Friday, September 12, 2008

Rivera embraces Espada

First supporters of state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez Jr. told Liz Benjamin of the Daily News — and us, but more on that next week — that they think Bronx Democratic boss Jose Rivera threw their man under the bus in Tuesday's primaries.
Now someone's sent Liz an invite to a Rivera-sponsored bash for Nelson Castro and Pedro Espada Jr. this weekend.


The given rationale for Mr. Rivera's purported betrayal of Mr. Gonzalez, a county regular and a 20-year incumbent, is that giving Mr. Espada the state Senate seat would keep him out of next year's race for borough president. Rumor has it Mr. Rivera wants to clear the way for his son Joel, now City Council Majority Leader, though he denies his son has uttered so much as a peep about becoming beep.

As Benjamin points out, Mr. Espada can still run for BP, and if he loses, he can come right back to his legislative job.

It would also be quite a gamble, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and several City Council members are making a lot of noise about extending term limits from eight years to 12. Mr. Rivera is not shy about his distaste for term limits, and if that bill goes through, Joel and the current BP, Adolfo CarriĆ³n Jr., would both keep their seats. Ousting a longtime loyal ally to prevent a race that might not happen anyway seems like a stretch for a wily pol like Jose Rivera.

Benjamin goes a step further to say that tucking Mr. Espada into the Democratic fold could ingratiate Mr. Rivera with Senate Democratic Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, who needs as many line-walking Democrats in that house as he can to take — and, he hopes, keep — a majority there.

Not so sure about that either. Mr. Gonzalez says he's currently the longest-serving member of the state Senate. He received the endorsement of Riverdale's Ben Franklin Club more or less exclusively because, indictment aside, he could be counted on to toe the Democratic party line. Now the Senate Dems will have to barter with Mr. Espada, who based his last decision about party loyalty on which side would give him more member-item money to spend. This year, which side Mr. Espada chooses may be predicated on the November election results. That'll be the last round in this fight for control of the state Senate.

If anything, ousting Mr. Gonzalez may make Mr. Smith's job more complicated.

The indictment itself does create a wild card. Mr. Gonzalez's trial — for allegedly taking $400,000-plus in taxpayer cash — was recently moved from October to next spring. It's possible Mr. Rivera wanted someone on his team who wasn't at risk of relocating his district office to Riker's Island.


Anonymous said...

Yea yea yea. I get it now. Sometimes when you're so desperate as a leader, or a falling one, you resort to out of ordinary tactics. What I see is a deceptive move for another Rivera or maybe himself. Same crap, different day, same story, nothing new, Gonzalez is a nice guy, but shame on his people for not seeing this coming. Elected reps can come and go for Rivera. The good news is that if this was a plot it has been exposed so make up your own mind. People have called for leadership change, and now we must dump this Rivera clown for the sake of the party.


Anonymous said...

Come on now, that is pretty desperate on Rivera's part and pretty pathetic. He always praised Gonzalez threw all this. So while you make a good point that Gonzalez's people should of seen this coming (and they really should have) it appears that they as well all of us were being deceived. He should have display some form of integrity and respect for the sake of his other Bronx County party members who were in support of Gonzalez. If this was his own personal intention then he should have discussed this with the rest of the Dems at the beginning of all this. It was to my understanding that the Party and the Rainbow Coalition only disagreed on the Judicial Candidate race but that the Dems were still united otherwise and supported Gonzalez. At the end of the day the was not the case. We should agree on the one obvious fact and that is that Bronx County needs new leadership desperately. DUMP HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Jose Rivera is like another McCain too old for the job. He needs to retire now before the people retire him. Get out now with the little bit of dignity you can possibly have left. Keep it simple and don't make it difficult on your constituents and people who believed in you.

It tends to make one ponder if the father is this way, What does that say about the children?

Rivera's are for Rivera's and not for the community.

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