An Albanian for Albany (Nydia's Balkan Straight)
Last year Brooklyn "progressives" and allies of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez had a field day complaining about the Vito Lopez/Dilan Family support for (then) Assembly candidate Rafael Espinal even though Espinal opposed abortion and same sex marriage (SSM), albeit in a limp wristed (perhaps not the best choice of words) manner.
Even those “reformers” (a minority) willing to acknowledge the truth that Lopez and the Dilans had supported the LGTB community’s positions on their issues only about 110% of the time had a point:
They might not have picked an anti-SSM, anti-choice candidate on purpose, but they clearly didn’t care enough to find out before they did so.
For this, “progressives” basically damned them as no better than Ruben Diaz, Sr.
Which brings us to this year.
This year, Ruben Sr. is backing a candidate for Assembly named Mark Gjonaj against an incumbent with a perfect record of support for choice and SSM.
Here’s Ruben Sr. on Gjonaj:
Even those regulars (most of them) willing to acknowledge the truth that Velazquez has supported the LGTB community’s positions on their issues only about 110% of the time would, if they cared (unlikely), have to concede that Nydia surely did not pick an anti-SSM, anti-choice candidate on purpose.
But, clearly one has to concede that she did not care enough to find out before she did so.
Yes, it is unfair to compare Gjonaj to Espinal.
Gjonaj has given money to the Republican National Committee and John McCain, and Espinal has done neither.
And, yes, the Assembly incumbent in question, Naomi Rivera is clearly not one of the Assembly’s brightest bulbs, and it seems likely that she has used public money to provide herself with a one man Committee to Fill Vacancies.
Of course, while I’ve made great sport of Rivera's romantic exploits, I’m not the one who once got her printer husband (as he was then) a $90,000 a year job with the Public Advocate or tried to impose him as a candidate for the City Council.
Glass houses and all that.
Clearly, the Velazquez endorsement is not about outrage over sleazebags (Nydia shed no tears when sometimes Lopez Ally Adriano Espaillat lost his race for Congress to Charlie Rangel).
This isn’t even about social issues.
It is clear that that, like Lopez and the Dilans, Nydia feels that there are higher priorities than marriage equality and the right to control one’s own body.
There is revenge.
Naomi Rivera delivered a meaningless endorsement to Erik Dilan in his recent race for Congress against Nydia.
Moreover, Rivera’s boytoy is an ally of Lopez and the Dilans, and a potential candidate against Nydia’s choice for a City Council seat (what kind of person would try to put their lover on the City Council?).
And clearly those things are more important than fundamental human rights.
With the money he made in real estate which he hasn’t already donated to Republicans, and the solid support of the Albanian community in a race featuring three Latinos, Gjonaj is clearly the candidate with the best shot at beating Rivera.
And clearly it is not unprincipled to want to beat Rivera.
But if this were about principle, Nydia would be supporting Adam Bermudez, a perfectly acceptable, socially liberal Democratic loyalist.
It is clearly not about principle. This is about winning or losing! I am reminding every LGTB person, “progressive”, “reformer”, or liberal that this is not about standing up for our values and beliefs.
“Progressives” and “reformers” cannot denounce Lopez and the Dilans for supporting Espinal and then remain silent as Nydia endorses Gjonaj.
Where is the outraged voice of Alan Roskoff?
Where are the outraged voices of Paul Newell, Lincoln Restler and Chris Owens? (Actually, Owens is still busy making up excuses why he couldn’t support pro-SSM Hakeem Jeffries against homophobe Chuck Barron).
Message to Nydia: In the progressive agenda, issues take precedence over spite.
Message to “Progressive” leaders: Where is the Press Conference at city Hall?
Message to Readers: Don’t hold your breath waiting for any of that to happen.
"This is Gatemouth and this is what you should know."