Monday, November 12, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Espaillat

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, November 12- We called the Obama victory, and last weekend it was announced that President Obama did win the state of Florida. In this wonderful new age of technology it now takes weeks or more to certify an election that previously was done in days the old way. That brings us to our next subject the New York State Senate. It could be 2013 before we know which party or who has has control. Will it be the Democrats, Republicans, The IDC, Dos Amigos ll, or any one of a number of other possibilities. How long will it be until Republican State Senators realize that it is a matter of time before it will take more than one or two rogue Democrats to make a difference in the state senate.

As for who will be Senate Majority Leader should the Democrats have that edge, don't look for John Sampson to get that position again. Forget former Leader Malcolm Smith (who was dumped during the Espada fiasco) as he is rumored to be talking to Republicans about running for mayor in 2013. We also do not see Senator Jeff Klein as Majority Leader, but a person such as State Senator Adriano Espaillat who can be supported by all Democrats. The State Senate Democrats are their own worst enemy, as we have seen in the past. Check my blog at for daily updates on this and the outcome of the 46th State Senate district as the recount begins with Democrat Ceclia Tkaczyk holding a 139 vote lead over Republican George Amedore. This race will be a deciding factor on who controls the State Senate.

The cost of Hurricane Sandy is now projected at $30 Billion according to Governor Cuomo, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has only $12 Billion in aid to give. It is unlikely that a Republican Congress will increase that by much is any.

Back in New York City, (not including any additional Hurricane Sandy costs) Mayor Bloomberg wants to cut libraries, after school programs, increase the fee for school lunches, and parking meter rates to make up for a $600 million gap caused by the probable rejection of a new taxi plan for the outer boroughs.

Here in the Bronx, candidates are said to be jockeying for position should current Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. decide to run for a citywide office such as Public Advocate. Names being tosses around besides term limited Councilman Joel Rivera are, Councilman James Vacca, Councilman Fernando Cabrera, and even Assemblyman Nelson Castro. Both Vacca and Cabrera have another term to serve in the City Council, but Cabrera should he choose to run for BP always has the State Assembly or State Senate seats to run for when he looses. This noise could also be coming out of the Jose Rivera camp as Assemblyman Rivera has said that he wants to return to the City Council so he can fatten his pension. The one with the least to loose would be Assemblyman Castro, as he would still be a member of the State Assembly. However with Vacca as BP and Castro as Deputy BP it could make for an interesting ticket. We however believe that Ruben Diaz Jr. (the 13th BP) who has two terms still to run for as BP will stay as BP and run in 2021 after he has made a legacy for himself like his mentor #11.

In the 11th City Council district as recently elected Bronx Democratic County Committee Vice-Chair Mr. Andrew Cohen joins nut vendor Mr. Clifford Stanton in the race to replace term limited Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, we await to see when the real candidate Mr. Ari Hoffnung announces. Hoffnung who ran in 2005 against Koppell was the leading candidate to replace him in 2009 until the city council overturned the term limit law. Hoffnung has maintained his war chest of just under eighty thousand dollars for a possible race in 2013. Hoffnung currently Assistant Comptroller for Budget and chief Policy Officer has expressed interest to me in the council race. Now that the position of Deputy Comptroller of Accountancy and Budget currently held by newly elected State Senator Simca Felder will open up it should further complicate Hoffnungs decision, as will the possibility of a new City Comptroller should current City Comptroller John Liu run for mayor as he has said.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at Or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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