Who wudda thunk it!
When we slapped the Snooki tag on absentee Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera a few years ago, we never figured the “girls just wanna have fun” moniker would apply to a tabloid scandal, complete with Naomi looking alluring in a black clingy thingy and “the top of her lacy red bra,” as the Post described one photo, along with smootchy shots with “boytoy staffer” Tommy Torres on her now-deleted personal Facebook page .
But while her personal life IS nobody’s business, it raises two serious questions about her judgement as an elected official:
•What EVER was a supposed public official thinking, keeping a Facebook site with THOSE photos on it? We give her four giant Snooki “DUHS!” on that one.
•Creating at minimum an ethical conflict of interest with a workplace relationship. We hope the authorities quickly SHOW the paperwork clearing up whether her love interest did or didn’t double dip on the taxpayer’s dime working for her while supposedly teaching full time in Brooklyn.
The story, of course, has main political challenger Mark Gjonaj acting properly indignant and calling for official investigations. Privately, as one campaign source put it, “it’s like Christmas in August - without the snow.”
We suspect much of the original spade work on the story comes out of Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’ camp. She’s been out for Snooki’s blood ever since Rivera campaigned for challenger Erik Dilan, who’s supposedly supporting boytoy Torres for the Williamsburg/Bushwick council seat.
Creds to blogger Roberto Perez for initially floating a barebones story, though the Snooki-Torres relationship has been an open one, and then to the Post’s Candice Giove for beating us to the finish line.
We’ll REALLY be surprised now if we saw Snooki actually showing up to fill a waiting chair when BronxTalk host Gary Axelbank holds a televised debate August 27 on BronxNet for the four 80th Assembly District candidates.
The two candidates in the newly designated 87th A.D. (the old 76th) covering Parkchester and Castle Hill - Luis Sepulveda and Danny Figueroa - will go at each other on Monday, August 20.
West Bronx state Senator Gustavo Rivera sent out a fundraising flyer knocking the rice and beans out of conservative state Senator Ruben (The Rev) Diaz Sr., who’s supporting conservative challenger Manny Taveras.
Rivera calls The Rev “a close ally of my corrupt predecessor” ex-state Senator Pedro Espada, recently convicted in federal court of looting his Soundview Healthcare clinic.
Calling themselves The Four Amigos (we called them The Four Banditos), The Rev, The Wascally Wabbit, and the two also convicted Carl Kruger of Brooklyn and Hiram Monseratt of Queens shook down both sides as senate control see-sawed between the GOP and Dems, ultimately causing Democrats to lose brief control after decades of trying.
ON THE BALLOT
As we wrote last week, a bunch of Assemblymembers will actually have to get off their duffs this time around to campaign against challengers who actually managed to make it on the Sept. 13 primary ballot line. With incumbents listed first, they are:
Vanessa Gibson vs. Anthony Curry and Edwin Figueroa; Jose Rivera vs. Ricardo (Ricky) Martinez; Mike Benedetto vs. Egidio Sementilli; Carmen Arroyo vs. Maximino Rivera and Charles R. Serrano; Nelson Castro vs. Richard Soto; and Luis Sepulveda vs. Danny Figueroa for an open seat.
It looks like seven candidates - including former seat holder Larry Warden - have lined up for that non-partisan election to fill convicted federal felon Larry Seabrook’s 12th Council District seat in the northeast Bronx.
But thanks to some fancy footwork on the ballot line and Bronx Democratic Party backing, it now looks as if the leading contender is Andy King, an organizer with SEIU 1199. When one candidate dropped out, King moved over to Line A of the Nov. 6 ballot - a few names under Barak Obama. And with the party behind King - we hear there were some misgivings - is looks uphill for the other candidates.
The other potential heavyweight in the race is Cheryl Simmons Oliver, an attorney who formerly worked for Congressman Joe Serrano as his senior policy advisor for economic development. Her veteran campaign manager Jerry Williams said she filed some 1,600 signatures on her nominating petitions, with only 450 needed.
Also waiting to run the gantlet of petition challenges to make it into the Nov. 6 general election, are Pamela Johnson, Neville Mitchell, Joseph Nwachukwu and Garth Marchant.
The Lost Tribe of Elaine’s, in between its wanderings to find a replacement for that famous Upper East Side watering hole established by former Bronx goil (229th St. and Carpenter Ave., Evander Childs High School) Elaine Kaufman, has set up a foundation to help writers with $2,000 grants - but no bar tabs or pasta bolognese! Go to www.table4.org.
Senator Ruben (The Rev) Diaz recuperating from knee replacement surgery puffed up over a cell phone caller announcing: “Hi Ruben, this is your friend Tim Dolan.” - make that CARDINAL Dolan.
August 10. Tony Perez Cassino, Riverdale political activist.