Monday, September 29, 2008

Scenes from a crazy Sunday night

Oh dear.

We've been closely watching the Bronx Democratic Party, officially governed by the Bronx Democratic County Committee, slowly tear itself into two opposing factions — loyalists who support the incumbent party leader, Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and an insurgency led by other members of the Assembly, chiefly Carl Heastie, who wants to unseat him — for weeks. But when the party came together Sunday night so that its elected county committee members could select new leadership — resolving once and for all, or so it was hoped, the ongoing, fractious power struggle — it was an uproarious, chaotic and — allegedly — also violent affair.

One of the aspects of the evening from which the most hay is being made is the voice votes that City Councilwoman Maria Baez, the committee's vice chair pre-Sunday, called during the Rivera faction's half of the long and crazy night. Here's a clip of one of them — you can hear that she calls "the ayes have it" almost before half the room is finished shouting "nay!"

Bronx Dems meeting - vote on vacancies from N. Clark Judd on Vimeo.

That's 81st Assembly District Democratic District Leader Bruce Feld not looking happy as he walks up to confer with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Stanley Schlein.

Here's what Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, another Rivera opponent, had to say about a lot of those people shouting "aye!"

Bronx Dems meeting - Benedetto on the big audience from N. Clark Judd on Vimeo.

City Councilman Oliver Koppell, a member of the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club like Mr. Dinowitz, but a supporter of Jose Rivera, had these comments:

Bronx Dems meeting - Oliver Koppell's reaction from N. Clark Judd on Vimeo.

I also caught up with Councilman Joel Rivera during the meeting.

Bronx Dems meeting - Councilman Joel Rivera in the auditorium from N. Clark Judd on Vimeo.

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