Monday, August 5, 2013

Petition Challenges

Pol to Opponent:
Which do you want, the Carrot or the Baseball Bat?

By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 5- First congratulations to the new Republican Board of Election Bronx Commissioner Mike Rendino (but I said this weeks ago), and good bye to J.C. Polianco the former Bronx Republican BOE commissioner. What I mean by the fun begins now, is that on Tuesday July 30th (after our deadline) the Board of Elections commissioners will begin to hear the specifications to the general objections against the 40 Bronx nominating petitions filed. I expect that up to half of these challenges to have been dropped for one reason or another by July 30th. 

One of the strangest things to have been reported is that in the 11th Council race is that candidate Cliff Stanton is allegedly said to have told opponent Cheryl Keeling “Leave the race....It helps me....I would owe you”. Sounds to me like something that Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson and/or U. S. Attorney Phett Barara might want to look into. When Keeling refused one of Stanton's “unpaid by him” volunteers then challenged Ms. Keeling's petition. Should Stanton win who knows just what the DA or U.S. Attorney may have him do, but it would lead to re-election like former Assemblyman Nelson Castro. Assemblyman Castro was re-elected twice under watch by the DA and U.S. Attorney, but then again the New York City Council has term limits of only two terms. I wonder if City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is wearing a wire since she is in her third term that was allowed by the Justice Department.

Speaking of Speaker Quinn could it be that as part of the deal when the “Speaker's Slush Fund” was exposed, Quinn cut a deal with authorities to continue in office like Assemblyman Castro? All the talk of the slush fund went away, and how many city council members have been indicted since then? Mayor Bloomberg may have to be careful if there are any Quinn tapes. 

Speaking of being exposed, Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner said he exposed himself after he left congress. Should Weiner be labeled as a sex offender now? Also who can believe that the steamroller of a candidate for City Comptroller Elliot Spitzer who resigned on March 17th 2008 amid threats of impeachment over several reported prostitute liaisons over a six month period. Spitzer became known as Client #9. If Spitzer wins the Democratic primary he will face Libertarian candidate Kristen Davis jailed at the time of Spritzer's resignation for running a prostitution ring. News Flash “The Madame and the John face each other to control New York Cities Finances”.

Enough fantasies time to get to a real race, the 15th council. If you checked my blog at it took me two parts to report on the recent 15th city council forum that was held at the Bronx Library Center on Monday July 22nd . On the blog I give details of almost every question, answer, rebuttal by the candidates, and photos. Candidates were given three minutes for an opening statement, two minutes to answer a question, while their opponents were then given 30 seconds to rebut the answer. As for just who was the winner or loser it was very hard to tell as no one candidate really stood out one way or another. Each candidate had their strong points and I could see the weaknesses in all six of the candidates who attended. Kenny Agosto, Albert Alvarez, Raquel Batista, Joel R. Rivera, Cynthia Thompkins, and Ritchie Torres attended while candidate Joel Bauza who was missing told me that he never received an invitation.

Kenny Agosto gave the best closing statement being real, passionate, and believable when politicians are not being trusted. His weakness always wanting to be first to answer. Albert Alvarez did not take full advantage of being the Chief of Staff to the Council Majority Leader, and was slightly nervous as the debate began. Raquel Batista was almost nine months pregnant, stayed on stage for almost two hours without any problems answering the questions or giving rebuttal. She looked very uncomfortable however. Joel R. Rivera was almost like a steam roller in his answers repeating the theme “Town Hall Meetings” that he attended, saying that no other candidate did. Cynthia Thompkins opened up that she was from Pittsburgh and moved to the district in 2009, which meant that she did not have near the experience that her opponents did. Ritchie Torres started of the debate from the poll position, lead most of the way but like a tired race horse started to fade in the stretch of the forum so that he did not rebut the last two answers given by his opponents. Check my blog for more details and photos of the forum. Monday August 5th starting at 9 PM will be the next 15th council debate by Gary Axelbank on his show Bronxtalk seen on Cablevision channel 67 and Fios channel 34.

This past Friday State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. saluted the Bronx Dominican Day Parade by hosting Abrazo Dominicano in which over 800 people attended. You can go to my blog to see just who was in attendance, and the many photos of the event.
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in 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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