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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Jan. 5

Welcome to today's program, loyal and beautiful readers. Lots of political news to get to on the day new Governor Andrew Cuomo makes his State of the State speech. 

In his address today, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Albany's Empire State Plaza Convention Center (not the traditional Assembly Chambers location for several reasons), Cuomo will unveil his "emergency financial reinvention plan" with the aid of 82 Power Point slides.

Cuomo is looking to plug a $9 billion budget gap through a variety of means, including a few ideas that have already leaked out: a year-long wage freeze for state workers, Medicaid cuts and agency reconfigurations.

You can watch the speech live on the governor's website.

In response to Cuomo's anticipated assault on Medicaid spending, Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. introduced a bill that would create a program to recruit and enroll potential Medicaid users who aren't using it.

Diaz called a meeting today of the state senate's Hispanic caucus (which also includes Bronxites Gustavo Rivera and Jose M. Serrano) and Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, who is up for re-election.

In protest of Sampson's leadership (or lack thereof, as he's suggested) and following his ouster as head of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, Bronx State Senator Jeff Klein stepped down from his deputy leader position and has started his own Independent Caucus, along with senate Democratic colleagues David Carlucci, Diane Savino and David Valesky.

A 16-year-old 10th grader was stabbed in the neck this morning while walking to the Lewis and Clark special education school near Westchester Square.

Anthology Film Archives will be showing five recent films made by Bronx-born filmmaker Abel Ferrara.

Highbridge residents are concerned about a homeless shelter that recently switched from housing women and children to single men, some of whom are convicted sex offenders.

The DN's Bob Kappstatter profiles new Bronx chief of detectives Robert Boyce, who is dealing with an exodus of the borough's talented retiring detectives.

Today's weather forecast (courtesy of weather.com): Sunny, with a high of around 40 degrees.


  1. I just heard Jeff Klein on NY 1 say that part of the reason he broke from Sampson and created this new Independent Conference was the fact that he was "left in the dark" about the overspending by the Senate Democratic Conference. In particular he said he did not know about the extra money for staff and office space that Pedro Espada received as part of the deal that brought Espada back into the Democratic fold. How is this possible? The excessive spending on Espada's staff and offices was well known and widely reported -- for example at Bronx News Network. These comments lack credibility.

    There are many reasons to be critical of Sampson and I can certainly respect a willingness to distance oneself from his leadership. But Klein is either lying to us or was incompetently or willfully ignorant of what was going on around him. Either way it tarnishes his image as a leader.

  2. Another thing to remember when considering Klein's comments about being "in the dark" about the Senate Democrats' profligate ways is that his office was one of the top recipients of the largess. In the six months prior to the September primaries -- Klein's office spent an astounding $683,170 on staff and operations-- only outspent by Espada, Carl Kruger and Sampson. He was "in the dark" but yet he was feeding at the trough.


  3. I respect but do not approve of Klein's move, but he states its not a power play, didnt we attack Sen. Diaz when the gang of Four and later 3 amigos were created, what exactly is the difference? Why didnt he quit when he was Deputy Majority Leader and in charge of DSCC, don't we remember the memo to unions stating that they had to make a significant contribution to DSCC in order to get meeting with leadership?
    It is a power play, everything in politics is a power play, another idea...can we scrowl down Klein's campaign donors, see who gave him so much money that he and his posse decided to leave the Democratic party, he is so empowered now. I was against the amigos and I am against this because the Democratic party will NEVER get its act straight. So disappointing....


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