Wait for it.
That could be the word going out to Gov. Cuomo over calling a special election to the fill the west Bronx seat of disgraced now ex-Assemblyman Nelson Castro.
Castro, swept up in citywide political bribery scandals involving Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Bronx Republican Party Boss Jay Savino and others, resigned his seat on Monday, April 8.
The governor could call a special non-partisan election, with the vote to be held within 60 to 80 days in the 86th A.D. covering University Heights, Tremont and south Fordham.
But the commissioners of the city Board of Elections met Tuesday, April 9 to discuss asking the governor to lump the Bronx vote on a single ballot in the November general election.
“The most effective way to run a special election is in fact with a general election,” said Board of Elections spokeswoman Valerie Vazquez, who estimated a stand-alone special election would cost the cash-strapped board an estimated $350,000.
And in this case, it would likely overburden board staffers already at DEFCON 3 preparing for the June petitioning process and September mayoral, council and other cith office primaries.
Not sure if Bronx Democratic Party boss Carl Heastie might want to add his two cents in with the governor, since the party candidate will likely carry the most weight anyway, but a party insider noted that while it was not Carl’s job to suggest it, “everybody should be interested in fiscal responsibility - saving some money here.”
“It does make sense,” they added, “to wait a bit and do it all in one day.”
Charged: Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, Bronx Republican Committee Chairman Jay Savino.
Convicted: State Senator Pedro Espada, City Councilman Larry Seabrook, state Senator Efrain Gonzalez, state Senator Guy Velella, Assemblywoman Gloria Davis, state Senator Israel Ruiz, Bronx Democratic County Committee Chairman Stanley Friedman, Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon, Congressman Mario Biaggi, Congressman Robert Garcia, Assemblyman Alan Hochberg, City Councilman at Large Joseph Savino Jr.
HATS OFF TO ROB
Gulp! We owe Bronx DA Rob Johnson an apology for hammering away at him in the column back in 2009 over supposedly giving Assemblyman Nelson Castro a walk on what looked like an open-and-shut perjury rap – lying about having nine family members registered to vote out of his one-bedroom apartment.
As it turned out – with the federal arrest of Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and others – Johnson’s office turned Castro into a snitch, turning him over to the feds to work his oily ways with fellow pols. Rob gets a gold star on this one.
And speaking of those corruption arrests, one of the “cooperating witnessses” as the criminal complaint put it politely, was longtime political wannabe/former Pedro Espada employee/and all-around street-thug-in-a-suit Sigfredo Gonzalez, who likes to physically push reporters around and throw chairs at the city Board of Elections. Have a nice day.
That house of cards downfall of Nelson Castro and Eric Stevenson began with the irrepressible - and powerful – Bronx Dem Party player Stanley Schlein and fellow election law pro Henry Berger, who started the ball rolling in a civil suit against Nelson in the political brawl that saw him challenging the County-backed candidate Hector Ramirez in 2008.
Jimmy Vacca on wired Nelson Castro – “I never had any conversations with him, any, at all!”
Well, there may be some empty tables at Bronx Democrat’s annual fundraising County Dinner July 17. But we bet it’ll be a real touchy feely evening, with a lotta hugging - checking for wires....
Baruch College prof and political macher Doug Muzzio is the guy political pundits go to for react and pithy – we said PITHY! – quotes when big news such as last week’s arrests of Bronx and other politicos breaks.
He was being a smartass, though, when we found this headline from him in our email: From Pharmacy News Bulletin: “Imodium Sales Soar in Bronx. Up in Other Boroughs”
With more pols facing lengthy vacations at Chez Fed, including former state Senator Pedro Espada due to head off any day now, we did some catching up on their welcoming committee.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons Inmate No. 63107-054, 61-Black-M, otherwise known as ex-Councilman Larry (Bagel Larry) Seabrook, is getting his three hots and a cot at the medium security Federal Correctional Institution - Schuylkill, 150 or so miles due west of the Bronx. No word if he of the $7 bagel and Snapple that became a $177 expense account item is working in the prison bakery. Release date 07-14-2017.
Inmate No. 59290-054, 64-White-M, otherwise known as ex-state Senator Efrain Gonzalez, is doing his seven years at the Fort Dix Correctional Institution, release date 08-03-2016.
•Briggs Ave. Takedown. Say buh-bye - for a long, long time - to Capone, Bula, Gordo, Fatz, Gotti, Bebo, Drizz, Pookie and 20 other members of the Briggs Avenue Organization around 194th St. in Kingsbridge Heights, taken down last week with a federal drugs and firearms indictment.
Congrats to political operative/wannabe Haile Rivera and wife Cossette on birth of son Joey.
April 16 – Councilman Fernando Cabreba