Some of the Russian immigrants are expressing concerns that the increasingly burdensome regulation and micro-management faced by businesses from the city and federal officials is becoming reminiscent of the Soviet era in which they fled.
"We decided we had to support this club," said Fridman, a former Soviet Army officer who came to the United States in 1992. "They are very close to our political and business vision."The Democratic state senator from across the way in Brooklyn is trying to convince them it's all in their heads, however.
In the wake of the national GOP's big wins this year, when the party took back control of the House, Republicans everywhere are more confident that their bedrock message of smaller government and lower taxes will resonate with American voters.
Fridman said that the Democrats "are going in an absolutely different direction," focusing on "income redistribution" and rich-versus-poor "class war."
"It's too socialistic," said Fridman, head of the non-profit Staten Island Community Center and president of Citizens Magazine, a public affairs publication. "It's very painful for us to see."
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) said she understands the Russian aversion to anything that looks like big government, but thinks the criticism of the Democratic Party is off-base.Of course! State Senator Savino's absolutely right! I mean, under communism you had the government trying to control every aspect of your day-to-day life such as whether or not you could travel or worship freely and ration provisions such as meat, diary products or vegetables. Democrats simply want to warm up by dictating to us what kind of light bulbs we must use, what kind of car we must drive, whether or not McDonalds can sell Happy Meals and mandate that every American purchase health insurance. Once Americans cede control of those seemingly mundane things to an ever-expanding government, then they can step up to the old Soviet style controls on the economy or freedom of expression.
"You can't ignore the fact that the Russian population here came of age during the Soviet era," said Ms. Savino, who counts many Russians among her Brooklyn constituents.
"They have different thoughts on what communism and socialism mean. They are a little more sensitive to it.
"But, that being said," she added, "you can't compare the policies of the Democratic Party with communism. It's absurd."
Kind of interesting that another ethnic group in another American metropolitan area tends to be solidly conservative- the Cubans down in Miami. Between the Russians and the Cubans, it's almost like they know firsthand something about the dire consequences of big government that the rest of us don't.
[Hat Tip: Pundit Press; Lonely Conservative]