- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf BxNN Presents: The 33rd Senate District Candidates On the Issues (Part 1) | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BxNN Presents: The 33rd Senate District Candidates On the Issues (Part 1)

Two weeks ago, the Bronx News Network asked candidates in 33rd District senate race to answer, in writing, a number of questions which we hope will shed light on where they stand politically, their position on key issues in the community, and what they would do if elected.

In the coming days we're going to post their unedited answers on this blog, a few at a time.

There are four candidates in the race - Pedro Espada, Jr. (the incumbent), Daniel Padernacht, Gustavo Rivera, and Fernando Tirado - which is turning into one of the most watched in the city. 

Padernacht, Rivera, and Tirado got back to us with answers, but Espada didn't. In an e-mail, a staffer of his wrote: "Thank you for the survey, however we will not be participating at this time. The Senator's positions will be made available via other media, including his website and Facebook, at a later date."


QUESTION: Will you serve as a full-time legislator? If not, what other jobs will you also keep?

PADERNACHT: It is my plan to serve as a full-time Senator with an office in Albany, and two offices in the District. All the offices will be staffed by qualified and competent staff. I will continue to practice law as a solo practitioner though I will restrict my caseload to a handful of matters.

RIVERA: I will gladly and willingly serve as a full-time legislator whether the law is changed or not. I have been a university professor for 11 years and a part time faculty member for last 6 years at Pace University. I would love to be able to continue to teach if I am elected, which is the only job I would consider keeping – but only if it doesn’t interfere with my legislative duties and is not deemed a conflict of interest.

PhotobucketTIRADO: Currently, I have no other plans other than to serve as a full-time legislator.

QUESTION: How would you describe yourself politically (e.g. liberal, conservative, etc.)? Name three political figures you admire. What books have you read recently?

PADERNACHT: Politically, I would describe myself as a reasonable progressive. Three political figures that I admire are Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln. I am currently reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

RIVERA: I am a progressive. I believe we must address the basic issues: quality education, universal healthcare, pensions for retirees, unemployment, and regulation of business to protect hard-working families.

President Obama is a great example of a progressive elected official committed to serving his community and I was honored to play a key role in the 2008 presidential race, witnessing first-hand an incredible movement that inspired my generation. I also admire Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is a Bronx heroine in every way and the best sort of role model anyone from the Bronx can have. Of course, the dedication and passion of Cesar Chavez is an inspiration to political organizers everywhere.

The three books I have read most recently are: The Power Broker by Robert Caro; Millenial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics by Morley Winograd and Michael D Hais; and Last Words by George Carlin.

TIRADO: I consider myself to be more closely associated with Conservative or Centrist Democrats / Blue Dog Democrats in ideology. I believe strongly in having an efficient government that practices transparency and does not turn a blind eye to wasteful or needless spending.

Thomas Jefferson, Luis Muñoz Marín, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

American Gospel, The Faiths of our Fathers, and Warrior of the Light.

Editor's note:  Tomorrow's post will include candidates' responses to questions about the Kingsbridge Armory and unemployment.

The 33rd Senate District covers much of the west Bronx (Graphic courtesy of the Senate's website)


  1. Any chance you can give us a list of the topics covered or questions asked ahead of time, so we know what we are waiting for?

    Great job. Thanks for doing this.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I found it interesting that each of 3 candidates eschew the label "liberal" and two opted for "progressive". There is an interesting Op-Ed in today's NYTs on these labels.


    I tend to agree with the author when he says: "And, instead of messing around with rebranding, the political left would be best advised to stick with “liberal” — and to hunker down and defend the positions to which the word now refers."

    Mr. Tirado seems to have properly avoided the label "liberal". I appreciate his honesty -- running as a Blue Dog/Conservative/Centrist in a traditionally very liberal district. I also noticed on his Facebook page that he "likes" some very conservative (I would use the term "far-right") groups. One of his "likes" is FreedomWorks which is a group founded by Dick Armey and prides itself on being a leading voice in the Tea Party movement. He also likes the conservative group Americans for Prosperity which advocates policies like the flat tax and increased off-shore oil drilling. I hope the remaining questions on the survey help us understand more fully his positions and how much of the Tea Party ideology he embraces.

  4. Wow. No contest! Mr. Rivera is clearly the most suited to become the next state senator.

  5. Wow, is right! Mr. Rivera is clearly a sound bite junkie, and is does not seem qualified to stand up to the corruption of Albany...
    He is a manufactured candidate, who has spent 0 time working for the people of the 33rd...Please Stop dropping names, Mr. Rivera, and stand up on your own...What year did Mr. Rivera arrive in NY anyhow?

    Clearly, Mr. Tirado has a backbone, passion, and a history of working in the district as the district manager of the community board...
    I think he is the most suited to replace Pedro...

  6. Despite his "history of working in the district", Mr. Tirado was unable to get enough legitimate petition signatures to even be on the ballot or raise enough money to continue his campaign. Out of all the potential Democratic candidates, Mr. Tirado had the least number of signatures and money. So considering Tirado's extremely conservative views and nonexistent chance of beating Espada, one can only imagine he insists on staying in the race to help his friend Espada.

  7. That's the power of 1199!


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