Yeger Rips Deutsch In Prelude To Sheepshead Bay City Council Race

Kalman Yeger, a protegé and political partner to City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst), last week officially announced he’s taking on incumbent City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) and wasted no time in ripping his opponent’s character and record.

“I’m running against an incumbent who I think hasn’t been there,” said Yeger, at a Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD) political forum held at The Salty Dog Bar and Restaurant, 7509 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge. “He’s been absent for a lot of reasons and if he were here tonight I think that he could tell you those reasons, but he’s not so I will. He’s been absent because he has another job.”

Yeger went on to say that Deutsch, owned a real estate company that requires most of his time. “Over the last three years since he got elected, he’s earned several hundred thousand dollars in private income –– in addition to the income we pay him as taxpayers,” said Yeger.

Kalman Yeger

Yeger’s accusations against Deutsch comes just weeks after both the Observer and KCP wrote stories about how Greenfield socked away more than $300,000, mostly from real estate interests, in a state political account under Yeger and his wife Jennifer Berger’s home address.

Berger works for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – a job she got as part of a deal between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Kings County Democratic Chair Frank Seddio to get the Brooklyn city council delegation to support Mark-Viverito as speaker back in early 2014, according to sources.

The job came at the expense of Howard Pollack, the longtime Council Jewish liaison from Queens, who himself got the cushy patronage job through a similar deal that Queens County Democratic Party Boss Joe Crowley cut with former Speaker Gifford Miller.

Yeger listed his qualifications to the BYD as being a long-time community activist starting at the age of 19 when he worked for a City Councilmember for two years, after which he left to work for the Bronx Borough President and then a large New York City non-profit agency before graduating law school and becoming an attorney.

The candidate said his practice primarily focuses on campaign finance laws and urged those who have to comply with campaign finance laws to reach out to him for advice.

During a brief Q & A session, one potential constituent expressed her disapproval of the incumbent and explained her feelings were partially based on Deutsch not offering participatory budgeting to the area.

“I support participatory budgeting,” said Yeger. “I don’t think it’s something we should have to sell or we should have to ask for.”

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Deutsch arrived to the venue late, but in enough time to give his three-minute introductory speech and answer questions from the audience.  He began by describing the District as diverse, adding that over 30 percent of the community is composed of senior citizens. The incumbent touted stellar constituent services offering multi-lingual assistance to the diverse community and an impeccable attendance record at City Council hearings.

“I’m also proud that I’m very accessible to my constituents.  Anyone that wants to meet, I meet with them,” said Deutsch.

Deutsch also made known his strong support of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and auxiliary officers, boasting District 48 as having undergone one of the highest crime reduction rates in the city.

The incumbent named education, waterfront, aging, public schools and contracts as some of the committees he sits on as a City Councilmember. Deutsch took that moment to talk about the millions of dollars allocated to playgrounds throughout the city district with funds the contract committee bestowed.

Deutsch concluded with a story meant to counter his competitor’s claim of absenteeism. He told the story of a young woman who had come to his office in need of immediate relief while she waited the 10-day-period for her food stamp allocation. Deutsch said within two hours, they had fulfilled the constituent’s grocery list furnishing her with nearly $500 in groceries.

“It’s not just about doing your job, it’s about thinking out of the box, said Deutsch.

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