A bare chest could be one of the less talked about reasons former Congressman Anthony (Tweener) Weiner is in the mayoral marathon.
Ex-Bronx Boro Prez Adolfo (Can’t Get No Satis-traction on the Independent line) Carrion managed to escape the same situation.
We’re not talking about Weiner’s well-publicized pecs, but the fact that he may not want to see his million-plus dollar campaign warchest from a previous race disappear.
A savvy Bronx political operator pointed out to us that Weiner’s been holding the leftover bux in his campaign kitty, thanks to 6-1 matching funding from the city Campaign Finance Board.
But under CFB regs, Weiner got a break when term limits went into effect back in 2009 and he was allowed to carry the matching funds over to this year’s 2013 cycle.
But this time, he either had to use it or lose it by actually declaring his candidacy.
But of course, we’re sure that issue was waaaay down on his reason for running….
Meanwhile, Adolfo is in better shape, allowed to transfer his old campaign account into the 2013 race, though he can’t apply that money for any new matching funds.
“He CAN get matching funds on any new money he raises, “ said Matt Stoller over at the CFB press office, “but so far, he’s said he does not intend to file for them.”
We’d be surprised if Bronx Democratic Party Boss Carl Heastie endorsed anybody else OTHER than Bill Thompson for mayor, given that Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr. has already backed Bill. Also reported going County’s way: Assemblymembers Mike Benedetto, Jose Rivera and Vanessa Gibson (who has party backing for term-limited Councilwoman Helen Foster’s seat).
But given the state of party discipline, that hasn’t stopped a number of borough electeds from going their own way with THEIR fave candidates in the mayoral primary.
State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda are backing Bill DeBlasio, State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Councilmembers Annabel Palma, Helen Foster, Joel Rivera and Maria del Carmen Arroyo are with Council Speaker Chris (Rosie) Quinn – no arm twisting there, of course. Councilman Jimmy Vacca is still on the fence, weighing his options (or the polls). Oh, and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. is endorsing lower case conservative Eric Salgado.
Looks like J.C. Polanco is out as the Bronx Republican Commissioner to the city Board of Elections and Mike Rendino could be in.
John Greaney, who replaced the indicted Jay Savino as head of the Bronx Republican Party, submitted Rendino’s name to the City Council for final approval.
Rendino is a retired firefighter who challenged east Bronx Assemblyman Mike Benedetto a few years back. And what better political qualification than Rendino also managing Stan’s Sports Bar near Yankee Stadium?
And speaking of Bronx Republicans, Greaney tells us that since taking office to replace former Bronx chairman Jay Savino, who’s caught up in a bit of a legal contretemps with federal prosecutors, he’s been busy “reaching out to everyone, seeking candidates to run for local offices,” even with borough Republicans outnumbered “11.5 to 1.”
The party’s candidate screening night was Thursday, May 23, too late to make the column, but we’d put our money on them going with former Rudy Giuliani dep mayor and ex-MTA chair Joe Lhota, especially since he’ll be the keynote speaker at their annual Lincoln Dinner June 12 at the Villa Barone.
Speaking of even MORE endorsements, the Liberty Democratic Club in the 80th Assembly District voted Sunday, May 19 to endorse club president Richie Torres over club founder and District Leader Kenny Agosto, both of whom are running in that crowded race in the central Bronx 15th C.D. to fill term-limited Councilman Joel Rivera’s seat.
It also became the millionth entity to endorse Andrew Cohen to replace term-limited Riverdale Councilman Oliver Koppell.
RUTH FOR MAYOR
Bronx/Westchester state Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson recently made headlines – and denied doing anything wrong – for being part of a group of state senators secretly bugged by Queens Senator Shirley Huntley, who pulled a year and a day at Chez Fed for eating at the trough of a charity she funded and controlled.
Now we hear Ruth is looking to her political future OUT of the Bronx.
She’s formed a committee to look at a possible run for mayor of her old stomping grounds in Mount Vernon at the north end of her district. The election comes up in 2015.
And as for that bugged conversation at Shirley’s place in 2012, “We met and spoke, in general, about matters including our health and our families. At no time – past or present – did we discuss anything inappropriate, improper or illegal,” sayeth Ruth in a statement when the news broke.
GOOD NEWS BEARER
State Labor Department reporting that after years of the Bronx being in the subbasement for unemployment, two upstate counties finally have higher jobless rates. Latest stats put the borough’s jobless rate at 10.5%, and Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. is crowing.
Soundview Assemblyman Marcos Crespo has more than legislative bills in the hopper. Still on diaper duty with newborn daughter, a grinning Marcos tells us he and wife Virna Lisy are expecting again.
To Alex Kratz, editor over at the Norwood News, whose persistence, some lengthy legal arm twisting, and finally Councilman Fernando Cabrera stepping in with a bill to make the NYPD post neighborhood crime stats and locations on its website was finally signed, reluctantly, last week by Mayuh Mike, who would’ve faced an embarassing council override vote if he’d vetoed the bill.
To Jordan Moss, who with City Limits magazine, held a launch party last week at the Bronx Museum for The Bronx Bureau (formerly the Bronx News Network), publishing investigative reporting, commentary and new media on civic & economic issues in the Bronx. Check it out at www.bronxbureau.org/. Hey, the more the merrier….
May 27 – Author Herman Wouk
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394