Intrigue needle climbing on Speaker race


With the council vote for a new Speaker still weeks away, the political bloggers are having a field day with all the hugger-mugger and back-stabbing going on behind the scenes.

As of Wednesday column deadline, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio had supposedly cut a deal with Brooklyn Democratic County Boss Frank Seddio to swing his support behind South Bronx/East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Seddio’s reported swing, no doubt for some plum committee assignments, can be viewed as screwing Bronx Democratic Boss Carl Heastie and Queens Dem Boss/Bronx/Queens Congressman Joe Crowley after they reportedly took a blood oath to stand together in choosing a candidate, which as of latest reports, was Manhattan’s Dan Garodnick.

That deal was carved out in San Juan in November at the Somos conference of Latino electeds, according to Crain’s New York political blog.

And while we are loathe to toot our own kazoo, the report came a week after we reported on the Democratic county leaders divvying up committee assignments and the myriad jobs that go with selecting the next Speaker

While a progressive faction of the City Council wants to push for some serious reforms, including shifting power away from the Speaker, it had looked like the Crowley/Heastie/Seddio troika held enough power to crack the whip on their Council delegations, leaving the progressives in the minority when the vote for the new Speaker comes up in the Council. The magic number will be 26 votes to bring it home in the 51-member body.

None of this is good news for east Bronx Councilman Jimmy (That’s not acceptable!) Vacca, who’s been hoping the clouds might part for his elevation to the job as a compromise candidate.


And speaking of the County Bosses and jobs, looks like de Blasio is also looking elsewhere to staff his team. Interested job seekers can go on line at to post their resumes, and answer three basic quesitons: Why do you want to serve the de Blasio Administration? What type of position are you seeking? What are your top three areas of skill or expertise?


And speaking of political jobs, there’s a vacant seat on the City Board of Elections for a Bronx Democratic Commissioner.

Bronx Party Boss Carl Heastie now has to line up a replacement with the departure of attorney Naomi Barrera, who officially resigned as of Dec. 17 from the 10-member Dem/GOP equally divided board to pursue other matters, as they say.

Heastie reportedly had hoped to move Barrera up to exec director of the board, but lost the fight, with Staten Island Democrat Mike Ryan landing the job.


Former City Councilman Larry Seabrook can’t be making much dough these days working at the federal pen in Schuylkill, Pa. while doing a five-year-stretch for milking nonprofits.

At the federal pay scale range of 23 cents minimum to $1.15/hour max, it could take him quite a while to even make a dent in that $418,000 U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara wants to collect from him for milking nonprofits for himself and relatives.

Bharara has asked a judge to take Larry’s government pension away in an effort to recoup the money.

Also on the collection list: Manhattan Councilman Miguel Martinez, former Queens Councilman and state Sen. Hiram Monserrate and former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi.


Councilman Jimmy Vacca at the Liberty Dems annual awards dinner Dec. 12, telling the assembled to call him “an elected official,” NOT a politician.

The east Bronx contender for Council Speaker cited his 26 years as district manager at Community Board 10 and eight in the City Council – “and I’ve loved every minute of it!”


Don’t call him a Scrooge just because Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. barred children from his annual Christmas shindig at Maestro’s Caterers in Bronxdale Friday, Dec. 20. It’s a big enough mob scene as it is, this year trying to make enough room for 400 or so guests to sit and schmooze, as well as the town’s other electeds stopping by to show their props to The Rev and and Borough President son Ruben Jr.

The Rev made/makes up for it with the kiddies at his Christmas and Three Kings Day celebrations Dec. 16th and Jan. 4.


HELP! We’ve been getting inundated with Holiday/Christmas Tree Lightings for the past week or so, with no end apparently in sight.

One example: Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj’s tree lighting schedule: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 on Allerton Avenue; Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:00PM at Peace Memorial Plaza; Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:00PM at the Pelham Parkway South Lawn; Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:00 PM at Pelham Parkway North.


Riverdale Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz and the Mrs. proud parents as their son Eric married Binghampton College sweetheart Tamar Chanah Dec. 8 at The Sephardic Temple in Cedarhurst, L.I. Bride’s dad, Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz, performed the ceremony.

The bride works for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Eric is a high school special education teacher at Bronx Theatre High School on the John F. Kennedy campus, and serves as the school’s UFT chapter leader.


Going out to Community Board 11 District Manager Jeremy Warneke’s mother, in critical condtion after a head-on collision in Rockford, IL.


Dec. 10 – Catching up with Democratic State Committeeman Joe McManus of the Liberty Democratic Association club.

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