HOW WILL DAVID WEPRIN PLAY WITH VOTERS OUTSIDE HIS LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE 9TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT?

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You can judge a candidates ability to win elections based upon past results. Take a trip down memory lane to consider former NYC Council Finance Committee Chairperson and current State Assemblymember David Weprin’s track record to see his electoral record.

In June 2001, the Queens Democratic organization conveniently nominated outgoing Council member Sheldon Leffler’s chief of staff to a judgeship. This would have been Weprin’s chief primary opponent, thus clearing the field for Weprin to join the NYC Council. When the five NYC Democratic county bosses divided up the spoils, he inherited Chairmanship of the Council Finance Committee. This was a consultation prize for his unsuccessful campaign for NYC Council Speaker in 2001.

In the 2005 Democratic Mayoral Primary, Weprin was unable to carry his Council district for Council Speaker Gifford Miller. The same was true in the General Election for Mayor between Bloomberg and challenger former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer. Weprin also lost his race for Council Speaker in 2005 as a second tier candidate in a seven way contest.

Despite his claims of financial expertise, he was never considered a serious candidate by colleagues in the State Legislature to replace former State Comptroller Alan Hevisi in 2007.

In 2009, the Queens County Democratic Party committee endorsed NYC Councilmember John Lui over Weprin for the September NYC Comptroller Primary.

Weprin’s September 15, 2009 Democratic Party Primary loss for New York City Comptroller was devastating. Out of 351,000 primary day voters, only 38,922 actually voted for Weprin. Having raised and spent almost $2.5 million dollars, each vote cost him $64 representing a terrible return on his investment. His primary opponents John Lui received 134,011, David Yassky 107,503 and Melinda Katz 72,057 votes respectively. With 3,200,000 registered Democrats, 2,849,000 declined to participate. In reality, when you add up the combined votes of Yassky, Katz and Lui, with those who stayed home by voting for “None of the Above”, barely 1% of registered Democrats supported Weprin running dead last in a four way race.

NYC Comptroller Lui and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli expressed no interest in hiring Weprin as a Deputy Comptroller.

It was hardly a winning mandate for newly elected Queens 24th State Assembly member David Weprin in the February 2011 Special election. This contest was to fill the vacated seat of brother Mark Weprin who switched seats with David to join the NYC Council. With 68,428 registered voters including 40,321 Democrats, Weprin running on the Democrat, Independence and Working Families party lines received 4,282 votes. Bob Friedrich running on the Republican/Conservative party lines garnered 2,633 votes. When you add the 61,493 voters who stayed home with Friedrichs votes, only 6% of voters supported Weprin. The results were terrible when you consider: (1) the district has been gerrymandered to elect a “Weprin” family member for decades; (2) David has been continuously campaigning for public office since 2001; (3) he has sent out dozens of mailings to voters over the same time period — many at taxpayers expense; (4) he has the famous “Weprin” family name; (5) he had endorsements from most major labor unions; (6) our own Queens Courier along with the Queens Gazette and Tribune weekly newspapers all endorsed him and (7) he raised far more “Pay for Play” campaign funds which afforded him the opportunity to outspend his opponent Bob Friedrich by $130,000 to $35,000. Weprin had two local Democratic political clubhouses with several hundred county committee and active members. They were supplemented by numerous major labor unions who combined to conduct a vigorous telephone/mail/E-mail/door to door get out the vote operation. Fredrich had to rely primarily on ordinary local non political community based volunteers. The 24th Assembly District Republican and Conservative party organizations are virtually non existent. They have few active members and numerous vacant county committee positions.

Everyone knows the fix is already in as the 9th Congressional District will disappear after the 2012 reapportionment. As a loyal member of the Queens Democratic Party organization, Weprin would not attempt to serve another term by running in a primary against either fellow Democratic Congress members Joseph Crowley or Gary Ackerman. He will retire from Congress and attempt another race for NYC Comptroller in 2013 assuming John Lui runs for Mayor.

Over the past ten years — those who know Weprin best, be it colleagues in the NYC Council, State Legislature or Queens County Democratic Party Executive Committee seem reluctant to support him for higher public office or leadership positions. Perhaps they know something about David Weprin that voters in upcoming September 13th 9th Congressional District Special election may come to the same conclusion?