Saturday, April 30, 2011
I had the opportunity to interview, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson, who represents the 77th AD. Here are some of the highlights of the interview. Below, I have also included the audio, for those that prefer to listen, to the interview in its entirety.
Are the New York Yankees good corporate citizens.
" I honestly would say, that much work needs to be done, and I say that because the Yankees have been in our community for over 80 years. But one of the major problems that I had, and much of this was decided before my election, but the challenge that I still live with, is the fact that the alienated park land has had such a major delay in being completed."
" People have not been happy."
" Its really heart breaking to see, what happens during the Yankee season with the traffic, and just with us not having the parkland we need."
" Well I am not happy that Governor Cuomo has decided, and is not allowing the millionaires tax to be extended beyond December 31st."
" Everyone must share in that sacrifice, we could have used that money to restore many programs."
Explaining the cuts to constituents.
" The budget has been disproportionately balanced on the backs of those most vulnerable."
Mayoral control of schools
" I was one of 18 democratic members that voted no. I would vote yesterday no. I would vote no today. I would vote no tomorrow."
Governor Cuomo and Rent Protection Laws.
" We know he cares about making this a reality, but we need to see action."
Does Governor Cuomo have too much power.
" We feel left out."
" Our constituents do not understand Silver vs. Pataki."
Thursday, April 28, 2011
I had the opportunity to interview, April Tyler who is the Female District Leader, in the 70th AD part D. Here are some of the highlights of the interview. I have also included the audio of the interview below.
On her residency
" I live on 138th Street. I have lived in this neighborhood for over 25 years."
On her record
" My record speaks for itself."
On the Columbia University expansion
" If my opponent had been on the community board for longer than a year, and a half, she would know, that I have been to many meetings in the past, and will continue to do so in the future."
On Party Chair Assemblyman Keith Wright
" He is helping me, in every aspect of my campaign."
" We work very closely together."
" He is pulling out the stops to help me."
" He is all in for me."
On Bill Lynch and Associates
" I think her comments are irresponsible."
" I consider him a friend."
On an endorsement from State Senator Bill Perkins
" I don't expect him to endorse me, because I supported someone against him."
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A reliable source tells me, that tomorrow evening, at a gathering in Howard Beach, Queens. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, will step down, as Female District Leader for the 23rd AD part A. The vacant District Leader position will be filled by Pheffer's long time staffer, and Chief of Staff Joann Shapiro.
In addition, to stepping down as District Leader. Pheffer will announce, that she will accept the position of Queens County Clerk. The Queens Democratic Party, is throwing their support behind Shapiro, in the special election to fill the vacancy in the State Assembly.
Monday, April 25, 2011
The ongoing war, between State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and State Assemblyman Guillermo Linares never seems to end. The latest disagreement, between the two men stems from the soon to be formed New York State Dominican Legislative Caucus. The Dominican Caucus, is the brain child of Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro. According to my sources, the first meeting of the caucus was held in Albany, and in attendance were Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Linares, Senator Espaillat, and Assemblyman Castro.
When the meeting began, Assemblyman Linares expressed interest, in assuming the leadership position of the group. Senator Espaillat thought, the better idea, would be to make either Castro, or Peralta the head of the organization, since the two continue to disagree. Currently the group, is in its infant stages. Only time will tell, which of the two politicos imposes his will on the group. Espaillat has made it clear, that he is supportive of the Caucus idea, as long as Assemblyman Linares is not the leader of the group.
In a recent post. I discussed the near run, for District Leader by Assemblyman Linares, against the Espaillat backed Manny De Los Santos. I just received news, that there were more actors involved in the near war. The others, were as follows, State Committee woman Albania Lopez, who with the backing of Linares was going to run against Espaillat's Chief of Staff, and Female District Leader Aneiry Batista. Not to be outdone. Espaillat was going to run Attorney Julissa Gomez, who finished a strong second to Linares in the 72nd AD, against District Leader Mayra Linares, who happens to be Assemblyman Linares daughter. The plan was for Linares, to run a slate against Espaillat backed candidates.
The second meeting of the New York State Dominican Legislative Caucus, was held in Rubio's Cafe in Corona Queens. The meeting was attended by Yonkers City Councilman Wilson Terrero, Freeport Deputy Mayor Carmen Pineyro, Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro, and New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras. One of the things discussed, at the meeting, was the possibility through re-districting of creating a Latino Assembly seat in Nassau County.
There is definitely a need for a caucus within the Dominican community. The question will be if Linares, and Espaillat can put aside their differences, and make it work.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Take a look at what is being circulated by candidate Rafael Espinal (attached).
The county committee has not met to vote on a candidate for the democratic line. The special election hasn't been called yet. So why is Espinal passing out literature telling people to VOTE DEMOCRAT?
Is Vito Lopez so sure that he has the votes to award Rafael the Democratic line that he doesn't care that the county committee hasn't voted on it yet?
I mean, really,.to award the democratic party line without voting on it, isn't that...undemocratic?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Sources tell me, that Assemblyman Guillermo Linares was preparing to run for the Democratic District Leader position in the 72nd AD part B. The current District Leader is Manny De Los Santos, who has the backing of State Senator Adriano Espaillat. This race would have re-ignited the long standing feud between Espaillat, and Linares. The reasons why Assemblyman Linares decided not to run have yet to be determined. Apparently the truce, was only a temporary political agreement.
Friday, April 22, 2011
There is a list of candidates, positioning themselves to run in the 7th Council district. The seat is currently held by CM Robert Jackson, who is term-limited.
Here is the list of possibles.
Mark Levine, who recently ran for the State Senate seat, currently held by State Senator Adriano Espaillat, and is now a consultant.
District Leader Maria Luna, who would probably receive the backing of Senator Espaillat.
Attorney Raysa Castillo.
Manuel Lantigua of the Dominican Officers Organization.
District Leader April Tyler.
Corey Ortega who works for Assemblyman, and County Leader Keith Wright.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I had the opportunity to interview Marisol Alcantara, who is running for Female Democratic District Leader in the 70th AD part D. Plenty of sparks flew in this interview. Here, are some of the high lights. Most of it, was directed at Bill Lynch and Associates, and of course her opponent current District Leader April Tyler.
On Her reasons for running
" We did not know who are District Leader was until two years ago."
" We have a leadership that lived outside the county."
" Our current District Leader has been absent from the conversation, and the meetings that have taken place."
" I never spoke to April Tyler, because I never knew she was District Leader."
On Bill Lynch and Associates
" I wrote an article in the Columbia Spectator criticizing the Columbia expansion. I heard that Bill Lynch and Associates were really upset."
" I said of course they are going to be upset. They have a contract with Columbia University for 1/2 million for the next ten years."
" If this is the reason the elected officials, and Bill Lynch, and Associates are going to be upset. Then bring it on."
" We hear rumors that Bill Lynch, and Associates are saying that they cant lose this seat to a Dominican Female."
I wanted to inform you that your recent posting is blatantly false, even though the two store fronts adjoin each other they have completely separate entrances. The entrance to the Club is at 11 Crescent Street and the Assembly office is at 840 Jamaica Avenue. They also have separate wash rooms and telephone systems.
This outrageously false allegation is simply a smear of outstanding public servants and of an “independent” democratic club which is not controlled by the Regular Brooklyn Democratic machine headed by Vito Lopez. It's apparent that these lies are being perpetuated by the Dilan camp (minions of Vito Lopez).
It seems that the “machine” is simply running scared and afraid of the voices of independently minded Democratic voters who don't kowtow to Vito and his brand of smears and political attacks.
An Independent Voice of the People
Monday, April 18, 2011
I have a few updates in the 54th AD.
The office of former Assemblyman Darryl Towns is still open, but the gates are down, above is the picture of the office. The office is conveniently located next door to the North Brooklyn Independent Democratic Club. Which in theory, according to the person that gave me the tip. The campaign of Deidra Towns, would be able to use the resources of the Assembly office.
The rumor is, that the candidacy of Community Activist Jesus Gonzalez, in the 54th AD. Was orchestrated, by the political enemies of Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Assemblyman Vito Lopez. This person has close ties to Make The Road NY, and the Towns family. The only person that comes to mind is Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, but this is just speculation, and I cannot confirm this.
Sources also tell me, that Jesus Gonzalez works primarily in the 53rd AD. Which would make the 53rd, and not the 54th his natural political base.
And here is some more info. Congressman Ed Towns has asked friends in the Queens Democratic Party. To hold up the process of selecting Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer as Queens County Clerk. If the Assemblywoman, does not resign, then a special election for her seat cannot be called by the Governor.
Considering the costs of special elections, it makes sense for the Governor to have all three races take place at one time. The three elections would include, the 54th AD, the 23rd AD, and the 27th AD seat that belonged to Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn. The theory is, that Congressman Towns wants the special election held in September on primary day. Which would help Deidra Towns, because most of the poll workers in the 54th AD, come out of the North Brooklyn Independent Democratic club.
My Sources tell me. That the WFP is waiting for the special election date to be called in the 54th AD. Once the date is set. They will begin the interview process. They have not officially endorsed a candidate
Another tip just came in. Juan Martinez is the campaign manager for Deidra Towns
I had the opportunity, to interview Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents the 57th AD in the New York State Assembly. I have transcribed, some of the memorable sound bites from the interview. In addition to the quotes, below, you will also find the audio of the interview.
" Cathie Black was a disaster from the very beginning. Many of us could see this coming from a mile away."
" How in the world, can you put someone, who is an Upper East Side socialite, who doesn't have a clue about the education of our children into such a significant position is beyond many of us."
" It was a scheme, that appeared to be cooked up by one man, who is in the middle of a third term in his kitchen, on his kitchen table, without any consultation, and it turned into a disaster."
" I think he will be a calming influence in the midst of a storm."
" He will face his fair share of criticism unless he is able to demonstrate some reasonable independence from the Mayor, and from City Hall on issues of education."
" The job of a Deputy Mayor is to be loyal to the Mayor. The job of a public school Chancellor is to do the right thing on behalf of the children in the system, and I am hopeful that Dennis Walcott, will do the right thing on behalf of those students."
Rent Protection Laws and Governor Cuomo
" We want him to show the same degree of enthusiasm, that he showed with respect to an on time budget, and fiscal restraint toward the issue of rent regulation."
Friday, April 15, 2011
I had the opportunity, to interview HUD Regional Director for New York + New Jersey Adolfo Carrion. In addition, to his current position with HUD. He recently served, as Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs. Here are some, of the highlights, of the interview. I have also included, the audio of the interview below.
On President Obama's move to the political center
" I think the President is a pragmatist."
" The housing market is still in trouble, many people myself included, predict that the foreclosure crisis will extend into the future maybe 1 year, or 2 years."
" I think the President will fall exactly where he started, which is he understands, the role of government, that we have a moral obligation, to future generations, and that everybody has to carry the burden."
" The President cant win on extremes."
Andrew Cuomo's budget
" I think over playing the spending cuts side."
" Were saying to the people who can afford it, you got a pass on this one because thats politically popular."
" I think the Governor is in a dangerous place, it's a high risk proposition, so he is betting that the public sentiment is going to remain where it is."
" He is enjoying a honey moon."
On Cuomo letting the millionaire's tax expire
" Those are things that haunt you."
" I think clearly, the Mayor made a mistake."
" Very capable."
On the Kings Bridge Armory
" There could have been some negotiating, up until the 11th hour, where something could have been done, to ensure a more generous package for the local community, while at the same time, protecting the integrity, of the investors coming in to do business."
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
An informed individual, who attended, the North Brooklyn Independent Club meeting. Sent me the following email.
FYI, Deidra Towns will be running on the Community First Party line in the upcoming Special Election for the 54th Assembly District...At the North Brooklyn Independent Democratic Club meeting on Saturday she was enthusiastically endorsed by the entire club, as well as, community, education and healthcare leaders...Ed Towns also said he fully plans to run for District Leader in the 54th...Darryl Towns stepped down from the Assembly last Weds and has reported to his new job as Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)...The Club's endorsement of Deidra Towns was unanimous and fully supportive...
Monday, April 11, 2011
I had the opportunity, to interview, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. I have included, some quotes from the interview. In addition to the quotes, you will also find the audio of the interview below.
" The Cathie Black appointment, was a great mistake by the Mayor."
" You don't choose your friend, that you know, from the cocktail party circuit, and think that she is going to step in, to one of the most difficult jobs known to human kind."
" I do think, he is the right person, to go to City Hall, and say lets do things differently."
" I am hoping, that he will not simply take orders, from City Hall."
" I think he realized, the ship was sinking like the Titanic, and that we had 1.1 million school children on board."
" I give him very high marks, for corralling the Albany legislators, to at least, a path of passing a budget on time, and getting their house in order."
" We needed to bring, the state government, to a point, where you could actually, resolve issues."
" We should not rush, to judge him in the first 100 days, and catalog him as a conservative, or a liberal."
" Give him some space, to get some of that Albany dysfunction resolved."
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I had the opportunity, to interview, New York City Council member Julissa Ferreras. Here are some, of the highlights, of our conversation. In addition, to the quotes, below, you will find the audio of the interview.
" I am shocked she lasted 3 months"
" It was obvious from the very beginning, that she was not qualified for the position."
" When she made her statement, about over-crowding, and the birth-control issue, you know she was completely disconnected."
" I am very excited that Dennis Walcott, will be the new Chancellor."
" We have to work with what we have."
" The city always sends up more, than it gets back. There is something wrong with that formula."
" School districts of the wealthy, are the ones that are impacted the least."
" Working poor of NYC will be impacted tremendously."
" We do have a Mayor, who does not want, to take into consideration the surplus. We have to tap into the surplus."
Rent Protection Laws
" It would be a very negative point on the Governor if these rent regulations, tenant protections are lost in his administration
Paid Sick Leave
" I would hope that the speaker, before she moves on will revisit this issue."
" Is the only affordable housing project that we will have in my district in a very long time."
" We need the jobs, we need the development."
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I had the opportunity, to interview, New York City Council member Robert Jackson. Here are some of the highlights of the interview. Below you will also find the audio of the interview.
" It was never personal, it was about business. The business of educating 1.1 million school children, and knowing she was not the best choice. She did not meet the minimum qualifications."
" I have known, Dennis as a professional for twenty years, he is never going to have any gaffes like the former Chancellor."
" I think Governor Cuomos budget, helps the rich, and hurts the working class, and the poor people that are in need."
" In essence, if you are taking, what Mario Cuomo said, going back when he was Governor, and you look at this budget under Andrew Cuomo. Basically I can equate that as his father calling his son a hypocrite."
" Andrew Cuomo, did not have a challenge for Governor, progressive Democrats should have learned a lesson."
" He is not a progressive Democrat."
" If I wanted a conservative Republican as Governor, I would have voted for one."
" All of his actions today as Governor, are the actions of a conservative Republican."
I had the opportunity, to interview New York City Council member Charles Barron. Here, are some of the memorable quotes, from the interview. In addition to the quotes, I have included, the audio of the interview below.
On the State budget.
" Sheldon Silver is a political punk, he talks all this stuff, but he would not stand up to the Governor, he is not a check and balance he is a check." 6:39 mark.
" This Governor is the worst, this is the worst approach at balancing the budget ever."
" Cuomo, Silver, Skelos are all peas from the same pod."
" White-man Shelly Silver in the room, another white-man Andrew Cuomo, with another white-man Dean Skelos, so they do what white-men do. Protect the rich, and balance the budget on the backs of the poor."
On former Schools Chancellor Cathie Black.
" This is a victory for the people."
" This great for the children, to get rid of Cathie Black, but she is only part of the problem."
" We need to end Mayoral control."
" This Mayor does, consistently dictatorial, arrogant things."
On the Blizzard.
" The Mayor couldn't give us a snow job."
" Someone should have been indicted either the Mayor, or the Sanitation Commissioner for negligence."
" Union Leaders are selling out to Governor Cuomo."
He mentions 1199 as a union that is aligned with Governor Cuomo's agenda, at the expense of its members.
Sources tell me, that the Towns family may run, Community Leader John Rodriguez in the 54th AD. Rodriguez worked in the office of CM Erik Dilan, sat on Brooklyn Community board 5, and was a former chairman of the 75th precinct council zone 2. The logic behind running Rodriguez, would be to cut into Rafael Espinal's base. The Dilan's are aware of the rumors. If they prove to be true, they will try to call a meeting, with Mr. Rodriguez. Everyone involved in the race, is waiting for Assemblyman Towns resignation.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Assemblyman Nelson Castro plans to launch an initiative called Access to Care Network. Under the program, for $60 a month, anyone regardless of their legal status will receive access to primary care, a nutritional program, access to a fitness center, and lab work and diagnostics. Castro is waiting on a grant and member items dollars. The network wants to fill the gap for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Family Health Plus. Helping the Assemblyman in this endeavor, is Bronx political activist Miguel Santana.
The Dream is not dead.
For the cynics that make up the right wing of the political spectrum, the passing of the NY Dream Act is just that; a dream. The good news, for those that support the passing of the legislation, is that there is a group of young men and women that are up to the task. They are a part of an organization called The New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYL). NYSYL is a youth led organization that advocates for access to higher education and creating equal opportunity for immigrant youth regardless of immigration status.
After the Dream Act failed to garner enough votes to pass on a federal level, the
organization revised its strategy and began anew by trying to get the law implemented on a state by state level. The dreamers, as they refer to themselves, approached State Senator Bill Perkins. The Senator, impressed by their enthusiasm, said “that they reminded him of Martin Luther King in his time” and joined their efforts by introducing the legislation in the state senate. Currently the bill has 12 co-sponsors. In addition to the senate, the bill was introduced in the state assembly by Assemblyman Guillermo Linares. The dreamers have left no stone unturned, and their agenda also includes bringing Governor Cuomo on board. Their efforts to court Governor Cuomo began by circulating a petition titled “Asking Governor Cuomo to take a stand on the Dream Act.” Currently the petition has 5,000 signatures on it. The dream will become a reality if this group has anything to say about it.