Celebrating the Brooklyn machine’s increasingly tenuous hold – New York Daily News

In New York City, any day that the local Democratic Party machine loses is a good day. And while the bosses still are holding tight in the Bronx and Queens, the control of County (as they call it) in Brooklyn is hopefully on the ropes after some well-deserved primary defeats.

Edu Hermelyn — the husband of the county chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn — lost his post as district leader, meaning he’s no longer one of the 42 officials who rule the party apparatus. We are not alone in thinking it odd that the married couple claims to live in different Assembly districts.

All told, there is (don’t ask why) a female and a male leader from each of Brooklyn 21 Assembly districts. But as we pointed out, this year, politicians produced redistricting maps that antidemocratically manufactured two new county positions out of just four (count ‘em, four) voters living on a houseboat in Red Hook in an otherwise Manhattan-Staten Island district. Though the Assembly maps were ruled unconstitutional by the courts, they’ve been left in place for now. So Lenny and Mariya Markh, a married couple who do share an address in Sheepshead Bay, many districts away from the houseboat, are in theory the 43rd and 44th district leaders and allied with Bichotte Hermelyn as she struggles to retain a majority.

Confusing? Yes. It’s supposed to be that way, as it helps the boss and her pals stay in power. Not only is there a battle for control of the 42 district leaders (or 44 if the illegitimate, unconstitutional Markh seats are included), but the regulars and the reformers are fighting over the county committee, numbering in the thousands, where the biggest delegation consists of vacancies and whoever has the power to fill those empty seats determines control.

We root for the reformers, who want to serve the voters and democracy, not incumbents. Should they prevail, they may, like previous reformers, simply become the new regulars. But for now, Brooklynites should pull for them to beat the current boss.

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