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GOP criticizes Sen. John Brooks for about-face on Obama, party enrollment

Brooks, while not directly addressing the GOP's criticism, called it a "desperate attack" and noted he was endorsed by Obama in 2016.

State Sen. John Brooks at a North Amityville

State Sen. John Brooks at a North Amityville news conference on May 10, 2018. Photo Credit: David L. Pokress

8Republicans are raising questions about Democratic state Sen. John Brooks changing his party enrollment three times as well as his “liking” Facebook pages four years ago that called for the prosecution of then-President Barack Obama.

Brooks, while not directly addressing the GOP's criticism, called it a “desperate attack” and noted he was endorsed by Obama in 2016.

Republicans are focusing on Brooks in a tough Senate battle that might determine which party wins control of the chamber in November. Brooks (D-Seaford) is facing Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato in the 8th Senate District, which straddles the Nassau-Suffolk border on the South Shore. Republicans currently have a 32-31 advantage in the Senate, their one hold on power in state government.

According to information compiled by Republicans, Brooks enrolled in the GOP in 1989, switched to the Democratic Party in 2007, switched back to Republican in 2014 and returned to the Democrats in 2016 -— just before he upset Republican Sen. Michael Venditto.

The GOP also noted that Brooks, while an enrolled Republican in 2014, “liked” a number of Facebook pages critical of Obama. One, for instance, was called “Prosecute Obama.” Another featured a drawing of President John F. Kennedy and read: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do to save it from Obama!”

Republicans said voters in the district should question Brooks’ shifting positions.

“John Brooks is a Republican turned Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat again, whose hatred for President Obama led him to like and share Facebook posts saying the country needed to be saved from his policies and that Obama himself should be prosecuted. Does anyone really know who John Brooks is?” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif.  

Brooks, in a statement, countered that he was a “proud Democratic senator.”

“While I may at times disagree with members of my party, my priority has always been serving Long Island families,” Brooks said. “I was proudly endorsed by President Obama during my 2016 campaign for State Senate, and I will keep fighting to help lower taxes, clean up corruption, get more local education aid and investment, and stand up for women's rights. This desperate attack comes from the corrupt party bosses who have raised taxes and mandates, blocked efforts to protect Long Island communities from gun violence, and held our state back for far too long.”

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