Second anti-Somos gearing up vs. Assembly/Senate Latinos’ San Juan confab


It looks like that musical redistricting plan to potentially line up his assembly seat for son Joel Rivera and keep a potential challenger out isn’t working for Jose Rivera.

We gotta suspect the elder statesman had some kind of hand in it when his 78th District lines were redrawn, kicking Ischia Bravo, executive director of the Bronx Democratic Party, over into Assemblyman Nelson Castro’s 86th A.D. next door, while extending the eastern side of Jose’s lines ONE WHOLE BLOCK to take in term-limited City Council Majority Leader son Joel Rivera’s apartment building, lining him up as a possible successor in Albany.

However, Ischia tells us she’s recently moved back into the district, and while holding the fort at County HQ, is finishing up a master’s degree with just a shade under a perfect 4.0 grade average.

As for her political plans, quien sabe (who knows)? She’s not saying out loud. But if the political winds were to blow in the right direction, it could include challenging Joel should Papi decide to step down after winning in November, and should Joel decide to stay in politics, rather than focusing full time on his real estate sales job.

Or, it could be that Ischia might want to run for Joel’s vacant E. Tremont City Council seat.

The morning line is that when Joel is term-limited out of city office, the likely candidate to replace him will be his long-time chief of staff Alberto Alvarez, who’s worked rather quietly behind the scenes.

To make this political poker game even more interesting, there’s a wild card out there named Radame Perez, who ran against Joel in 2009 and then dropped out.

Radame is the son of Jose Perez, head of the Mastermind development company and a well-connected major borough civic booster. Radame has been spending his time helping run the family business while working to organize E. Tremont businesses into a potential businees improvement district. He’s been verrry quiet, but for some reason, his name is starting to make the local political buzz. Stay tuned.


Looks like Assemblywoman Naomi (Snooki) Rivera and challenger Mark Gjonaj (Jo-nigh) have lined up their campaign managers for what’s expected to be a rough-and-tumble race.

Snooki, who’s actually been acting like a working poltician lately (we even got a press release recently) has Dem County HQ handling things for her so far, with the Miram Group, headed by former Bronx Dem Boss Roberto Ramirez and former mayoral advisor Luis Miranda handling her mailings.

Gjonaj, a local realtor with big bux, has brought political advisor Scott Levenson on board.

We spotted Scott at the Bronx Ball in deep conversation with Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie, who is following the party line and supporting the incumbent. Love to have been a fly on the wall for THAT conversation.

We did get a chuckle, by the way, out of Snooki’s press release about the assembly’s pro forma adoption of her a resolution recognizing Mom’s Nite Out on the Thursday before Mother’s Day.

We almost blew milk through our nose when we got to the part of the press release where it quotes her saying: “As a working Mom….”


Here we go again.

Nick Lugo over at the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is cranking up anti-SOMOS II, his second business confab competing with the Assembly/Senate Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force ‘Somos El Futuro’ winter meeting in San Juan Nov. 7-11.

Nick held the first one last year after new task force head, Brooklyn assemblyman Felix Ortiz, shifted Somos over to the cheaper Conrad, on the seedy Condado, leaving travel agent Nick holding 200 rooms at the ritzier Inter-Continental in Isla Verde.

Most of the Bronx crew and others, including BP Ruben Diaz Jr. and ex-BP Freddy Ferrer stayed at the Inter-Continental, shuttling between the two meets, with the Puerto Rican government laying on equal services and help to both conferences.

City Islander/power broker Stanley Schlein set up his beachside card game next door at the El San Juan, where the hot party action happens nightly.


Looks like Congressman Charlie Rangel, who’s 13th Congressional District now takes in a big chunk of the west Bronx, will be facing at least some of his four challengers, including northern Manhattan Senator Adriano Espaillat, in a Bronx televised debate.

Cable TV BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank tells us that he, the Riverdale Press and the Norwood News will be co-hosting the live debate at 9 p.m. Monday, June 11 over at BronxNet. Invites are out to all, including Charlie, with no RSVP’s coming back yet.


City Board of Elections president J.C. Polanco writes on his Facebook that when he took his kids to see the Avengers flick at the Bay Plaza cineplex, there was a “No Weapons Allowed” sign in the ticket window.

One wag’s comment on his FB page: “that’s ridiculous. who goes to bay plaza without weapons?”


If you remember Woodstock (or the 70’s for that matter), former and current Bronxites are invited to the town of Woodstock Saturday, June 9 for the 3rd annual Bronx Memories Open Mic & Concert to hear or tell a Bronx tale.

Email Karen Whitman and Rick Pantell at or call (845) 684-5476. Right on!


For former Daily News Bronx bureau staffer Andy Hawkins, now covering politics for Crain’s NY Business, and bride Georgia Kral. Congrats!

Got some hot gossip? E-mail Kappy at

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