Cuomo isn't ready to discuss pay-raises for state legislators
There’s no doubt that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is worried about a Democrat challenging him in the gubernatorial primary next year. But what the controlling executive and astute político isn’t ready for is the demand for a pay raise from state legislators. According to various legislators – all Democrats with whom B&B has spoken recently – it’s all about timing. The consensus among the legislators I spoke to is that Cuomo knows his hand-picked commission, a.k.a. the state Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation, is going to be ignored again if he revives it.
The strategy is to squeeze Cuomo’s political cojones at every opportunity in 2018. He has a tough road ahead: a likely Democratic primary, a general election, an obvious desire for a spot in the 2020 presidential race and, of course, the state budget. I found it interesting that the handful of Democratic bochincheros I spoke with separately asked not to be quoted. That’s after I assured them I don’t name sources in this column. “He’ll know. Andrew will figure out who said it.” OK, chicos, RELAX.
Next Brooklyn BP?
Eric Adams hasn’t finished serving his first term as Brooklyn borough president and still hasn’t been re-elected – as is expected to happen on Nov. 7 – but there’s already some buzz of his likely successor in 2021. Early bochinche is that Diana Reyna has the inside track. That’s if the former member of the New York City Council stays on as deputy Brooklyn borough president. That move could work for Adams, who is known to harbor mayoral ambitions. As a Dominicana, Reyna could help Adams’ citywide run and make it uncomfortable for Rubén Díaz Jr., the Bronx borough president who also sees himself as future alcalde. Sí, my dear bochincheros, there’s already talk about the 2021 mayoral and municipal smorgasbord.
Assemblyman Dinowitz: Not so querido?
Within two hours of receiving Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s press release with the names and new leadership positions for the 2018 legislative session, I got the first negative reaction to one the designees. Several bochincheros expressed concern about the selection of Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. When asked about which of Heastie’s other selections bothered them, the response went back to not trusting Dinowitz or some other trivial complaint. Except for one of the complainers who said: “I’m going to be sending you some stuff on him.” Muy bien. I’m waiting. It could just be bochinche.
No chance for another Latino
With the designation of Assemblyman Peter Lopez as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 2 administrator – covering New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands – there is hope that, as a puertorriqueño, he will be more caring about the needs of the embattled island. “Peter is a nice guy. And humble. Works very hard. But, he’s a Republican,” said a bochinchero who believes that with Trump at the helm of the federal government, there’s only so much the new designee can do. I asked, “What about another Puerto Rican replacing the Schoharie County Republican’s Assembly seat?” The bochinchero responded, “Tu estas loco?” and then asked: “How many Latinos do you think live and are active Republicans in that part of the state?” I guess there’s now one less Latino state lawmaker. :-(