Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s congressional campaign has been endorsed by almost every elected official in Queens outside of the State Assembly, and today, her campaign announced a couple more endorsements and re-announced others to demonstrate her backing in the Latino community.
The focus on the Latino voters is interesting, as much of the discussion of the demographics of the congressional race thus far has been on the district’s substantial Asian-American and Jewish communities. However, there is still a notable Latino presence of about 18% of the district’s population (the percentage among likely voters is sure to be less).
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.”
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.
Influential Albany power broker, radio host and New York Post columnist Fred Dicker is not pleased Dominican ambassador Roberto Saladin sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to support the push to create a new predominantly Latino Congressional district in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. Mr. Dicker discussed Mr. Saladin’s letter on his radio show, Live From The State Capitol, this morning with his fellow Post columnist, former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin.
“First of all, the presumptuousness of it is pretty interesting,” Mr. Dicker said of the letter.
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.”