Bronx Political Round-Up, May 14

NY City Hall _ Council Chambers

















Elvin Garcia, Candidate, 18 CD (LinkedIn)

Elvin Garcia, Candidate, 18 CD (LinkedIn)

The Dash For Cash in the Southeast Bronx 

In District 18, Elvin Garcia leads in the dash for campaign cash. In his latest filing, Garcia reports raising over $56,000 with more than half ($27K) eligible for matching funds. If he makes the ballot, the CFB will cut the Elvin Garcia for City Council campaign a big fat check totaling the maximum payout — $100,100. The spending limit for City Council races is $182,000. At this pace, it’s possible that Garcia could hit the spending limit.

Notably, in the last reporting period (January 12-March 11), the Garcia campaign currently ranks in the CFB’s Top 10 Small Contributions [$175 or less] Raised from NYC Residents (#8/144 small donors) and Small Contributions Leader (#8/310) for the  reporting period. Small donors comprise 55.7% of Garcia’s total donations from NYC residents.

The Garcia campaign fundraising effort deserves an “Atta boy!”


City Council Endorsements 2017

This coming Monday is the filing deadline for citywide and City Council candidates to report their latest fundraising for the last quarter. Next month, Council candidates will begin circulating designating petitions to collect the signatures of voters to help get them on the September 12 Primary ballot.

Meanwhile, those candidates are scrambling to secure various endorsements in support of the candidacies. This week, several candidates sent out news releases, emails and social media posts heralding their latest backers.

Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, who is running for the Council seat (CD 18) he held in 2002 before going to the state senate, touted the support of the Bangladeshi-American community. Marjorie Velazquez (CD 13) was endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus of NYC (NWPCNYC). This week, Elvin Garcia (CD 18) touted the endorsement of LatPAC, a Latino empowerment organization, and actor Alan Cummings. NOW NYC and the NWPCNYC are supporting Amanda Farias in District 18.




Gonzalo Duran, Candidate for Bronx Council District 15 (Facebook)

Torres Draws Two Challengers

On Facebook, Iraq War veteran and Devil Dog USA, Inc. founder, Gonzalo Duran declared his intention to mount a challenge against Bronx City Council wunderkind  and darling of the Downtown doyens, Ritchie Torres. In a direct message to The Bronx Chronicle, Duran claimed that Councilman Torres “blocked” him on Twitter after being informed of his candidacy. When asked if he planned to register with the NYC Campaign Finance Board, Duran wrote that he was undecided about participating in the public campaign finance program (where donations up to $175 from city residents are matched 6-1 with taxpayer dollars).

Torres’ second challenger, Jayson Cancel, Jr. just registered with the CFB and his State Board of Election campaign disclosure filing lists the New York Martial Arts Party as his authorized committee. In his first CFB filing, he reported $0 net contributions and $0 net expenditures. The deadline to join NYC’s campaign finance program — and to be eligible for public funds — is June 12.


Brooklyn DA Race

Many thought that with the untimely death of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, the political dominoes would begin falling. Public Advocate Tish James — contrary to early rumors — does not want to be the next Brooklyn DA because she still want to be Mayor (possibly as a jumping point to State AG). The now discredited political Karnacks had predicted her appointment by Cuomo, thus allowing Bronx BP Diaz to run for PA w/ Mayor de Blasio’s support (in exchange for endorsement over a Comptroller Stringer challenge?). As that scenario has fallen by the wayside, actin Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez is now favored to win a possibly six-person Democratic primary.

Next Manhattan Democratic Elex Board Commissioner
Jeanine Smith (a former aide to ex-Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright) … is on tap to replace current Manhattan Dem Alan Schulkin front: Elex Board ED Mike Ryan is said to be “not okay” with Schulkin’s statements to the Project Veritas reporter. And Schulkin is telling people that the video is inaccurate and that his comments were taken out of context. And that positive statements were edited out. Schulkin was the choice of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who used a loophole to outmaneuver Manhattan Dems boss Keith Wright.
Meet the Bronx Board of Election Commissioners
Rosanna Vargas, Esq, Bronx Commissioner, NYC Board of Elections.

Rosanna Vargas, Esq, Bronx Commissioner, NYC Board of Elections.

Democratic Election Commissioner Rosanna Vargas is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Ackerman LLP. She joined the NYC Board of Elections, where she is board secretary, in 2016. As board secretary, Vargas is poised to become board president in 2018.

Ms. Vargas made news last news when she repeatedly refused to promise to not engage in lobbying while she holds the commissioner job — a pledge the City Council has asked for from all appointees to a number of city boards. According to a news report, Vargas said her city law permits her to be a registered lobbyist and serve as an elections commissioner. She also saw no conflicts of interest. The City Council approved her nomination 49-0 on June 21, 2016.
Ms. Vargas earned her Juris Doctor in law at the Touro College Law Center in 2012. And she is a 2008 graduate of Fordham University, where she earned a B.S in Business Administration.
Robert Siano

Robert Siano

Robert D. Siano, the Bronx Republican Election Commissioner, is an attorney in private practice representing clients in criminal and civil litigation and appeals. He has been a candidate for NY County Civil Court (2016), Bronx District Attorney (2015), Bronx County Civil Court (2014), and Bronx County Supreme Court (2013).

Mr. Siano has worked as Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, prosecuting neglect cases on behalf of the Administration for Children’s Services representing the city’s at-risk children.
Siano received his undergraduate degree from New York University in 2000 and his J.D. from the St. John’s University School of Law in 2003.
John Cerini_Tax Man_City CouncilBronx Tax Man Cometh 
Local accountant and Republican John Cerini — aka the `Bronx Tax Man`– is a declared candidate for the City Council in District 13, which is currently represented by Jimmy Vacca.  In his recent CFB filing, Cerini’s campaign reported raising $18,240 in donations and claimed $8,800 in matchable contributions. The campaign has $16,982 cash-on-hand.
The GOP candidate vows to curb over-development in the East Bronx because he believes that without careful planning the character of neighborhoods will be destroyed.
Cerini accuses CM Vacca and other local leaders of allowing sloppy planning such as the development of 120-unit buildings onto formerly five single-family lots to negatively impact District 13. His supporters say that their part of the Bronx resembles the suburbs and overdevelopment risks having that go away forever.
Where in the World is Assemblyman Michael Blake
MrMikeBlake1922. Instagram

MrMikeBlake1922. Instagram

East Lansing, Michigan.

The borough’s peripatetic assemblyman and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair was the keynote speaker at the Ingham County (Michigan) Democratic Party dinner Friday night at the University Club on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
This Week In Bronx Political Tweets
When yet ANOTHER LGBT Icon, , joins in endorsing your campaign. This is how we win. This is  — Elvin Garcia (@ElvinGarciaNYC)
Thank you Ingham County Democratic Party for letting me keynote your dinner last night. “On the verge of sunrise in 2018.” — Assemblyman Michael Blake (@MrMikeBlake)
Proud to be celebrating 10th Anniversary of “Jornada contra la homofobia y transfobia” w/ in  — Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (@MMViverito)
RDiaz_Marble Hill Annexation
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