Thursday, March 6, 2014


By Robert Press

New Club or Revival of an Old One

BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 6- I often look to see what my fellow political pundits have to say, and often I am amused at what they write. 

One example was that last week Bob Kappstatter, of a similar sounding paper, wrote of an exclusive that he had about a new Democratic Club in the 80th A.D from State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj. I like Kappy a lot especially when he was top dog at the Bronx Daily News Bureau many years ago, but if he had looked at some of his old Daily News clippings he would have known that it was a revival of 80th A.D. Assemblyman Jeff Klein's North Bronx Democratic Club. What with the instability of the Liberty Democratic Association over the past few years, Mark Gjonaj the assemblyman from the 80th A.D. now, and former Assemblyman Klein, now Senator Klein, it makes sense for Klein to revive his old club with his friend Assemblyman Gjonaj. One also never knows when an opponent or opportunity may pop up.

On the note of the last sentence it looks like there is going to be a civil war in the state senate among Democrats. Queens Democratic State Senator Tony Avella has joined the Independent Democratic Conference led by Senator Jeff Klein. Senator Avella has become the fifth Democratic State Senator in the IDC, and there may be more coming. More on this in upcoming weeks.

At the 87th A.D. Democratic District Meeting this past weekend, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. is bowing to State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, and you can go to my blog to see the photo. I asked Senator Diaz if he is going to be #6 in the IDC, and he said “Could Be”. The meeting was spearheaded by 87th A.D. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (and his district leaders) who said that the turnout was much greater then was expected. Over 250 people were in attendance, and the elected officials included State Senators Jeff Klein & Ruben Diaz Sr., Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, City Council members Anabele Palma & Fernando Cabrera (a possible challenger to State Senator Gustavo Rivera). There is also a photo of Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Carl Heastie talking with Councilman Cabrera, and I asked Assemblyman Heastie if this year was going to be like 2012 where the county Organization endorsed all incumbents. The answer was that we would have to see when primary time rolls around.

The item before the 87th A.D. meeting on my blog is about State Senator Adriano Espaillat now official candidate for the 13thCongressional District, and a walking tour of Fordham Road with State Senator Gustavo Rivera. It was a quiet morning, and the two walked a few blocks in the chilly weather stopping in to chat with some of the people on the street and a few of the merchants. There are some photos of the walk on my blog, and you can see by candidate Espaillat's expression in one of the outside photos of just how cold it was.

Now that it is March it is Irish American Heritage Month and check my blog for events that are going to celebrate Irish American Heritage Month. Bronx Borough President Ruben O'Diaz Jr. is sponsoring an event on March 13th in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is also holding its Irish Heritage Luncheon on Friday March 14th. You can contact the Bronx Chamber of Commerce at or call 718-828-3900 for more information. The BCC has several other events upcoming.

If you thought that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had it out for motorist watch out for Mayor Bill deBlasio. Not only do we have the most pot holes ever, but in his “Vision Zero” it is questionable if the city speed limit will be come 25 MPH or even 20 MPH. If only we had a dependable reasonably priced mass transit system, but then there are those who say we should bike it to work. With all the bikes maybe they should be licensed and be required to carry insurance. Many people have horror stories about being hit by speeding bike riders.

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 call718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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