CITIZENS UNION BACKS LEW FIDLER IN SENATE DISTRICT 27 SPECIAL ELECTION
FIDLER'S COMMITMENT TO REFORM CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND RESTORE INTEGRITY TO REPRESENTATION IN THE DISTRICT KEY FACTORS IN ENDORSEMENT
EXPERIENCED LAWMAKER WOULD BRING NEEDED GRAVITAS TO ALBANY
Citizens Union today announced its endorsement of Lew Fidler, the Democratic candidate for senate district 27 in southern Brooklyn. Citizens Union believes Fidler, who is currently the Assistant Majority Leader in the New York City Council, brings both a record of accomplishment on critical reform issues and an earnest, serious approach to addressing policy issues that would benefit state government.
Citizens Union was most impressed with Fidler's commitment to major state reform issues including redistricting and campaign finance reform, which must be addressed by the state legislature. Fidler's candidate questionnaire indicates his position on these and other important reform issues. In Citizens Union's interview with Fidler, he stressed the importance of each and while acknowledging redistricting may be addressed by the time the vacant seat is filled, he wholeheartedly supports campaign finance reform and noted the role he and the Council have played in establishing the model public matching system in New York City. Fidler believes this model should be replicated at the state level, including the closing of loopholes such as preventing limited liability corporations from being treated as separate entities in making contributions. He rightly acknowledged the complexity of campaign finance reform in light of the flood of spending in independent expenditure campaigns, and noted the importance of disclosure in making known third party spending. Just as importantly, Fidler stressed he would restore integrity to representation of the district following Carl Kruger's resignation in a corruption scandal.
Fidler has served for 10 years in the City Council, first taking office in 2002. He pointed to his long commitment in serving the community both in local organizations prior to election to the Council, and as a Councilmember in distinguishing himself from his opponent, David Storobin, who is new to the political arena (Storobin did not respond to multiple requests by Citizens Union to complete a questionnaire or be interviewed). Among his recent accomplishments on other issues, Fidler pointed to his early warning of the foreclosure crisis and his efforts in working collaboratively with the Council and Mayor Bloomberg in creating a program that enabled homeowners undergoing foreclosure to meet with their lenders and seek resolutions to their financial difficulties, including renegotiating interest rates and principle loans. He also noted his long-time advocacy for homeless children, which is driven by his belief that a modern society should not have children living on its streets.
Fidler dismissed claims his opponent has made that he failed to honor a pledge to the New York Post to return public campaign funds that he received in a non-competitive Council race, noting that he returned approximately $8,700. Fidler called the use of a parking space provided by the borough president a convenience that was only provided when the spot was not being used by others.
Fidler does not agree with Citizens Union on every issue; he has concerns with early voting and does not agree that all parolees convicted of felony offenses should regain the right to vote. Citizens Union, however, believes that he is a strong proponent of the major reform issues that Albany has sidelined for far too long. He brings a deliberate and thoughtful approach to policy issues, and the legislature will benefit from the seriousness that he brings to public policy. Citizens Union supports Lew Fidler for the State Senate.