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Election 2010: assemblyman felix ortiz speaks nys democratic convention

June 9, 2010

Assembly Member Félix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) had organized an exploratory team  to run for  the congressional seat of Kirsten Gillibrand or  New York State Comptroller in 2009. He wanted to be selected for Comptroller after disgraced Alan Hevesi stepped down amidst a scandal. He had expressed interest in the seat former Senator Hillary Clinton left after President Obama appointed her to be Secretary of State.

Gillibrand’s nomination unleashed a storm in the hispanic community when Gov. David Paterson first appointed her to fill the seat Clinton vacated. There was some talk in the hispanic community of about challenging her in 2010, but it has quieted down as she has the approval of President Barack Obama and the officials of the  Democratic party. Hispanics described her as a “fierce opponent of immigration reform and question why Gov. Paterson nominated her though she assuaged her views after becoming a U.S. Senator.

Unfortunately, she slighted Gov. Paterson himself joining the early chorus for his removal after the scandal surfaced with his aide/ body-guard and the domestic violence case or as the Governor commented, “she threw him under the bus.”

It’s endemic among minority politicians to appoint whites to key political positions, something about trying to capitulate and appease the white electorate to appear racially neutral reflected in the appointments of President Barack Obama , i.e, U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, as well as, key appointments in his cabinet.  What an opportunity Gov. Paterson missed when he overlooked qualified minority candidates for a political senate seat Irish-Americans have held even before Daniel Patrick Moynihan left in 2000.

Assembly Member Ortiz said, “The Democratic and Republican parties need to have a clear understanding of the major role that Hispanics are playing in politics today, and for us not to have representation, whether it’s putting a face to run against Gillibrand at this point—who’s the weakest link—whether it’s running for comptroller, to see an opportunity for a Hispanic to get elected. Or whether somebody comes out and runs for governor, or somebody comes out and runs for lieutenant governor.”

Assemblyman Ortiz came to the U.S from Puerto Rico in 1980, pursued higher education here in business adminstration, served in the army  and elected to the NYS Assembly in 1994.

Later in May 2010, in this video he discussed how he met  the man Cuomo chose for Lt. Governor at a round table discussion  on gang prevention U.S. Sen. Reid invited him to in Washington, D.C where he was the only elected official present. Later both Ortiz and Duffy appeared at a press conference when he visited Rochester as a member of the NYS Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee both supporting a sur charge on alcohol.

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