Senate Candidates Get Endorsements

Written by admin on . Posted in News West Side Spirit.

By Dan Rivoli

Democrats in the race to succeed State Sen. Eric Schneiderman recently won endorsements.

Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat got the backing of his ally, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, who is unaffiliated with any party after dumping the GOP, cited Espaillat’s independence in Albany.

“Adriano has been an outspoken voice in the fight to reform government, improve our city’s schools, protect our environment and revitalize our small businesses,” Bloomberg said in his statement.

Espaillat, from Washington Heights, said he worked with Bloomberg on revitalizing the city’s waterfronts and pushing for a national immigration reform policy.

“His endorsement is yet another momentum building milestone for our campaign,” Espaillat said in a statement. “I look forward to having such a strong and influential ally in Mayor Bloomberg.”

Meanwhile, Espaillat’s colleague, Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, endorsed Mark Levine, a Democratic district leader in Washington Heights.

O’Donnell, who represents the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights and Manhattan Valley, said that Levine would “take on the status-quo and make a real difference in Albany.”

“He brings exactly the kind of new perspective needed in Albany to move progressive policies forward,” O’Donnell said in his statement.

In newspaper editorial endorsements, the New York Times backed Espaillat in an editorial that supported candidates in state races. The paper cites Espaillat’s advocacy for an independent commission to draw legislative districts.

“If Mr. Espaillat works hard to represent this diverse district, he could become an important leader in Albany as well as a proud model for Hispanics,” the Times wrote.

But Levine was undeterred in using the paper’s praise of his candidacy, despite losing the official endorsement.

An email to his supporters read, “Here is what the NY Times [sic] had to say about Mark: ‘Mr. Levine has impressive credentials and workable proposals for orchestrating the kinds of reforms we keep pushing for in New York.’”

The email also highlighted the negative words the Times used for Albany incumbents.

“The best advice for New York voters is to vote against anybody who has done time in Albany,” the Times editorial read, which was quoted in Levine’s campaign email.

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  • Welsarth

    While in office, Eric Schneiderman served who? His constituency or the interests of his 1900 attorney law firm?
    Shouldn’t a candidate for Attorney General be neutral?
    I want nothing to do with either and suport Kathleen Rice and Anna Lewis.
    If Espailatt were such a reformer, he’d have called for a change of leadership in the NYS Assembly

  • Bradley Brookshire

    The Espaillat years in Inwood were bad ones with respect to noise and other quality of life violations. Under Espaillat’s watch, we saw the growth of racing on the Dyckman Drag Strip, the unprecedented and ethically questionable expansion of noisy nightclubs posing as restaurants, the lending out of public property for noisy rallies on behalf of political candidates in foreign elections, and the charade of officials holding meetings with the public in which they repeatedly claimed that few, if any, noise or traffic violations were documented and that their management was a problem of “inadequate manpower.” Local residents recognize these denials as nothing more than a fast-talking runaround with the public. The surreal nature of this two-step has led many of us to feel that back-room deals under Espaillat’s watch have led to the rapid up-tick in noise during his time in office.

    Instead of balancing the needs of business against the legitimate right of local residents to sleep at night (as Denny Farrell has successfully done), Mr. Espaillat has sided unilaterally with the Vida/Mamajuana cartel, the Miami-based group behind the transformation of West Dyckman Street into our very own Alcohol Alley. Other than publish one publicity piece claiming to have taken action – action that locals have found difficult to identify as real – Espaillat appears to have done nothing to quell the flood of noisy establishments over Inwood. In fact, he seems to have promoted it. I will never forget his participation in that transparent piece of political theater that many derisively call the “Postcard Terrorist Press Conference.” He stood shoulder to shoulder with leaders of the Vida/Mamajuana cartel, throwing the weight of his office behind a ridiculous contention: that local businesses are in real danger from some apparently-elderly, deranged person who can barely put pen to paper. The FBI apparently has declined to investigate, and no findings of a real threat have surfaced since then. The true intent of this press conference, as many Inwoodites recognized from the start, was to garner public sympathy for expansion by the allegedly downtrodden Vida/Mamajuana cartel. It was a shameful, politically motivated slur on the motives of local residents, who want only to achieve balance in an area super-saturated with liquor licenses and the noise- and traffic-violations that have come with them.

    We may not know what Mark Levine will do to help residents who want to return the area to some semblance of balance, but he has already done more than Espaillat merely by acknowledging the problem, by attending town halls and other meetings devoted to the quality of life problems that have ballooned under Espaillat, and by personally pledging to local residents that he will take positive action. His election would initiate a radical departure from the political charades of the Espaillat era, and I would welcome it.

    I encourage you strongly to get out the vote for Mr. Levine in the NY State Senate primary election this coming Tuesday.

    Bradley Brookshire
    20-Year Inwood Resident

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