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Youth uprising! Upstart political club vows to take on the GOP — and the Democratic establishment

Brooklyn Daily

Who says southern Brooklyn’s political clubs are run by stodgy old men?

A young, saber-rattling woman has formed her own Democratic group to stop the GOP from coming into Southern Brooklyn after realizing that the current Democrats in charge are having trouble keeping the Republican wave at bay.

Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, a Gravesend resident who interns for Borough President Markowitz, put together her Southern Brooklyn Democrats last year, after Rep. Bob Turner (R–Sheepshead Bay) scored an upset victory to replace Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned amid a sexting scandal.

“It saddens me to think that we lost Weiner’s seat,” Thorpe-Moscon said. “It was a disgrace.”

Yet, the rookie gladiator still has an important hurdle to overcome — finding a meeting spot for her three-month-old, 50-member club she hopes will become a fiery debating ground for liberal-minded political wonks to chew over issues relating to gay rights, education reform and healthcare.

“We need a new generation of motivated progressive leaders to step up,” she said.

But she’s not the first to challenge Brooklyn’s current Democratic establishment, which is currently run by Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D–Bushwick).

The New Kings Democrats, a group that formed around the 2008 presidential election, has bared its teeth at Lopez from time to time, as has the Bay Ridge Democrats, which was established in 2010.

Justin Brannan, the president of the Bay Ridge Democrats believes that Thorpe-Moscon is breaking new political ground by focusing on Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay.

“No one has really ever organized in that area on a grassroots level,” explained Brannan, who is also an aide to Councilman Vincent Gentile (D—Bay Ridge). “It’ll be a good signal for Democrats to get more involved.”

Thorpe-Moscon says she wants to run home-grown candidates against Republicans looking to expand their Bay Ridge base, where the GOP clout includes Golden, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge). She also wants to target — and get rid of — less progressive Democrats who haven’t whipped up enough excitement among younger party members.

But while she claims her group is pretty left of liberal, it’s endorsements tell another story: they’ve backed middle of the road Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler in next week’s special election against Republican attorney David Storobin for disgraced ex-pol Carl Kruger’s senate seat, although there were no other Democratic candidates to choose from. The group also vowed to support Andrew Gounardes, an Eagle Scout, in his uphill climb to unseat veteran state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge).

And experienced southern Brooklyn leaders say Thorpe-Moscon has her work cut out for her down the line.

“It’s wonderful that people are getting involved in politics,” said District Leader Michael Geller (D–Sheepshead Bay), a member of the Kings Highway Democratic Club. “But they’ll learn it’s difficult to start a [political] organization from scratch.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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Robert from Sheepshead Bay says:
I live in Sheepshead Bay & belong to Mike Gellers Highway Democratic Club.. I have been a member, on & off, for 10 years.....

You didn't a couple of critical issues.. When you interviewed Ms. Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon, you didn't ask her if she is aware of the mechanics of running a club... From her time interning with Borough President Markowitz, has she learned about the Petition process, how to go abotu collecting signatures, and the legal challenges every opposition candidate lodges in virtually every local race around the country????

There is alot more to running a club then merely espousing an ideology..... There is alot of thankless work involved....

The politicians swill expect results.. and when the election results come in, if the club is not at least partially responsible for the candidate winning the office, it will be hard for the club to maintain any clout in the community.....

Second Issue.... While I'm sure there are some Liberal Democrats living in my neighborhood, I don't know how many there are..... My are is mostly Russian, and they have their own way of thinking politically......

As to Liberal Democrats... I don't know every single election district, and what the historic voting record of it is, but one question to be posed... Where is the Liberal Democratic vote??? Coney Island?? Brighton Beach??? If she's going to open a club up, she has to have the support of the community...
March 17, 2012, 10:11 pm
BT from Bay Ridge says:
Brooklyn Daily does it again! Gounardes is a lawyer and a nonprofit worker but you keep drilling on him being an Eagle Scout, which is an honor not a profession.

Henceforth I'll refer to Dan Bush as a "privileged white male," instead of a reporter. Irrelevant but accurate.
March 18, 2012, 2:33 pm
Maggie from Gerritsen Bch says:
Not one, but two!! That's how many negative fliers I received from Lew Fidler writing about David Storobin. Never in all my years has a political figure spent so much time and money degrading an opponent -- instead of telling voters what good HE has done for his constituents -- than Lew Fidler has been doing regarding D.Storobin. I will not vote for this bully, this nasty fighter, Lew Fidler! I pray he loses in Tuesday's election.
March 19, 2012, 2:11 pm
BT from Bay Ridge says:
Maggie have you seen Storobin's campaign materials? They're both nasty bullies. No matter what happens Tuesday I wont vote for either no matter who their opponent is in November!
March 19, 2012, 6:28 pm

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