WINNERS AND SINNERS
Without fear or favor, we submit our annual year end list of Bronx Winners and Losers, with some candidates worthy of both lists.
• RUBEN DIAZ JR. For the borough president’s steady efforts to see, at long last, new life for the Kingsbridge Armory as a giant ice rink palace.
Now let’s see if his legacy lasts or the ice melts for lack of business, or the nabe becomes one big gentrified traffic jam.
•JEFF KLEIN For still sitting pretty as co-leader of the Senate with the GOP after tilting majority control with his Independent Democratic Conference, and scaring off any regular Democratic Conference threats to unseat him (although term-limited City Councilman Ollie Koppell could be a Bronx Man of La Mancha trying to challenge Jeff.)
• CARL HEASTIE For the Dem Party boss shepherding a winning slate of candidates in the most recent and crowded City Council and judicial races, plus filling disgraced ex-west Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro’s seat with party-backed Victor Pichardo in what a lotta folks are calling a down-and-dirty close one.
•JEFF LYNCH Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s chief of staff who ran Bill de Blasio’s high voter turnout Bronx campaign in the general election. We predict the satorially-challenged Jeff may shortly need to buy a couple of suits for an expected job at City Hall.
•ASSEMBLYMAN LUIS SEPULVEDA, SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON AND COUNCILMAN ANDY KING To de Blasio’s early supporters will go the spoils.
•RICHIE TORRES The in-coming councilman was the only Bronx delegation member to support supposed Speaker-elect Melissa Mark-Viverito.
•JEFF DINOWITZ The Riverdale assemblyman worked his tuchis off to get Andy Cohen elected to the City Council, as well crushing the last remaining vestiges of the Tony Cassino political faction.
CARL HEASTIE He may still hold political power in the Bronx, but unless Party Boss Heastie and Queens counterpart Joe Crowley can pry six votes away from the opposition, forget Carl having any citywide juice for a long, long time after that fiasco over the City Council Speaker’s race.
For those who’ve been away on another planet, South Bronx/East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito appears to have clinched a 31-vote margin in the 51-member Council to become the next Speaker when that august body votes Jan. 8.
This despite Heastie, Crowley and Brooklyn Party Boss Frank (Judas) Seddio taking a blood oath to stand together behind moderate Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick.
But Seddio stabbed them in the back, pledging fealty – and his delegation – to Melissa after some “conversation” with incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio. Instead of 30 pieces of silver, Seddio can now expect some very plum committee chairmanships as well as mucho jobs for his political clubhouses.
While Crowley has been trash talkin’ about it not being over ‘til it’s over, most observers say the next city government will likely be a marriage of progressives Bill d. B. and Melissa MV, along with the progressive faction of the council. County leaders, insiders say, will be just about powerless, especially in the all-important ability to deliver jobs to party loyalists.
One Bronx elected, who obviously prefers anonymity made the dire prediction that “This pretty much marks the beginning of the end of county politics in the city of New York.”
• RUBEN DIAZ JR. For the BP and Carl joining themselves at the hip with mayoralty loser Bill Thompson.
While they may have made contracts with Thompson, they had to do a fast 180-degree after the primary to make nice with de Blasio, who doesn’t owe them a damn thing.
We’re waiting to see how the new mayor treats the FreshDirect move and soccer stadium proposals, since he’s publicly said he’s opposed to mega-subsidies for such projects.
• ADOLFO CARRION JR. How could we NOT list the former Bronx borough president, who dropped his Democratic Party registration to run on the Independence Party line in the mayoral primary, getting romped, stomped, trampled, squashed, squished and creamed. BP Ruben Diaz’s Republican opponent actually pulled more local votes than AC got citywide. Sadly, Adolfo had a couple of good ideas, like keeping schools open after-hours, but we don’t expect he’ll ever again be pushing them as an elected.
• FERNANDO CABRERA For getting into hot water after the ice rink developers at the Kingsbridge Armory charged the local City Councilman tried to shake them down for a $100Gs a year for 99 years to a basically defunct religious nonprofit he was connected to.
Dec. 20 – Nivardo Lopez, Bronx director for the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.
Dec. 20 – Joshua Rivera, Hostos Community College director of government relations.
Dec. 26 – Tommy Messina, community rep for Congressman Joe Crowley.
And to all our loyal (and not so loyal) fans, we wish a Happy New Year, filled with good old political gossip!