In the News: Democratic Party Shenanigans

••• “In the race to fill the vacancy left by state Sen. Daniel Squadron, who abruptly quit his post last month, Manhattan Democratic Committee members on Sunday overwhelmingly threw their support behind Lower Manhattan activist and district leader Paul Newell. But it was his opponent, Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, who is getting the party’s nod.” Please read the Tribeca Trib‘s explanation for how the shady, embarrassing process unfolded. Perhaps Newell should run as an independent.

••• This sort of thing happens elsewhere in the state, too. —New York Times

••• More proof that Albany is a mess: “A member of the State Assembly who sits on a legislative committee that oversees public agencies such as the Battery Park City Authority is also a partner in a firm that earns millions of dollars per year giving financial advice to those same agencies. Robert Rodriguez, a Democratic member of the Assembly who represents the upper Manhattan neighborhood of East Harlem, is a member of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. This panel has oversight responsibility for the dozens of New York State public-benefit agencies that are commonly known as ‘authorities.’ Mr. Rodriguez is also listed as a ‘director’ on the website of Public Financial Management, Inc., a Philadelphia-based financial advisory firm that focuses on asset management and consulting services for municipalities, cities, schools, hospitals and other public entities.” —Broadsheet

••• “The downtown congregation Tamid will unveil a new Torah written by a woman—a rare achievement—as part of Rosh Hashana services this week. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. Julie Seltzer, the scribe, is one of maybe two dozen soforets, as they are known, in the world. This is the third Torah scroll, which contains the Five Books of Moses, that Ms. Seltzer has completed solo. And it is Tamid’s first Torah, though the congregation has for the past few years used a Torah from a now-closed congregation.” —Wall Street Journal

••• Shake Shack “will establish its headquarters next summer in a West Village building [225 Varick, at Clarkson]. It has leased 27,000 square feet of space—about 3,000 of which will be turned into a Shake Shack flagship with sidewalk seating. It will also include a test kitchen on the lower level and offices on an upper floor.” The restaurant will presumably be where the Clarkson restaurant was. —New York Times



  1. Nice choice of space by shake shack. You need something there that people were travel for because everything else has died there.

  2. What happened to the Shake Shak slated for Canal Street? The space sits empty for months now.

  3. It blew my mind how corrupt those Democratic “shenanigans” were. They convened a meeting (I was there, and it was packed), they held a vote, and Paul Newell won by a landslide – 72% for Newell. I thought, great, I guess it will be Paul, unless there’s another candidate from Brooklyn when they meet, in which case I guess we’ll have another meeting and decide on a new state senator.

    That evening I found out some party boss had completely ignored the voting. There was no meeting or vote or anything in Brooklyn. The party boss, Keith Wright, a paid lobbyist, simply chose a pal of his for the state senate seat. And that was that. Nothing corrupt or unseemly or undemocratic or unprincipled about that. Nope.

    Amazing this sort of thing can go down in the Democratic Party in NYC in 2017. It’s like something from the Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall days. And given the widespread apathy around local politics, this latest clown appointed by Boss Wright, Brian Kavanagh, will likely earn all the usual rubber stamp endorsements from all the other clowns sitting in nice, safe incumbent seats in our districts and everyone will scratch everyone else’s back and nothing will ever change.