Russian immigrants, in New York of all places, are siding with Republicans in the political arena, saying Democratic values remind them of the socialist system they left behind.
Many Russian immigrants to the "red borough" of Staten Island are flocking to the Republican Party, saying that the national Democrats' "socialistic" policies remind them too much of the top-down oligarchy they fled in their native land.
With many of the borough's Russian arrivees already owning businesses and active in civic organizations, their muscle could help the Island GOP solidify electoral gains made this year, when the party took back congressional and Assembly seats.
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."
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."