The new Senate district being proposed by the state GOP Senate would eliminate the current configuration of three Senators representing Riverdale and would have just one Senator representing the area and much of Kingsbridge Heights. That Senator would be Jeff Klein. So while most residents may be thrilled to see the area consolidated into the hands of one very competent and hard working elected official, there is probably one other elected official who is not happy about this proposal even though he might pick up some new areas of Kingsbridge Heights.
Bronx Political Chatter is a no holds-barred, irreverent look at politics in the Bronx. Bronxites have long lacked an independent forum to express our views about local politics and politicians. Bronx Political Chatter is a place for you to openly express your views, ideas, criticisms and suggestions, and to make our elected officials more accountable for the decisions they make. So this is your turn to be heard.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Riverdale Review Editor Finally Admits that Congressman Engel and Councilman Koppell Helped Him Acquire Paper
Chris Bragg over at City Hall blog managed to get an answer to a question that people have been asking for nearly a decade -- who helped Andy Wolf acquire the Riverdale Review nearly two decades ago? The answer confirmed the long-standing rumors that Congressman Eliot Engel and Councilman Oliver Koppell were instrumental in his ability to acquire the paper. Earlier today Andy Wolf "acknowledged that in the mid-1990’s – when he bought the Review – Engel made a phone call to a Elias Karmon, a local businessman, in an effort persuade Karmon to give Wolf a loan that would allow him to buy the paper. Wolf declined to say how much the loan was worth. Wolf also acknowledged that Koppell, an attorney, did some pro-bono legal work on his behalf that helped complete the transaction. " For years it has been whispered that these elected officials made it possible for Wolf to acquire the paper, and it appears they have been rewarded handsomely with two decades of favorable coverage. Not surprisingly, despite being asked in another local publication about their involvement, neither has ever acknowledged any role -- but that may change now that Wolf has come clean.
New Candidate Emerges for Koppell Council Seat
Chris Bragg over at the City Hall blog reports that Clifford Stanton has emerged as a candidate for the 11th Council district currently held by the term-limited Oliver Koppell. Stanton is a small business owner and a parent leader at two local schools. He is also a leader in the year long boycott of the Riverdale Review and its editor Andy Wolf.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Andy Wolf Kisses Diaz, Jr.'s Ring (And Everything Else)
Here is a campaign newsletter for Ruben Diaz, Jr. disguised as a legitimate article in the online NY Sun written by Andy Wolf -- the editor of the Riverdale Review. Wolf writes glowingly about Diaz and credits him for victories regarding jobs in the Bronx, the Kingsbridge Armory and the living wage. So while the Bronx remains the Borough with the highest unemployment rate in the City, somehow Wolf thinks Diaz has hit all home runs. Contrast that with this unprecedented joint editorial put out by four Bronx newspapers (the Riverdale Press, Norwood News, Hunts Point Express and Mott Haven Herald) about the living wage bill and the Armory, which said "Diaz’s statements saluting the deal and the revival of talks to develop the armory expose him as an empty suit."
State Senator Diaz Wants to Give Leadership Positions to Rebel Group
Here is a piece by Chris Bragg discussing a proposal by State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. that would give leadership positions to the four members of the Senate breakaway group known as the Independent Democratic Conference. The group includes Jeff Klein and Diane Savino. Diaz's goal in offering those positions is ensure that the Democrats can retake the Senate. As some may recall, Diaz led another breakaway group known as the Four Amigos -- three of which are either in jail or on their way there today.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Mayor Set To Announce New RFP for Armory
Ahead of his State of the City Address, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that a new Request for Proposal will be issued for the Kingsbridge Armory. The Norwood News reports that the RFP will not include a requirement of a living wage -- which helped to sink the prior bid. Despite that, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. is supporting this latest RFP.
Senator Klein Introduces Anti-Bullying Legislation
State Senator Jeff Klein has introduced legislation aimed at cyber bullying. "Klein said the bill would add the charge of third-degree stalking to include bullying through electronic communications, add texting or computer communications to the means to the charge of aggravated harassment and update the crime of first-degree criminal impersonation to include electronic communications."
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Bronx BP Asks for Vote on Living Wage Bill
Here is a New York Daily News story reporting on a video put out by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. calling on the City Council to hold a vote on the Living Wage bill. The bill would require builders who receive any taxpayer subsidies to ensure that any future jobs at the site pay $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not taken a position on the bill.
Assemblyman Jose Rivera Asks ABC to Apologize to Puerto Ricans
Here is a press release from Assemblyman Jose Rivera calling on ABC to apologize to Puerto Ricans for the way they were portrayed in a new sitcom called "Work It". The show contains a scence where a Puerto Rican character states “I am Puerto Rican – I’d be great at selling drugs.” The Assemblyman's statement says, in part, "The fact that in the 21st Century we still have to change the channel in order to prevent our children from hearing comments on TV and film that attack their humanity and self esteem is unacceptable. We should not live in fear of watching TV or going to the movies because we do not know when the next insult is coming. We demand that ABC apologize to the Puerto Rican community at the beginning of the next episode of “Work It” and that the President of ABC meet with Puerto Rican community leaders to create a plan in which, instead of discriminating against the Puerto Rican community, the network promotes the rich tradition and contributions of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in general."
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Seabrook Given 350k to Hand Out Despite Indictment
Here is an editorial from the NY Post about indicted Councilman Larry Seabrook getting $350,000 in pork to hand out despite the fact that he is under indictment for misappropriating pork to not-for-profits. Speaker Christine Quinn is under fire from many newspapers and good government groups for making the money available to a guy with the nickname "Cash and Carry Larry".
Panel Finds Espada Improperly Hired Uncle
Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal reporting that a state ethics panel has determined that there is probable cause that former State Senator Pedro Espada broke New York law by hiring his uncle. He is currently under indictment for much more serious charges so this seems to be minor compared to all the other bad stuff he has done.
NY Post Criticizes DeBlasio and Diaz, Jr. on Living Wage and Jobs
Here is a NY Post editorial criticizing Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and Bronx BP Ruben Diaz, Jr. over their stance on the living wage bill. DeBlasio only recently supported the bill and Diaz loudly applauded his stance. The editorial states, "Two years ago, Diaz got the council to kill a promising plan to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into a shopping mall — which could have provided thousands of jobs — by insisting on living-wage salaries at the site. The demand made the project economically unviable — and the developer, the Related Co., pulled out. Puff went the mall. And all the jobs. Diaz couldn’t have been prouder. “The notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies,” he exulted. Two years later, The Bronx boasts the highest unemployment in the state. Now, Diaz is applauding de Blasio, citing his “support for this historic legislation.”
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