Gov. Cuomo Doesn’t Have ‘Any Plans as of Now’ to Call Special Elections

Four of the five vacant seats in New York City are in central and eastern Brooklyn.
Assembly map with the vacant senate district (No. 20) overlaid. Four of the five city vacancies are in central and eastern Brooklyn.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have any plans to fill vacant seats in the State Legislature through special elections, despite the approach of a new legislative session and many seats to fill.

“We don’t have any plans right now to call special elections,” Mr. Cuomo told Politcker at a Hurricane Sandy-related press conference on Staten Island today. Continue reading “Gov. Cuomo Doesn’t Have ‘Any Plans as of Now’ to Call Special Elections”

Establishment-Backed Victor Pichardo Makes His Case for Nelson Castro’s Seat

Victor Pichardo. (Photo: Pichardo Campaign)
Victor Pichardo. (Photo: Pichardo Campaign)

Nelson Castro and Victor Pichardo have a few things in common. They’re both ambitious, Dominican-American and hand-picked candidates of the Bronx Democratic machine.

But Mr. Pichardo, 28, is hoping to traverse a very different path than Mr. Castro, the fallen former Bronx assemblyman revealed in April to have been a wired-up informant for almost his entire Albany tenure.

Forced to resign his West Bronx seat in April, Mr. Castro has created a rare open race in the borough where the diplomatic Mr. Pichardo, backed by the Bronx Democratic Party and powerful labor unions like the Hotel Trades Council, is poised to win in September. Continue reading “Establishment-Backed Victor Pichardo Makes His Case for Nelson Castro’s Seat”

Governor Cuomo Decries ‘Appalling’ Corruption Allegations

Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Getty)
Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Getty)

Governor Andrew Cuomo is not happy about the barrage of corruption charges hitting various New York lawmakers throughout the week, including State Senator Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson. Accordingly, Mr. Cuomo released a statement this afternoon detailing his disgust.

“The allegations of public corruption by City and State officials revealed this week are appalling,” the governor declared. Continue reading “Governor Cuomo Decries ‘Appalling’ Corruption Allegations”

Nelson Castro Announces Resignation After Cooperating in Corruption Case

Nelson Castro (Photo: assembly.state.ny.us/)
Nelson Castro (Photo: assembly.state.ny.us)

As expected, Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who wore a wire to help indict his colleague, Eric Stevenson, announced his resignation today. Stepping down from office, in addition to cooperating with federal authorities, were steps he took in order to avoid prosecution himself.

“Today I announce that I am resigning my seat in the New York State Assembly, effective Monday, April 8, 2013,” Mr. Castro said in the statement, which can be viewed in full below. “On July 31, 2009, I was indicted by a Bronx County Grand Jury for committing perjury in a 2008 civil matter, held prior to my election to the Assembly. I appreciate the seriousness of my misconduct. Thereafter, I agreed to cooperate with …. various investigations aimed at rooting out public corruption.”

Continue reading “Nelson Castro Announces Resignation After Cooperating in Corruption Case”

U.S. Attorney: ‘Political Corruption in New York Is Indeed Rampant’

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara explains the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara explains the scheme.

Two days ago, when U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said New York State corruption cases were beginning to feel like the movie Groundhog Day, he was rather prescient. This afternoon, Mr. Bharara unsealed charges against Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, making him the third New York City lawmaker to be charged with corruption this week. Additionally, another Bronx Assemblyman, Nelson Castro, was the cooperating witness in the latest case and will resign today.

“So here we go again,” Mr. Bharara began. “This has become something of a habit. For the second time in three days, we unsealed criminal charges against a sitting member of the State Legislature. And based on what is alleged in this complaint, it becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant and that the ‘show me the money’ culture in Albany is alive and well.”

Continue reading “U.S. Attorney: ‘Political Corruption in New York Is Indeed Rampant’”

Nelson Castro Urges Lawmakers To Stop Ban On Churches Renting School Space

 Nelson Castro Urges Lawmakers To Stop Ban On Churches Renting School Space
Assemblyman Nelson Castro (Photo: Facebook)

Assemblyman Nelson Castro sent out a statement yesterday evening urging fellow legislators to support his bill to allow the use of public school buildings for religious meetings and worship. As of February 12, religious organizations will be barred from using school property in New York City. Mr. Castro, who represents the 86th District in The Bronx, described this decision as “discriminatory.”

“This issue is particularly affecting my district and my constituents. It is my responsibility to protect my community,” Mr. Castro said. Continue reading “Nelson Castro Urges Lawmakers To Stop Ban On Churches Renting School Space”

Fernando Cabrera Marching Across The Brooklyn Bridge To Protest Ban On Churches Renting School Space

 Fernando Cabrera Marching Across The Brooklyn Bridge To Protest Ban On Churches Renting School Space
Fernando Cabrera (Photo: NYC Council)

This afternoon, Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera will be marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Education to reverse the upcoming ban on religious institutions  using public school buildings on weekends for meetings and worship.

“We stand firm on our position. Equal access for houses of worship makes New York City communities better. Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education need to see just how many people are on this side
 of the debate,” Mr. Cabrera said in a statement announcing the March.
Continue reading “Fernando Cabrera Marching Across The Brooklyn Bridge To Protest Ban On Churches Renting School Space”