Bochinche & Buzz: February 5, 2018

Exclusive scoops & insider gossip by Gerson Borrero

Crespo in with Rubencito for 2021

My Twitter posting explains what happened Saturday morning at the breakfast prayer for Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló: @revrubendiaz introduced his son @rubendiazjr as the future candidate for Mayor of NYC. The Bronx BP made it clear: “Gerson, this is not an announcement.” Sure Rubéncito. 

After the event concluded I asked NYS Assemblyman Marcos Crespo what he thought of the comment from Díaz Sr.? 

“I’m all in with Rubéncito.” Crespo responded. I then asked, “on the record?” “Yes. I support the Borough President for Mayor in 2021,” Marcos said, decisively.

So, while Rubéncito may also say that the endorsement of his borough’s Democratic County Organization Chairman is also “not an announcement,” it is the first official endorsement for Rubén Díaz, Jr. and the first of any of the talked about wannabe mayoral candidates for 2021. Bien temprano. You heard it here first.

Is Senator Klein home free?

According to an Albany bochinchero, the sexual misconduct accusations against Jeff Klein, first reported here “are not getting much attention from people...staffers and reporters are not talking about it at all.”

 “Are you serious?” I asked the bochinchero. “It’s all very quiet. Even if JCOPE is investigating, Cuomo, who controls it, can’t mess with Klein. Especially now that [John] DeFrancisco is not voting for any budget deal from the Governor. Cuomo needs the IDC to pass his budget.” 

While there’s some merit to that thinking, another bochinchero said, “There are too many eyes on the accusation and Klein is not a popular person even among Democrats.” There’s some buzz of a couple of other people coming forward with damaging info in this case. Pero, we heard that weeks ago. The bochinchero that spoke about there being  some other allegations wouldn’t go further than that general statement. So, if all goes as this bochinchero stated, it appears that Erica Vladimer’s allegations may not go further than that. 

Now the diaspora smells good

A veteran Puerto Rican activist who was part of the 40 or so protesters outside Casita María in The Bronx this past Saturday told me, “Ahora que han perfumado la diáspora nos quieren." The buzz and suspicion among the left wing of the Puerto Rican community is reflected in the words of the bochinchero: “Now that they have perfumed the diaspora, they love us.”

Some of them [the activists] understand that New York State, and Governor Andrew Cuomo in particular, have done more for the island than any other jurisdiction or político stateside. However, a skeptical bochinchera said, “Our people have been on this since María was devastating la isla.” The problem for her and many is the politicization of the effort to continue to aid Puerto Rico. 

“Rosselló wanting to organize the diaspora into an electoral force is suspect at best,” said another veteran bochinchero who was at Cuomo’s rally and who spoke with me by phone on Sunday. You can view Rosselló’s speech here:

That seems to be the sentiment of many stateside puertorriqueños who for decades have felt that the island’s political establishment thinks “we don’t speak for them.”

Clearly for those who protested Cuomo’s “New York Stands with Puerto Rico” event on Saturday in The Bronx, the issue was the presence of the island’s pro-statehood governor Ricardo Rosselló. Pero, one bochinchero made it clear: “This goes beyond María. For too long the exploitation of our people and destruction of our island has been neglected by the two dominant parties back home. In fact, they’ve been a part of it.”

The feeling among those that I spoke with is to wait and see what organizational form the voter registration efforts for the recent arrivals from the island and the established community plays out. For now, the established political class in NY seems to be going along with it. This is a must watch.