Archive for the tag 'mercedes narcisse'

Alan Maisel

We reported yesterday that more than $800,000 has poured into three local City Council races by independent spending committees, or PACs, largely representing the real estate development and business industries. The groups are allowed to spend unlimited amounts, unlike the candidates themselves, but also cannot coordinate with the campaigns by law. The most prominent group, Jobs for New York, representing developers, has doled out the most, with as much as $6 million citywide, according to a New York Times report this morning.

In addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars to support local candidates, they’ve also spent nearly $100,000 locally to distribute negative mailers bashing the opponents of their chosen candidates.

Predictably, those opponents are crying foul. Just this morning, John Lisyanskiy, the target of negative mailers in his campaign to replace Councilman Domenic Recchia, denounced a negative mailer that accused him of stealing from victims of Superstorm Sandy.

“I am disgusted and angered by a recent mail piece that accused me of profiting at the expense of Hurricane Sandy victims. It is sickening that anyone would stoop so low as to insinuate that I exploited the families I had just helped in return for a few bucks,” said Lisyanskiy. “What these attacks really do is illuminate the shadow world of corporate money in campaigns. Jobs for New York, the political action committee for the billion-dollar real estate industry and the Small Business Coalition are responsible for these attacks. Corporate Tycoons don’t care about the larger civic good, or constructive ideas that move our community forward. They are interested in two things only, getting richer and instilling fear and blame.”

Lisyanskiy and other targets of negative mailers from these PACs have demanded that those the PACs support denounce the negative mailers.

The candidates who have received that support, though, have largely kept mum. Lisyanskiy’s opponent, Mark Treyger, hasn’t said a word about the PACs. And though Ari Kagan, recipient of Jobs for New York support in his race for Councilman Michael Nelson’s seat, expressed displeasure in passing, his campaign refused to denounce the negative ads during a follow up from this outlet.

However, after our report yesterday, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, who has received more than $200,000 from Jobs for New York and a PAC representing the teachers’ union, went on the record repudiating the mailings. Maisel is running to replace Councilman Lew Fidler. Here is his statement in full:

For the third time in about a week, the independent PAC Jobs for New York has sent a negative campaign mailer about my opponent in the Democratic Primary. First and foremost, I want to repudiate these mailings and frankly, if I knew how and it weren’t against the law for me to communicate with this independent PAC, I would ask them to stop. I want to apologize to all those who have been the subject of and who have been subjected to these mailings.

I have attempted to run a wholly positive campaign and I will not condone negative attacks, particularly ones as tenuous as these. I look forward to concluding this campaign with dignity, integrity and on exclusively positive notes.

We’ve dropped a note to the Kagan and Treyger campaigns to see if they’ll do the same, and will update this story when we hear back.

Source: 401(K) 2013

Four  special interest groups have doled out more than $818,000 on just three Southern Brooklyn City Council campaigns in an unprecedented attempt to sway voters, with one real estate interest group spending far more money than the candidates have themselves spent.

The spending is a local version of the super PAC phenomenon that emerged in last year’s presidential race as a result of the Citizens United decision. Major business interests coalesce into a focused spending group to rally behind a chosen candidate – and decry the candidate’s rivals. The groups are not limited in their spending, but New York City campaign finance laws – among the most progressive in the nation – require them to disclose their backers, and document their spending. The records indicate that four independent spenders have taken an interest in three City Council campaigns that follow the Brooklyn shoreline from Bath Beach to Canarsie.

Potential voters have likely seen the effects of independent spending, as political mailers jammed their mailboxes with messages supporting one candidate or blasting others. The largest of the four groups involved in the area elections, Jobs for New York, is backed by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), a group of the city’s largest real estate developers, and has caused the targets of their negative mailers to cry foul.

“Real estate tycoons have had their greedy eyes set on Coney Island for decades. Seaside residents are in constant danger of being uprooted by developers who would love nothing more than to sweep away communities to make room for swanky developments,” said John Lisyanskiy, who is vying to replace Domenic Recchia in the  47th District. “I urge all candidates citywide to reject attempts by corporations to buy their support with outsized expenditures. Campaigns should be about the people we seek to represent, and we must do everything we can to ensure that their voices are not dwarfed by developers and other deep-pocketed special interests.”

“I am deeply concerned that an unfettered influx of heavy spending by real estate tycoons will prevent a fair and honest debate about the future of development in our area,” said Igor Oberman, a candidate to replace Councilman Michael Nelson in the 48th District. “The cost of living in our City continues to rise, and REBNY represents developers who would litter our neighborhoods with overpriced and unaffordable housing units, altering the character of our neighborhood and pricing people out.”

Keep reading: Find out what candidates have received support, and what some say about it.

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.