MRI of the Lasting Effects of Zeldin High Turnout Election
By Gary Tilzer
The results of the second highest turnout in a governor’s race in a generation, an aggressive NY Post trying to control issues to shape the governor’s race and Candidate Lee Zeldin running on changing the bail law to fight crime was not only inconclusive on how NY problems will be fixed, the election seems to signal more of the same, divided one-party government. The high voter turnout exposed: 1) the strengths and weaknesses of today’s political parties, 2) the loyalty of 70% of NYC voters to vote on the Democratic line, despite the city going through bad times, 3) the result of a generation of gerrymandering to silence the voice of Russian-speaking and other immigrants in Southern Brooklyn to keep incumbents in power, and 4) the growth of out-of-town progressive gentrification voters who despite pushing many minority long-time residents out of their neighborhoods joined black voters to elect an incumbent governor receiving support from the Democratic Party and the progressive Working Families Party, the latter of which started a civil war against the establishment Democratic leaders since the election.
What is clear about the 2022 election is that the progressive left, who were part of the coalition working for the election of the governor, will continue to block any changes to the bail law to reduce crime, despite the recent polling indicating that 75% of voters wanted changes to the bail law to end the crime wave. With only 30% of the city’s vote for Zeldin, such issues as party loyalty, stopping Trump to save our democracy, and the Supreme Court ruling on abortion were more important to most NYC voters than ending the crime wave. Many of the 300,000 people who moved out of the city site crime and failures of our local government to address the crime crisis as their main reasons for leaving. Since the left lost no seats in the state legislature and helped Governor Hochul win the election, Hochul will have to be somewhat of a magician to come up with a plan to reduce crime that the progressives accept.
After the election Mayor Adams wrote: “Voting is an act of emotional trust, not straightforward logic. It is about acknowledging peoples’ needs, their emotions, their reality – and doing something about it.” In this election, the “reality” NYC voters thought was important, included protecting themselves from Trump who will never win an election in NY, protecting the pro-choice Abortion law, even though it is codified in New York State law and will never change in liberal controlled NY, The voters’ “reality,” apparently did not include protecting themselves from rampant crime, which is happening in every neighborhood in the city, rich and poor.
Despite the competitive election with a heavy vote and a candidate promising changes to the bail law, which the exit polls indicated was what the city residents wanted, Democratic one-party loyalty in NYC is so deep blue that the governor and most of the other Democratic incumbents won. 70% of NYC residents are still voting deep blue as they continue to avoid the subways, view daily videos including city residents being beaten, shot, a 14-year-old dragged by a perp on a motorbike to steal a necklace, and watch their neighbors move out of the city.
Sen. Gianaris Says, “Crime is Rising” and “We Must Improve Public Safety” Then Says Increased Crime Reporting is Not Reality
Socialists’ progressive, Congressional Representative AOC, is clearly not into representing the voters’ needs and concerns; she, like other progressives, wants to tell the voters what to think.
Sen. Mike Gianaris Twitter @SenGianaris: The data is clear – while rising crime is a great concern, the media’s fixation with crime reporting is wildly disproportionate to reality. We must improve public safety in the context of actual facts, not sensationalism
Progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) wants her party to ignore the city’s crime wave. AOC said Democrats should not have adopted “Republican narratives on crime and safety,” and need to abandon “pure moderate” approaches. When Mayor Adams who supported the same governor candidate as AOC went to Albany last February to tweak the bail law to protect New Yorkers he was accused by Brownsville Assemblywoman Latrice Walker of “adopting the rhetoric” of people who say that “racially insinuated criminal justice reform in our country is harming our city.” Assemblywoman Walker spent all of election day with her supporters pulling out voters in central Brooklyn for the same candidates the mayor supports.
In 2022, over 200,000 more city residents voted on the Republican line than in 2018, which saw 400,000 more voters coming to cast their vote then in 2022. This data indicates that thousands of registered democrats voted on the Republican line this year. New Yorkers who voted across party lines didn’t vote for Zeldin because Hochul wasn’t left enough, contrary to what socialists calling for the firing of State Democratic leader Jay Jacobs believe. Progressives are clueless to understand or accept blame that it was their 2019 bail law reforms that caused democrats voters to vote for the Republican governor candidate because of Zeldin’s position on the bail law to reduce crime.
Socialists’ progressive, Congressional Representative AOC, is clearly not into representing the voters’ needs and concerns; she, like other progressives, wants to tell the voters what to think. Endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Brooklyn City Councilman Chi Ossé was even clearer in his NYC cultural cleansing message when he Tweeted before the election that the Zeldin supporters should move to Florida. Apparently, Socialist elected officials not only do not want to represent NYC citizens in their district who disagree with their ideological agenda, they want these voters to leave town. Progressives are Orwellian, gentrification causing armies, taking over minority and working-class neighborhoods. Targeting gentrifying neighborhoods, to pull out their voting base, to elect their ideological candidates, is the strategy the left-wing WFP & DSA use to run their campaigns. The Progressives/Socialists do not run campaigns to represent the voters; they run campaigns by bringing out their cult-like followers to vote, get themselves elected and use their power to further their ideological goals inside the government.
Democracy Now! Twitter @democracynow: The Democratic Party must learn from its losses and have stronger messaging to mobilize its base, rather than “leaving it up to consultants and airwaves to battle for the hearts and minds of working-class people,”
Progressives Started A Civil War to Take Over the Democratic Party
Progressive leaders, who are very good with spinning in the media, especially on their headquarters’ TV outlet or official spokes-station, NY1, are already taking credit for electing Hochul and clamoring for State Democratic Party leader Jay Jacobs’ head.
Alessandra Biaggi Twitter @Biaggi4NY NY “House losses . . . the man who theoretically could have averted this is named Jay Jacobs.”
By going after State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs, the progressive movement is starting a civil war inside the NY Democratic Party. The progressives already opened up a second front, using their 2025 mayoral candidate–the City Comptroller, to attack Mayor Adams. Comptroller Lander is demanding that Adams show him the cost of the now canceled migrant tent center on Randall’s Island. From the first bus sent to NYC by the Texas governor on August 5th, Lander has led the progressives in demanding that the mayor do more for the arriving migrants. Progressive activist Bill Neidhardt, former spokesman for Bill de Blasio, exclaimed, “Eric Adams’ message lost Tuesday.” For progressives, it was irrelevant whether or not Adams’ assessment of the crime problem is correct. It is a fact that the crime is up 29% year-over-year and a record number of NYC voters–74%–tell pollsters that crime is a serious concern. Neidhardt spelled out the desired response: “New York Democrats should focus on cleaning house at the state Democratic Party and mounting a primary challenge against a deeply damaging and corrupt mayor who does not represent what the Democratic Party is about.”
Progressives are attacking Adams’ position on tweaking the bail law to give judges the ability to protect New Yorkers from 3,000 dangerous career criminals and put the violent mentally ill in hospitals, as strengthening Republican talking points. By attacking Adams, the progressives are calling the former president of the NYPD Grand Council of Guardians, an African American patrolmen’s association, who fought racism in the police department, which was harder to do in the 80s than it is today, a right-wing mayor.
Progressives ignore that Adams was elected to fight crime and received strong support in the city’s black neighborhoods. Among what the polling group FiveThirtyEight characterizes as the Black Bloc, Adams received 63% of the vote compared to 15% that went for left-winger Maya Wiley. Among elite progressive circles, typified by Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and the Upper West Side, Adams received only 15%, while the majority of the vote went for either Wiley or Kathryn Garcia. Progressives have also been at odds with Black parents who seek the better performing charter schools for their children. Notably, the UFT which opposes Charter Schools, was a founding union member of the Working Families Party that brought de Blasio and the progressives to power in NYC. The media should find out why NYC black voters turnout was smaller than previous midterm elections in 2022. While voting Republican was a bridge too far, a sizable amount of black New Yorkers bothered by the crime problem just sat out the election. @THECITYNY maps show Democratic Party turnout low in minority neighbors: Bed-Stuy variously 9-15% down. North Harlem 17% down.
Progressive leaders also blame an upstate Steuben County Republican Judge and the Court of Appeals (all picked by Cuomo), who ruled that all of Albany-created redistricting lines were unconstitutional, for the loss of Max Rose on Staten Island, the loss of four Long Island Congressional Districts and the loss of the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s district in the Hudson Valley to Republicans. Progressives ignore the fact that the courts ruled that the Albany redistricting violated the 2014 Constitutional Amendment, passed by the voters that said gerrymandering district lines were illegal. Jewish Voice: The New York Court of Appeals said Democrats Violated the State Constitution and Ignored the Will of the Voters
Two NY Power Brokers, Gianaris and Kassar, Changed Control of the U.S. House of Representatives
An article by the liberal Brennan Center blamed the NY Congressional “Red Wave” on State Democratic Leaders who made the redistricting lines so outrageously partisan that the NYS Highest Court struck them down as unconstitutional. State Senator Mike Gianaris is universally seen as the prime mover of New York Dems’ disastrous redistricting debacle. The unconstitutional redistricting is no longer about saving Max Rose’s seat by connecting conservative Staten Island with ultra-liberal Park Slope. It is about the Democrats losing their game of chicken in the NYS Highest Court, triggering the appointment of a Special Master, whose nonpartisan lines allowed Republicans to gain 11 seats in the House of Representatives, tipping the U.S. House of Representatives to Republican control. Senator Gianaris is worse than Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. Gianaris burned down Democratic Control of the US House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives GOP members, who are going to be the new majority next year, should certainly thank Gerard Kassar–Chairman of the NYS Conservative Party and the political operative that made the redistricting lawsuit possible. Although Kassar’s candidate in the governor’s race lost to Kathy Hochul and Kassar’s long-time Republican/Conservative home base of Bay Ridge was overrun by the Working Families Party and the progressives, Kassar still managed to topple Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the redistricting case by hiring sharp election lawyers and by working with the public face of the lawsuit–ex-Rep. John Faso, and billionaire Ron Lauder who funded the redistricting litigation challenge. The Lee Zeldin’s campaign was widely regarded as well-run and it brought out the Republican base on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, to help return those seats to Republican congressional candidates toppling the Democratic control of the House in Washington.
Kassar’s Conservative Party teamed up with Brooklyn Republican Chairman Ted Ghorra to place two Russian-speaking candidates and an Asian candidate to run for Assembly in Southern Brooklyn on their ballot line. All three won their races, propelled by the demographics of their districts. Two long time moderate incumbents, Peter Abbate and Steve Cymbrowitz lost to Lester Chang and Michael Novakhov, respectively. Both incumbent candidates who lost were moderates who failed to challenge the progressive bail law, fearing being primaried from the left. Zeldin candidacy’s crime position attracted Southern Brooklyn’s immigrant voters, causing competition in down ballot races that normally does not happen in midterm elections. Progressive incumbent Mathylde Frontus, who supported the bail law, lost to Alec Brook-Krasny.
Russian Interference: The Breaking of the Brooklyn Machine’s Gerrymandering Restraints; Abbate Hoisted by His Own Petard
The Russian-speaking immigrants, escaping the tyranny of the Soviet Union that silenced their voices in the one- party socialist machine, arrived at Brighton Beach starting in the 1980s looking for new beginnings, only to find their voices silenced again by the incumbent Brooklyn Democratic one-party Machine, that used gerrymandering to divide the Russian-speaking community’ voting strength, to re-elect hack machine incumbent elected officials loyal to the Brooklyn Democratic Machine.
In 2002, Domenic Recchia became the Councilman in Brighton Beach by defeating five Jewish candidates, including Russian-speaking Immigrants, who split the vote. In 2003, Recchia used his incumbency power to gerrymander Bright Beach, cutting out over 40% of the Russian-speaking/Jewish community from his new district. Recchia stayed in the City Council until he was term-limited, 11 years. Decades of Gerrymandering of the Russian-speaking community in Southern Brooklyn protected non-Russian machine incumbents in the neighborhoods where the Russian-speaking immigrants lived.
History of Russian-speaking Gerrymandering. In the Assembly, the Russian-speaking community was gerrymandered into four or five districts over the years. In Congress, the Russian-speaking community was divided between two districts that received the bulk of their votes from Central Brooklyn’s minority voters. The Russian-speaking Community is also gerrymandered into three or four State Senate districts.
Zeldin’s candidacy and the accompanying media coverage of a close governor’s race interrupted the Russian-speaking community’s voting pattern of only voting heavily in presidential races, the pattern that was used by the Machine to protect their non-Russian speaking incumbents. This year’s high voting turnout broke the gerrymandering chains that were suffocating the voices of the Russian-speaking voters.
In 1972, when the George McGovern Presidential campaign pulled out a tremendous vote in the democratic primary, many incumbents were defeated, including Congressman Emanuel Celler who lost to Elizabeth Holtzman. Before the 1972 primary, the presidential, federal, state and city races took place in a single primary. After 1972, the election law was changed, to separate the presidential primary from the federal, state and city primaries. Those in Albany writing the election law use the low turnout Democratic Primaries to reelect their fellow incumbents, including themselves.
The low turnout primaries allowed AOC and Lander to elect left-wing ideological progressives who do not properly represent their districts. Between the unconstitutional redistricting and designing low turnout elections, Albany is not doing such a good job at protecting NY’s democracy, an issue that the Democrats ran on this year. In one-party NYC, 95% of the candidates that win the primary are elected to office. Accordingly, NY’s election system suppresses over two million registered voters who are not enrolled in the Democratic Party and therefore have no say in who represents them. The effective Zeldin campaign focused on crime, produced an anomalous high turnout in midterm elections, pulling out immigrant voters that normally do not vote in midterms, tripping up Albany’s incumbent reelection protection scam in Southern Brooklyn.
This year, the ethnic gerrymandering against the Russian-speaking and Asian communities was neutralized by the high voter turnout, galvanized by Zeldin’s candidacy, which caused the defeat of three Machine incumbent Assembly members. The Russian-speaking and Asian victories in Southern Brooklyn did not result from the Republican Red Wave, as most of the media, progressives, and the political class (insiders) have claimed. It was the result of the immigrant communities struggling to find their voice in government, suppressed by gerrymandering to protect the Machine incumbents.
In the 45th Assembly District, 22-year incumbent Steven Cymbrowitz lost to Russian candidate Michael Novakhov. In the 46th Assembly District incumbent Mathylde Frontus was defeated by Alec Brook-Krasny. Both Novakhov and Brook-Krasny won with an unusually large turnouts in the Russian-speaking and Jewish communities of Southern Brooklyn. Assemblyman Peter Abbate, the 36th year incumbent, was defeated by Navy veteran Lester Chang. Abbate put up Iwen Chu, his chief of staff, to run for State Senate in the 17th district, to pull out votes for him in the primary, a challenge that never materialized. The large Asian GOP vote caused in part by Zeldin’s crime message to a community that has seen a 343% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, resulted in heavy Asian turnout that put Republican candidate Chang over the top. Abbate destroyed himself by putting Chu in the State Senate race. Many of the Asian voters voted for Chu and Chang. Abbate was Hoisted by His Own Petard.
Activists blamed the Brooklyn Democratic Party for not helping their endorsed Southern Brooklyn candidates. They don’t understand that the party has been greatly weakened by the progressives taking over northern Brooklyn. The progressive’s “Rep Your Block” movement has failed to take over the Kings County Democratic Party not because the party is strong, but because the ideological left gang operates more like a cult than a political party unwilling to build a big tent coalitions with groups who do not drink their ideological Kool Aide. Now the Russian and Asians have opened a second GOP front against the Brooklyn Machine in Southern Brooklyn. Kings County is the largest democratic county in the nation, it is anything but united.
Art Chang (he/him) 장철희 张哲熙 “The ‘Red Wave’ Hits Southern Brooklyn” writes @SamMellins. I was there and Sam is right to say that the “Brooklyn Democratic Party did almost nothing to mobilize voters to help any Democratic candidates, anywhere in Brooklyn.”
The NY Times reporter Michael Powell was right that the tectonic plates moved in the 2022 election. However, the 2022 election was a 5.1 not the big one that is coming. The only question is will it be a left or right tsunami:
Michael Powell Twitter: @powellnyt: Signs of the tectonic plates of politics moving in NYS and NY and not to the benefit of Democrats and moribund party machines.