By Charles F. Otey, Esq.
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Even before he was chastised and fined following repeated instances of sexual harassment by the State Assembly, Vito Lopez was preparing to give up his leadership of the Kings County Democratic Party.
As leader, Assemblyman Lopez had a gruff, in-your-face style slightly reminiscent of the days of legendary Meade Esposito – but “The Boss,” who had some legal issues, was never accused of any kind of harassment or sexual improprieties.
Weeks ago word went around Court Street that former NYS Assemblyman Frank Seddio, who also served a period as Kings co-surrogate judge, would likely take over the powerful Kings party chairmanship.
Other names came up, including 48th A.D. Leader Jo Anne Simon. But attorney Simon is a reformer and unlikely to overcome Seddio’s early lead among the 40 or so Kings Democratic district leaders. A stronger possibility may be long-time Bensonhurst District Leader Joe Bova, who has allies all over the borough and has been aligned – since their reformer anti-Vietnam War days in 1968 – with respected veteran Assemblyman Peter Abbate, who is about to be re-elected to his 12th term.
But, most observers would agree that hardly anyone on the horizon has the “fire in the belly” energy of Seddio, dignified, charming and judicial in demeanor, yet a guy who moves with the dazzling nonstop style of the Energizer Bunny!
Meanwhile, we would note that this Frank Seddio is the same above-mentioned lawyer who was recently elected as BBA secretary, a post he would probably relinquish should he succeed Lopez.
By the way, it’s worth mentioning that potential county leader Seddio is affiliated with the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, the same organization that acquired fame and political fortune as Esposito’s home base.
Seems that political clubhouses aren’t dead, as some scribes would tell you. Some of them are alive and quite well. And the elimination of many local clubhouses has served mainly to deprive the ordinary citizen a chance to get to know her/his party and public official leaders, adding to the distance between the electorate and those who promise to serve them!