”

For the proposed empty seat, Seddio will be up against his goddaughter’s mother, Mercedes Narcisse. According to her Facebook page, she is the CEO of Statewide Medical & Surgical who runs a shop on Avenue L.

“I’m the godfather of her daughter, so I know her pretty well. Mercedes always wanted to do this, she sees it as an opportunity,” said Seddio. “This is America, everybody gets an opportunity. Good for her.”

Lewis A. Fidler

Here’s one little nugget we missed during our kinda-sorta vacation last week: former New York City Mayor Ed Koch threw his support behind City Councilman Lew Fidler in the as-yet-non-existent race to replace disgraced State Senator Carl Kruger.

City & State reports:

“I like to support Democrats whenever I can,” Koch told City & State. “[Fidler] is a Democrat who I consider to be in the image of Hubert Humphrey-kind of Democrat, the Scoop Jackson Democrat, the Pat Moynihan Democrat. A moderate.”

Koch played a decisive role in Republican Bob Turner’s victory over David Weprin last September for Anthony Weiner’s old Congressional seat. At the time, Koch said he was supporting Turner to send a message to Barack Obama about the White House’s policies towardIsrael. Message sent, Koch has since said he would vote for Obama for re-election next year.

… “He asked to see me, I saw him. He asked my support, and I said you got it,” Koch said.

Of course, officially there is no campaign to replace Carl Kruger right now. Since the pol resigned before pleading guilty to taking bribes totaling $1 million, anyone wanting to take his place would have to wait for the governor to select a date for the special election. Only then can the local party bosses decide who the candidate is (there are no primaries in a special election), and allow the campaigns to officially go forward.

That said, the fix is in. Lew Fidler will be the Democratic contender, while David Storobin will get the Republican nod.

This, of course, isn’t the only shadow campaign unfolding in Southern Brooklyn. Just as Fidler is lining up for Kruger’s seat, would-be City Council reps are eyeing the vacancy left by Fidler. Regardless of whether Fidler wins Kruger’s seat, he is term-limited out in 2013.

PolitickerNY reports:

Mercedes Narcisse, whose public profile says that she’s the head of Canarsie by Choice, an “organization that addresses real estate issues & gives the strip a face-lift since 1994,” recently formed a Facebook event to promote the campaign’s launch later next week.

… With a base in Canarsie’s Caribbean community, the Haitian-born Narcisse could be one of the top contenders for the seat. Ms. Narcisse also has political ties to Senate Minority Leader John Sampson and Fidler’s own 41st Assembly District Democratic Club in Southeast Brooklyn.

Also in top contention for the seat is District Leader Frank Seddio, who has connections to the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, one of the more influential Democratic clubs in New York City. Mr. Seddio, a former Brooklyn surrogate judge, is a colorful character to say the least.