Bronx Politics: Ritchie Torres & Delusions of Grandeur / BP Staffer High On Power

By Rob Giuffre, October 9, 2013 4:08PM


Sorry for the delay in this week’s article.  An interview with mayoral candidate Adolfo Carrion was supposed to happen for this week.   Unfortunately, it seems like that may have fallen by the wayside.


Carrion is on the outs with the Bronx Democratic Party.   Last week, Vice Chair of the BX Democratic Party took to facebook to bash the former Beep.  Lewis Goldstein posted the following:

“Mr. Carrion has abandoned the progressive ideology he used to have when he was a member of the NYC Council and Bronx Borough President.  He has abandoned the needs of the middle and lower class residents of NYC.   He has adopted tactics of the Tea Party and fellow travelers.  He has referred to the Democratic candidate for mayor as being a Communist.  He does not represent what the Bronx Democratic Party stands for.  My respect for him has waned.”

So, naturally, I was looking forward to asking Mr. Carrion to respond.   Hopefully we can get together soon.

Mr. Carrion is polling at 2% in the mayor’s race and has $96,000 on hand.

40 UNDER 40

Not surprisingly, City and State named two of the Bronx’s newest elected officials to their list of “Rising Stars: 40 under 40.”  
Of course these two newly (presumably) elected officials are Ritchie Torres and Victor Pichardo

And of course I have to talk some smack about both of them.

First, Torres.  This guy!  When asked what would he be doing if he weren’t involved in politics, he responded by saying he would be “an appellate attorney of constitutional law.”  WOW!  LOOK AT MR. BIG FANCY PANTS USING BIG WORDS!!!!

The problem with this is, of course, that in order to be a lawyer, one must first attend law school.  And in order to attend law school, one must first get accepted into law school — to get accepted into law school one must have excellent grades as an undergrad in college.  And this is where Mr. Fancy Pants falls short: he dropped out of college despite having a free ride at NYU.  The last time I checked, one needed educational requirements a little higher than a high school degree to become “an appellate attorney of constitutional law.”

Now, Pichardo.  Wow.  Just WoW.

Direct quote: “They have to justify to themselves why they lost, not the fact that I had a better understanding of the issues.  I stated a better case to my neighbors, and I put in a lot of effort and a lot of work in going up and down those stairs, meeting with a lot of my neighbors at their homes, seeing them at work, on the trains and just engaging them in a conversation.  I’m focused on the folks I interacted with during my campaign.”

Or, you know, the election really was stolen and you really are an illegitimate elected official.  But who is keeping score?   I guess we can agree to disagree.


In case we needed yet another example of how elected officials and their staffers concern themselves more with the advancement of their own careers and opportunity than the people they are supposedly representing, we got a nice new case study to review.

Erica Veras, Education and Community Liaison for the Bronx Borough Presidents office was fined $5,000 because she improperly threatened her son’s school for not letting him participate on a field trip. Then she even tried to sneak him on the bus the day of the trip.

The BP, through an unknown source, adamantly explained that Erica Veras is not part of the Diaz Jr. team; she is a civil servant who has been in borough hall since before Ruben became Borough President.  In other words, they are distancing themselves from their own office? 


The beep also made news last week for introducing legislation that would fine gas stations that sell gas to owners of  illegal dirt bikes. 

Of course there were criticisms leveled on facebook.  Mostly on three concerns:

1. The legislation passes the buck to the private sector.

2. What happens when a credit card is used to purchase gas?  Is the gas station attendant required to shut down the pump and chase away the menacing bikers?

3. What’s stopping dirt bikers from parking around the block of the gas station, pulling out a red gas can, walking up to a pump and getting gas that way?


I should’ve said this before, but anyone who wants to send tips, suggestions or press releases, please email me at  

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