Dem Party petition headache


For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost, as the old saying goes.

In the case of the Bronx Democratic Party, for want of a printed sentence, the first day of petitioning was almost lost.

Seems just before the newly printed petitions for candidates to qualify for the ballot in the September primary were to be distributed on Tuesday, June 4, someone discovered the new printer hired by the party had left a sentence out.

A quick rush back to the printer meant only a half day’s delay in getting them back out of the gate.

Why the rush? Could have been a problem if rival candidates made it first to local registered voters, who are few and far between and hard to find in some districts.

Otherwise, as one party stalwart explained, the faulty petitions would not have been deemed illegal or invalid.

“It was just a matter of having to argue later in court over them.”


Usually, Morris Park and Throggs Neck are sorta two different worlds, but Thursday night, June 6, they both came together under one roof for the 115-year-old Chippewa Democratic Clubs annual dinner dance at the Villa Barone, with longtime club president Ed Koester presiding over the festivities.

And of course, a phalanx of electeds, including Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr., reminding folks of the boro’s upcoming centennial next year; Rep. Joe Crowley, belting out a duet with the DJ; honoree Senator Jeff Klein; local Assemblymen Mike Benedetto and Mark Gjonaj, D.A. Rob Johnson, and a bunch of judges and judicial candidates, and of course Councilman Jimmy Vacca, shepherding Manhattan councilman and Public Advocate wannabe Dan Squadron around the room.

Evenings honorees, besides Klein, were Vacca’s chief of staff and new local Dem district leader Jeff Lynch, former Councilwoman Madeline Provenzano, St. Theresa elementary school principal Josephine Fanelli, NYC Central Labor Council prexy Vincent Alvarez, and popular Havana Cafe owners Kevin Alicea, Ruben Rodriguez and Troy Perez.


Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer marching next to Gov. Cuomo in the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan.

“It’s my third year marching with the governor, as one of the highest ranking Puerto Rican members in his administration, ” sayeth Freddy, a Cuomo appointee to the the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Administration.

Freddy’s been filling in as its acting chairman since the departure of Joe Lhota to run for mayor. But he said he’s getting itchy to get back to work full-time with Mercury Public Affairs as a business/government consultant – NOT that he isn’t enjoying his MTA gig.

“It’s a lotta fun, nice to be back in the (public service) saddle,” he told us, “but for the good of the MTA, we need long-term stable leadership.”

That would be Cuomo nominee Tom Prendergast, who’s still awaiting state Senate confirmation.


Okay, now Jimmy Vacca has an excuse to do some more fundraising. He’s actually got a (GASP!) challenger for his east Bronx seat – Raphael Schweitzer, president of the Bronx Park East Community Association.

Fellow BPECA founder and 80th Assembly District Leader Kenny Agosto is running in the 15th Council District for term-limited Councilman Joel Rivera’s seat, with Vacca staffer Richie Torres also in that race.


And speaking of Jimmy Vacca, as if he didn’t pump out enough press releases and community updates, he’s launched his official Twitter account @JamesVacca13, or go to

Oh, and Jimmy says “don’t forget to “like” my Official Facebook page at!/CouncilMemberJamesVacca.

Phew, that’s a mouthful of typing!


And speaking of tweets, probably notta lotta folks realize 80th Assembly District state committeeman and Bronx Dem Party vice chair Joe McManus is an ardent birder, leading free bird walks in Van Cortlandt Park. The latest will be 8-9:30 a.m. on June 22 and 29, starting from the Nature Center between the Mansion and the tennis courts. Call 718 548-0912.


Montefiore Medical Center clarified its reason for not notifying the general media on the passing of former Monte president Dr. Spencer (Spike) Foreman. A Monte spokeswoman said Foreman’s family requested news of his passing be kept to a paid death notice in the NY Times.


•Props to Bronx cops at the NYPD’s annual Medal Day ceremonies:

Distinguished Service Medal (posthumously) to 41 Precinct and 9/11 hero Lt. Christopher Pupo; Police Combat Cross to Lt. Seth Lynch of the Four-Six, and Medal for Valor to Police Officers Arvid Flores of the Four-Three and Paul Mertens of Bronx Detectives.

•And unit citations to the busy 40th Precinct in Mott Haven and to Bronx Narcotics.


Send a get well wish to recently hospitalized Bronx Democratic Party vice chair Sylvia Lask.


June 11 – Manhattan/Bronx Rep. Charlie Rangel

June 16 – J.C. Polanco, former Bronx Republican commissioner and president of the City Board of Elections.

June 16 – Riverdalian Jamie McShane, press secretary to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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