Battle in the Boogie Down
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who is set to go on trial for corruption charges, may have some political problems, too.
The Bronx Democrat is likely to face several challengers this year if he chooses to seek re-election, and some of those candidates are already ramping up their operations, sources said.
It is a question few in the New York political establishment dare to ask publicly: is the seemingly endless string of indictments and arrests of elected officials a conspiracy against minorities in power?
But there was Queens State Sen. James Sanders Jr., bellowing in a theater with a preacher’s rhythm, more than implying last night that the recent arrests of black elected officials like Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, State Sen. Malcolm Smith and State Sen. John Sampson were not coincidental. Even State Sen. Shirley Huntley, who admitted to stealing funds earmarked for her district’s underprivileged children and was sentenced Thursday for her crimes, could have been linked to a conspiracy, Mr. Sanders said.
Ironically, Mr. Sanders defeated Ms. Huntley last year–after she was indicted–and took her seat in the State Senate.
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.
You remember what it was like, sitting in a special classroom, maybe one with couches instead of desks. The boys typically congregated to one side and the girls to the other. And the teacher—not your regular teacher—went around the room and made everyone say the words “penis” and “vagina” without laughing, while your best friend sat across from you flicking his tongue between two of his fingers.
Yes, that adolescent rite of passage known as the school-sanctioned sex ed class will arrive in New York City schools next year, albeit with stakes far more serious than misspelling “fallopian”: it comes accompanied by the kind of media maelstrom reminiscent of the culture wars of 20 years ago. (Jocelyn Elders, is that you?)
A group being led by former State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin says a new sex ed program mandated by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Education involves field trips to abortion clinics and visits to “a sexually-explicit website.” City school officials tell the Observer there isn’t any specific sex ed curriculum and deny the site in question appears in their recommended materials.
A number of lawmakers gathered at a public school in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to implore Mayor Mike Bloomberg to allow parents to opt out of his new sex-ed curriculum.
“New York is a multi-cultural city whose residents hold a variety of deeply held beliefs and social traditions,” said former Democratic State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin , the Executive Director of the New York City Parents’ Choice Coalition. “It’s wrong to force them to choose between what the City is planning and no sex education at all. Parents who want a more traditional, abstinence-based sex education curriculum for their children should be able to have that.”