Klein survives fire and brimstone for endorsement

Lordy! We thought we were back down at one of those Southern Baptist tent revivals, listening to challenger Oliver Koppell and his supporters hurling the wrath of regular Dems at Senator Jeff Klein May 22 at Riverdale’s Ben Franklin Reform Dem club.

But the fire and brimstone speeches aimed at the evil betrayer of Senate Democrats with his breakaway Independent Democratic Conference just wasn’t enough to stop Jeff from garnering the club’s endorsement with a vote of 96-38, along with 11 votes for no endorsements.

We failed to hear any trumpets tumbling down the walls of the club, so we guess the membership will somehow manage to survive what many at the meeting fearfully predicted would irrevocably split the club asunder.

And kudos, by the way, to club president Ellen Feld, who kept her cool – and firm hand – keeping the pandemonium to a manageable level.


While all the other Riverdale electeds weighed in on Jeff Klein’s side, Congressman Eliot Engel’s staying neutral. Just sayin’.


Brooklyn Democratic Boss Frank (Judas) Seddio ticked he’s not getting any goodies from Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for backing her for Speaker, NY Observer reported recently.

Seddio screwed Bronx Dem Boss Carl Heastie and Queens Boss Joe Crowley who had a deal with him to deliver all their council delegation votes to Manhattan’s Dan Garodnick. Instead, Seddio pulled out of the deal at the last minute and threw the winning votes to Melissa. But instead of his equivalent of 30 pieces of silver, he’s now griping he got bubkus in council chairmanships, jobs and other goodies. Sigh!


After a flurry of negative publicity about them giving the brush-off to BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank, Congressman Charlie Rangel was still holding up the works for a full candidates’ debate, as of Wednesday, May 28.

Challenger Adriano Espaillat finally did agree on Wednesday to show up for a candidates debate on Gary’s Bronx cable-TV show.

Minor challenger Michael Walrond was all set to sit with three empty chairs (mini-challenger Yolanda Garcia never responded) to have the floor all to himself, but Gary tells us he’s ready to set a mutually agreed upon time and place to either tape all three without Charlie if their schedules don’t work for a live debate. If not, a taped debate will be aired Monday, June 16, just ahead of the June 24 congressional primary.


Gov. Cuomo gets a double twofer by naming Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr. and Buffalo Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes at the recent State Dems convention on Long Island as co-chairs of his reelection campaign. He gets both a Latino and an African-American, as well as a downstater and upstater to push his campaign.

And of course, it can’t hurt Ruben any with his eye on a citywide prize.


Congrats. To NYPD Deputy Chief James O’Neill being promoted as the department’s Chief of Patrol. O’Neill is an old Bronx hand, having among other assignments, run the 44th Precinct in Highbridge and serving as exec at the 52nd in Norwood.


New chair. William Rivera voted new chairman Community Board 9 covering Soundview/Parkchester/Castle Hill. Rivera had previously chaired the board’s public safety and housing committees. He ran – for a short while before dropping out – for the E. Tremont City Council seat won by Ritchie Torres. He’s currently running for re-election to a full term as Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda’s district leader in the 87th Assembly District.

Congrats. To Jordan Moss for resurrecting his borough news roundup at bronxmatters.com/, collecting the best and brightest news from local borough publications.

Shame. On the guys who showed up in suits at the $400-a-seat BLACK TIE Bronx Boro Ball. It’s been getting less and less classier every year now…. (And message to Boro Hall flak John DeSio: City Councilman Andy King wants his (Bronx colors) orange vest back.)

Dr. Aguado. Congrats to retired Bronx Council on the Arts exec director William “Bill” Aguado, receiving an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree at Lehman College’s 46th Annual Commencement Exercises on Thursday.


From a Bronx night court arraignment:

“And furthermore, your honor, this defendant had a previous incident against these same complainants involving an assault with poultry.”

Wonder if that defense lawyer managed to pullet off? Ouch!


June 3 – Actor Tony Curtis (Bernie Schwartz of Hunts Point)

Reach Editor Bob Kappstatter at (718) 742–3395. E-mail him at [email protected].