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Brooklyn Democratic Party boss delays transparency, ethics reforms

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Who's the boss: Brooklyn Democratic party chairman Frank Seddio.

Hundreds of local politicos voted at Wednesday’s Democratic County Committee meeting to weaken a rule that gives Brooklyn party boss Frank Seddio multiple votes on party matters, but Seddio pulled 450 votes out of his pocket to overrule reformers. The move proves he is running things more like a dictatorship than a Democracy, critics said.

“Obviously Frank will never agree to it. As long as one person holds the majority of the votes — a vast majority — those meetings will always be that scripted, Soviet b-------,” said Nick Rizzo, a county committee member from Williamsburg and one of dozens who disrupted the meeting after the vote.

About 1,500 Brooklynites make up the Kings County Democratic Committee, but many rank-and-file members do not attend meetings, instead giving their voting power to party leaders who often use it as they see fit.

Reformers pushed a package of five amendments Wednesday, including one that limited the number of so-called “proxy votes” party honchos can use, so that a single member cannot railroad a meeting. But when it came time for the “ayes” and “nays,” Seddio used a pocket full of proxies to put off reforms until at least January.

The package requires review, according to Seddio, who promised to create a panel to look at things in greater detail by the group’s January meeting.

“There was an issue before the county committee tonight regarding the amendments that were asked to be made,” he told the crowd. “And in that regard, what I intend to do is appoint a committee consisting of some of our active voices in this, as well as some members of the executive board, to evaluate all of these issues and to come back to us as soon as possible.”

But Rizzo, who is also a member of the executive board, doubts any reformers will actually make it onto Seddio’s panel.

“We’ll see if a single person who put these amendments forward gets on that committee,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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