Rebellion is escalating against Bronx’s Dem chief Jose Rivera
That revolt against Bronx Democratic Party Boss Jose Rivera is percolatin’.
We’re told party secretary Aurelia Greene, dean of the Assembly delegation, is weighing joining the Rainbow Rebellion of dissatisfied black, white and Hispanic legislators, and has already taken a preliminary step.
Aurelia didn’t return our calls, but we’re told she’ll be among those who won’t be “binding” (submitting) their nominating petitions for the Sept. 9 primary with the party for filing with the Board of Elections - just in case. Petitioning starts June 3, with filing deadline July 10.
Ditto Assemblymen Carl Heastie of Williamsbridge-Wakefield, Michael Benjamin of Morrisania, and Soundview’s Ruben Diaz Jr. Fellow rebel Jeff Dinowitz of Riverdale always does his own.
On the fence - for now - Assemblymen Peter Rivera of Parkchester, Luis Diaz of the West Bronx and Mike Benedetto of the East Bronx, will file their petitions through the party - but are using an outside lawyer instead of party legal counsel Luis Sepulveda.
• Hardening the battle lines, attorney and longtime party insider Stanley Schlein - until recently Jose’s consigliere - is “in discussions” with the rebel camp, and will be vetting petitions for some of its members.
“You don’t lose your political consigliere who knows all the inner workings,” said one former partycrat, “and not be in a lot of trouble.”
• Some quarters say that if things really get serious, Jose “overtly or covertly” just might support challengers against the rebels.
Jose may be paying for his sins, real or perceived, and those of Councilwoman Maria Baez, who’s been running day-to-day party affairs, for alienating the Rainbow Rebels with all-Puerto Rican-all-the-time spoils and nepotism.
A few possible scenarios that could emerge when the leadership vote is taken at the party convention right after the Sept. 9 primary, or maybe even before it:
The canny Jose either outmaneuvers or makes peace with the rebels; he bails and takes that vacant County Clerk’s job; he’s ousted, or he becomes a weak figurehead leader.
That last option, however, could shrink party clout citywide, especially when jockeying begins for leadership roles in the next City Council.
We just can’t wait for the County Dinner in July. Hoo, boy!
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