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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NRI and Gustavo Head Upstate

What will Bill Samuels and his New Roosevelts do now that they've reached their goal of defeating Pedro Espada? According to a press release, they're taking their show on the road--and bringing Gustavo Rivera with them--to throw support behind Mary Wilmot, a Democratic candidate running for State Senate in Rochester against a Republican incumbent.

The most-likely-to-be-elected Rivera was in Rochester today to officially endorse Wilmot, who, in turn, had endorsed him against Espada back in August.

Samuels, a wealthy businessman and former candidate for Lieutenant Governor, founded the New Roosevelt Initiative this year to change Albany, he says, by helping to elect more "reform-minded candidates."  His group spent much of the summer campaigning in the Bronx against Espada, handing out leaflets, knocking on doors and pledging $250,000 to see Rivera on the ballot instead.

NRI said the group's next move is to help get more women elected to the legislature. The general election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 2.


  1. Kudos to NRI and Gustavo Rivera. Clearly they recognize the importance not only of electing women, but solidifying the Democratic majority in the NYS Senate. It would feel like less of of victory here in the 33rd District if Mr. Rivera ends up in a minority party. Don't get me wrong -- removing the carpet-bagging, ineffectual, corrupt, embarrassment that was Mr. Espada is a great victory regardless. But the real reform we need in Albany, the strengthening of tenant's rights, marriage equality and many other progressive goals will only be achieved if progressive Democrats solidify their majority. Robin Wilt would be a huge pick-up for the Dems. I'm loving the fact that our future Senator is someone progressive candidates are embracing --instead of running from. I hope Cuomo starts doing more to support the people like Robin Wilt, Susan Savage, Joanne Yepsen, Mike Kaplowitz, Tony Avella -- all potential pick-ups. He won't be able to do a darn thing as governor if the obstructionist Republicans gain in the NYS Senate.

  2. Whoops -- sorry. I conflated two great Democrat women candidates running for NYS Senate upstate, both with "W" last names.

    Bill Samuels and Gustavo Rivera are on the road for Mary Wilmot, a great candidate in Rochester. I mentioned Robin Wilt also running in a neighboring district. They both deserve the Espada Slayer Bump!

  3. I'm as glad as anyone that Espada is going. But the "New" Democrats are not reform minded ... they come from the DLC wing of the party (i.e., Joe Lieberman and Bill Clinton acting as Republicrats or Demapublicans. Loo at Betsy Gotbaum as an advisor, and Marc Lapidus on staff. He was on Peter Vallone's staff. Vallone is/was in bed with NYC landlords and developers and was the first to put vacancy decontrol in place. In other words, the effort got rid of Espada, but the replacement will have to prove he's not owned by hacks.

  4. Helen Greene (Van Courtland)September 30, 2010 at 11:04:00 AM EDT

    Who's Carl Heastie? Welcome to the NEW leader in the Bronx: It's called Bill Samuels and his New Roosevelt Initiative (NRI)!

    Heastie, Dinowitz and BP Diaz are PUPPETS OF BILL SAMUELS AND HIS NRI!

    If we had JOSE RIVERA (former Bx Chairman) and not that I liked the guy much either, but no OUTSIDERS will be allowed to run our Bronx politics.

    Welcome Mr. Chairman Samuels!


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