Bichotte Ups Ante Against Patronage Plagued Dem Club

Kings County Democratic Party Committee (KCDC) Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn. Photo from official assembly website.

Kings County Democratic Party Committee (KCDC) Chair Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn (D-Brooklyn) this week moved to de-charter the patronage-plagued Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD) for refusing to provide the proper paperwork.

The New York State Young Democrats (NYSYD) officially recharters all young Democratic organizations in the state every two years, provided they supply the proper paperwork and the county chair signs off on it. 

But in a signed statement dated March 14, Bichotte-Hermelyn said the KCDC no longer recognized the BYD as the young Democratic chapter of the county and therefore prohibited the NYSYD from issuing it a charter.

“The Brooklyn Young Democrats refused to provide information requested on their recertification that would allow their group to be open to public review and inspection. In accordance with the recertification rules, they are barred from continued representation of the party,” said Bichotte-Hermelyn.

“We cannot charter an organization that has not shared with us their membership, rules, finances or policies. Their refusal to comply with an open inspection is a major concern for the Democratic Party which has already received complaints about their leadership and operations,” she added.

The BYD Executive Board responded that past county chairs have all signed off on the re-chartering and they submitted a 120-page document of information concerning their club to the KCDC Executive Committee. 

“We are beyond disappointed that KCDC has decided to cut ties with BYD. BYD believes we have gone above and beyond to find a middle and workable ground with KCDC, only to be met with demands for total capitulation,” the BYD Executive Committee stated.

“Instead of living up to its commitment to be inclusive of all voices across the Democratic Party, and continuing our dialogue in good faith, KCDC has sought to leverage our charter paperwork in order to obtain member information that is confidential and private,” they added.

This latest brouhaha comes as the BYD has a growing history of patronage and quasi-nepotism going as far back as 2017 when BYD member Seamus Campbell wrote former KCDC Chair Frank Seddio questioning the club’s change ever since he ran and lost the presidency of the club to former president John Wasserman.

Campbell alleged in his letter that since losing, Wasserman and his Executive Vice President girlfriend, Christina Das, ran the organization according to their whims. He then detailed several ways they usurped their own bylaws.

“Though a majority of my slate was elected, Mr. Wasserman and Ms. Das have worked to make those officers resign and, since, performed those duties themselves. This includes the role of Secretary, who is to determine voting eligibility and maintain the membership roster,” Campbell wrote.

Then in December of last year, KingsCountyPolitics.com, now PoliticsNY, wrote about how patronage and nepotism within the BYD plays a major role between members, elections and the de Blasio Administration.

Becoming an NYSYD charter allows BYD members to serve as delegates at the state and national young democrat conventions.

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