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Pressure On Brooklyn Dem’s Number 2 Man to Step Down

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With his criminal court trial looming on the horizon, a borough political group is demanding that Jeffrey Feldman step down as Executive Director of the Kings County Democratic Party.Members of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID), a Park Slope group, put forth the motion calling for Feldman to “step aside temporarily as second in command of the Brooklyn Democratic organization until the case in which he is indicted is resolved.”Back in 2004, Feldman and former Assemblymember and Party Boss Clarence Norman were charged with extortion and attempted grand larceny for allegedly “shaking down” judicial candidates, threatening to pull the party’s support if they didn’t use vendors of the party’s choosing.While CBIDs vote was passed late last month, nothing has apparently come of their bold stance.In fact, when contacted by this paper, Feldman claimed that he had not been informed of CBID’s actions.“I’ve never even heard about it,” said Feldman, speaking from the Kings County Democratic Party’s headquarters on Court Street in Brooklyn Heights.“So far, not one district leader has conveyed support for that motion,” said Assemblymember Vito Lopez, the current chair of the Kings County Democratic Party. “If a district leader does, then, as party chair, I would put that resolution to a vote, but nothing like this has come up.”While Lopez shied away from giving his personal opinion of CBIDs decision, other district leaders showed outrage.“I don’t think anyone could be called corrupt until they are found guilty,” said Bernard Catcher, the male Democratic District Leader of the 59th Assembly District. “I wonder if they think that President Clinton should have been asked to step down during the impeachment proceedings were going on.”“Mr. Feldman has been found guilty of nothing,” said Catcher. “He stands accused, but I’m sure that a jury of his peers will find him innocent.”According to prosecutors, 2002 judicial candidates Karen Yellen and Marcia Sikowitz have gone on record claiming that Feldman and Norman threatened to withdraw the party’s support if they didn’t agree to a campaign strategy that included three rather pricey campaign literature mailings conducted by a local communications firm.Although Yellen thought that she could do the mailings cheaper, she told prosecutors that she saw no choice but to agree after “Norman allegedly stated that any candidate that did not agree to the mailings would be ‘dumped’ or functionally dis-endorsed by the party.”Yellen and Sikowitz both lost the 2002 election.Attorneys for Feldman and Norman said that Yellen and Sikowitz’s statements to prosecutors are merely a case of sour grapes and that the actions of the two defendants were simply “run-of-the-mill politics.”Both Feldman and Norman are expected to go to court on this matter this spring, according to prosecutors.When the case does come to pass, it will be Clarence Noman’s fourth trial. The disgraced legislator has already been sentenced to up to eight years in prison on a host of criminal charges.Feldman, it seems, is one of the few people in the borough that has an entire Internet blog dedicated to bashing him.According to the blogger, identified only as ‘jefffeldma­nmustgo,’: “Feldman should be forced to resign for the culture of anti-democratic rule he has worked to impose in thug like ways on the voters of Brooklyn for the past generation.”

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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