Move over Marty Markowitz, Ruben Diaz Jr. has taken the crown as New York’s rappingest Borough President.
A little over a month after Brooklyn’s Mr. Markowitz rapped a few bars with Wu Tang Clan member GZA, Mr. Diaz, the Bronx Borough President, joined hip hop legend Doug E. Fresh on stage at Bronx Week Sunday to perform his hit song “La Di Da.” Their duet was captured on video by an audience member.
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. released a lengthy thousand word statement today outlining his views on abortion. Mr. Diaz explained why he believes abortion amounts to the “killing of unborn babies” and why he thinks it’s time to “forget about being politically correct by being Pro-Choice.”
“Hitler was pro-choice. He chose to send the Jews to Auschwitz. That was not their choice that was Hitler’s choice,” Mr. Diaz said. “Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice.”
What You Should Know
State Senator Ruben Diaz sent out one of his periodic “What You Should Know” missives today in which described the arrest of a campaign aide who worked for one of his charities as part of the government’s failed vendetta against him. Clement Gardner was arrested last month and charged with stealing $75,000 from the Christian Community Benevolent Association, which was founded by Mr. Diaz. Mr. Gardner allegedly took the money between 2004 and 2007, when he confessed his crimes to the FBI. In his message today, Mr. Diaz speculated the FBI didn’t immediately arrest Mr. Gardner because they wanted help in “their quest to get Senator Ruben Diaz.”
“Anybody would think that the right thing for the FBI to have done would be to inform the organization,” Mr. Diaz said. “You should also know my dear reader, that contrary to what reasonable people would do, the FBI authorized Mr. Gardner, through Agent Campbell, to go back to the agency where he stole more money. Was Mr. Gardner told: ‘We don’t care what you do we just want Senator Diaz. Go back keep doing what you’re doing and give us Senator Diaz?’”
Ruben Dario Vargas, a self-described “Northern Manhattan community activist” who has run multiple unsuccessful campaigns for public office, is throwing his hat into the crowded campaign for the 13th congressional district, where Charlie Rangel is running for re-election. Based on his past performance running for the seat, Mr. Vargas is unlikely to be a major threat in the race, but his entry will strip State Senator Adriano Espaillat of his status as the only Latino candidate in a district with a majority Latino population.
A man named Angel Molina is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito for her seat in the 8th district, which includes East Harlem, Central Park and portions of the Upper West Side and the Bronx. Mr. Molina, who recently filed to form a campaign committee to run for the seat, also has a website where he identifies fighting education spending cuts and raising the minimum wage as his the main issues on his platform.
“My commitment to social justice and growing up in a poor neighborhood gives me a distinct cultural perspective that I often use as my ethical compass to provide benefit to my community,” Mr. Molina said in a statement announcing his candidacy on his site.
What You Should Know
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. sent out an epic press release today in which he again denied any involvement in the scandal surrounding his charity, accused Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of having a vendetta against him and urged local media to “go back to journalism school.”
“I am not a saint, and neither do I claim to walk on water. I have my own demons, but I assure you that they are not about a corrupt mind abusing the trust and confidence that my constituents have placed in me,” Mr. Diaz said.”
Mr. Diaz’s lengthy letter blasting the attorney general’s office and the press for looking at his charity’s finances was entitled, “God Hates Ugly and He is Watching.”
The wide of embattled former State Senator Pedro Espada is seeking some divine intervention in the trial of her husband and son. Yesterday, as one of Mr. Espada’s former employees took the stand and testified against him, his wife, Connie, posted a prayer request on her Facebook page.
“Lord pls pray us & pls keep all my enemies away, let them not be able 2 bring us harm Amen,” she wrote.
It is hard not to pity poor Charlie Rangel.
Not because his golden years have been besieged by trouble, some of it his own making, some of it the usual thrust of a hyper-partisan political culture. Not because he is now—and has been for the past several years—hounded by plausible challengers at an age when most politicians are busy buffing the stones on the sides of buildings that bear their names; not because he continues to contend with suspicions that he is on the cusp of retirement.
No, instead, Mr. Rangel deserves some sympathy because after four decades in the House of Representatives, building a political machine that has seen scores of friends and protégés win high office, serving a district that has been represented by only two people since World War II, he is now presiding over that district’s dissolution.
Always outspoken State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. is not pleased with redistricting proposals that would use space in the Bronx to create a predominantly Latino Congressional district or extend Charlie Rangel’s district into Westchester. Mr. Diaz sent one of his periodic “What You Should Know” missives to supporters yesterday slamming the proposals.
“The Bronx is not a colony,” Mr. Diaz wrote. “You should know that I am just calling it the way I see it: the way the district lines have been drawn for New York’s Congressional seats indicates to me that there are some people who still believe in colonies.”
Senator Chuck Schumer mixed up the names of hip-hop icons L.L. Cool J and D.J. Kool Herc, in his speech at the gala scholarship dinner that was the finale of the annual New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus association weekend. Mr. Schumer’s musical mixup came when he told the audience about his efforts to preserve the Bronx apartment building where Kool Herc is said to have first mixed records and rapped over the beat.
“I have kept my promises to you that, while I have clout in Washington, I will do everything I can for our dear State of New York,” Mr. Schumer said. “So, when greedy landlords in the Bronx wanted to close the home on Sedgwick Avenue where L.L. Kool Herc invented hip hop and lots of hardworking people lived, we stopped them.”