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David Storobin vs. Ari Kagan

Republican David Storobin made no secret in November, 2012 that he wanted to run for City Council in 48 District that included Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay. Because this district had a huge Russian speaking community and sometimes was even referred in the media as “Super-Russian District”, it would be much easier for Storobin to have a non-Russian opponent in general election.

So, he made it clear last November that he did not want to compete with me. In his first interview right after his defeat Mr. Storobin suggested that …I had to move from Brighton and to run in another Council district.

Of course, I did not listen to him and then he decided to attack me as often as possible. Here are just a few examples of his dirty, stupid, baseless and disgusting attacks on me this year:

February 28, 2013

…Former State Senator David Storobin, who is still “considering” a City Council campaign, fired off a shot at one of the Democratic candidates, Ari Kagan, yesterday.

“I’m glad Ari Kagan is now adopting my whole economic platform because he thinks it will help him win this election,” he told Politicker.

“It is no wonder he always wrote about me so positively for years until his boss [media mogul] Gregory Davidzon was paid by Lew Fidler and told Ari to attack me for the very ideas that he’s running on right now. I wish Ari well, and I hope he will be an independent candidate and stop being Gregory Davidzon’s puppet…”

Bay News – July 1

As a representative without a district, Storobin decided to run in November for the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Midwood and Boro Park, but lost to Simcha Felder, who won 65 percent of the vote.

Still, Storobin claims not only to have more experience than the other candidates, but also that he remains above any political allegiance that would force him to vote against the best interests of, what he hopes, will become his constituency.

“I’m not somebody who owes my allegiance to the Democratic party, which is in the pockets of a lot of special interests,” said Storobin.

He cited Ari Kagan’s endorsement from …

July 11, 2013

The guy has never had a full-time job in his life,” Mr. Storobin said of his rival Sunday. “That gentleman has been campaigning for about 15 years. And like I said, he’s never had a full-time job in his life. He doesn’t even own a driver’s license. For a 46 year old, I don’t know if that’s too much work experience.”

“Again, he is known almost strictly to the elderly  Russian people who listen to one radio station because they don’t speak English,” Mr. Storobin told Politicker. “Everyone who knows English knows me better …

Even with the younger Russian people–and by younger I mean anyone under 65–they all know who I am. Nobody outside of the Russian retirees knows who he is. Literally has next to zero name ID.”

Message from David Storobin to my Facebook page (August 2, 2013):

“This is your final warning to stop committing crime by taking down my signs. I will make sure to catch all future violations and all legal actions available to me will be taken against you, Davidzon and all your people. It's about time to stop your criminal and unethical spree.”

August 16, 2013

Storobin has threatened legal action if Davidzon and Kagan don’t stop their “crimes.”

“Everyone who knows them knows that Davidzon is running the operation, not Kagan,” Storobin told me.
Did he order the robocalls smearing Kagan? Storobin denied having anything to do with them. “My phones aren’t even set up,” he told me.

A registered Democrat who lives in Brighton Beach, who asked not to be identified, told me he went to Storobin’s campaign office shortly after receiving the call to ask the candidate if it had come from Storobin’s office. Storobin, he said, angrily denied the allegations, and then said, “But after what they called my mother, no one could blame me if I broke Kagan’s legs!” It was an apparent reference to an episode in which Storobin angrily claimed in a letter to the website Politicker that Fidler’s “paid agents” had compared his mother to farm animals on Davidzon’s radio show. (A different source who heard the radio show told me that the term actually used was “mother hen.”)

When I asked Storobin about the incident, he said he didn’t recall the language but said he certainly didn’t mean to threaten Kagan. “I wanted to say that nothing I could ever say about him would give him reason to cry foul after the way he and his associates assaulted my mom, my supporters, etc,” he clarified via email. Storobin also told me his issues with Kagan have nothing to do with the KGB. “I don’t even think he’s former KGB,” he said. But he was happy to supply his own criticism.

“Kagan needs the job. He’s never had a full-time job,” Storobin insisted. “He’s struggling financially.”

 September 2, 2013

One of my opponents is Ari Kagan, a 46-year-old who has never had a full-time job in his life. He talks about creating jobs, but why couldn’t he create one for himself first? As a fellow Russian-American, I find this to be an embarrassment. This community worked very hard to build itself up after coming to this country penniless, and right now almost everyone has joined the middle class. But out of all the successful people, Frank Seddio and the Brooklyn Democratic Party bosses decided to back the only person I know who is permanently unemployed because they know he’ll be the easiest to control.

Why did no Democratic politician offer him a real, full-time job, something Kagan desperately wanted during his 16 years of political involvement? If he wasn’t good enough for the Democratic politicians, why is he being forced upon the people of this district?

I think the difference between someone like myself who was raised poor and started his own business at the age of 25 versus someone who has never landed a full-time job in his life is very clear.

Russian Bazaar, September 5, 2013, page 23
Advertorial - Paid for by Storobin for NYC

From his own words:
“…Everybody understands perfectly well that we need to create jobs and to restore the economy. However, the problem is that many politicians – and my Democratic opponent Ari Kagan is one of them – don’t know how business operates. They have many different theories, but these theories do not work in practice…

On November 5, I will be the only candidate who knows how to create jobs, how to help small business and how to take America out of this long economic recession…”

“Barack Obama has a lot in common with my opponent Ari Kagan. During the election season he talked a lot about his volunteer activities and his experience as community organizer that America really needed. The results of his work are well known. If usual recession lasts for about a year or year and a half, and that is normal for a regular economic cycle, under Obama we are suffering from the economic crisis for five years. This is the best example of what happened when politician is “community volunteer”, not a person with a business experience.

If we continue to elect “community volunteers”, then we will never come out of this recession…

Only once my campaign decided to respond:

In response to Storobin’s characterization, Kagan’s campaign spokesperson sent Sheepshead Bites the following quote, touching on parts of Kagan’s resumé, and slammed Storobin for mudslinging:

Like many New Yorkers, Ari worked a number of jobs to provide for his family. He is proud to have served as a part-time staffer to prominent elected officials, in addition to his work as a journalist, hosting popular radio and television programs and writing for a weekly newspaper in a growing and vibrant immigrant community. In fact, Ari worked full-time at the Russian Jewish Forward while pursuing his degree at Baruch College as a full-time student.

It’s not surprising that once again David Storobin chooses to bring his campaign into the gutter – he never fails to disappoint. Along with being factually inaccurate, his comments ignore the important contributions made by hardworking women and men in community and ethnic media.

Ari Kagan


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