king of queens
The Queens County Democratic Party is expected to endorse Councilman Leroy Comrie for borough president next week, according to four sources plugged into various sides of the race.
The sources–some of whom were disappointed in the decision–told Politicker that Congressman Joe Crowley, the head of the borough’s Democratic organization, will probably endorse Mr. Comrie to balance his leadership position in one of the most demographically diverse counties in the country.
State Sen. and Queens borough president candidate José Peralta, who was among the seven lawmakers secretly recorded by ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley, has been racking up legal bills, spending tens of thousands of campaign dollars on lawyers’ fees.
Since December, 2011, Mr. Peralta’s senate re-election and 2013 borough president campaigns have spent a combined $53,500.00 in fees to Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, one of the city’s top election law firms, city and state finance records show. That includes $22,500 in payments from Mr. Peralta’s campaign for borough president–about a quarter of the total $88,873 the campaign has spent so far, the filings show.
State Senator Jose Peralta, regarded as one of the front-runners in the hotly contested race for Queens Borough President, has the subtle backing of New York Mets and Major League Soccer executives, according to his latest disclosure statements.
Peralta’s district includes Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Willets Point, where the real estate company headed by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz won a high-profile bid–along with Related Companies–to turn the auto repair shop haven into a shopping and housing complex. The long-delayed Willets Point project is not without controversy, though Mr. Peralta and the Queens Democratic establishment are in support of the development.
king of queens
Former Councilwoman Melinda Katz is kicking off her campaign to replace term-limited Borough President Helen Marshall at Portofino Ristorante in Forest Hills tonight. Joining her will be none other than the man who leads the Queens Democratic Party, Congressman Joe Crowley. However, his presence at her party doesn’t necessarily imply Mr. Crowley is backing Ms. Katz in the crowded field.
Indeed, a reader passes along a kickoff event invitation for State Senator José Peralta’s campaign for Ms. Marshall’s job as well, which Mr. Crowley is also attending.
Is the media to blame for NYCHA’s problems? Or, more specifically, the Daily News? That was certainly the impression given by a handful of pols on the steps of City Hall this afternoon.
Led by Rosie Mendez, chair of the City Council’s housing committee, the group applauded the New York City Housing Authority’s recent improvements over the past months and years. While it was widely acknowledged that the state of public housing in the city was far from perfect, the situation was indeed improving in the view of those huddled under the portico of City Hall as it drizzled on the steps just beyond.
“NYCHA’s problems are profound,” Queens Councilman LeRoy Comrie said. “They cannot be explained away in a newspaper article that simply says they are not doing their job.”
Add another Latino voice in the State Legislature to the list of endorsements for State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s congressional campaign. Queens State Senator José Peralta announced he was hopping on board this morning, joining Bronx Senator Gustavo Rivera in supporting their colleague’s campaign against longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel. For his part, Mr. Rangel is expected to get his own prominent backer later today with the endorsement of Bronx Borough Rubén Díaz Jr.
“As a fellow legislator, I have watched Adriano fight for New Yorkers with great passion and energy,” Mr. Peralta said in a statement released by Mr. Espaillat’s campaign. “He has taken on Republican attempts to cut Medicaid, fought for affordable housing by extending and strengthening rent regulations which kept millions of tenants in their homes, and expanded opportunities for immigrants.”
king of queens
Last month, State Senator José Peralta formed a campaign committee for a possible run for Queens Borough President, and, at least according to fundraising requests being circulated on his behalf, he seems to be moving forward with his campaign.
In an email from political consultant Greg Petzold, which a reader said was being sent to organizations and non-profits in Queens, Mr. Petzold directly indicates Mr. Peralta is campaigning for the borough presidency.
State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, had some interesting advice for his fellow State Senators José Peralta and Adriano Espaillat should either take a run for Congress. He suggested they start raising money from the gay community to overcome the backlash from religious Hispanic voters come election time.
“Nowadays, the outcry from the Dominican community is to elect a Dominican to serve in the United States Congress. In fact, there are many candidates of Dominican descent who are qualified to effectively represent their community in the US Congress,” he wrote in one of his ‘What You Should Know’ letters this morning.
“I say this even though, as you know, Senator Adriano Espaillat and Senator Jose Peralta voted for gay marriage, and because of that they will have problems with Catholics and Evangelical Ministers within the Hispanic community,” he continued. “But Since Adriano is the frontrunner, I suggest that the gay community start a series of activities to raise at least a million dollars for Adriano before it’s too late.”
king of queens
This morning, a new campaign committee, “Peralta 2013,” appeared on the Board of Elections website, suggesting State Senator José Peralta is taking yet another step towards his increasingly likely campaign for Queens Borough President next year.
The committee will allow Mr. Peralta to raise money and more forcefully campaign for the race, especially when one potential candidate, Councilman Peter Vallone, already has $1 million in his own campaign war chest.
Starting in Harlem tomorrow morning, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will make a Schumer-esque, five-borough tour in less than 48 hours.
The slew of events will touch on everything from employment, to same-sex marriage, to first-responders, to the military — and will give her a chance to rub elbows with more than a dozen downstate elected officials.
It all begins with an Urban Jobs Act event alongside Congressman Charlie Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright and the National Urban League.