Following the resignation of State Senator Carl Kruger, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges, voters in Brooklyn’s 27th District, which includes Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Gravesend, Mill Basin and Midwood, are choosing his successor in a special election. Both candidates, City Councilman Lewis A. Fidler, Democrat from Sheepshead Bay, and David Storobin, Republican from Brighton Beach, have not discussed the issues confronting the district, so much as exchanged wild and nasty accusations regarding Storobin’s affiliations with… neo-Nazis.
According to a NY Times report from early February, the Democratic front-runner said his challenger had neo-Nazi ties. Now, mind you, both candidates are Jewish.
Speaking in the middle of a very noisy bar back in January, Councilman Fidler told the assembled (and a tad inebriated) Young Democrats “The Republicans in the State Senate are going to drop a half a million dollars behind some guy who I laid eyes on for the first time tonight – first time, I go to a lot of meetings and [this was the] first time I ever saw David Storobin – a guy who can’t even fess up to what he writes on his web pages anymore and is busy scrubbing what little history he has because he’s embarrassed about his ties to skinheads and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups because the Republicans had no idea who they were putting on the ballot.”
Yeshiva World published a retort by Storobin that went: “From the start of his campaign for State Senate, Lew Fidler has engaged in nasty, vicious and false negative attacks against me. Realizing that he stands against traditional marriage, against vouchers, in favor of abortions, in favor of higher taxes and otherwise out of step with the people of the district, Mr. Fidler knew that he cannot appeal to the voters by discussing issues. As such, his campaign and its supporters resorted to character assassination.
“They said that I was tied to the Nazis. They questioned whether I’m really Jewish. They’ve attacked my profession as an attorney with a false smear. They’ve even repeatedly attacked my mother with words I won’t write here.”
Storobin proceeded to state that he was born in the Soviet Union. “My grandparents were born into frum families,” but the communists robbed the family of its Yiddishkeit. He even inserted a prooftext memoir: “My maternal grandfather Pinchus knew how to be a shohet, but the only thing we knew is that he would buy and prepare the chicken during important events.”
The Times noted that after his videotaped remark had gone a little more viral than he had expected, Fidler sent out a press release asking Storobin to explain “his connection to white supremacist groups” whose websites he had linked to his articles, and to republish the articles themselves, which Fidler claimed had “disappeared from the blog’s archive.”
In the end Fidler revised a bit, saying he should have used the word “links” rather than “ties.” And by links he meant “hyperlinks” on a browser page, rather than, well, ties.
This week the Jewish Press endorsed Lew Fidler For State Senate, saying that “he has ably represented the interests of his Orthodox Jewish constituents and deserves their support.”