Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vacca Has his Eye on the Bronx Borough Presidency El Diario NY


Roberto Pérez | 11/07/2012 | El Diario

Although Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., has not decided whether to make a pitch for citywide office, potential candidates are already maneuvering for his job if he decides to leave. For now, when it comes to fundraising, the top dog is Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who has $ 285.448 in the kitty, according to the NYC Campaign Finance Board.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who has also been mentioned as a possibility, only has $ 19.180 in his pot. The wildcard in this conversation is Councilman Joel Rivera, who has an impressive 208,262 in his war chest, and had Bronx BP aspirations in the past, up until he was rolled by the current Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and now rumor has it that Rivera wants out of politics to enter the private sector and it's no secret that he is interested in real estate. But there's an old saying: "That the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." So if Joel is anything like his father, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, he may be saying one thing, while doing another.

Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who is allegedly also interested in the spot, is according to sources trying to meet with Vacca and Rivera to see if he can force Cabrera to the bargaining table. According to rumors, Castro would try to secure the position of Deputy Borough President for a Dominican in a Vacca administration, or jobs in exchange for delivering his district to Vacca and siphoning Latino votes from Cabrera.

The argument is that all this may force Cabrera to negotiate with Castro in order to keep him out of the race, so that the Latino vote is not split. The reason I think that Castro would meet with Joel Rivera is to see what he plan's to do with all the money he has, if he decides not to run. Maybe Castro can reach a deal with Rivera, in which he would part with some of his campaign funds in order to help Castro in exchange for a future favor. This all depends on what Diaz Jr. decides to do. An insider involved in the discussions, is hoping that Ruben announces his future plans during the Somos El Futuro conference in Puerto Rico.

From Brooklyn, I learned that Councilwoman Diana Reyna's Chief of Staff, and City Council candidate Antonio Reynoso, is worried that his political ambitions may be ruined by the man with nine lives, Assemblyman Vito Lopez who Reynoso suspects is interested in running for the seat.

If Lopez runs, he automatically becomes the favorite. Running for the council makes sense for Lopez: it pays better and he would not have to travel to Albany, where he now has no clout and where he is now going to be treated like a pariah. So a move to the council would satisfy his thirst for power, without the headaches of having to go to Albany and be treated like the black sheep.

UPDATE

In the wake of Sandy, I was wondering if traveling to Puerto Rico for the Somos El Futuro conference will hurt elected officials in anyway. There have been calls for a boycott as a demonstration of solidarity with the residents of the city. I called veteran message guru and consultant Hank Sheinkopf to hear his thoughts. Here is what he had to say. "Yes. It will matter if average new yorkers see political people, lobbyists, and elected officials acting as if they are kings rather than people sharing in the suffering caused by hurricane sandy. And yes it matters. The voters are not dumb. They wlll remember."