Walk this way
Take Me Out To The Ball Game
Emboldened by Democrat Bill de Blasio’s decisive win in the mayor’s race, the state’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus today rolled out a new agenda and pushed Albany to “walk the walk” in passing progressive legislation.
Joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, the lawmakers pressed their case to nearly 250 elected officials, union members, and community activists seated in the auditorium of Baruch College.
Client No. Nope
The baseball world may not be going to bat for the scandal-scarred Alex Rodriguez, but a few elected officials penciled themselves into the ex-superstar’s dwindling lineup of backers.
Huddled in the shade on the steps outside of City Hall today, an Avengers-esque group of Latino leaders gathered to claim their allegiances to city comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, and, more importantly, level an onslaught of verbal assaults against the other guy, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. began the proceedings.
Adriano Espaillat could not go a single day without a text message, email or phone call from a mayoral campaign operative eager to tout his or her candidate’s momentum. His last name doesn’t carry the weight of a Clinton or Cuomo, but the Manhattan state senator was like Helen of Troy to the many political strategists and surrogates clashing in the most competitive Democratic mayoral primary in more than a decade.
“At the beginning, it felt special. Now it’s very taxing,” Mr. Espaillat told Politicker of the lobbying efforts in the days before making up his mind. “I get phone calls, text messages, emails. I get surrogates calling constantly, union leaders, activists and even friends I know, personal friends involved in the campaigns.”
“They call every day. Every single day,” he marveled.
Bill Thompson’s chances in the mayor’s race have always depended on his ability to unite Latino and African-American voters. And, at the northern end of Manhattan this morning, Mr. Thompson rolled out several endorsements that could place him on a path to doing exactly that.
The former city comptroller stood at the steps of the lavish United Palace in Washington Heights, flanked by State Senator Adriano Espaillat, accepting his endorsement with a slew of supporters behind them, raising blue signs emboldened with his name. Mr. Espaillat, notably, is a proven vote-getter in the city’s Dominican community and almost unseated veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel in a high-profile contest of his own last year.
levine la vida loca
Octogenarian Congressman Charlie Rangel staved off a vigorous primary challenge from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat last year, but he has yet to gear up his operations for what could be another tough re-election fight. According to his latest filings, Mr. Rangel spent more than he raised and has negative $4,800 cash on hand and $36,000 in debts and obligations.
Mark Levine, a Democratic district leader campaigning for the seat held by outgoing Councilman Robert Jackson, is flexing his political muscles even as attention in the race has shifted to the racially-charged epithets used against him and his supporters. Indeed, this morning Mr. Levine announced he has received the formal endorsements of three notable elected officials on the northern side of Manhattan: Congressman Jerry Nadler, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.
What You Should Know
The race for Manhattan Borough President this year continued to heat up today, with former community board chairwoman Julie Menin rolling up endorsements from State Senator Adriano Espaillat and two other officials in his political orbit, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa. The current borough president, Scott Stringer, is leaving his post to run citywide for comptroller, and a competitive field of contenders has formed to replace him.
In The Heights
State Senator Ruben Diaz sent a special New Year’s-themed edition of his regular “What You Should Know” email newsletters this morning. In his year-end missive, Mr. Diaz took a series of shots at the State Senate with backhanded “political wishes” for the new IDC/GOP leadership coalition, “Uncle Tom” State Senator Malcolm Smith and State Senator Adriano Espaillat.
Northern Manhattan, the highest point of the island, largely escaped the kind of devastation Hurricane Sandy caused elsewhere in the five boroughs, however residents and politicians from the area are pitching in with a storm relief telethon this afternoon that will be broadcast on La Mega radio station and at least three Spanish-language cable television outlets. The telethon includes planned appearances by the New York Yankees’ star second baseman Robinson Cano, several of the likely 2013 mayoral candidates and a slew of area politicos.
“Although Upper Manhattan has been spared by the storm, we recognize our responsibility to help fellow New Yorkers,” State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who organized the event, said in a statement. “The Uptown Cares Telethon will directly help raise funds for victims on Staten Island and around the City.”