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Opinion

The countdown

Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), left, and Peter King

Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), left, and Peter King (R-Seaford) Photo Credit: Ed Betz/Howard Schnapp

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Daily Point

Prepping for election day

Labor Day is deep in the rearview, and insiders are turning to general election campaigns.

With two congressional contests heating up on Long Island, will the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee help challengers in their bids to unseat Republican Reps. Lee Zeldin and Peter King?

In a conversation with The Point on Tuesday, the DCCC’s Amanda Sherman said that Zeldin and King’s districts are among 38 currently in the DCCC’s “Majority Makers” program, districts the organization thinks can be competitive but where a candidate isn’t directly mentioned on the DCCC website, for example.

That’s a lower level of support than the high-profile “Red to Blue” program, which covers 73 districts where the DCCC offers expert advice on fundraising and operations, among other benefits. Challengers Perry Gershon, of East Hampton, and Liuba Grechen Shirley, of Amityville, are not currently in that program, part of the DCCC’s most concerted effort to flip 23 seats and win back the House.

Will either candidate get bumped up, boosting their profile? Sherman said that decision is made “on a rolling basis” and could come as early as the next two weeks.

Mark Chiusano

Talking Point

Getting the message out

Sen. Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat who has helped give Senate Republicans the gavel in Albany, has for years had a strong grip on power thanks to support from his district’s Orthodox Jewish community, whose interests he has well-represented.

Some of that dynamic can be seen in strong language in images circulating on social media ahead of Felder’s Thursday primary against Democrat Blake Morris. The ad-like images urge voters in Yiddish to “wake up to the catastrophe! The progressive liberals are working really hard to bring out the greatest number of votes for their candidate who is consistently banging on our community and our way of life.”

The images also assert that “in only a few days we will rescue the future of Jewish Haredi [ultra-Orthodox] life in New York State.”

These and other images were sent to reporters by David Goldberg, a member of a Brooklyn community group in which challenger Morris (who like Felder is Jewish) was also a leader before his run.

Goldberg said the images, whose provenance isn’t identified, have circulated on WhatsApp groups. Similar ads have been printed in local outlets. One image appeared obliquely on Felder’s official Twitter account, when he retweeted a supporter defending him from a Jewish reform group who included the image.

The Point got translation help from Rivka Augenfeld, a former board member of the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, and not a New York voter.

One image shows a man trying to open the doors of a closed school, dramatizing one issue that has been central to Felder’s career. He has fought for aid and less state oversight for yeshivas in New York, despite investigations by the city’s Department of Education.

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point

For the fallen

Quick Points

No holds barred

  • Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he had no knowledge about the State Democratic Committee mailer that falsely accused opponent Cynthia Nixon of ignoring anti-Semitism, state party chairman Byron Brown echoed that, and party executive director Geoff Berman promised to hold the people involved accountable. Hey, guys, isn’t the pool of suspects here very, very small?
  • President Donald Trump tweeted that journalist Bob Woodward’s new White House expose is a “joke” and that he’ll write “the real book.” But if by “real” Trump means “true,” it’ll have the same punch lines.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be “counterproductive” for him to endorse for governor and attorney general. For whom — himself, the candidates he supports, or perhaps both?
  • The first three sexual misconduct accusations were not enough to oust CBS chief Les Moonves, but the six additional accounts of his bad behavior toward women published Sunday did lead to his resignation. So that’s where the over-under line is?
  • The investors behind a developer’s proposal to build a 17,500-seat sports arena in Ronkonkoma listed as evidence of their funding ability a sports arena pitched for the Seattle area on which no work has been done since 2015 and which the mayor of the host city says is “dead,” and the NHL and the New York Islanders have dismissed the Ronkonkoma proposal. Other than that, things are proceeding swimmingly.
  • A huge 2,000-foot long boom will be used to clean up the world’s largest garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Any chance we can send the boom to Washington?

Michael Dobie

Columns