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Elections 2010: local political scene

July 25, 2010

Although a few local Latino leaders last week endorsed State Senator Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General from the Hispanic Alliance to Chito Olivencia associated with the “Nosotros” group in the community , his support among Latinos state-wide may not be as significant.

Schneiderman led the Senate Committee that ousted former Senator Hiram Monserrate from his senate seat to install José R. Peralta. While former Assemblyman Peralta, a Dominican, is a dynamic and capable young leader, still there are many Latinos that question the political tactics and maneuvering used to remove Monserrate particularly after he already had his day in court and  sentenced. But Schneiderman took it a step further  voting to oust Monserrate, helping Peralta get elected to the senate seat while Peralta’s senate seat still continues vacant.

Elected to the Senate in 1998 Schneiderman’s former 30th Senate District reconfigured after redistricting in 2000, becoming the 31st Senate District. The new group he represented  65 percent Latinos from the Dominican Republic includes most of the Washington Heights area. In redistricting his seat  the Republicans rewarded him for recruiting and running Democratic candidates against them. So,  ousting Monserrate and chairing the Senate committee that expelled him  some believe Schneiderman  helped his Dominican constituency at the expense of the Puerto Ricans while providing the opportunity for Peralta to win the special election against Monserrate.

And earlier this month Schneiderman  involved in a hit-and-run car accident, attempted to cover it up until someone had spotted what had happened and reported it  to the vehicle owner  who he called   after the owner  first contacted him.

The Buffalo Puerto Rican Press in April commented on the attorney general race and some of the contenders. There are now five vying for the AG seat, one Republican and four Democrats with Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County District Attorney , garnering the most support from the state Democratic party officials.  Rice and Sean Coffey seem to have the bigger campaign treasure chest and earlier in the race Assemblyman Sam Hoyt had endorsed Assemblyman Richard Brodsky. Schneiderman candidacy is low on the totem pole both among state Democratic leaders and in finances. And since the hit-and-run accident his judgement is being questioned whether he has the qualities for  the top legal position in the state.

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