Tag Archives: Adriano Espaillat

Super PAC Mailers Supporting Espaillat Riddled with Errors

21 Jun

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.

—Jordan Moss

Times and Post Miseducate Readers on 13th Congressional District Primary

18 Jun

[Update 6/19/12 The New York Times did the right thing this morning, making the correction on the print edition editorial page and on the Times' website. The Post hasn't yet. Also, we've made a correction below ourselves. Riverdale residents who were in the 17th District, represented by Eliot Engel, will still be represented Engel or whoever challenges him in November. But it is now the 16th District, rather than the 17th.]

A week from tomorrow — on Tuesday, June 26 — the voters that know about it and act on that knowledge will participate in an oddly scheduled Congressional primary. Usually, such primaries take place in September at the same time as primaries for the Assembly and State Senate. But due to the complicated and distressing politics around redistricting, this primary will have its own day.

Here in the Bronx, the primary is highly significant because most residents of the northwest Bronx will no longer be in the Congressional District now represented by Eliot Engel (will change from the 17th to the 16th District). Almost all northwest Bronx residents, except those living in Riverdale (still represented by Engel in the 16th), will be in the 13th District.

Daily newspapers have an opportunity — and more importantly, a responsibility — to help educate their Bronx readers about an epic change in who will represent them in Congress.

But yesterday, in endorsing Clyde Williams, a former official in the Clinton administration, The New York Times inexplicably listed the south Bronx as the section of the borough in the new district (even while they took pains to list several of the individual Manhattan neighborhoods in C.D. 13).

There is not a block in the newly drawn 13th Congressional district that is in the south Bronx, even if you define the south Bronx widely as every neighborhood below the Cross Bronx Expressway. The Times’ editorial writers failed to simply look at the maps on-line, or simply check in with their political reporters.

With only eight days to the primary, the Times has a duty to set the record straight. Not just a correction on page 2 that almost nobody reads, but on the editorial page.

The New York Post added to the miseducation in their endorsement of Espaillat, with a headline indicating the new district as the 15th. They need to do the right thing, too.

Meanwhile, here are some links to coverage on the race. First off, click here for last week’s debate on BronxTalk, which included all the candidates except for Charles Rangel.

Here’s a primary news roundup, prepared by Norwood News editor Alex Kratz, with a bunch of links to recent coverage of the race. And here’s a link to more Norwood News coverage of this primary and the candidates vying for the seat.

The Riverdale Press also has a run a bunch of articles on this critical primary race. Check them out here.

Here are links to the websites of candidates Adriano Espaillat, Joyce Joynson, Charles Rangel, Craig Schley, and Clyde Williams.

And finally, here’s a map of the 13th Congressional District. (To see the maps of other districts in the city and state click here.)

Dominican Prez Candidate Resurrects Obama ‘Birther’ Issue at Bronx Hispanic Clergy Confab

18 Apr

By Bob Kappstatter

Whoopsie Diaz!

The ever-controversial (and lovin’ it) Bronx state senator and Pentecostal minister Ruben (The Rev) Diaz Sr.  —along with a host of city and state Dominican-American politicians — has laughed himself into the President Obama “birther” controversy.

Those electeds may have some ‘splainin’ to do over their lack of protest after the audience at a luncheon meeting of Diaz’ Hispanic clergy organization erupted in loud and long laughter after former Dominican Republic President Hipolito Mejia joked about Obama’s supposed African birthroots.

Mejia, one of two current presidential candidates courting local Dominican voters for the May 20 election , was caught on video in his opening remarks at the April 4 meeting of Diaz’ New York Hispanic Clergy Organization joking that “If Obama who came from Africa and grew up over there can become the President, why can’t any of you reach as high considering you have a more amusing [ethnic] mix than Obama’s?”

While Diaz is shown roaring with laughter along with the rest of the audience, Mejia’s comment has been roundly condemned on the island nation, with 31 of its 32 senators there sending a letter of apology to President Obama.

But as for local city and state electeds at the luncheon, they’ve so far apparently remained silent in condemning the remark – and the response from the politically powerful Diaz and the roomful of conservative Hispanic preachers – whose congregations represent a strong voting bloc.

That includes upper Manhattan state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who’s challenging Rep. Charlie Rangel in a newly redrawn district taking in Espaillat’s district and a newly-added, heavily Dominican western swath of the Bronx.

Also among fellow elected Dominican-Americans in the audience were northern Manhattan City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, Bronx Councilmember Fernando Cabrera (who’s half Puerto Rican), Assemblymen Marcos Crespo and Nelson Castro and Castro’s female district leader Yudelka Tapia.

Mejia, who has The Rev’s endorsement, also told the group that as president he would never allow gays to marry or weaken the island’s strict anti-abortion laws. Diaz, a conservative-leaning Democrat, fought bitterly against the state legislature’s approval of same-sex marriage and has led a number of anti-abortion protests.

While the story apparently hasn’t made any ink in the English-language media, it showed up on a local blog  with the video.

It also showed up in an email sent out on Monday by Bronx political player and former Obama campaign operative Haile Rivera, who called on Mejia to personally apologize to Obama.

We tried in vain all day Tuesday to connect with Diaz, who was in Albany.

If we had, we’d hoped to also bring up an interesting sidenote.

The Rev has been denying for a number of years a persistent rumor that he was really born in the Dominican Republic and not in Puerto Rico.

But we’re sure he can easily clear the issue up, by producing his birth certificate ….

Bob Kappstatter, the former long-time Bronx Bureau Chief and columnist for the Daily News, is an occasional contributor to Bronx Matters.

Morning Matters — 4/10/12

10 Apr

The New York World reports: “The state Office of Court Administration will reverse the controversial 2004 merger of the Bronx Criminal and Supreme courts, which attorneys have blamed for lengthy delays that infringe on the rights of criminal defendants.” Read more.

Vince Morgan, a former staffer for Congressman Charlie Rangel who challenged his former boss in the 2010 Democratic primary and planned to do so again, has ended his bid  and endorsed Adriano Espaillat.

Community Board 1 residents voted unanimously late last month to condemn the process that led to the approval of the deal that paved the way for Fresh Direct to create its new factory in the Harlem River Yards. The board’s district manager, Cedric Loftin, disagrees.

“Mama’s Boys of the Bronx,” the new TLC reality show that follows a bunch of 35-year-old Italian men who still live at home with their mamas and apparently aren’t shy about reporting and discussion their sexual exploits under the same roof, premiered last night. (Video)

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was a critic of stop-and-frisk when Giuliani was mayor, Michael Powell reports.

Woodlawn Cemetery now has a tour of gravesites foodies will love.

A sculpture installed in West Farms, called “For Closure” is “meant to represent the fragility of the housing market.” (Video)

Morning Matters — 4/9/12

9 Apr

Lots of young art enthusiasts were at the Andrew Freedman home over the weekend for a fabulous exhibit on two floors of the reimagined buildings and the mobile unit of the fledgling Bronx Children's Museum. (Photo: J. Moss)

Good morning … well, afternoon (At least I started this in the a.m.:-) Lots to catch up on. Bronx artists and their advocates say the borough is undergoing an unprecedented coalescing of efforts to make an already interesting art scene more robust and visible to a larger audience. The expansive art show at the long-empty upper floors of the Andrew Freedman Home, where I took the picture above yesterday, signals a turning point, say some artists and enthusiasts.

As Bob Kappstatter surmised a couple of weeks ago on Bronx Matters, when Gov. Cuomo appointed Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera to be state Labor commissioner he probably was acting on the certainty that an investigation into his dealings with a failing nonprofit no longer had legs:

“Gov. Cuomo’s appointment also apparently quashes once and for all a dark legal cloud Rivera’s been living under involving his pumping major state funding to the just about moribund Neighborhood Enhancement for Training Services (NETS) non-profit.”

But that doesn’t mean the tabloids got the memo. This morning the Daily News highlighted four lawmakers with ethics issues who Cuomo has appointed to important positions, including Rivera. As attorney general, Cuomo began the investigation into Rivera and NETS ,but after he was elected he appointed Rivera to a transition committee on labor and economic development. More background on Rivera and NETS from the Bronx News Network here and here.

Our post on Friday about The New York Times’ coverage of Heritage Field, the new baseball diamonds built on the footprint of the old Yankee Stadium, started a little bit of a chain reaction in the blogsphere. After Neil deMause in Field of Schemes (the pre-eminent source on up-to-date information on stadium projects and financing nationally) and Norman Oder in Atlantic Yards Report linked to Bronx Matters, starting a comment conversation on the latter about the the Times’ overall coverage (or lack thereof) of the entire Yankee Stadium controversy. Later on, Oder posts a letter that Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates wrote him with a blow-by-blow account of how reporter Winnie Hu went about covering the story and Croft’s critique about what he feels she glaringly left out.

The latest HuntsPoint Express, a terrific print & web monthly produced by former Riverdale Press editor/publisher Buddy Stein with his students at Hunter College, is out with some critical articles, especially on the DOE’s plans to close Banana Kelly High School and the ensuing protests. There’s also a follow-up web-only article about a DOE official meeting with teachers and parents on April 4 in the school’s cafeteria.  The DOE’s Panel for Educational Policy will decide at a meeting on April 26 whether it will go ahead with plans to close 33 schools.

The Norwood News has an update on the city’s process for choosing a developer for the Kingsbridge Armory, including a report on the rally held by the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance late last month. Community and labor activists are calling for “wall-to-wall” living wage jobs at the Armory regardless of who develops the facility. Contenders include a group calling itself the Kingsbridge National Ice Center and the a partnership between the National Cycling Association and the New York Gauchos youth basketball program.

Also in the Norwood News, Gregory Lobo Jost, expands on his recent piece on Bronx Matters picking apart assertions of south Bronx gentrification, explaining why a few hundred white people over a decade, not to mention arugula, yoga studios, and farmers’ markets (which Norwood is home to) do not equal gentrification, and why its reckless to assert that they do.

Capital New York takes a detailed look at the complications for racial coalition building that are brought by Bronx/Manhattan state senator Adriano Espaillat’s challenge to Congressman Charlie Rangel. The latest reality TV show “about oversexed thirtysomething bachelors who still live with their mommies” takes place in the Boogie Down but is probably not an image that will please Bronx boosters.

Morning Matters — 3/12/12

12 Mar

Good morning. Enjoy the warmth (unless you’re worried about climate change, which I guess we all should be.)

The Times has a brief, clear and comprehensive roundup of where things stand with redistricting. Just what I was looking for.

Depending on how it all shakes out, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who represents northern Manhattan and parts of Riverdale, might take on veteran congressman Charlie Rangel.

The corruption trial of former State Senator Pedro Espada and his son begins this week. The Wall Street Journal sums up the charges and looks at the battle of the healthcare centers that Espada ran to hold on to their Medicaid funding. State Senator Ruben Diaz, Jr. the only member of the “Amigos” club still in office, continues to be a big Espada supporter.  “I have not found another one like Pedro Espada, he’s strong, firm, and he’s a good legislator,” he told the Journal.

State Senator Jeff Klein was the subject of a New York Post investigation over the weekend into his business and real estate dealings.

Congressman Eliot Engel hired a Republican lobbyist, Nick Spano, to help him get the district lines he wanted. Didn’t work out so well. the Riverdale Press reports. Engel spent $40,000 but he lines drawn by the legislature remove much of his Riverdale base from the district.

The work of Bronx artist Daniel Hauben, who has long put borough scenes on canvas, will be a central feature of Bronx Community College’s new library. To see a series of images of Hauben’s wonderful work, click here.

Hunts Point residents rallied for the closure of Club Heat, a strip bar where a woman was killed in December. Hunts Point Express has the story.




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