Friday, July 12, 2013

11th Council Debate at Lehman College a Sham

  It may be hard to decide just what was the reason that I call last night's 11th Council debate held by  Lehman College & The Bronx Journal Radio moderated by Michael Serrano a sham. Was it that candidate Cliff Stanton during the moderator question and answer period always was given the favorable position by moderator Serrano of answering last while his two opponents rotated as first and second? Was it that when called on it Mr. Serrano's answer was that as moderator he could? Was it that when the audience question and answer period began more than one person called on was wearing a Stanton for council t-shirt, and most of the other questions came from more Stanton supporters? Was it that of the 60 people in the audience no more than a dozen were actually impartial? Was it that the once highly respected Riverdale Press tried to assassinate the character of Mr. Andrew Cohen one of candidate Stanton's opponents? Or was it that the leader of the group of hired mercenaries who collected signatures for candidate Stanton, has been the only endorsement of candidate Stanton, listed as being on the Stanton payroll, and also wearing a Stanton for council t-shirt got to ask the last question? You decide. I will also say that the Cohen side did get to have one question get in, but that was because the person who asked the question was not sitting next to anyone and looked like an impartial member of the audience.

  The debate started with moderator Michael Serrano saying that politics is not at the top of every ones list then apologizing for the poor turnout. He added "Outside of Riverdale people do not know that there is an election", and went on for a few more minutes until he introduced the candidates. Each of the three candidates Andrew Cohen, Cheryl Keeling, and Cliff Stanton gave opening statements. Cohen highlighted his community and judicial experience adding his endorsements by almost every elected official and union. Keeling highlighted her business experience and her education background. Stanton highlighted his experience as a parent leader, as a chief of staff to a city councilman (however giving no name), successful businessman, and of organizing education and community options.

  Questions geared more to the area where the debate was held were asked of the candidates by the moderator. They included Stop and Frisk, Oval Park, public and charter schools, City Council lulu's, and state testing, As for the answers they generally were the same, but going last on every question gave candidate Stanton an advantage to hear his opponents answers then give his. On Stop and Frisk all agreed that something had to be done, but Stanton added that he was stopped by a police car on his way home and ticketed for talking on a cell phone that he said he was not. On Oval Park all agreed that more trash cans were needed, but Stanton plugged a local park group just set up (apparently for him). On public and charter schools candidate Cohen said that he was against co-location of charter schools in public school buildings, and that they must be responsible to the community. Keeling said that charter schools generally come into areas where the public schools are not doing well. Stanton said that charter schools are public schools, and touted the charter school he said he helped organize. On lulu's Keeling said that council members really work only 17 and 1/2 hours a week, and if she had to work more as a committee chair that she wanted the lulu that went with it. Cohen said that he would not have a lulu held over his head by the speaker, and that he would be a full time councilman. Stanton spoke of the corruption in the council and indictments of politicians, and that he can be trusted. On state testing issue there were three different answers. Cohen said that it was the mayors fault, Keeling spoke of the private school she worked in, and Stanton spoke of the charter school that he helped create giving options to parents. 

  A short intermission was then taken. This was where I asked the moderator why he always asked either candidate Cohen or Keeling to answer first while letting candidate Stanton answer last to every of his questions. Mr. Serrano the moderator told me that was the way he did it, and before the audience Q&A said that he was asked why candidate Stanton always went last stating "Because he can as the moderator".  

  I am not going into the question and answer period by the audience, because I believe other than one or possibly two questions, all the rest were asked by candidate Stanton supporters  with the exception of one by candidate Cohen supporters. No one wearing a candidates t-shirt should have been allowed to ask a question, and it was shameful of the so called Pulitzer prize winning Riverdale Press to try to assassinate the character of candidate Andrew Cohen because that newspaper claims three local elected officials (who support candidate Cohen) have shut them out due to their reporting. I then asked the moderator to let another newspaper question the candidates since he let the Stanton leaning paper ask a question. I asked all three candidates if they would send their child to a school that had no auditorium, lunchroom, gym, music or art rooms, and was going to teach children in an area that use to be a garage. Candidates Keeling and Cohen said no, while candidate Stanton said that the question was aimed at him because that was what the charter school he had helped set up had turned into. By the way candidate Stanton said that he had not sent his child to the charter school he helped setup to give parents other options. No Mr. Stanton if you knew your public schools I could be describing a few places in School District 10, and many more places city wide where children have to learn where those conditions have existed in the past and still do today or are even worse.
 When the second person wearing a Stanton t-shirt asked a question, candidate Andrew Cohen was right to say "Should someone on Mr. Stanton's payroll be asking me a question, but I will answer it anyway". Afterwards even candidate Cheryl Keeling commented on what went on during this so called debate, but asked that I not print what she had said. As you will see in the 2nd photo below the head of the hired mercenary group (who will be called Mr. Z) which candidate Stanton has on his payroll also attacked the credibility of Councilman Oliver Koppell (seated in the audience) whom Mr. Z has said he helped elect in 2005 & 2009.

Moderator Michael Serrano standing in front of candidates Andrew Cohen, Cheryl Keeling, and Cliff Stanton as he partially blocks candidate Andrew Cohen.


Left - The first of many Stanton supporters who were given the chance to question the candidates. notice the Stanton for council t-shirt.
Right - Mr. Z also in a Stanton t-shirt and on the Stanton payroll who asked candidate Cohen a question then went on to attack Councilman Koppell who seems to be ignoring the speaker. 

I expect several comments especially by Mr. Z, and warn that any improper comments or any comments that attack another candidate or myself will not be published.



  1. Pretty accurate accounting of what went on.

  2. Yes, you are right Mr Press, this debated was a shame, the moderator was mean and unfair with every candidate, and I will said that, because every time he will make a different question to every candidate, and not just let them answer like it was suppose to be. Now I'm deeply upset, for your habit to call mercenaries to the people to work in the Stanton campaign. This is hard working people to need a job. If expecting to be paid made anyone a mercenary, we all are mercenaries, including yourself. If anyone call them mercenaries, you should no repeat this offensive name, because the only thing to you're doing is being insulting with all the working class. Since when expecting to be paid for doing a good job make anyone a mercenary?

    1. As for the Hired Mercenary connection, that is what the leader wanted to be known as something similar to the old "A-TEAM" T.V. show. He would help those in need of getting signatures, but of course for a price hence the name "Hired Mercenaries".
      There are people who volunteer to collect signatures for candidates for any one of many reasons, but then there are candidates who must pay to have people collect signatures for them since they can not get people to volunteer.
      This name Hired Mercenary has been around politics for a long time, and it also refers to those who challenge or defend petitions that are hired by candidates or their lawyers.

  3. Press just revealed himself to be the HACK that he is. He whines about the unfair treatment of his candidate Mr. Cohen in a debate, while the political machine that props him up uses taxpayer $$ to "volunteer" for his campaign.

  4. What debate? Outside of the 100 emails and texts I received from rivieccio and northwest bronx democrats I saw NO PROMOTION on this

  5. Robert press a hack?

    He's a community board 8 member who represents riverdale (not just the bronx) the best way he can

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. As a Community Board 8 member I represent the entire Community Board 8 area not just Riverdale.
      Also Press begins with a capital P, Riverdale a capital R, and Bronx with a capital B.

  6. What's a volunteer?

  7. Anthony Rivieccio NWB DemocratsJuly 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Well at least someone represents our NWB Dems promotional efforts lol

    In short I won't respond to the Mr Z comments on top as I believe it already shows the bias Mr Press has.

    But I will agree, it was badly managed and promoted and I think it hurt ALL the candidates

    1. No Mr. Z it hurt your candidate most.
      Especially when you attacked Council Koppell after being unable to rattle Andrew Cohen.
      Didn't you support Koppell in 2005 and again in 2009 so what happened?

  8. anthony rivieccioJuly 16, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Mr Press

    Nothing has happened!

    In truth if we could we would seriously consider voting for Mr Koppell AGAIN

    Which is the reason we support Mr Stanton

    We believe he is the only Riverdale rep (like mr koppell) that will truly try to represent Bedford park/Norwood interests'
    As well as yours (Riverdale)

    Mr Koppell, god bless him has made myself and all others in Norwood-ites proud (and can't wait for the WW1 monument to be finished-just one wonderful allocation from him requested by NWB Dems & the community)

    Do you think your candidate Mr Cohen can represent our community. I know he will represent Your (Riverdale) community well!

    1. And just when was it that you started this so called NWB, last year when your last attempt failed. Also didn't you announce that you quit politics last year?
      So when was the monument allocation requested during which one of your political dream clubs.
      Read my column 100 PERCENT which comes out Thursday to see my prediction on the 11th council race. Thanks to Mr. Z he has made it easy to handicap this race as he has added so much dead weight to his candidate.
      Good move to have one of Stantons petitioners challenge Ms. Keeling and Mr. Francisco Spies the fourth person to file in this race.
      But Mr. Z didn't I see the name of your mentor Richard Soto, on Mr. Spies petition. Please explain how you and Soto had two candidates in one council race?

  9. anthony rivieccioJuly 16, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Mr Press

    I believe that Mr Spies is represented by The Committee of 100 Dems & your Chairman Mr Ricky Martinez, of which you were a member -until a couple of weeks ago, correct? We represent cliff Stanton!

    1. The name Committee of 100 Democrats was removed from my column 100 PERCENT which appears in the Bronx News and Parkchester News three weeks ago.
      You are correct that at the Committee of 100 Democrats Free Community Barbecue August 24 on East 204th Street I will announce my full retirement from the C100D.
      However I do not know what you are talking about when it comes to Mr. Spies. He is one of many council candidates running with other candidates for Mayor, Bronx BP, and Judge on a slate with the name Richard Soto on it. The name Richard Soto is on petitions that you collected signatures for in this upcoming Democratic Primary..
      So I ask you Mr. Rivieccio ----If you represent Mr. Stanton?
      What is the connection between you, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Spiers, and Mr. Soto?

  10. If it wasn't for that email blast I got from anthony I would not have made it. He at least got 50 people their-unlike lehman who did no marketing or advertising of the event

    And Mr Press, don't you think your being to harsh! Northwest Bronx Dems has represented Norwood for 10 years and just got our new State Assemblyman elected, Mark Gjonaj in 2012

    1. The Norwood News said only 40 people showed up, so how could someone get 50 people there?
      Who is not telling the truth The Norwood News or you?

      You are be right in saying Democrats from the Northwest Bronx have been representing Norwood for over 10 years, but not the group Mr. Z formed in 2012.
      Mr. Z was on the ballot in the 78th Assembly District in 2012.
      Mr. Z also endorsed Rivera in 2012.

  11. christian rivera norwoodJuly 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    According to your blog mr press we endorsed "both mr martinez and mr rivera" in 2012

    According to mr koppells office, northwest bronx democrats supported and endorsed him in 2009

    According to the committee of 100 democrats, nwb dems supported and endorsed mr martinez and mr rivera when they were on the same "joint ballot " in 2010

    As a matter of fact, there is a plaque in councilman's koppells office while I was there inquiring that has both clubs' name on them- I think from 2008

    So why are you being so wrong and harsh on our club?

    1. Mr. Christan Rivera (if that is your name) when did you join up with Rivieccio, and how much has he paid you to get signatures?
      How do you support both candidates in a race (2012)?
      You think from this club has been around since 2008, what about the ten years LVH says? That would make it 2004.
      I was there you were not, and Rivieccio has his own story.
      Does he also have you believing the world is still flat?
      Enough posts by the world according to Anthony Rivieccio.

  12. christian riveraJuly 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I joined up with anthony this year. So while your right I do not know the past I know today, nwb democrats has the support of there elected officals: councilman koppell, assemblyman rivera and gjonaj and new state sen ruth thompson,52746?content_source=&category_id=4&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=&town_id=

  13. You still have not said how was paid to get the signatures.
    Was it 75cents or $1.00 a signature as I know some people were paid more than others?

  14. christian riveraJuly 19, 2013 at 5:56 PM

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