Saturday, August 20, 2011

Political drama before Dominican Parade El Diario La Prensa


Opinion: Political drama before Dominican Parade

On Sunday it rained on and off the Dominican Parade breakfast in the restaurant Mama Juana in Northern Manhattan.

Roberto Perez | 17/08/2011 | El Diario NY

There was plenty of rain inside and outside, the breakfast to celebrate the Dominican Day Parade in Northern Manhattan's MamaJuana Restaurant. The first to get hit by lightning was Governor Cuomo who spoke about his support of the Dominican Community dating back to his days as HUD Secretary under President Bill Clinton, and assured everyone in the room that Dominicans should expect an even stronger relationship now that he is in the Governor’s mansion.

Shortly, after the Governor spoke, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares quickly rained on his parade, by reminding the Governor that the Outer Borough Medallion Bill is still sitting on his desk, and that he should sign this important piece of legislation. There was a quick round of applause in the room in support of what Assemblyman Linares said.

I do not want to put words in Assemblyman Linares mouth, but the way I, and others in the room interpreted this, was as follows, if you really want to show the Dominican Community that you support it why don’t you start by signing this bill.

Espaillat vs. Jackson

There was another storm in the room, that was precipitated by the exit of Councilman Robert Jackson, who was no where to be found when he was called to the micro phone to speak by State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

Someone in the Espaillat camp saw the exit as a slight to Senator Espaillat who was the host, and MC of the event. Another source, tells me the reason why Jackson left was because of the water main break in Harlem.

This beef between Jackson, and Espaillat goes back to Jackson’s decision not to endorse Espaillat for the Senate seat he currently holds. Jackson instead endorsed Espaillat’s opponent Mark Levine. The battle then escalated over the Columbia University Sports Center expansion where Jackson accused Senator Espaillat, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez of spreading rumors that he was anti Dominican.

Now Mark Levine is positioning himself as Jackson’s replacement in the City Council, as Jackson prepares himself to run for Manhattan Borough President. Espaillat apparently has other plans for the council seat, and has said publicly that he is going to back long time District Leader Maria Luna.

I also hear, that in addition to running for the City Council Mark Levine who is also a District Leader met with Espaillat to seek his support for a State Senate run in case Espaillat decides to run for Congress, so that he could position himself as his replacement.

A person close to Espaillat said his response to this request was. “This guy must be
crazy.”