Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Catskill politicians come to Brooklyn

Now flexing political power in the Catskills:

Times Herald-Record:

They're Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn. But their votes – and their money – could make a difference in next month's elections in Sullivan County. In the latest example of the growing presence of ultra-Orthodox Jews in eastern Sullivan County, four candidates traveled to Brooklyn last month to meet with about a dozen community leaders...
At least 1,000 Hasidic second-home owners are registered to vote in Sullivan County, according to members of their group, the Catskill Homeowners Association, their liaison to the state police and local politicians. The ultra-Orthodox – from Brooklyn, Kiryas Joel and Monsey – also gave thousands of dollars to several candidates for county and local offices. Since July, they've given more than $8,000 to Schiff, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the Sullivan County Board of Elections. Armstrong, his opponent, got $250. The candidates know that Hasidic votes could mean winning or losing an election, especially in a county race with some 20,000 voters, or a local race in Fallsburg, which attracts about 2,000 voters. The eastern Sullivan County town has a few thousand second homes for the ultra-Orthodox, with hundreds more planned. "They (the Hasidic voters) will make a tremendous difference," Fallsburg Democratic Supervisor Steve Levine said. He and several other politicians met with a group of Hasidic Jews in Sullivan during the summer, when at least 100,000 Hasidim visit the Catskills...
On a local level, the Hasidim are adamantly against a move for a building moratorium in the Fallsburg, where those densely clustered second homes for the ultra-Orthodox are planned. Perello and Levine's write-in opponent, Kenny DeMars, support a moratorium. "That would be a grave mistake," says Bernard Gips, who met with the Sullivan politicians...
"I predict in 25 years, they'll have a village here," Binder said.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 8:11 PM

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