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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scandal Tainted Rivera Goes Down at Ballot Box

BP Diaz Endorsing Rivera
It's rare that even a scandal can bring down an incumbent -- especially in the State Legislature -- but last week two went down at the ballot box including our very own Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera. As the NY Times reports, Rivera was weighed down by allegations that she hired current and former boyfriends who were not qualified.  The story reports that "Ms. Rivera was defeated in the primary, 52 percent to 41 percent, by Mark Gjonaj, a real estate agent and community activist who was a first-time political candidate. She has served in the Assembly since 2005 and comes from a powerful Bronx political family: she is a daughter of Jose Rivera, an assemblyman and Bronx political leader, and a sister of City Councilman Joel Rivera." This is a rare event, and proof of that can be found in the handful of other state elected officials who have even been indicted and still held onto their seats last week.  Of course, despite the serious allegations and a lackluster record, virtually the entire Bronx political establishment endorsed Rivera including BP Diaz, Carl Heastie (the Bronx Boss), and Jeff Dinowitz (the Heffie of Bronx Democratic County Organization)




22 comments:

  1. YES... it was Naomi Rivera who was ENDORSED by the Bronx Democratic Party, of which Assemblyman Carl Heastie is chair of the executive committee and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is the chair of the county committee. Also, Naomi’s brother, NYC Councilman Joel Rivera, happens to be a vice chair of that party organization.

    Obviously, Mr. Heastie and Mr. Dinowitz and their pals backed the wrong horse since Mark Gjonaj crushed Rivera and will become the next assemblyman for 80th District.

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    1. As as a Riverdale resident in Jeff Dinowitz's district, I'd like to point out that Mark Gjonaj just did something that Jeff Dinowitz never could do: Gjonaj defeated an incumbent!

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    2. The prestige and popularity of Mr. Gjonaj is high in the Albanian-American community. We are proud of him.

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    3. Yup ... Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz never defeated an incumbent. In fact, when Dinowitz first ran in 2004, it was in a special election for the seat vacated by G. Oliver Koppell (who briefy became the state attorney general).

      And in that special election, Dinowitz barely squeeked out a victory of over Mark Friedlander, winning by only 132 votes out of the measly 6,520 cast!

      So, in my book, Mark Gjonaj is already a more impressive local politician, and he hasn't even taken office yet.

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    4. Actually, the special election that Jeff Dinowitz won by a mere 132 votes was in 1994, not 2004.

      Before that, Mr. Dinowitz was as a traffic court judge at the DMV.

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    5. A traffic court judge is more like a magistrate or low-level officer rather than a real judge.

      I could only imagine the type of testimony:

      "Mister, I was actually 16 feet from the fire hydrant"

      "Hey, the light was yellow, not red"

      "That crosswalk was not clearly painted"

      "How could I be going 160 mph in a toll plaza?"

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    6. I can think of someone else who couldn't beat a crappy incumbent. Anyone wanna read my mind?

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  2. Bye bye Naomi Rivera ... ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST !!! And so much for the toothless influence of the vulgar, self-serving, attention-seeking Bronx Democrat Party Committee.

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    1. Heastie is not reallly a politicalk boss in the powerful and controlling way that the bosses of old days were. He is more of a figure head for a bunch of regular politicaians who have very tiny influence inside their districts and almost none outside the distructs. This is just the way it is and they will be easy forgotten once they leave the scene. That's the good news.

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  3. It's cute the way they are holding hands.

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    1. The 2 of them ain't really so different when you think about it.

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  4. This is amazing that The Honorable Naomi Rivera should be thrown out without even being indicted for anything. It's all just rumors at this point.

    Really, what has this new star Gjonaj done for the community that he should unseat an incumbent elected official?

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  5. How fake are these politicians who claim to represent the Bronx? Bad, bad, bad people!!!!!

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  6. Baaaaaaaaaaa, Baaaaaaaaaaa!

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  7. Now Naomi Rivera get a job in the real world. I'm guessing that former state senator Hiram Monserrate might be albe to get her a job in that pizza place he was working at in Queens... Nothing beats a Coke and pizza.

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    1. or Naomi can become a traffic/parking court judge just like her friend and supporter Dinowitz

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  8. Other Bronx news: What about Luis Sepulveda succeeding that unrelated Rivera?

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  9. Say whatever you like about her, but she did serve her district and desrves a big thank you.

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    1. Aren't parts of the 80th AD awful, prime hooker territory?

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  10. Look at this article on Mr. Gjonaj from Crain's NY Business:

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    Crain's New York Business, October 1, 2012

    THE UNLIKELY ASSEMBLYMAN;
    MARK GJONAJ WILL BE A RARE SPECIMEN IN ALBANY: A POL WHO RAN A BUSINESS

    By Andrew J. Hawkins

    When Mark Gjonaj joins the state Assembly next year, he won't just be the first Albanian-American to serve in the Legislature. He'll also stick out as a businessman elected from the five boroughs.
    "Which is rarer?" he laughed.
    A real estate broker, Mr. Gjonaj (pronounced JO-nigh) runs Morris Park-based M.P. Realty Group, which was founded by his parents and oversees hundreds of housing units in the Bronx. The surprise winner of a Democratic primary last month said his business acumen is sorely needed in Albany.
    "On a daily basis, someone passes a new bill or policy or tax that affects small businesses without understanding what a small business is," he said. "This will be a fresh perspective."
    State lawmakers often hail from elected officials' staffs and local Democratic clubs. Those who have other jobs tend to be lawyers, sometimes with politically connected firms.
    Mr. Gjonaj does not come entirely from outside politics: He was the Bronx representative on the Taxi and Limousine Commission. But to get to Albany he had to go through an assemblywoman from a powerful political family. As it happened, the door to his victory in the primary was opened by the incumbent herself, Naomi Rivera. Barely a presence in her Bronx district, she had been pummeled in the tabloids for putting family members and boyfriends on the public payroll.
    Still, she is the daughter of Assemblyman José Rivera and the sister of Councilman Joel Rivera, and was backed by the Bronx Democratic machine. So Mr. Gjonaj left nothing to chance. His campaign style was flamboyant, with hints of a car salesman: He handed out roses at subway stops, and on sweltering days set up cool-down tents for passersby.
    Friendly landlords helped place his campaign literature in apartment buildings ...

    READ MORE: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120930/POLITICS/309309975

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