Friday, September 24, 2010

Bronx County Judicial Convention Over, Now Let's Elect a Governor.

   Stanley Schlein ran the Judicial convention last night, that nominated current Acting Judge Edgar G. Walker for 12th Judicial District judge. The convention went off with only a slight bump as Civil Court Judge Fernando Tapia was also nominated from the floor. After a vote of the delegates seated at the convention, Judge Walker was voted as the choice by a 67 to 4 majority. 
   Judge Walker then thanked those who voted for him, along with his good friends and supporters who advocated for his successful nomination to the 12th Judicial District. The meeting then adjourned.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bronx County Committee Meeting Update

   As we told you in yesterday's post Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie was re-elected Bronx Democratic County Leader, and no one was thrown in front of the bus as the Bronx was in the house. While Chairman Heastie got the vote of all in attendance, three district leaders and every Bronx elected official (related or not) named Rivera did not attend the meeting. 
   Assemblyman and County Committee Chairman Jeffrey Dinowitz opened the meeting by saying " This meeting will be a lot calmer than 2 years age", he also added that there will be lights and a microphone this time. Dinowitz was re-elected County Committee Chairman, and we are not going to bore you as to who nominated who or seconded the nominations as the script went on.
   The only real surprise of the night came when Joel Rivera (not the councilman) was elected as a Vice-President of the party. This was probably in return for him not running against recently re-elected Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson, as he had done in the special election. 
   Chairman Heastie thanked everyone for re-electing him as county leader, said that he has tried to listen to everyone, mentioned the unity now happening in the Bronx, giving an example of the defeat of the failed Kingsbridge Armory project in the City Council, and added a pledge to continue to work for the Bronx.
   Don't forget tonight is the Judicial convention, which I have been told should be quick and unevetful.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carl Heastie Re-elected Bronx County Leader

   Yes we know that the Bronx Democratic County Committee meeting is not for several hours, but we wanted to be the first with the news. As Current Bronx Democratic County Leader Carl Heastie told us last week there should be no reason as to why he is not going to be re-elected Bronx Democratic County Leader. Heastie added to the number of district leaders that are on his side this election over two years ago, so we will project that Assemblyman Carl Heastie has been re-elected Bronx Democratic County Leader.
   We will give you the rest of the results tomorrow just in case anyone was thrown in front of the bus, for the good of the party. 
   Don't forget tomorrow night is the Judicial convention, but we are not looking for the "Thriller at the Villa" as was the case last convention. We think this will be one boring uneventful Judicial convention.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We Just Got These in

     New York State has not been well served by its government.  Soaring taxes, failing services, fleeing jobs, and a crumbling infrastructure have been ignored as the professional politicians play their power games in Albany.  The voters deserve to hear candidates for office debate about how they will address these challenges.  I challenge my opponent, Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, to debate, and I request that the media provide appropriate forums.    

Our answers to both #1 and #2
As to #1 we say that Haile Rivera should hang it up and ride into the sunset now, or how about starting your campaign for the 33rd State Senate 2012 now. What a race Rivera versus Rivera, both with no relation to each other or the other Rivera's in office. 
As to the Majority Leader position, it will be consolidated with the Conference Leader position (a position that kept the power in the State Senate, while affording Pedro Espada Jr. a title) like before the June 2009 senate coup. Halie, I would also stop the Obama talk as he is going to have a hard fight to get re-elected if the Republican Party can come up with a decent candidate.

As to #2 first let me say that Frank Vernuccio is running for the 34th State Senate on the Republican and Conservative lines against incumbent State Senator Jeff Klein the ranking Deputy Majority Leader who has the Democratic line.

As to Mr. Vernuccio's statement I believe that he has left a lot out. However if he has read my column 100PERCENT and the newspapers the column is carried in he would have seen the tremendous job that Senator Jeff Klein is doing in these tough times, and revenues that he has brought to the 34th State Senate district. The statement is a very general one that will apply to any race for any office, without mentioning specific local issues. I am sure that there will be debates set up for the candidates, but I as you have just seen I am biased for the re-election of Senator Klein so I can not do one.   
What's your opinion?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just How Did Pedro Espada Jr. Lose?
   How did a man who in 2008 won the 33rd State Senate District 60 percent to 40 percent lose in 2010, 62 percent to 33 percent? That is the question Pedro Espada Jr. wants to know the answer to. 
   In 2008 Pedro Espada Jr. was challenging then 33rd State Senator Efrain Gonzalez Jr. who was under indictment from the federal government. Still many elected officials backed Gonzalez over Espada, but when primary day 2008 was over Espada won with 4,988 votes to 3,350 for Gonzalez or 60-40 percent as the voters said no to Gonzalez and yes to Espada.
   Senator Pedro Espada Jr. then went to Albany, and saw an opportunity in an almost deadlocked legislative body. Governor Elliot Spitzer had resigned, and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson (the tie breaker in the State Senate) was now Governor Paterson leaving no tie breaker in the State Senate. Democrats had a slim two vote majority in the State Senate for the first time in many years, and Pedro Espada Jr. was going to take full advantage of it. After failing at first to get power, a pow wow was called between Espada and three other democratic Hispanic state senators. Espada along with Senators Ruben Diaz Sr. (Bronx), Carl Kruger (Brooklyn), and Hiram Monserrate (Queens) formed the "Four Amigos". Espada and Monserrate even went so far as to overthrow the democratic majority in the now famous "Senate Coup of June 2009" by joining with the Republicans in the State Senate. Senator Monserrate however came right back to the democratic side making it a stalemate at 31 to 31 as Espada would not budge. Espada finally came back to the Democratic side when he was given the title of Majority Leader, while Senator John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) was made the Senate Conference Chairman (the real leader of the State Senate). Governor Paterson after some court challenges appointed a new Lieutenant Governor, and everything got back to what could be called normal in Albany. 
   A short time later Senator Monserrate was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, and as a result of the  conviction was quickly expelled from State Senate by a majority of his colleagues. Now there were only three amigos left. 
   A few months before Primary Day 2010 New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo raided the Soundview Health Center run by Pedro Espada Jr., carting away boxes of what was called evidence while accusing Espada of looting the Soundview Health Center of 14 million dollars. Cuomo also filed a civil suit against Espada. This happened shortly before petition time where it looked like Pedro Espada Jr. would have four challengers for his seat, almost a guarantee that he would be re-elected. When the petition deadline passed only three people handed in petitions to challenge Espada. During the petition challenge process another candidate was knocked off the ballot leaving only two challengers to face Espada in the primary. Two debates were scheduled with Espada failing to show for either to defend his record as State Senator. The endorsements for one of his challengers kept coming in from elected officials and unions so great that right after Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. had endorsed Mr. Gustavo Rivera the other challenger Mr. Dan Padernacht decided to end his campaign and throw his support behind Mr. Rivera "To defeat Pedro Espada Jr. for the good of the Democratic Party". 
   By now BP Diaz was hacking Pedro Espada Jr. in the media even though his father Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. was endorsing Espada. This was not the first time that the Diaz's had endorsed different candidates in the same race, and I was told it may not be the last time either. As Primary Day approached Espada challenger  Gustavo Rivera had a unified campaign of elected officials, union support, and others who's main goal was to see that Pedro Espada Jr. was to be defeated on Primary Day 2010. 
   Espada's ground troops were no match for Gustavo Rivera's army of supporters as Rivera blew away Espada 62 percent to 33 percent, with 5 percent of the district vote going to Mr. Dan Padernacht who was supporting Gustavo Rivera the eventual winner. In all the vote in the 33rd State Senate District was 6,870 for Gustavo Rivera, 3607 for Pedro Espada Jr., and 567 for Dan Padernacht. 2,692 more people voted in 2010 that did in 2008, for an increase of voter participation of 24 percent. Mr. Rivera received 3,520 more votes (or more than twice as much) in 2010 than Espada's opponent did in 2008. Pedro Espada Jr. received 1,381 (28 percent) less votes  in 2010 than he did in 2008. 
   We think each and everything we mentioned contributed to Espada's lose, but it could be that Pedro Espada Jr. underestimated the voter above Kingsbridge Road. We say that because it was the Attorney General race of 2010 that brought out more voters above Kingsbridge Road, and most of those voters as we have seen did not vote for Pedro Espada Jr. Senator Diaz told me on election night as the votes started to come in, that there seemed to be an avalanche of votes against Espada in the northern part of the district that Espada was not going to be able to make up. Senator Diazleaving Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. as the "Lone Amigo" in the New York State Senate