Monday, September 03, 2012

Meet the new Kings County Democratic boss, Frank Seddio; same as the old boss?

The New York Times reports that veteran south Brooklyn political operative Frank Seddio seems positioned to succeed scandal-tinged Assemblyman Vito Lopez as the leader and kingmaker (judges and other party positions) of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

And yes, there's an Atlantic Yards angle, sort of. Seddio comes from the powerful Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, home of former Forest City Ratner external affairs chief Bruce Bender, and a reliable source of Atlantic Yards-loving pols, including Carl Kruger (now disgraced), Alan Maisel, and Steve Cymbrowitz.

Seddio's main rival seems to be Brownstone Brooklyn reformer JoAnne Simon, who lost to Lopez protege Steve Levin (strategically silent lately) for the 33rd District City Council seat, but might have won without such a large field. (Cumulative voting, anyone?)

Simon is a leader of BrooklynSpeaks, the coalition that began as "mend it don't end it" regarding Atlantic Yards but has become increasingly vocal about the need for oversight and reform.

A New York magazine profile of Kruger contains an ambiguous anecdote about Seddio:
In 1980, Kruger was indicted with another civic booster for allegedly extorting money from a local builder, a Holocaust survivor, and his partner. Before the trial, Kruger claimed he’d been diagnosed with cancer. Seddio remembers driving Kruger to the hospital with operatives from the Jefferson Club and waiting in the car for Kruger to come out after meeting with his doctor. At trial, the charges against Kruger were dropped, as, apparently, were Kruger’s cancer treatments. Some thought he invented the sickness, perhaps to drum up sympathy from friends and colleagues at the Club.
Does that mean Seddio believed Kruger?

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