Saturday, August 21, 2010

Espada and Sampson give $100,00.00 to aid restoration of Love Gospel Assembly

   Today the spiritual leaders of the recently fire ravaged Love Gospel Assembly (of the Grand Concourse) held a "Operation Restoration" fundraiser at the Concert Hall in Lehman College. Over 500 people came from all over the Bronx to rejoiced that the Love Gospel Assembly would rebuild. In addition to the singing, sermons, testimonials of how Love Gospel helped individuals, there were also the politicians. 
   Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. gave such a rousing speech in favor of the good work done by Love Gospel that you thought he was following in his father's footsteps. BP Diaz also pledged one thousand dollars to the restoration effort.
   Next up was Councilman (and pastor) Fernando Cabrera, who really gave a sermon. Cabrera ended with saying that we stand with you Bishop Bailey, and the Love Gospel Assembly congregation. he added "The lord is about to position you to go to the next level, and you are not just a church, but a movement in the Bronx. Cabrera then also pledged one thousand dollars to the restoration effort.
  Also in the audience were Deputy Bronx Borough President Greene, Assemblywoman Gibson, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and 33rd State Senate candidate J. Gustavo Rivera. After some songs and more testimonials State Senator Pedro Espada (33rd district) with his wife Connie, and State Senate Conference Leader John Sampson arrived.
   Senator Sampson said that god puts obstacles in our way, and this is only a test to see how you will rebuilds the Love Gospel Assembly. He added "one of our cornerstones is our beliefs in god, especially in these tough times". "Keep the faith". 
   Senator Espada then said that we don't believe in separation of church, and  that god is everywhere. Senators Espada and Sampson then presented Bishop Bailey with a check for one hundred thousand dollars for Operation Restoration. After thanking both senators Bishop Bailey showed the sketch of a new 7 story building to replace the old burned out one.
   Before Senator Espada left I asked him if he would appear on the Bronxtalk debate set up by Gary Axelbank, and Senator Espada told me that he saw no reason why he would not be there for the TV debate, but that he would have to talk to his chief of staff first about the debate.
   I also asked Espada's opponent to comment on the check that Senator Espada gave to Operation Restoration, and Mr. Gustavo Rivera commented that he hopes the check is for real, because the Love Gospel Assembly needs all the help it can get in its rebuilding effort.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Espada Commercial Slams Gustavo Rivera

   The first of two commercials made by the Pedro Espada Jr. camp is up an running, slamming challenger Gustavo Rivera as a puppet controlled by outsiders of the community who “want to take our power away from us” in the 33rd State Senate District.
  Also singled out for criticism are a handful of “outsiders”: 32BJ’s Mike Fishman (“sued for racketeering”), WFP Executive Director Dan Cantor (“under investigation by the FBI for voter fraud” ), Sen. Liz Krueger and Bill Samuels (“millionaire puppet masters who don’t care about our community”). 
  It should be noted the U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided to close its investigation without the filing of any charges against Dan Cantor or the WFP.
Just copy and paste the link below to view the 30 second commercial. 


33rd State Senate Debate on Bronxtalk

   We have been told that the Monday night August 30th Bronxtalk Show hosted by Gary Axelbank will feature a debate between the three candidates running for the 33rd State Senate seat. Invitations were sent out to all three candidates and it is expected that the debate will go on even if incumbent State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. does not appear. Espada is famous for his previous debate on Bronxtalk several years ago when he pulled a rubber hatchet from under his jacket, and replied that his opponent then (David Rosado) along with his supporters were trying to do a hatchet job on his reputation. 
   Bronxtalk has been on the air for over 15 years and is hosted by Gary Axelbank. A few weeks ago there was a debate between the two candidates for the 76th Assembly District, and the week before the show was given entirely to 86th Assemblyman Nelson Castro when his opponent 86th Assembly District Male District Leader Hector Ramirez did not show up. We figure that Mr. Axelbank will go on with the 33rd State Senate debate with or without Senator Espada. That would only give more time to Espada's opponents Mr. J. Gustavo Rivera and Mr. Dan Padernacht to argue why they should be elected to replace Senator Espada.
   That's Monday night August 30th at 9PM for the 33rd State Senate debate on Bronxtalk channel 67 on Cabelvision, and Bronxtalk is also available on Verizion Fios please check the program listings for the channel.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Does Anthony Perez Cassino Have a Conflict of Intrest on the Charter Revision Commission?

   With the Charter Revision Committee taking up the question of returning to two terms for all city elected officials, does one member of the commission have a conflict of interest?
   It appears that Charter Revision Commission member Anthony Perez Cassino will be voting on the term limit issue of returning to two terms instead of the current three terms that was changed by the City Council in 2009. The Charter Revision Committee will be meeting on Monday August 24th, and several members have said that they will bring up the question of not allowing those elected officials who may be eligible to run for a third term in 2017 to run for that third term as part of the ballot proposal.
   This would mean that current Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who did not reappoint Mr. Cassino to Community Board #8 would not be allowed to run for a third term, and be term limited out in 2017. This would also mean that Councilman Fernando Cabrera who did not reappoint Cassino ally Bradford Treabach would also not be allowed to run for a third term in 2017. This would also mean that Councilman Jimmy Vacca would not be able to run for a third term in 2013, as would all other council members that were elected in 2005 for the first term.
   Should this possible term limit reversal ballot proposal be passed by the voters, it could mean an almost clean sweep of the city council in 2013 except for those council members who started their first term in 2009. For the Bronx that would mean that only Councilman Fernando Cabrera who was first elected in 2009  could be the only Bronx council member to be eligible to run for re-election if no other member retires or is removed before 2013.

Jamaican Heritage and Culture Celebration in The Bronx

   On Tuesday, August 17, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the Jamaica Progressive League, Inc. commemorated the 48th Year of the Independence of Jamaica and the 123rd birthday anniversary of Marcus M. Garvey, Jamaica’s First National Hero. During the event, Diaz Jr. presented a proclamation to the president of the Jamaica Progressive League, Sadie Campbell.
   “I extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Jamaica Progressive League and its committed members for keeping alive the memory of Marcus Garvey and for highlighting Jamaican culture. Today we acknowledge the cultural and political contributions Jamaican-Americans have made to our great borough,” said Diaz Jr. 
       Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. presents proclamation to Ms.Sadie Campbell.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


   The New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold its last scheduled public hearing and meeting on Monday, August 23rd.  At that meeting, the Commission will receive public input on its work to date, and the Commission will vote on any remaining issues before it, including the adoption of a Final Report and ballot questions.  The hearing is open to the public and will be streamed live via webcast through the Commission’s website at
***Attached, for public consideration, are draft proposed amendments to the City Charter corresponding to the resolutions adopted by the Charter Revision Commission at its open meeting on August 11, 2010***        PLACE:   Baruch College, Newman Vertical Campus Conference Center
55 Lexington Avenue (enter at 24th Street & Lexington Ave)             
14th Floor, Room 14-220

·           DATE:     Monday, August 23, 2010 at 6:00 PM

·           DIRECTIONS:  Baruch College is accessible by public transportation:  Take the 6 train to the 23rd Street stop, or the N or R to the 23rd Street stop.  The following bus lines also stop near Baruch:  M1, M2, M3, M4, M32, M101 and M102. 
Anyone may sign-up to speak during the hearing segment of the evening. Individuals who wish to give testimony may begin signing-up one half-hour before the hearing. Written testimony is encouraged and can be submitted at the hearing or through the “Contact the Commission” link on the Commission’s website or by emailing the Commission at

Senator Diaz Brings Bronx Clergy to Endorse Senator Espada

   Down to just three amigos in the State Senate, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. came to the Church of the Mediator (located on W.231 Street) in Kingsbridge to endorse fellow State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. for re-election.
Bishop Rodriguez, Reverend Galentine, Reverend Hamilton, and Reverend Miller church leaders from all over the Bronx stood with hands up (see photo below) in support for Senator Pedro Espada to be victorious in his upcoming election. 
   Senator Diaz said that no senior center in the 33rd district was closed thanks to Senator Espada and himself, and that the community can not allow Senator Espada to be defeated. Being a Reverend himself, Diaz brought several religious leaders from the Bronx to show their support for Senator Espada. 
   Reverend Hamilton said "Despite the media attempt to disgrace Senator Espada and Senator Diaz, he has supported them in the past and will continue to support them now even more". 
   Reverend Galentine Said "Senator Espada's track record speaks for itself, and he is a man of honor and ethics".
   Bishop Rodriguez said " We will stand behind and with Senator Espada 100 Percent".
   Senator Espada thanked all who came to support him, and said "It is special to get the support of Senator Diaz". he added that outsiders from the district are trying to influence the election by supporting his opponents in the 33rd State Senate race. Espada spoke of his rent freeze bill, finding jobs at the now closed Stella Doro plant, redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory.   When we asked if Senator Espada if he would appeal the ruling of Bronx Supreme Court Judge Sewald keeping J. Gustavo Rivera on the ballot, Senator Espada said no he would not, and when asked about debates he said that he will debate his opponents on the street corner and on television.
 Senator Pedro Espada Jr. with Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and Bronx clergy members hold their hands up for an early victory celebration.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Poll by The New Roosevelt Initiative Shows Low Approval Rating for Espada

The results of the New Roosevelt Initiative’s August Viability survey in Senate District 33 Democratic primary demonstrate that Senator Pedro Espada has clearly been damaged by the myriad scandals that surround him and he enters his re-election campaign in an extremely vulnerable position. As will be expanded upon in greater detail below, the three typical indicators for incumbent vulnerability – favorable v. unfavorable, job approval v. disapproval and re-elect v. replace – are all net negatives for Senator Espada.
Ironically, Espada is in this situation despite the fact that he has the highest overall name recognition of any elected official tested, even surpassing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. 78% of the electorate knew and had an opinion of Espada, but more than half held an unfavorable rating of him and the vast majority of those held a strongly unfavorable rating. Two things to draw from this: First, when people know who Espada is, they usually have an unfavorable view of him, and second, unfortunately for Senator Espada, most people know who he is.
The survey was conducted from August 3rd through August 5th, 2010. Using bilingual (English/Spanish) callers, 400 Democrats registered to vote in the 33rd Senatorial District (and likely to vote in the September Democratic Primary) were randomly sampled. Respondents were further narrowed following a screener in the questionnaire on vote likelihood. The poll sample was matched to the 2008 statistics on turnout based on gender, age, Assembly District, and race, in order to ensure that the results reflect the likely composition of the 2010 primary electorate. The margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 4.8% at the 95% confidence level, while margins of error are greater for subgroups from the sample.
Despite his high name recognition, Senator Espada was given a strongly favorable rating by only 18% of respondents (with an additional 20% holding a somewhat favorable view), while 30% held a strongly UNfavorable view (with an additional 11% somewhat unfavorable). The difference between the strongly-held favorable sentiments indicates an intensity of anger at the incumbent that is not matched by his supporters. In contrast, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has a 66% favorable rating and a 7% unfavorable rating. Cuomo’s popularity is likely to help validate the charges that he brought against the Senator in two civil actions earlier in the year, further contributing to the Senator’s poor performance in this survey.
Notable breakdowns of Senator Espada’s favorable-unfavorable ratings indicate that:
  • Less than half of Latinos (48%) have a favorable view of the Senator, while almost a third (31%) of Latinos have an unfavorable view of Espada.
  • Barely a quarter (27%) of black and white voters hold a favorable view of the Senator (with only 9% strongly favorable), and a solid 50% holding unfavorable views
  • Espada’s faces negative sentiments all across the district, as his unfavorable ratings are merely equal to his favorable ratings in the southern part of the district, while in the northern part of the district he is faced with 60% of voters with an unfavorable opinion of him (compared to a only 22% with a favorable opinion)
Regardless of voters’ personal sentiments about Pedro Espada, their assessment of how successful he is at his job as State Senator is even worse. Only 34% approve of the job Senator Espada has done, while 42% disapprove (and 32% strongly disapprove). The same regional and ethnic divides mentioned above apply to this measure as well, and a remarkable 33% of Latinas and 28% of Latino men disapprove of his job performance.
Generally considered the most accurate measure of an incumbent’s prospect for re-election, Senator Espada’s most sobering statistic is the level of voters expressing a desire to replace him rather than re-elect him. A mere 26% say he should be re-elected, while a solid 47% want to see him replaced. Across every age group, gender, level of voting history, geographic region, and even race, there is a larger sentiment for replacing Espada over re-electing him, including 39% of Latinos who want to replace him vs. only 35% of Latinos who would re-elect him.  


SD 33 Open Matchup
Come September 14th, the voters of the 33rd Senate District have the opportunity to end an unfortunate two-year experience with a State Senator who has somehow managed to make Albany look even worse and who is under investigation by a half-dozen groups and individuals. This poll demonstrates the weaknesses of Senator Espada.
If the election were held today, the race would theoretically be a toss-up, although historically undecided voters tend to break against well-known incumbents. A month from now, if the media focuses more on the candidates and the campaign engages in far more direct voter contact, Gustavo Rivera should be in a solid position to defeat this unpopular incumbent. To make this a reality, New Roosevelt Initiative needs to engage in an effort to introduce him more fully to the voters and needs to engage quickly.
Yet, there are only five weeks left until the primary, and it is generally assumed that Pedro Espada will use any means available to him to fund his campaign and to deceive the voters of the 33rd Senate District. However, as this poll demonstrates, Espada is NOT as popular as he believes or as many outside observers may suggest, and the voters of this Senate District are have not been persuaded by his two years of self-promotion, nor are they particularly moved by his questionable claims of victimhood.
This was taken from the New Roosevelt Initiative report from Red Horse Strategies of Brooklyn dated August 10th 2010.

It must be noted that the New Roosevelt Initiative has endorsed J. Gustavo Rivera in the 33rd State Senate race.

Hector Ramirez Fundraiser Tonught

An invitation from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Dear Friend,

I'm writing to invite you to a reception honoring Hector Ramirez, a candidate for the New York State Assembly, this Monday, August 16th.
As you know, I had the privilege of serving in the State Assembly until I was elected Bronx Borough President last year. I know the hard work and dedication it takes to be a successful legislator, and I know Hector will be a great and vibrant leader in Albany.

I don't have to tell you that Albany desperately needs new and energetic leadership. As a small business owner, Hector understands our community's economy. Hector believes New York can and must work harder to create local jobs with living wages, and I couldn't agree more.
Hector will be a force for bringing real affordable housing to the Bronx, and I need his partnership in Albany to do the best job I can as Borough President.
So won't you please join me in support of Hector's campaign? I am hosting a reception for Hector on Monday, August 16th, from 7-9 PM, at Ibiza Lounge, 220 West 242nd Street, and I'd love to greet you personally.
This election couldn't be more important for the future of our borough, our city and our state. I hope I can count on your support.

Ruben Diaz Jr.
Bronx Borough President

You are cordially invited to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in supporting Hon. Hector Ramirez for the New York State Assembly

Monday, August 16, 2010

7pm - 9pm
Ibiza Lounge
220 West 242nd Street, Bronx, New York

Sponsorship Levels:

Sponsor - $2,500 Host - $1,000 Patron - $500 Friend - $100

Please make checks payable to Friends of Ramirez

To RSVP or for more information call 718-731-2009

or email

Political contributions are not tax deductible.

Individuals, PACs, LLCs and partnerships may contribute up to $7,600 per cycle ($3,800 for the primary election and $3,800 for the general election). Corporations may contribute up to a total of $5,000 aggregated political giving per year.

PS: Hector Ramirez candidacy has been supported by the Bronx Democratic County Committee, The Workings Family Party, Congressman Jose Serrano, Senator Ruben Díaz J, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Councilwoman Annabel Palma, and several Labor Unions. For more information visit www.hectorramirez