Primaries across the city are reaching heating up, and Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera’s reelection campaign is no exception. Over the past few weeks, Ms. Rivera took constant hits about alleged unethical conduct from the New York Post and other outlets. Her main primary rival, Mark Gjonaj, gleefully used the flaps in campaign mailings slamming the incumbent. However, Ms. Rivera is capable of firing off shots too and a source in the district provided a copy of her campaign mailer attacking Mr. Gjonaj for living in a neighboring assembly district, which you can view below.
“Mark Gjonaj is spending big bucks too try and become our assemblyman, but the truth is, he doesn’t know our community at all,” a campaign mailing declares. “Truth is Mark Gjonaj is raking in the big bucks as a wealthy landlord while actually living on exclusive City Island. Mark Gjonaj wants to go to Albany to help his rich landlord friends get more money out of our pockets.”
Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, who has be subject to a barrage of bad headlines since the New York Post reported that she had a secret Facebook page containing evidence that she gave a government job to her boyfriend, and subsequently reported an ex-boyfriend dropping allegations of corruption, doesn’t look like she’s in the clear yet. While the headlines may have shifted to the bigger story of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s collapse and Speaker Sheldon Silver’s prior efforts to shield him, Ms. Rivera’s main opponent Mark Gjonaj is using his hefty campaign account to further press the case.
To wit, campaign literature is hitting the Bronx asking residents, “Is this the type of person you want representing your family in Albany?” Some of the most critical headlines from the Post and other outlets are featured, including PIX 11′s, “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men” and the Bronx Times‘ “Naomi Rivera gets herself into a Snooki tabloid scandal.”
There are a number of under-covered state legislative primaries happening on September 13th, and District Leader Rodneyse Bichotte’s effort to take on veteran Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs may very well be one of them. Ms. Jacobs’ district is only about 15% white, while Ms. Bichotte, who’s of Haitian descent, has a natural base of support in the Flatbush-based district’s Caribbean population. And although almost every other union has formally backed Ms. Jacobs, Transport Workers Union Local 100, who’s political director Marvin Holland said is heavily concentrated in the district, is going in the other direction.
As race to replace Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries enters its last stretch, some of the last political forces are finally weighing in. The latest is the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has sided with District Leader Ola Alabi over fellow District Leader Walter Mosley.
“Olanike has stood up with working people on issues such as the fight for living wages, responsible development, keeping Walmart out of New York City until they change the way they operate, our campaigns for dignity for car wash workers and a fair contract for our members at Bloomingdale’s,” the union’s president, Stuart Appelbaum, said in a statement. “We are confident that Olanike’s values are our values. We have seen it in the way she has served effectively as a State Committeewoman/District Leader; and we expect the same when she becomes a State Assemblywoman.”
With only a couple weeks to go until election day, races for state legislative primaries across New York are heating up, and one of the top ones in the five boroughs is the campaign to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Grace Meng in her Flushing-based district. Ms. Meng of course is currently the Democratic nominee for Congress and will be leaving a vacant seat behind her.
Woe be to the pol against whom the tabloids can wield a story that combines allegations of both sex and corruption. That’s the lesson Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera has learned the hard way over the past ten days, as the New York Post has dropped least seven articles and editorials suggesting scandal, uncovering evidence that is now being investigated by multiple agencies.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman fully vacated his northeastern Queens seat in order to unsuccessfully run for Congress earlier this summer, and now the race to replace him is increasingly heating up and becoming a one to keep your eye on for this year’s September 13th Democratic primary.
Local community board chairman Jerry Iannece has received the support of the Queens County Democratic Party and has been slowly rolling out the endorsements of elected officials in the area, but his opponent would like to announce that she has her own notable support as well.
Congressman Charlie Rangel certainly took note of who endorsed him as he fended off a primary challenge from State Senator Adriano Espaillat earlier this year — not only is he backing a challenge to Mr. Espaillat as he seeks reelection in the State Senate, but he’s also reportedly supporting opponents running against Mr. Espaillat’s backers, like Senator Gustavo Rivera. Well, two can play at that game.
Earlier this morning Mr. Espaillat announced he was endorsing Mark Gjonaj, running against incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera. The endorsement stands out as Ms. Rivera was a prominent supporter of Mr. Rangel’s, even appearing on the front page of The New York Times at his victory party.
there you go
Just over a week ago, Queens Assembly candidate Myungsuk Lee held a press conference denouncing the New York Post for publishing reports of his newspaper, the Korean American Times, containing ads for prostitution services. At the conference, he reportedly vowed to sue the tabloid for defamation and libel, in addition to seeking a face-to-face sit down with the Post‘s chief editor to discuss the publication’s bias “against Korean-American community at large.”
Well, it looks like Mr. Lee backed down.
“Personally, I want to send a letter to the Post, but my political consultants advised me not to do it,” he told the Queens Courier while denying he intended to file a lawsuit. “It makes it worse.”
lee lashes out
Myungsuk Lee, one of many candidates vying to replace Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s soon-to-be-vacated seat, has been battered by a couple recent New York Post articles reporting the existence of prostitution ads in the newspaper he owns, the Korean American Times. But, according to a source monitoring the Korean language media, it seems Mr. Lee is not going to be taking the issue sitting down.
Mr. Lee reportedly held a press conference last Friday arguing that the alleged brothels are, in fact, legal businesses, and said he would seek to file a lawsuit against the Post for defamation and libel. In a translation provided to The Politicker, Mr. Lee further said he would seek a face-to-face discussion with the publication’s management, which he said produces articles ”against Korean-American community at large.”