We are disappointed with the leadership of the New York State Senate over the revenge it is taking against Senator Simcha Felder. As is being widely reported, every other Democrat in the NYS Senate has been named by the leaders of the newly elected Democratic Party Senate majority to chair a committee or subcommittee – except Felder.
We are well aware that, despite having run as a Democrat, Felder caucused with Republicans in the Senate for the last few years and provided the key vote granting the Republicans the right of the majority to run that chamber. But that is not the entire story. Felder may have been the public face of the caucusing maneuver, but eight other elected Democrats also occasionally voted with the Republicans. All eight of these senators – known as the Independent Democratic Caucus – have been given plum assignments.
We also think it’s important to note that Felder has reiterated over the years that he is only trying to give voice to the interests of his constituents, the majority of whom are Jews who have steadily become more conservative politically. Of course, acting in this manner has resulted in the Senate adopting positions that are not looked on favorably by Felder’s Democratic colleagues. Yet to our mind, commitment to principle should have its own rewards.