Monday, December 3, 2012

Independent Quinn

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, December 3- This past Sunday The Independence (not to be confused with Independent) Party held its 13th Anti Corruption Ceremony. 

We never heard of the first 12 so what makes this one special. Three 2013 mayoral hopefuls are listed as attending current City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, and former State Senate Leader Malcolm Smith. Smith is one of the honorees receiving a “Voice for the Voiceless Community Award” (not an Anti Corruption award) for his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Quinn with her close ties to current Mayor Mike Bloomberg who ran and won on the Republican and Independence lines should be running as a Democrat, but appears to be looking to capture the Independence party line also. 
Carrion has renounced his Democratic enrollment to become an “Independent” registered voter (no party enrollment) as is the case of Mayor Bloomberg. Carrion appears in his bid to run for mayor (or whatever else) to be seeking the Republican and now Independence lines. Smith a former State Senate Democratic Majority Leader has said that he might run for mayor on the Republican line, and now appears to be courting the Independence Party also.

This Moe, Larry, and red (or is it orange) headed third stooge trio are the perfect guests for the political party that needs to call the gala it is holding not the Anti Corruption Ceremony, but “Which One of these Three Stooges is Allegedly More Corrupt”? Quinn is best know for the statement “I told my office to stop doing that” after it was revealed that there was a five million dollar slush fund in the name of phoney neighborhood organizations run by the speakers office. Carrion was fined $10,000 by the NYC Campaign Finance Board for having renovations done on his house by a contractor who came before him (as Bronx BP) for an approval, and Carrion was also made to pay for the work done. Smith was involved in the Aqueduct Race Track Casino Probe of bid rigging, and Senate Majority Leader during the whole Pedro Espada State Senate drama.

On to the City Council redistricting drama as Speaker Quinn who denied involvement in drawing up the new district lines, and that there was nothing that she could do, has now sent a letter to the redistricting committee to redraw the lines they drew up. There were questions of a Brooklyn City Council district being redrawn so that disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez could become a city council member. Then there was the question of the new 8th council district. Was this redrawn to be a Bronx majority district so that Bronx County Leader Carl Heastie would have the Bronx Democratic organization endorse Speaker Quinn in her 2013 Democratic Primary. Carl, the last city council speaker to run for mayor Gifford Miller came in fifth in a four person primary in the Bronx in 2005.

I would not want to forget to mention that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was at his best when he hosted the Bronx Puerto Rican Heritage Month Celebration. Every month BP Diaz celebrates a different ethnic heritage, and with so many different ethnic heritages in the Bronx sometimes there is more than one in a month. You can go to my blog at to see photos of the celebration, and the return of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. looking like a new man after his full recovery from knee surgery.

Finally, in 2005 a city DEP inspector found what appeared to be a trace of asbestos in the glue of a 40-year-old tile that was removed from one of the apartments in Co-op City. 86,000 air tests and $20 million later, lawyer (and former assemblyman) Steve Kaufman is now suing the city on behalf of the 55,000 Co-op City residents who have had to foot the bill to a tune of $4 million annually since 2005. What is even worse is that two Riverbay asbestos consultants have agreed that the asbestos abatement work was not needed, one being a former DEP Commissioner.

Don't forget to check my blog for items that may come in after our deadline, more details on stories that you may see in this column, and photos of the events. 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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