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Democrats Take Revenge On Simcha Felder, Shut Him Out Of Leadership

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but sometimes, the best revenge is what you don’t serve at all.

The New York state Democratic party has shut Simcha Felder out of any leadership position on the various committees in the Albany statehouse, the New York Post reported. The move is widely seen as vengeance for Felder’s decision to vote with Republicans for several years.

Felder has fallen a long way since earlier this year, when he was at the height of his political power. He was once an affiliate member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, a conservative group of Democratic senators who consistently voted with Republicans. When the IDC disbanded in the spring, Felder decided to stay independent, giving him the lone swing vote in an otherwise deadlocked chamber and the designation of “Albany’s unlikely kingmaker.”

He used his power to hold up a budget deal in the hopes of passing a rule that would limit state government oversight into Jewish religious schools. The move got him symbolically kicked out of the Democratic party.

A spokesperson for state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority leader of the New York Democrats, said that Felder has not officially returned to the Democrat caucus yet.

Now, observers have noted, his vote is of no value to either party. Without him, Democrats represent a comfy 39 seats out of 63.

Indeed, Stewart-Cousins drove home the anti-IDC message by giving several “plum” assignments to Democrats who defeated formerly IDC-aligned incumbents.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at feldman@forward.com or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

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