Congressional Candidate Denies Supporting AIDS Conspiracy Theory

Rev. Mike Walrond on NY1 last night.
Pastor Mike Walrond on NY1 last night.

Harlem pastor and congressional candidate Mike Walrond insisted last night that he doesn’t think the government infected African-Americans with AIDS, despite a report indicating he found the theory “credible.”

Mr. Walrond, a Democrat challenging longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel, told host Errol Louis on NY1’s Inside City Hall that a recent New York Post report drawing on a 2008 story in the The Economist, did not properly contextualize his comments. Continue reading “Congressional Candidate Denies Supporting AIDS Conspiracy Theory”

Democratic Party Boss Slams Report Board of Elections is Working to Help Charlie Rangel Stay In Office

 Democratic Party Boss Slams Report Board of Elections is Working to Help Charlie Rangel Stay In Office
Keith Wright (Photo: NYS Assembly)

At Congressman Charlie Rangel’s election night party outside Sylvia’s Restaurant on Malcolm X Boulevard June 26, former New York Governor David Paterson served as emcee entertaining the crowd with political patter and jokes as the results rolled in. Standing on stage with Mr. Rangel’s other longtime Harlem allies, Assemblyman Keith Wright, co-chair of the New York Democratic Party, and Assemblyman Carl Heastie, leader of the Bronx Democratic Party, Mr. Paterson declared Mr. Rangel victorious in his race against State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

“The firm of Heastie, Paterson & Wright have projected Charles Rangel the winner in the 13th Congressional District primary,” Mr. Paterson proclaimed to loud cheers and applause.

Mr. Paterson’s remarks were seemingly made in jest, however ten days after the election, there are some who fear Mr. Rangel’s cronies did hand him a victory after the initial Board of Elections result was found to have left votes uncounted in over thirty precincts and Mr. Espaillat’s campaign has gone to court with allegations of voter suppression and other “irregularities.” In this morning’s Daily News, Juan Gonzalez published a column detailing “troubling signs” that some Board of Elections officials engaged “in an all-out effort by the Democratic Party establishment to ensure a Rangel victory.”

In a conversation with The Politicker, Mr. Wright vehemently denied the various charges in Mr. Gonzalez’s story.

“It’s not true,” Mr. Wright said. “It’s absolutely untrue.” Continue reading “Democratic Party Boss Slams Report Board of Elections is Working to Help Charlie Rangel Stay In Office”

Adriano Espaillat Gets His Day In Court

photo 6 Adriano Espaillat Gets His Day In Court
Leo Glickman, Adriano Espaillat’s attorney, speaking to the press after today’s hearing.

This morning, New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx held a hearing in the matter of Adriano Espaillat vs. The Board of Elections in The City of New York addressing issues with the counting of ballots and alleged voter suppression in the increasingly close congressional race between veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat. Lawyers for both candidates and the Board of Elections appeared before Judge John Carter who, in a small victory for the Espaillat campaign, ruled all ballots cast in the June 26 election must be preserved and barred the BOE from transmitting results to the New York State Board of Elections once they are certified so that the Court may review any disputed paper ballots, alleged instances of voter supression and issues with the results from the electronic voting machines. Those issues will be examined in another hearing scheduled for July 11. Judge Carter’s ruling also left open the possibility that a “new primary election” will be held “upon a finding that there has been such fraud and irregularity as to render impossible a determination” of who won last week’s election. Continue reading “Adriano Espaillat Gets His Day In Court”

Charlie Rangel Says He’s ‘Completely Baffled’ by Disputed Vote Count in His Congressional Race

rangelfeature Charlie Rangel Says Hes Completely Baffled by Disputed Vote Count in His Congressional Race
Congressman Charlie Rangel speaking at his election night party in Harlem.

Six days after election day and a premature declaration of victory for Rep. Charlie Rangel, there is still no official winner in the Upper Manhattan congressional race between Mr. Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat. This afternoon, lawyers for both candidates are headed to New York State Supreme Court to address issues with the Board of Elections’ tabulation of the results in their congressional race and alleged instances of “irregular and possibly fraudulent returns from voting machines.” Mr. Rangel prepared for the legal battle by sending an email to his supporters saying he’s “completely baffled” by the situation and asking for donations to help him in the court fight.

“To my surprise, my opponent’s campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I’m completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting,” Mr. Rangel wrote. “I don’t know what will transpire in the coming days, but one thing is clear: I need your help to prepare myself for another battle — whether it’s a legal battle with the Board of Elections or with my opponent.” Continue reading “Charlie Rangel Says He’s ‘Completely Baffled’ by Disputed Vote Count in His Congressional Race”

Charlie Rangel’s Margin of Victory Down to 802 Votes

rangelfeature Charlie Rangels Margin of Victory Down to 802 Votes
Congressman Charlie Rangel speaking at his election night party in Harlem.

The race between veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat for the 13th Congressional District in Upper Manhattan will come down to paper ballots. Mr. Rangel was initially declared the winner by the Associated Press based on initial results provided by the New York City Board of Elections, but it was subsequently revealed those results did not include votes from many of the precincts in the district. After a re-examination of the votes, the BOE released unofficial results tonight including votes cast in all of the district’s 506 precincts that show Mr. Rangel defeating Mr. Espaillat by a margin of just 802 votes. According to the BOE, Mr. Rangel received 18,075 votes, or 44.29 percent of the total cast, compared to Mr. Espaillat’s 17,273, 42.33 percent of the votes cast.

These unofficial results do not include paper ballots cast by absentee voters and affidavit ballots submitted by those whose name is not on the voter rolls when they arrive at the polling place. Those paper ballots, which include votes for both candidates, will be counted by the BOE next Thursday and will be the deciding factor in this tight race. Continue reading “Charlie Rangel’s Margin of Victory Down to 802 Votes”

Rangel’s Rivals Make Allegations Of Voter Fraud And Uncounted Ballots

photo 4 Rangels Rivals Make Allegations Of Voter Fraud And Uncounted Ballots
Ydanis Rodriguez speaking at today’s press conference.

Supporters of State Senator Adriano Espaillat are calling for a federal monitor to step in and oversee the counting of votes in his congressional race against longtime Congressman Charlie Rangel after reports of uncounted votes emerged yesterday. Mr. Rangel was initially declared the victor by the Associated Press and in unofficial totals from the Board of Elections after the election on Tuesday, but the AP subsequently published a report claiming results from 33 of the 506 precincts in the Upper Manhattan district remained uncounted. Mr. Espaillat’s supporters announced their push for a federal monitor at a press conference in front of Mr. Rangel’s office in Harlem where some of the attendees also made allegations of voter fraud at the polls Tuesday.

“I’m here today to call for a federal monitor on the Board of Elections. It is unacceptable that 48 hours after the elections took place….we don’t have the outcome of this election,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a close ally of Mr. Espaillat’s. “We also have a lot of concerns that still the Board of Elections has not received [results from] a number of election districts. We don’t know where they are, they don’t know where they are.” Continue reading “Rangel’s Rivals Make Allegations Of Voter Fraud And Uncounted Ballots”

Charlie Rangel Vows His Win Will Silence The ‘Strange People’ Who Doubted Him

 Charlie Rangel Vows His Win Will Silence The Strange People Who Doubted Him
Charlie Rangel on stage at Sylvia’s.
After 41 years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Charlie Rangel faced the fight of his political life last night and came away with a victory. Mr. Rangel’s 22nd term in Congress was threatened by the changing boundaries and demographics of his district, lingering fallout from a tax and fundraising scandal that saw him censured for ethics violations by his House colleagues in 2010 and health issues that sent the 82-year-old in and out of the hospital for two months earlier this year. In a victory speech made from a makeshift stage set up in front of Sylvia’s restaurant in the heart of his longtime base in Harlem, Mr. Rangel praised his supporters, political allies and family for sticking with him through the difficult campaign. He also had harsh words for the press and the rivals who attempted to end his political career. Continue reading “Charlie Rangel Vows His Win Will Silence The ‘Strange People’ Who Doubted Him”