Bronx Politics: Predictions Hit & Miss With A Dash of Fraud Allegations

by Rob Giuffre on September 16, 2013 11:57AM


So, first off…about last week’s predictions, well…some were spot on, some were off. Very surprised that Eliot Spitzer was defeated by Scott Stringer; this was a case of a lack of objectivity on my part.   

The public advocate race, I had not been following it closely, so I really just guessed and was way off.  (Sorry about that.)  Every other race, I have to say, I did pretty well.  

As predicted, Jobs for New York was the difference maker in council districts, 11, 15 and 16.    Ritchie Torres in the 15th district was on the receiving end of $377,000 from Jobs for New York.  This figure dwarfs the $105,002 he raised on his own.  After approximately, $91,000 in public matching funds, the Torres campaign (directly and from “independent” sources) spent about $573,000 – all for 2,589 votes, or, an astonishing $221.32 per vote.  While Torres ultimately won, it is my opinion that the 15th district was not sold on his candidacy considering the money spent for just 36% of the vote.


Courtesy of The New York Daily News

The picture heard round the Bronx political scene.  

Serious allegations of voter fraud are coming from all candidates (besides Victor Pichardo) in the 86th Assembly District.  

Calls from have been made to the Bronx Democratic Party, Assemblyman Carl Heastie and Senator Gustavo Rivera seeking comment.  No comments were given.    

The second place finisher, Hector Ramirez, spearheaded a letter to state and federal authorities seeking a do-over election.  Our sources at the Bronx Board of Elections tell us that Bronx Democratic Party Attorney Stanley Schlein was called upon  to assist the Pichardo campaign as early as the day after the primary.

More is sure to come from this situation. Stay tuned.


Word around the campfire is that term-limited, 72 year-old Oliver Koppell, is seriously weighing a primary challenge against State Senator Jeff Klein.

This rumor was confirmed by me during the Bronx Democratic Party’s volunteer barbeque.  Koppell stated “I have talked to (NYS DSCC Chairman) Mike Gianaris about putting together a campaign. I know they are looking for someone.”  When asked bluntly if he would run, Kopell responded, “I’m not sure yet.”

This would be a huge challenge for Koppell.  Klein is well-liked in his district and has $1,353,039 in his campaign account.

The real issue here is that Klein would rather not spend that $1,353,039 on a left-flank assault from a union, liberal, NYS DSCC backed Koppell. Klein would much rather spend that money supporting other candidates throughout the state in hopes of expanding his Independent Democrat Conference.

Mike Gianaris must know that Klein, being slightly neurotic, would spend way more than needed defending himself in a primary, at the expense of any hope of expanding the IDC.  

In my opinion, this is the real motivation – wasting Klein’s time and attention.  A pretty smart strategy indeed.

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