Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Northern Manhattan Power Brokers Clearing Field for Levine El Diario NY

Roberto Pérez | 11/21/2012 | El Diario

Manhattan District Leader Mark Levine plans to move and run for Councilman Robert Jackson's seat, according to several sources. As I have said before on this page, Levine is the favored candidate of the Northern Manhattan Democratic political machine. This includes Dominican power brokers State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who have been quietly conversing about clearing the field for Levine’s bid.

Now, the question is does District Leader Marisol Alcantara run for the same seat?
Everyone but Alcantara has said that she is not running If she decides not to run, which would make things easier on Levine, what would she get in return from the machine?

Carlos Rodriguez, brother of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, was also weighing a run for the seat if Levine wasn’t in the picture. I also heard through the grapevine that Socrates Solano, another possible candidate, may be offered a deal to step aside for Levine. But, I also heard a rumor that Solano would have to leave Congressman Rangel’s office for good if he runs.

The question is what does the Harlem machine do? Do they support Levine, a proven
campaigner who has the backing of Northern Manhattan’s well-oiled machine? Or do they
try to fight back the freight train that has imposed its political will?

One person who will not get the blessing of Senator Espaillat and company is District
Leader Manny De Los Santos. It is my understanding that he has fallen out of favor and is no longer considered a part of the inner circle. As an uptown acquaintance put it, the falling out reminds some folks of how former Councilman Miguel Martinez went from being Espaillat’s friend to becoming his foe.

Farther north…

There might be potential fire works in the 15 Council District race to replace Joel Rivera. District Leader Yudelka Tapia, who has to overcome issues with the campaign finance board, is going to have to do battle with another Dominican woman, attorney Raquel Batista, who was the former executive director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

This face-off already has a number of elected officials and community activists torn around whom to support. But as it stands right now, it seems like most of the old guard is backing Tapia on the grounds that she has been involved in the community for a longer period of time. In a sign that she is staking her ground,, Tapia sent out a birthday fundraiser invitation in which asks guests to join Senator Espaillat, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at her event. Sounds like she is trying to send a message to Batista.