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Fidler, Storobin Trade Charges in Race for State Senate Seat

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Republican candidate for State Senate David StorobinIn the latest volley between City Councilman Lew Fidler and David Storobin – his Republican opponent for the State Senate seat vacated by Carl Kruger – regarding Fidler’s claim that Storobin’s articles on conservative philosophy were featured on white supremacist websites, Fidler denied that he ever called Storobin “a neo-Nazi.”

Fidler’s comments came at a press conference in Flatbush to publicize Senator Charles Schumer’s endorsement of him. While seeming to back off from his original charge – stating at an informal rally of young Democrats that the Republicans should have more carefully scrutinized Stroobin’s background given his apparent “ties to skinheads and neo-Nazis” – Fidler accused his opponent of using the topic to avoid discussing serious issues.

Storobin has not held back from lashing out at Fidler for bringing up the topic. At a press conference last week where he was joined by several Orthodox community leaders, the Russian Jewish immigrant demanded an apology from Fidler for his “false and slanderous attacks.” During the press conference, Gedaliah Weinberger, Chairman of Agudath Israel of America, demanded that Fidler retract his statements. “For Mr. Fidler to say that Mr. Storobin has ties to [quote] ‘skinheads, neo-Nazis and white supremacists’ is not only false, it is an insult to all of us,” Weinberger said. Storobin’s campaign emphasized that the Republican is a “devout Jew whose family escaped the former Soviet Union from religious persecution and whose extended family were victims of the Holocaust.”

Rabbi Mordechai Tokarsky, spiritual leader of the Brighton Beach Jewish Center Synagogue, which Storobin attends, also blasted Fidler for his remarks. “No one can in good conscience suggest that David Storobin has ties to Nazi sympathizers. The very notion is offensive,” Tokarsky declared.

In his original response to the Storobin press conference, Fidler counterclaimed that his opponent gave “no denial or explanation as to the connection between himself and why these writings appear on hate websites.” Fidler’s campaign spokesperson asserted, “If there was nothing offensive in any of these writings or interviews, then why did Mr. Storobin delete them from his website, and leave us only the writings that still exist on white supremacist sites?”

But Storobin campaign spokesperson David Simpson dismissed the substance of Fidler’s charge out of hand. “David Storobin spent some time as a journalist before he was an attorney and he wrote for some websites, and just because someone links to it…you have no control over that,” Simpson insisted. Storobin himself stated that he stands by his writings. “My views have evolved over the years, but there’s nothing I’ve been ashamed of,” he said. “I’m very proud of the stuff I’ve written.”

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