Interview with David Storobin: “We Need To Elect Someone Who Knows How To Create Jobs”


storobin-2David Storobin is a former State Senator who’s running for City Council in a district that encompasses Flatbush, Midwood, Gravesend, Homecrest, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay. He’s has the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines unopposed, while five Democrats are challenging each other in the September 10 primary. spoke to Mr. Storobin ahead of next week’s primary.

You are a Republican. Why should people vote for a Republican candidate?

Because we need a change from the monopoly of the Democratic party in Brooklyn. Everywhere one sees a one-party system, there is corruption, inefficiency and non-responsiveness from the government. It doesn’t matter what party it is, the result is always the same when a party has no opposition. The reason for it is very simple: anyone who knows that they can never be fired will not perform as well as someone who knows they can be held accountable. This is true for lawyers, waiters and, of course, politicians. Brooklyn Democrats have always known that so long as they have the backing of their party boss to get the nomination, they can never lose.

Lew Fidler was caught on tape speaking to the Brooklyn Young Democrats where he admitted that my victory would mean democracy might break out in Brooklyn and Democratic politicians may have to deliver to get re-elected. It’s about time that happened.

What is the reason to vote for you specifically?

I am an attorney and I’ve been in politics for a long time, whether it be volunteering for Rudy Giuliani in 1993 or organizing and becoming President of the Jewish Law Society in my law school or serving as the Vice-Chairman of the Brooklyn Republican Party since 2009.

I served only 7 months as a Senator before my seat got eliminated in redistricting, but in that time I’ve sponsored 42 bills to improve education, transportation and health care, as well as to make our streets safer and to preserve traditional values. These are all the things I’ve promised to do and even in the short time I was there, I did what I promised. Both my supporters and even my opponents admit that after getting elected, I do what I promised to do on the campaign trail.

What are the three key issues for you?

1) We need to create jobs by helping small businesses because in a healthy economy 70% of the new jobs are created by small business. Instead of continuing to increase fines for the most ridiculous things, small businesses need to get help.

2) We need to restore funding for the elderly. It’s unconscionable that we aren’t taking care of our parents and grandparents properly. I mean, what are you going to do, tell an 80 year old to go get a job? How ridiculous! We need a change in priorities to make sure that the elderly get proper funding. This isn’t welfare, this is something they’ve earned by working 40-50 years of their lives.

3) We need to improve both public and private school education. Public schools must be safe and provide quality education – in every school, not just in the well-to-do neighborhoods. Private schools have also been in trouble because the government places more and more regulations that cost them money without funding these. The result is that most yeshivas and many other private schools are constantly struggling to find some source of funding, always afraid they may need to shut down. After-school voucher funding needs to be restored. Tax breaks for education need to be offered. At least some of the secular education in private schools, like math and English, as well as busing should be paid for by the government.

What do you think of your opponents and why should people vote for you over them?

Each of them is different, but the one thing that separates myself from all of them is my experience as a businessman and job creator. In this economy, it is absolutely invaluable to know what it takes to keep your business afloat. You need to know this not from some “creative theories,” but from real-world experience.

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.

Who has endorsed your candidacy?

I’m very proud to have the endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. The reason I’m in politics is because of him. In 1993, I saw him on the street in Borough Park as he was giving a speech. He pointed to Dov Hikind’s office and said that anyone who wants to volunteer should sign up there, so I joined his campaign. Everyone around me said that all politicians are liars and frauds, that Rudy won’t make the City any better, but when he became Mayor, the squeegee men were gone within a month, Times Square became a place where one could take their kids again, crime collapsed, the economy improved, and rather than losing 300,000 people as New York did under David Dinkins, Rudy’s New York began rapidly gaining population because it was once again a great place to live in. After so many years of mismanagement by liberals, it was “morning in New York” again.

I’m also proud to have the support of my good friend Marty Golden, as well as Congressman Michael Grimm and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. Privately, many moderate, centrist Democrats are supportive of my candidacy as well, though it’s not always possible for them to announce it, but I’m grateful for the support they are providing.

As we get closer to the election, we will be rolling out support from many rabbonim. In my Senate race in March 2012, I had the support of almost 100 rabbis.

Rabbi Finkelstein wrote that the town of “Storobin” in Belarus means just that – “100 rabbis” in Russian.

Yes, that is my understanding too. There was a large yeshiva south of Minsk in Belarus that produced many rabbis, so the place became known as “100 rabbis” or Sto (hundred) Ravin (rabbis) in Russian. Then the name got changed over the generations and became Storobin.

What are your chances of winning this race? Can a Republican win in Brooklyn?

I have already won as a Republican in Brooklyn. With the exception of a few blocks, this Council district is almost completely inside my old Senate district. In the March 2012 elections, I got about 70% of the vote in the areas that overlapped that Senate district and this Council district. The Council district is smaller, but this was my stronghold, this is where we performed best.

This district is the single most Republican-voting district in New York. No other Council, Assembly, State Senate or Congressional district has such a strong record of voting Republican. I think most people would agree that being a Republican is an advantage, not a disadvantage in this district.

Can a Republican deliver for his district?

When Marty Golden was a Republican Councilman, he was #1 in funding for his district. His Democrat replacement in the same district is Vinny Gentile, who’s second-to-last. That tells you something.

The New York City Council is really not split along the party lines the way some other legislatures are. The Democrats are highly divided into multiple blocs, and the moderate Democrats desperately need to align themselves with the GOP to prevent liberal extremists from taking over the Council leadership, which gives the Republicans a great deal of leverage. Without Republicans, the moderate Democrats are outnumbered by the extremist Democrats.

Marty Golden delivered as a Councilman, and so will I.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. David Storobin has a great track record of his accomplishments for the Jewish Community, the Frum Community in particular. He does what he says he’ll do and that’s important. He deserves our vote.