Here’s Who Simcha Felder Is Accepting Campaign Contributions From

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Simcha Felder. (Photo: NY Senate)

BORO PARK – The turncoat Democrat State Senator Simcha Felder, who often caucuses with state Republican lawmakers, has always been honest with his constituent base. Earlier this year he reminded us all that he has no party allegiance. For Felder, his interests lie with the residents in the 17th senatorial district — just not all of them.

State Senator Simcha Felder, facing a Democratic primary challenger for his position in Blake Morris, has raised $495,160.00 for his campaign this year. In many of those cases, his donors represent companies that serve the upper echelon of the district. The majority of his campaign contributions come from non-individual donors and real estate LLC’s.

New York State regulates this industry, and Felder is receiving big contributions from the borough’s senior care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. Spring Creek Rehabilitation Center contributed $5,000, Edison Home Health Care contributed $5,000, and Seagate Rehabilitation and Nursing Center contributed $6,000. The CEO of Greater NY Nursing Services, Shlomie Weiss donated $5,000 and Simon Pelman, the CEO of Union Plaza Care Center contributed $1,000.

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Data from the NY Campaign Finance Board show that Felder’s campaign received $18,000 from a pro-charter school group, “New Yorkers for Putting Students First.” Another pro-charter school group, Great Public Schools PAC, donated $3,000. Felder has been a staunch supporter of less oversight of Yeshiva education standards.

The NY Post reported that Felder was able to help the Agudath Israel organization — focusing on social services for the Orthodox Jewish community– by getting them grants “totaling $850,000 — $350,000 for community-services programming, $300,000 for a legal-services initiative and $200,00 for educational-access services.”

“Two dozen other facilities in Felder’s district also shared in the windfall, from the Sephardic Bikur Holim community-service network ($90,000) to the Yaldeinu School for autistic children ($50,000),” NY Post further reported.

In 2013, Felder pushed to propose expanding bus service to private school students who attend late afternoon classes– many of the students who attend yeshivas, the Daily News reported. In 2015, NY provided $8.1 million in funding to provide transportation home to private school students, but the new bill would provide an additional $4.5 million in funding, as well as requiring buses to drop these students off no more than 600 feet from their homes. At the time, many city officials argued that it was a “political giveaway to the Orthodox Jewish community.”

Felder, who is a registered Democrat, has been caucusing with the Republicans since 2012. It may be no surprise then, that $11,000 were contributed by Friends of John Flannagan, the Republican leader of the State Senate. Campaign data shows $11,000 were also contributed by Peter Rebenwurzel, who runs Coney Realty Group in Brooklyn. Records show that Coney Realty Group owns over 50 properties.

Real estate contributions don’t stop there. Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY) contributed $11,000 to his campaign. Joseph J. Sitt, a popular real estate investor, contributed $10,000 and Jack Kishk from Century 21 Melanie Kishk Realty contributed $11,000. What the Real Deal coined as the “Powerful Landlord Group,” the Rent Stabilization Association, an organization that “works tirelessly to protect the real estate industry from anti-owner legislation and harmful regulation,” contributed $10,000.

Rita Marmurstein contributed $1,800 to the campaign. Marmurstein’s husband, Yacov “Jacob” Marmurstein, is the owner (MCIZ Corporation), a company that runs the B110 bus between Williamsburg and Boro Park. In 2011, the company was accused of segregation, by allegedly making women sit on the back of the bus. The company was also fined $482,750 by the Department of Environmental Conservation for dumping trash and motor oil along the Gowanus Canal. 

Peter D’Arco donated $2,500 to Felder’s campaign. D’Arco is the owner of SJ Fuel and was charged with stealing $500,000 in heating oil from a terminal in Brooklyn. 

Felder was not available for comment. Additional reporting by Zainab Iqbal.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Now, you should have a follow up article on Blake Morris, Attorney at Law who runs a collection agency on Cortelyou Road and uses a Manhattan Post Office Box as his return address. To be even handed, this article should detail who Morris represents when chasing down people who are behind in paying their bills. Does he represent banks, hospitals, etc., and if yes, which ones? Morris has also received what some could say donations from questionable sources like the SEIU, whose leaders were forced to resign due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The hierarchy of this union, as well as others, take overly generous salaries with perks while sucking out excessive dues from their members who are barely making a living wage.

  2. Regardless of how scary SEUI is, why would I, as a Democrat, ever vote for a person who is against every mainstream Democratic policy?

    Mr. Felder supports tax vouchers for private schools, opposing a woman’s right to choose and LGBTQ rights (as he puts is, “firmly opposed to any redefinition of marriage”). And so on, all the way down to opposing speed restrictions on Ocean Parkway.

    Mr. Felder should stop pretending and just run on a Republican line. I would choose a scary trade union over a fake Democrat, turncoat and, quite frankly, traitor *every* *single* *time*.

    By the way, surprised by the mention of a PO Box, I Googled “Blake Morris” and the first entry was: L. Blake Morris Law Firm, Address: 1214 Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11218.

  3. Lev,
    Go through Blake Morris’ webside site it states that his

    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 3289
    New York, NY 10008-3289

    Kind of questionable for a Democrat to hide behind a Post Office Box?
    So who is more sleezy: Felder or Blake Morris?
    The answer is Morris.
    Therefore, I will vote for Felder.
    The Democratic Party used to be inclusive of different views and this still should be the situation.
    So, I will be voting for Felder today

  4. @Lonnie/Murry,
    I understand your position, but I evaluate candidates based on their position on the issues that matter to me.
    Address of a temporarily rented PO Box is *not* an issue that matters to me at all, but equality, freedom and social justice are such issues. That’s what I was trying to say earlier.

  5. @Lev

    Re. The voucher issue.

    I think the state is giving around 6-7 thousand for a year per child.

    Would you prefer them to enroll in the public school system and make the state spend 5 times as much?

    I’m trying to get the reasoning behind your argument

  6. The idc is gone and with it any power that this fraud wielded. Playing the middle ground has won political victories for his tiny constituency. Now that republicans will be out of power and dems no longer need Felder’s vote, the orthodox community of Brooklyn will no longer be reaping the benefits of the rest of the state’s bickering. See ya later traitor.

  7. @Chris,

    I’m for private and religious schools getting their own funding – without my tax money. Otherwise, BOE should have the same level of oversight at private and religious schools as they have at public schools, same curriculum requirements, etc. As I recall, Mr. Felder spent considerable amount of time in the Senate trying to prevent exactly that. So, can’t have you cake and eat it too!

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