As the new councilman for District 34, which includes Williamsburg and portions of Bushwick in Brooklyn and South Ridgewood in Queens, Councilman Antonio Reynoso personally understands the issues of his constituents.
He was born, bred and still lives in Williamsburg, a neighborhood he hopes never to leave. Plus, Mr. Reynoso spent seven years under the tutelage of his predecessor, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, working as her budget director, legislative director and, eventually, chief of staff until he quit to campaign for her seat.
In an interview on CBS radio this afternoon, Anthony Weiner said he simply had a “New York-style” exchange with a Democratic district leader who blasted him this week for running for mayor after resigning over a sexting scandal.
Vito Lopez protegé and City Councilman Stephen Levin walked into the lion’s den last night, facing the virulently anti-Lopez New Kings Democratic club for the first time.
Mr. Levin, Mr. Lopez’s former chief of staff, was invited to a club candidate forum in a Williamsburg basement decorated with musical instruments, old video games and a pile of stuffed Care Bears, where members sipped beers and passed around pizza slices as candidates spoke. Members described the appearance as “an historic event for a very small group of people.”
He’s back. An explosive Anthony Weiner received his first serious criticism from voters over the sexting scandal that forced him to resign from Congress Wednesday night–sparking a shouting match that marked the most heated moment of his campaign to date.
Mr. Weiner had given his usual stump speech touting middle class jobs and his book of policy proposals at a New Kings Democrats candidates forum in Williamsburg when the floor was opened to questions.
Saying No to Vito
His mouth buried in a bullhorn, Lincoln Restler howled at the tinted windows in front of him.
“I see you didn’t bring your daughters to dinner!” the Democratic activist shouted at a slew of dark-suited men slipping soundlessly into the sumptuous Williamsburg restaurant.
“Ooh,” mumbled a grinning police officer. “That was harsh.”
His opponents have announced a protest outside of his first City Council fund-raiser tomorrow, but Assemblyman Vito Lopez told Politicker he’s not rattled by their efforts.
“It seems like they’re putting a lot of time and energy into preventing me from running, even though I haven’t yet decided to run,” Mr. Lopez, the ex-Brooklyn Democratic Party boss facing allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed staffers, explained earlier today. “You wonder–they’re a reform group–why would they want to spend energy to prevent somebody from running in an election? That doesn’t seem like reform.”
The New Kings Democrats went there, and fast.
Only a couple hours after news broke that Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is battling sexual harassment allegations, registered a campaign account for a City Council run, the Democratic club launched a “molester free zone” campaign, complete with a fairly direct flier, illustrating exactly how negative the marquee race will get should Mr. Lopez officially enter it.
“Does he have an office, though? Does he use the computer?”
The crowd jammed into Williamsburg’s Los Sures Museum last night for the New Kings Democrats’s first meeting of the year laughed at what was not necessarily intended to be a joke. Attorney Jason Otaño, an unsuccessful state senate candidate last fall, really wanted to know if Carl Hum, the executive director of the New York City Districting Commission, had an office and a computer.
Mr. Hum does indeed have both, but technology hasn’t been his biggest headache during this year’s decennial redistricting process where the City Council’s lines will be redrawn to reflect the latest Census numbers.
very special elections
City & State‘s newsletter this morning first reported the intentions of various Democratic clubs to unite under a common banner, the “Brooklyn Reform Coalition,” to oppose Brooklyn’s Democratic leader, Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The group announced their full intentions this afternoon to shake up local levels of party leadership.
“The goal of the coalition is to clean up Brooklyn Democratic politics, which has been marred by countless scandals for decades, including the recent guilty plea of Senator Carl Kruger, the multiple arrests of Assemblyman William Boyland, and, on a larger scale, the indictment of three of the last four chairmen of the Kings County Democratic Party on corruption charges,” the statement read.
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Jesus Gonzalez finished a Newport outside his Bushwick office, then ducked to the back with a comb and some gel. He emerged with his close-cropped hair slicked down, and picked up a stack of campaign literature before setting out to knock on some doors.
“It is one of the oldest community organizing tactics,” said Mr. Gonzalez, in an untucked beige polo shirt, an oversized blazer, baggy jeans and shiny patent leather kicks. “Even Jesus’ disciples did it to spread the word.”
Mr. Gonzalez, who goes by the English pronunciation of his first name, Jesus – though some supporters have quietly tried to push the Spanish pronunciation for the campaign – will need some new converts to win the upcoming special election in New York’s 54th Assembly District.