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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is Diaz Ready for Primetime?

Here is an article by Chris Bragg over at City Hall News that looks at the 2013 citywide prospects for Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. It touches on his political skills (he has been in office since he was 22) and his ability to work with the borough's politicians. Interestingly, Diaz takes a moment to take a shot at former BP Ferrer when he says, "Think about former borough presidents,.. Did they ever get the support of the leadership in Riverdale, when they wanted to run for higher office? Did Freddy [Ferrer]? No. Think about how we've been able to bring in the folks in Riverdale, the Jewish community, the Italians. Leadership and bringing people together has to be a quality that people are looking for in a mayor." The article then goes on to detail his two major albatrosses -- his father and the Kingsbridge Armory. After killing the $350 million investment and 2200 jobs at the Armory, Diaz appointed a task force to look at another development idea. However, Jack Kittle, a labor leader who served on the task force said "We think he's crippled any development there for generations, ... There's a reluctance to invest anywhere in the Bronx, if not the whole city." About 2013, Diaz is quoted as saying "Look man, whoever runs for mayor is going to have a story to tell, ... I'm working on my narrative." What do Bronxites think about his narrative?


  1. Baby Diaz is a political lightweight ... and his thoughts are as garbled as his faculty of speech. He isn't well known to most voters in his own borough (not to mention the rest of the city).

    The few New Yorkers who do know about him only know that he's a job-killer who torpedoed the Kingsbridge Armory Mall project.

    It's a safe bet that the ceremonial post of Bronx Boro Prez is the highest that guy is ever going to rise.

  2. Shuck + Jive = Ruben Diaz Jr.

  3. This 2010 Daily News editorial zeroes in on the main reason why Ruben “Armory” Diaz, Jr. is going nowhere politically:

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010


    One year ago today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. killed a project that would have brought more than 1,000 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs to a borough with the city's highest unemployment rate.

    He declared he would rather have no jobs than the jobs that would have come along with renovation of the sprawling Kingsbridge Armory into a retail mall. And that is exactly what Diaz produced: No jobs.

    Plus no prospects for jobs at the site.

    Plus a hulking, cavernous building that is going to ruin after the city invested millions in fixing it up enough to get a developer to consider investing hundreds of millions more in the property.

    Diaz to this day insists that he was right to send the armory plan to its death. He argues that the city should provide taxpayer assistance only to economic development projects whose jobs pay a so-called living wage.


  4. He's been on his knees kissing the rings of corrupt politicians in the Kingdom of Riverdalia for far too long. He's been doing the electric slide all over the backs of the poor who desperately need jobs, while visions of self righteous grandeur dance around in his over inflated head. He conducts himself like a child in an infinite state of christmas eve anticipation, waiting for what will happen next rather than being an active player in the resurrection of the spirit of The Bronx.

    He's a monument to "disappointed" and "bamboozled".

    I dont want to hear about how useless the BP's position is either. Take a look at Brooklyn and then tell me how useless a BP is! The Bronx is the 3rd World Country of the 5 boroughs of the City of New York. We have all of our "leaders" to blame for this phenomenon.

  5. And what ever happened with this investigation of Diaz Sr. and Jr. ??


    New York Daily News, Thursday, June 5th 2008


    By Robert Gearty, Daily News Staff Writer

    The FBI is investigating a taxpayer-funded home attendant program largely funded by a Bronx state senator and his assemblyman son, the Daily News has learned.
    Christian Community in Action is part of a sweeping federal probe of Sen. Ruben Diaz and Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr.
    Sen. Diaz founded the organization and is a former administrator. His wife, Leslie, is the group's director of field operations and had a $59,056 annual salary as of April 2007. Ruben Diaz Jr. worked there as a teen.
    Three members of Sen. Diaz's staff are members of the group's board of directors.
    Last year, the nonprofit received a grand jury subpoena from the public corruption unit of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, which was probing fraud and money laundering.
    A month later, the FBI served a subpoena on the Bronx office of the city Board of Elections and seized documents about the Diazes, a development first reported by The News.
    Sen. Diaz, a Pentecostal minister, admitted Christian Community in Action was subpoenaed but said it was "two years ago."
    "As far as I know, nothing happened," he said, refusing to answer questions and hanging up.
    His son is a candidate for Bronx borough president and part of a group of rebel lawmakers seeking to unseat Bronx Democratic Party leader Jose Rivera.
    Last year, Ruben Diaz Jr. spent $25,000 in campaign funds on Manhattan law firm Kobre & Kim, which often defends government targets in criminal cases.
    The assemblyman did not return calls for comment.
    The group's parent, Christian Community Benevolent Association, has received more than $1.5 million in pork barrel spending from the Diazes from 2003 to 2007. The association is not on a list of pork projects designated for funding this year.
    Christian Community in Action also has a $26 million contract with the city to provide home health care to 1,000 seniors.
    Last year, Christian Community in Action told the mayor's office it was being investigated.
    In a vendor questionnaire obtained by The News, the nonprofit said the investigation began in early 2007 and was "ongoing," but contended it did not know what probers were trying to find.
    Attached to the document was a copy of the subpoena issued by a grand jury in Manhattan Federal Court which demanded names, addresses, salaries and Social Security numbers of all current and former employes, consultants, board members, benefactors and contractors back to 1999. It also demanded all documents relating to the group's funding since 1999.
    A woman who answered Leslie Diaz's office phone said Diaz was on vacation. Her boss, program director Luis Alejandro, declined to comment.
    Three ministers on Christian Community in Action's board said they did not know about the FBI investigation.
    "It surprises me," said the Rev. Rafael Melendez, who is Sen. Diaz's 74-year-old half-brother. He said the board meets regularly every two months.
    Sen. Diaz is no stranger to scrutiny. In 2005, he repaid the state $5,000 because he'd used state and federal funds given to the nonprofit Soundview Community in Action to buy furniture for his district office and loudspeakers for his campaign.
    Workers at the nonprofit Soundview said former Gov. Eliot Spitzer ignored more serious allegations that Diaz forced them to give his wife and ex-wife no-show jobs.

    Read more:

  6. Q: Is Rubén Díaz Jr. ready for primetime?

    A: No, and he never will be.

  7. He's a purposeless politician in a purposeless post.

  8. Carrion was a better BP than Diaz, and Ferrer was better as better BP than Carrion.

  9. The profile article in City Hall News was pretty balanced in presenting who Mr. Diaz is. But I would NEVER vote for him for any position that has actual responsibilities. He's just a Bronx ribbon-cutter!

  10. Carrior had a larcenous heart. Still does. Nice house in City Island he has...very nice.

  11. I don't think he is terribly inspiring or articulate. Anthony Weiner would wipe the floor with him.

  12. If he runs for Mayor in 2012 he'll see just how deeply he's touched the Riverdale Jewish Community. JD's new nickname will be Brutus as the BFC endorses Anthony Weiner.

  13. Let's review Borough President Diaz's record:

    (1) He made a disastrous choice on the Kingsbridge Armory.

    (2) He has picked some awful staff for the Borough President's Office.

    (3) He has made terrible appointments to the local community boards.

    So, short of being removed from office for corruption, it's hard to imagine that anyone could do a worse job than the one he's doing.

  14. I think it is hilarious that Diaz Jr.'s overwhelming desire to secure Riverdale votes - as if Riverdale is the largest community in the Bronx - explains why he and Jeffrey Dinowitz were attached at the hip and why Jeffrey Dinowitz was calling all the shots in the BP's office.

    John DeSio is a Dinowitz plant for crying out loud!!!

    Even more shocking is that Dinowitz has such a stronghold over the auctions at the Bronx Courthouse. Who is helping him secure those appointments?

    Reuben Junior should have been more of a man and relied on himself rather than latch onto the scum of the earth as if his life depended upon it.

  15. I happen to think Diaz Jr. was right about the Armory situation. However, mayor is out of the question for 2013. That should be obvious. But for public advocate or maybe even comptroller, I'd say his chances are as good as anyone else. He can use his office to raise money from real estate developers and max out public funding easily (oxymoron). If he happens to be the only latino in either race, gives him a fighting change. Sadly, and not to sound racist, I don't see many non-lations voting for him for anything, ever. Until he steps up his speaking (says the guy taking classes to try to lose my horrid Bronx accent.)

    Not trying to diss anyone -- just my two cents.

  16. If I were in his shoes, I'd be looking at congress. Who really wants to be the public advocate anyway? Unless it is a stepping stone to something better. And, like I said, I don't see mayor ever happening. U.S. Congress would be a good fit for Diaz Jr.

  17. "If he happens to be the only latino in either race, gives him a fighting change."

    i meant to say chance of course.

  18. Diaz Jr. is a total lightweight and is going nowhere politically. The guy can't even string together a sensible thought and express it clearly.

    And that armory mess means he's never going to rise beyond his current position.