The race to succeed Domenic Recchia in the City Council is turning nasty, with one candidate accusing another of being “bought and paid for” by real estate tycoons bent on building up Coney Island for their own gain.
John Lisyanskiy, a City Council aide, charged that fellow Democrat Mark Treyger is going to become a puppet of ruthless developers.
Treyger, a New Utrecht High School civics teacher, shot back that his rival’s attacks on him are “laughable.”
The war of words in the race comes five weeks before the democratic primary, when voters in the district will decide which candidate will be the party’s choice to run for the seat in the 47th council district in the general election in November. Recchia (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst), who has been in the council since 2001, is term-limited. He has already announced plans to run for congress in 2014.
“Real estate tycoons have had their greedy eyes set on Coney Island for decades," Lisanskiy said. "Seaside residents are in constant danger of being uprooted by developers who would love nothing more than to sweep away communities to make room for swanky developments,”
Lisyanskiy spoke out after Treyger was endorsed by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), a real estate lobbying group.
Lisyanskiy also took a shot at Treyger for moving out of and then back into the council district. “My opponent, Mark Treyger, understands pricey real estate, having purchased just last year an expensive home in Bergen Beach, which is far outside of our district. Seeing the chance for political gain, he then decides to move back into our neighborhoods and campaign for our very important City Council seat,” he said.
“This embrace of political expediency and opportunism should make everyone question Treyger’s loyalty to our community, and it is not surprising that REBNY’s political action committee endorsed a man who exhibits this kind of behavior. Now that he is bought and paid for, he will surely become a yes-man puppet for ruthless real estate interests,” Lisyanskiy said.
Treyger hit back. "John Lisyanskiy, a long time City Hall staffer, attacking me for receiving an endorsement is laughable,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“What is his opinion of my endorsement by the United Federation of Teachers? Or by TWU Local 100? Or by the Small Business Coalition? Or my recent endorsement by the NY League of Conservation Voters? I question John’s sincerity, since I doubt he’d hold these opinions if he received this endorsement,” Treyger said.
"I am willing to put my longtime record in this district - where I was born, raised, and live, up against any other candidate in this race. Whether restoring the B64 to Bensonhurst and Coney Island, making Lafayette High School safer, organizing tenants, or fighting against a dangerous garbage station – one of many recklessly sited garbage stations throughout the city, my commitment to our neighbors and neighborhoods is heartfelt and sincere," Treyger said.
Lisyanskiy and Treyger are just two of the candidates running in the primary. Todd Dobrin, a community activist, and Pastor Connis Mobley, a religious leader in Coney Island, are also seeking the Democratic nomination. The winner of the primary will face Republican Andy Sullivan in the general election.
The clash with Treyger isn’t the first time Lisyanskiy has had harsh words for a rival. The Brooklyn Courier reported that Lisyanskiy called Dobrin “an empty suit” at a political forum in February.