The mailings many of us Bronxites living in the new 13th Congressional District received yesterday would appear to most voters that they were from Adriano Espaillat (and that’s the way they appeared to me initially). But when you look at the fine print you see that they’re the work of the Latino Empowerment PAC, a Super PAC that by law should have no connection with Espaillat, a state senator seeking to unseat Congressman Charles Rangel in a newly drawn district that includes a large chunk of the northwest Bronx. There’s no evidence that there is a connection with Espaillat, and the closer you look at them the more disappointed the candidate is likely to be that they were sent out with his name and face on them.
As for the errors, let’s begin with the smallest and work our way up.
I asked my 8-year-old daughter what was wrong with the mailer pictured below, and she explained it by simply reading it out loud, “The Bronx Needs It Is Own Voice in Congress.” (She chose to bring the fliers to school to share the errors with her class this morning.)
OK, getting past the grammatical error, the content implies that the Bronx does not have a voice in Congress. Congressmen Jose Serrano and Eliot Engel will probably be rather irritated to read this.
Which brings us to the totally mistaken claim (below) that Senator Espaillat is “from the Bronx.” He is from Manhattan as are all five candidates running. And while he has been supported by Bronx leaders such as former borough president Fernando Ferrer, who is pictured on the flier, as well as State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Councilman Oliver Koppell— the most prominent photo here is of Manhattan Democrat Mark Levine.
Oh, speaking of that apostrophe … We now see where they stole it from …
The above mailer with the missing apostrophe and attacking incumbent Rangel is also the work of the Latino Empowerment PAC. They’re listed on web sites tracking campaign financing with Jeffrey Garcia as the Treasurer. A Huffington Post report on recent Super PAC registrations indicates that Garcia and the PAC are from Coral Gables, Florida. We’ll let you know if we learn anything else about this. (And let us know if you do.) And don’t forget that the primary election is next Tuesday, June 26.
Update: According to this Federal Election Commission filing, the chairman of the Latino Empowerment PAC is Fransisco Cerezo (the unusual spelling of the first name — with an “s” rather than a “c” — is how it’s written on the form). Thanks to journalist David Lewis for leading me to this.