While new Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito tried to be a tiny bit kinder, gentler with the borough’s council delegation on Wednesday, the Bronx Democratic Party was weighing its own revenge on her borough supporters.
Initial reports had Party Boss Carl Heastie wanting to primary state Senator Gustavo Rivera and maybe some other boro Melissa supporters.
It now looks as if Carl will simply hold back any party support and let Gustavo and the others sink or swim on their own against challengers this election season.
“There was a meeting this weekend (Jan. 18-19), and we’re NOT primarying any of these idiots – the (Luis) Sepulvedas, the Gustavos, the (Jose and Jose M.) Serranos,” said one party insider. “But they might not get any party help either.”
Heastie is reported verrrrry ticked over Gustavo sticking his nose into the Speaker’s race so enthusiastically (is there any other way for Gustavo?).
Lack of active party backing could be a serious problem for Gustavo, who had to call on the party to gather petitions for protege Victor Pichardo in that tight race to fill the seat of disgraced west Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro.
Thanks to redistricting, Gustavo also lost the heavy white vote that helped him clobber Pedro (The Wascally Wabbit) Espada the first time. He could now wind up with a Latino free-for-all brawl with a number of challengers.
That could very well include Councilman Fernando Cabrera, but we hear it’s too early for him to make a serious decision. Meanwhile, a number of other wannabes are reporting circling like sharks for Gustavo’s seat.
GUS AND JEFF
The beneficiary of that redistricting that hurt Gustavo was Senator Jeff Klein, who gained Riverdale, Kingsbridge and surrounding heavily white nabes.
We now would not rule out Jeff backing a strong Gustavo challenger.
The two are like oil and water in Albany, with Gustavo the Democratic Conference’s pit bull when it comes to attacking Jeff and his four-member Independent Democratic Conference, which snatched majority rule away from the regular Dems by conferencing with the Senate Republicans – and reaping the rewards.
And to use comedian Jim Gaffigan’s tag line, Klein has some hot pockets - as in mucho campaign bux to throw a heavy challenger’s way.
Sources close to Jeff tell us he’s already been approached by a number of wannabe Gustavo challengers.
Well, we would argue it was not quite the bloodbath a lotta folks were expecting for the City Council’s Bronx delegation when committee assignments were handed out Wednesday.
Insiders say Heastie and Queens Boss Joe Crowley messed up by not moving fast enough to pull votes from the Council’s progressive wing for Manhattan’s Dan Garodnick. Brooklyn Boss Frank (Judas) Seddio pulling out of their cabal to go with Melissa was the death knell. On Wednesday, it was Viverito’s turn to smack Carl and the Bronx, but it wasn’t too painful.
As Bronx Party consigliere Stanley Schlein told us, “They (the Bronx delegation) were much respected in the process. It’s a case of moving on and wanting to work together.”
Losing chairmanships and gaining new ones:
•Maria del Carmen Arroyo from Health to Community Development.
•Jimmy Vacca, from Transportation into the leadership circle and chair of the Technology Committee.
•Fernando Cabrera got Juvenile Justice.
•Newbie Ritchie Torres into the leadership circle and Public Housing.
•Newbie Andy Cohen got term-limted Ollie Koppell’s Mental Health, Alcoholism and Disablilty Services.
•Newbie Vanessa Gibson scored with Public Safety.
We’re told Annabel Palma, who was challenging Melissa for the job, and Andy King both asked to take a pass on any chairmanships.
It’s election time at the Liberty Democratic Club in the 80th Assembly District, but no outsiders welcome.
The Sunday, Jan. 26 vote at Janel Towers on Neill Ave. for a new president to replace newly-elected City Councilman Ritchie Torres will be strictly limited to club members in good standing for at least three months.
The last time there was a potential coup was when then Assemblywoman Naomi (Snooki) Rivera tried to walk in with her own supportive slate, but was stymied by the three-month rule.
We don’t see new Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj trying any moves there, since he doesn’t have any members there. There were some rumors when he was first elected after the club supported Snooki that he might form his own club, but that hasn’t come to pass – yet.
Right church, wrong pew. We goofed last week calling Bernadette Ferrara head of the Van Nest Homeowners Assn. Bernadette, who’s complaining the proposed Metro-North Parkchester station should be the VAN NEST/Parkchester station, is VP of the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance.
Making nice. Wanna make a critic a friend? Kill ‘em with kindness. Lenny Levitt, who used to cover Bronx D.A. Mario Merola for Newsday, has been Ray Kelly’s biggest media critic with his 1 Police Plaza blog. But new PC Bill Bratton made Lenny’s day at a recent press conference (that Lenny missed!) by announcing “Is Lenny Levitt here? He’s now welcome in the building.”
Condolences. To Detective Vic DiPierro, the longtime, hardworking community affairs officer at the 49th Precinct in Morris Park on the loss of his father Frank. Sorry for your loss, Vic.
Jan. 7 - Bronx Dem Party consigliere and degenerate Hearts player Stanley Schlein.
Jan. 19 - East Bronx activist (and fun gal) Annie Boller.
Jan. 21 - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
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