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Puerto rican elected officials new political targets?

July 29, 2010

NYS Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. Godfather Dominican Day Parade Bronx, July 2010


 State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr.  represents District 33 in the Bronx, and supports charter schools instead of working to find other sources of funding for them while accepting  money from  hedge fund charter school advocates, but he is not the only one .  Sen. Espada and the gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo share similar views about charter schools and both have accepted money from the hedge fund advocates. So why are Puerto Rican elected officials the only ones targeted for elimination?  

Why are  Democratic Party officials and gubernatorial hopefuls alike targeting the Puerto Rican elected officials especially when so many of them are  under investigation these days in Albany from Governor David Paterson though recently exonerated (hmm?) to the Working Families Party all blamed on the” transactional nature of all  Albany politics…”with far more pervasive power for corruption than Espada .  

Why is this  happening  during one of the most significant political times as incumbents  carve out their election districts some getting better pieces of the turkey than the others for their Thanksgiving table? Monserrate, Espada, who is next? As with any other groups, it behooves the Puerto Ricans  state-wide  to keep their senior elected officials in power to make sure  that the redistricting of their communities is an equitable one.  

And former Assembly Member José R. Peralta seat is still vacant.  Why? Funds were conveniently found for the special election to oust Monserrate but there was a lack of money to fill Peralta’s seat. Why?  

Democratic State Assemblyman  Adriano Espaillat is running for Senator Eric Schneiderman’s Manhattan 31st district seat one a Dominican should have captured back in 2002 if Guillermo Linares, who is running now for Espaillat Assembly seat had not lost the election. Peralta moves into Monserrate’s seat after Schneiderman headed the Senate Committee that ousted him . Now, Monserrate submitted nominating petitions to run for the Assembly  seat in the 39th District Peralta vacated challenging Francisco Moya the candidate of the Queens Democratic Party .  It sounds like a game of political musical chairs but it would be interesting to see how it all plays out in the up-coming fall elections.  

While Espada has made some enemies  these days after the role he played in a gridlock last  year  that shut down New York State government along with former Senator Hiram Monserrate, it didn’t deter Dominicans from  crowning  him the International Godfather of  the Gran Dominican Parade 2010 on Grand Concourse Avenue in the Bronx last Sunday, July 25.  

The New York Observer, “PolitickerNY” columnist Reid Pillifant called it “The Pedro Problem.”  Bill Samuels a big Democratic Party donor gathered  a group of Democratic progressives and reformers last Wednesday in the home of Dennis Mehiel a cardboard magnate and former candidate for Lt. governor.  The topic? How to rid the State Senate of Majority Leader Senator Pedro Espada, Jr.?  

Carl McCall, former African-American, candidate for governor and Lt.  governor attended the tony affair along with other so-called progressives and reformers in the Democratic Party. They are trying to do whatever it takes to rid the highest ranking Latino elected official in New York State government, alleging it’s more important than the Governor’s or attorney general races. Hmm?  

That less than  5,000 Latino constituents in one of the poorest districts in the nation that voted Senator Espada into office  votes are more significant than the governor’s race so the argument goes a win for Espada gives back control of the State government to the Republicans during a crucial time of redistricting is mind-boggling to say the least. Lord, please!  

Yet, it took a gridlock for a Latino to secure the title of  majority leader of the  State Senate, holding the highest position in NYS government, but it came at a price for Senator Espada. The  so-called progressives in the NYS Democratic Party are waging a political battle to oust him from the Senate, recruiting another Puerto Rican, Jose Gustavo Rivera,  who worked on the election campaign of President Barack Obama,  former employee of a NYS Senator and an aide in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  

Even the State Democratic Party attempted to oust Senator Espada from the Party earlier this month. And Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has brought a civil law suit against him though he has not yet been convicted of any crime while “the New Roosevelt Initiative — a statewide reform project started by Bill Samuels, a technology entrepreneur and a top Democratic donor — has endorsed Mr. Rivera and pledged to spend up to $250,000 to defeat Mr. Espada.”  

But just how does one get removed from the Democratic Party? That’s what  the Bronx Democratic Committee asked Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz top Bronx Democratic leader  to do and he declined the request but  it may be re-visited after the primary.    

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Elizabeth Burke permalink
    July 29, 2010 5:46 pm

    Please visit Gustavo’s website and learn about him and where he stands on the issues that effect New Yorkers all over the state.

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