Controversial Comments Spark Nasty Start To Brooklyn Race For Kruger’s Senate Seat

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A candidate in a local political race says his opponent has crossed a line by linking him to neo-Nazis. The angry exchange took place in the Brooklyn district vacated by disgraced State Sen. Carl Kruger.

Republican David Storobin, a lawyer, and Jewish supporters are demanding that Democrat Lew Fidler, a veteran City Council member, apologize for saying Storobin was “embarrassed by his ties to skinheads and neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups.”

Years ago, Storobin interviewed controversial figures, including Jim Gilchrist of the anti-immigrant “Minuteman movement.”  The articles Storobin posted were then picked up on white power web sites such as “Stormfront,” CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

“I was a journalist and as a journalist, it was my job to interview people,” Storobin said.

Storobin said it’s ridiculous to link an observant Jew to neo-Nazis.

“All four of my grandparents — all four of them — had their families wiped out during the Holocaust,” Storobin said.

But the Fidler campaign isn’t backing down, saying “Be honest about your Internet ranting. Why did they end up on white supremacist websites? Come clean, Mr. Storobin.”

The controversy was the opening salvo in the fight over the Senate seat vacated by the disgraced Kruger, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

So what does the early heated exchange of words mean?

“It tells me that it’s an election and a hotly-contested election, so you use whatever gains traction,” said political strategist George Arzt.

Republicans said they are ready to spend up to $500,000 on the special election, which is probably more money than the GOP has dropped in the Senate district in the last decade.

Storobin is part of the fast-growing Russian Jewish population in the area, a group that voted heavily for the Republican in the race to replace scandal-scarred congressman Anthony Weiner.

It’s a nasty start to an abbreviated campaign for the the special election, which will take place on March 20.

Share your thoughts on the special election in the comment section…

  • Robert

    I met Storobin during a family function in a non kosher Russian restaurant. He ate, he drunk, was lewed and tried to pick fights. In my opinion this gentleman is an unscrupulous opportunist. I would think twice before voting for him, and believe you me, he is the worst what immigration from Russia produced or has to offer.

  • whoISStorobin

    Storobin has done nothing for the community. he may not have ties to nazi groups but he also has no ties to the community he plans to represent. where has he been when there were community meetings? who even knows who he is? He is inexperienced and unknown. fidler has done alot for the community. Maybe if Storobin had even one piece of information about him doing something positive he would be worth recognizing!!

  • Kane

    When will Lew Fidler own up to his own shady actions and figures?

    The people of this district demand answers.

  • Jim Gilchrist

    Dear Readers,

    I acan assure you that Mr. David Storobin is no Nazi sympathizer. I remember meeting him and he impressed me as a person of pristine character and integrity/.

    Mr. Fidler should retract his comments and issue an apology for the mischaracterization.

    Supremacy groups like Stormfront copy other people’s reports, articles, or comments all the time and bogusly portray it as representative of them. They have done it to my writing and speaking work. They have done it to others, apparently, including Mr. Storobin.

    Mr. Fidler, in my opinion, is acting no better than the person who runs Stormfront. They both use propaganda to unfairly disrupt what otherwise would be truthful and respectable debate in the political campaigning process.

    Hats off to David Storobin.

    Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

  • Bill

    I am a registered Democrat and a Jew. I can say unequivocally that Lew Fidler is dishonest and a disgrace for trying tie his opponent David Storobin, also a Jew, to anti semitism and right wing skinhead groups. I believe that Mr. Fidler should go beyond the demands of the Storobin campaign and immediately withdraw from the race and resign from any and all public positions. He is an embarrassment to all Jews and fair minded people

  • DaEmph

    He probably does have ties, looks like it. Most white Republicans are racist.

    • Ca$h

      That was uncalled for, particularly as it has no basis in reality, with the possible exception of a scant fringe few in the deep south. Additionally, Fidler and Storobin, both, need to get their lame acts together. It’s kind of annoying listening to these two debate over stuff that isn’t even related to the issues of SB-27. The people of that district deserve better. In an ideal world, Kruger would still be kicking ass and taking names.

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