Bronx is in divided Senate House

Get ready for some heavy- duty mishegoss in the state Senate, with two Bronx members among those contributing to what is shaping up to be a splintered Democratic conference.

While Dems just managed to narrowly wrest control back from the Republicans 33-to-30, it will be a party divided, with Jeff Klein’s four-member Independent Democratic Conference and Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. playing their own independent game.

Add to that Brooklyn’s Simcha Felder and yes, former Dem Conference leader Malcolm Smith reportedly breaking away, and you have the usual one big happy dysfunctional Democratic family in the uppper chamber.

That multi-split vote could get even weirder in a few weeks when a final absentee ballot count decides if upstate Democratic dairy farmer Ceclia Tkaczyk keeps her 139-vote lead.

Early reports have Jeff talking with now GOP minority leader Dean Skelos about a coalition chamber – and all the funding and staff that goes with it.

As for Diaz, The Rev last made waves in Albany with the Four Amigos, escaping the criminal fates of the other three after the quartet shook down both sides of the evenly divided Senate for funding and leadership positions.

The lower case conservative Rev could easily side with senate Republicans on various key issues, as would the other breakaways.

But Diaz was playing it coy when we spoke to him Tuesday.

“I’m keeping myself out of it. I’m keeping quiet,” he said, adding cryptically: “I have one vote – and no one should take it for granted.”

Meanwhile, it’s fine with Klein that Dem conference leader John Sampson is seen as a dead man walking, since Jeff can’t stand Sampson, who got the party leadership job Jeff always coveted.

Could Jeff be angling for the job himself? Maybe, but we’d call it a longshot, with Mike Gianaris of Queens and Manhattan/Bronx Senator Adriano Espaillat’s names floating out there for the leadership post. Bronx Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson has also been quietly pushing for the job as a compromise candidate.


Okay, back-to-the-wall, no-place-to-go and in danger of losing the matching campaign finance board funds from his $1.5 mil war chest if he DOESN’T declare for office, former Bronx Boro Prez Adolfo Carrion has finally figured his best shot is to run for mayor…wait for it…as “an independent” but also on the Republican line.

He’ll need the blessing of three of the five GOP County chairman to make it on to the ticket. But at this point, what have THEY got to lose?

He could also be seen as a popular poster boy for the national Republican Party, strongly in need of a Latino face after getting clobbered in large part by the Latino presidential vote.

But one disgruntled Bronx Republican party stalwart reacting to the news, used the words “leaning” and “lampost.”


East Bronx Councilman Jimmy (Energizer Bunny) Vacca okayed us writing about his little white lie.

Seems downed power lines from Hurricane Sandy left folks in scattered parts of Pelham Gardens suffering for days, with no Con Ed help in site.

Jimmy said he flagged down a passing Con Ed crew and warned them Mayor Bloomberg was heading to inspect the neighborhood shortly.

Result: at least some power restored, though Bloomie was a no-show.


Wow, soon to be ex-Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera pulled close to 2,000 votes on the Working Families line, garnering 8% of the vote in her 80th A.D. in Morris Park/Allerton, but more of a last gasp, with Democratic primary winner Mark Gjonaj nailing 79% for an Albany seat.

We hear Mark already spoke to Assembly Majority Leader Shelly Silver, who reportedly advised him to “work, work, work the district.”

Snooki apparently managed to worry less about it during her years in office.


Bit of a kerfluffle over at Fordham U. last week, with College Republicans cancelling a Nov. 29 talk by slightly-to-the-right-of-a-cliff conservative political commentator Ann Coulter after major uproar from other students and public. In all fairness, Coulter won the booby prize. The club’s first reported choice was syndicated columnist George Will, whose speaking fee exceeded the school’s $10G limit. Then again, with Will prognosticating a Romney landslide, maybe he should think about trimming his fee.


For all the millions of votes cast in the state, the final outcome was determined by 29 Presidential Electors. The two Bronx ones were Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. of Soundview and SEIU Local 1199 president and Edenwald resident George Gresham, reporteth Daily News bloggal Celeste Katz.


Nov. 12 – State labor commissioner and former Bronx Assemblyman Peter Rivera.

Nov. 14 – New Yorker cartoonist William Steig.

Nov. 16 – Former Boro Hall staffer and city Health and Hospitals board member Bob Nolan.