Rev. Erick Salgado has a dream.
That dream is to be included in Quinnipiac University polls of the mayor’s race, like his fellow, better-known, Democratic candidates.
To make his point known, Mr. Salgado held a press conference on the City Hall steps this morning and accused the polling firm, as well as debate organizers and the media, of discriminating against his campaign based on his socioeconomic status and his ethnicity.
With less than three weeks to go until the Democratic mayoral primary, the candidates are hard at work trying to court the Latino vote.
Today, in another sign the vote remains up for grabs, former Congressman Anthony Weiner and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson both released Spanish-language television advertisements–the first of the mayor’s race.
Step aside Carlos Danger, Bill de Blasio is ready to make his own pitch to Latino voters as he and his fellow mayoral candidates increasingly tailor their message to the city’s sizable Hispanic community.
Mr. de Blasio, who has clearly been practicing his Spanish language skills, released a new online ad today where he personally narrates in the language.
slicing and dicing
At the height of a blistering heat wave that pummeled the city two weeks ago, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn stepped from a black SUV that lingered near the sidewalk just long enough to let its precious cargo leave. The former governor of Puerto Rico, Sila María Calderón, draped in a regal gold jacket, had flown from San Juan to join Ms. Quinn and formally endorse her for mayor of New York City.
Once inside a larger recreational room of the Bronx’s Andrew Jackson Senior Center, filled to the brim with primarily Hispanic seniors, the pair of female politicians were announced like the Rolling Stones gracing the stage of Madison Square Garden.
“We have the first woman who was the governor of Puerto Rico and we have the first woman who is going to be the mayor of the City of New York,” Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo declared, drawing uproarious applause.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn jetted across the city Monday to show off her newest endorsement in the mayor’s race: former Puerto Rican Governor Sila Maria Calderon.
Ms. Calderón, who said she traveled from San Juan to join Ms. Quinn on the blisteringly hot day, began the tour in the Bronx, where Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo boisterously announced the endorsement, and presence, of Ms. Calderón to a crowded room of primarily Hispanic seniors at the Andrew Jackson Senior Center.
Strongly Worded Letters
One City Council member was not pleased with a televised mayoral debate held on Wednesday, but her ire was reserved for the questioned asked, not the answers given.
In a letter obtained by Politicker, Councilwoman Annabel Palma slammed NY1, NY1 Noticias and the Latino Leadership Institute, who hosted the debate focused on Latino issues. Specifically, Ms. Palma accused the organizations of turning the debate from “substance” into “farce.”
Blast From The Past
Today’s front-page New York Times story detailing Anthony Weiner’s lack of congressional accomplishments hadn’t been published yet, but last night, Mr. Weiner suddenly found himself defending his record.
It was at a Latino-focused forum and the topic was immigration. And, as he’s done before, the former congressman blamed Republicans for the lack of movement on the issue.
“Unfortunately, every member of the Democratic caucus, you can say, didn’t get much done during the Bush years while I was on immigration committee,” the slender-framed Democrat said, pivoting to a joke. “When I got on that committee, I was six-four, 290 pounds. This is all that is left of me.”
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.