Family and friends of Pvt. Danny Chen spoke with reporters in a small, stark room on Mott Street this afternoon about how the soldier had been subjected to racial taunts and physical abuse by his comrades in the army. Pvt. Chen was allegedly driven to commit suicide at his base in Kandahar, Afghanistan last October.
"What can I say...In 1860 Mark Twain saw in front of his eyes a quote ‘chinaman’ being stoned to death in front of a police officer. I thought we had come a long way. I was just commenting outside how much longer we have to go," said Wellington Chen, the director of the Chinatown Partnership.
Flanked by both American and Taiwanese flags, Pvt. Chen's distraught family and members of the Chinese-American community addressed the press about new revelations regarding abuse the soldier suffered before his death.
Hazed and taunted with racial slurs, Private Chen ultimately committed suicide at his base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, initial investigations have concluded. While the family gave brief remarks through a translator, Liz OuYang, the President of the Organization for Chinese Americans spoke on behalf of Private Chen's grieving parents. Read More
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand fundraises around the world.
Govenor Cuomo didn’t read his written remarks on independent redistricting.
Mayor Bloomberg isn’t sure why.
Adriano Espaillat also comments on the issue.
Ruben Diaz said that Cuomo is “a good preacher; he preaches better than I do.”
NEWSFLASH: The fine ladies employed by the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, located outside of Las Vegas, Nevada (of which we are a proud, native son) have finally weighed in with their endorsement for the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, reports Raw Story. Mitt Romney, who is leading in polls, has been snubbed: Their vote has gone to Ron Paul.
Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, a nationally recognizable liberal and former Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, is fundraising for one of Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth’s opponents, Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander.
Congressman Frank is joined at the fundraiser by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, another high-ranking member of the Financial Services Committee. Interestingly, Congresswoman Hayworth is also a member of this committee.
For the last several weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing the idea of bringing casino gambling to New York State. In his annual State of the State address yesterday, the governor suggested that New York could see $1 billion in revenue.
In an interview with The Daily News last month, Mr. Cuomo laid out the possibilities of where the casino would be located.
“New York City is a real location,” he said. “Albany is a real location. Buffalo is a real location.”
Reports last June indicated that Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an influential power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, would back Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler for the seat that then-State Senator Carl Kruger looked likely to leave vacant in the near future. Mr. Kruger did indeed resign his seat and is currently heading to jail for corruption. However, Assemblyman Hikind’s said in an interview today that he’s unsure which candidate he will eventually support.
Although the parties have not chosen their nominees for the special election yet, Councilman Fidler and attorney David Storobin are believed to have the inside track to their respective party nominations. “Lew is a friend, and I’ve spoken to him on numerous occasions,” Hikind said, describing his relations with the two candidates. “I’ve also had the opportunity to meet the Republican candidate, David Storobin. I saw him last week when he asked to see me.”
year end review
Republican State Chairman Ed Cox met with New York’s 62 GOP county chairs this afternoon and said that 2012 was shaping up to be another 1980–when Republicans took New York in the presidential election and elected Al D’Amato to the U.S. Senate.
The D’Amato example is instructive. Mr. Cox told the county chairs, ”Needless to say, one of our highest priorities will be to increase our majority in the State Senate, and elect more Republicans to the Assembly. “We also believe that Senator Gillibrand is vulnerable, and there are at least two highly qualified Republicans interested in challenging her.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the electoral arm of the House Democrats, sent out a release chronicling votes that Representatives Michael Grimm and Nan Hayworth cast over the last year and unsurprisingly finds them somewhat wanting.
“The first year of Representative [Michael Grimm’s/Nan Hayworth's] Republican Congress is marked by extreme partisanship and unbending protection of Big Oil and the ultra wealthy,” a DCCC press secretary said in two releases. “[Grimm/Hayworth] and House Republicans have spent this first year in chronic chaos — failing to protect the middle class or create jobs — and are now off on vacation rather than putting Americans back to work.”
Old Time Religion
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand launched an online book club today affiliated with her Off The Sidelines campaign to get women more involved in politics.
“Off The Sidelines is about bringing women’s voices to the forefront. So we’re starting a book club that focuses on the issues and stories that are important to us,” Senator Gillibrand wrote in an email inviting supporters to join the club.
In a case of what may turn over a question of who is the Occupied and who the Occupier, Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera was arrested this morning as part of a protest against the New York City Law Department’s decision to evict houses of worship from city-owned properties.
“Today we are seeing the first indication that the churches in New York City, and nationally, are awakening,” Mr. Cabrera said. “Together, we will fight these restrictive laws that discriminate against hundreds of thousands of Church-goers.”