Charlie Rangel Declares a Narrow Victory, But Adriano Espaillat Won't Concede

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Rangel in a 2012 campaign against homophobia.
After serving in the United States House of Representatives for an unbroken 43 years, 84-year-old Congressman Charlie Rangel has won yet another term, defeating Democratic primary challenger and New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, WNYC's election results show Rangel as the winner, with 47 percent of the vote to Espaillat's 43 percent, or roughly 1,800 votes. But Espaillat has refused to concede, saying there are still absentee ballots that need to be counted. There are, but that's probably not going to help him out much.

Espaillat, 59, previously challenged Rangel in 2012, who still managed to squeeze out a narrow victory, defeating the younger man by less than 1,100 votes. That was particularly impressive given that his 2010 censure by the House was still fairly fresh in voters' minds. Rangel was censured for failing to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic, and for hoarding four rent-stabilized apartments, one of which he illegally used as a campaign office. Espaillat challenged the election results for more than a week after the June 26 election in 2012 before eventually conceding defeat.

The other challengers in this year's race didn't fare particularly well, although Pastor Michael Walrond, who lives in New Jersey but has a church in Harlem, still garnered about 1,000 votes, enough to slightly tamper with Rangel's lead. Meanwhile, Bronx activist Yolanda Garcia, who mainly made news for claiming that someone in the Espaillat campaign had come to her house to threaten her in the middle of the night, won barely over 200 votes.

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In New, Shutdown-Timed Ad, NJ Governor Chris Christie Just Wants to Remind You He's Good at Compromising

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A still from the new ad.
This morning, for no particular reason--not because the federal government has ground to a screeching partial halt, and certainly not because he might like to be president someday--Chris Christie would like to remind you how good he is at compromising. The New Jersey governor released a new 30-second TV ad this morning, "Bipartisan." Against a soaring backdrop of Ferris wheels and beaches, Christie tell us, "I stand up strongly for principles, and I speak bluntly and directly, and I say what I believe. But I also know that my job is to get things done for the people of this state."

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Ken Thompson, Brooklyn D.A. Candidate, Asks Gov. Cuomo to Bigfoot Charles Hynes' Review of Old Murder Cases

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The race for Brooklyn District Attorney is becoming a bit of a slugfest. First, there was word that longtime Democratic incumbent Charles Hynes' office was getting a reality show right in the middle of the race. Then, Democratic opponent Abe George filed a lawsuit to block the show from airing. Then Hynes' office disclosed a review of 50 old Brooklyn homicide convictions tied to a particular NYPD detective, since retired.

And now, another Democratic candidate, Ken Thompson, wants Governor Andrew Cuomo to name a special prosecutor to do that review instead. "It has become clear that, considering this troubling pattern of prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful convictions, District Attorney Hynes is not capable of overseeing a truly independent review of his own cases," Thompson said in a statement.

Hynes' campaign blasted back with this rejoinder from spokesman George Arzt: "Mr. Thompson's bombast is irresponsible and clearly politically motivated devoid of any knowledge of the facts."

The cases in question involve the work of Detective Louis Scarcella, who has been retired for many years. Previous news reports alleged that the cases included fabricated confessions, improper interrogations, and the use of a prostitute as a key witness in six cases. The conviction in one of those cases, involving a man named David Ranta, has already been set aside, and Ranta has been freed after 20 years in prison. He has alleged that he raised repeated question about the facts of the case and the conduct of prosecutors, but Hynes office ignored him.

Rep. Michael Grimm's Office Break-In Not Quite Watergate; Just an 8th Grader Who Broke a Window

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Not quite...
Congressman Michael Grimm's Staten Island campaign office was "broken into" over the weekend in what the congressman initially suspected to be a Watergate-esque scandal presumably perpetrated by the cronies of his opponent in this year's election.

Not quite -- it was just an eighth-grader who broke a window.

The NYPD says today that an eighth-grader at a Staten Island junior high school told a school counselor that he and a friend broke the window. The boy, who has not been identified, has been charged with criminal mischief.

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Tack Another $2,400 Onto Vito Lopez's (Taxpayer-Funded) Pervy-ness Tab

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The taxpayer-funded tab to sweep allegations of sexual harassment by disgraced Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez under the rug is even bigger than originally anticipated, according to records released yesterday.

In addition to the $103,000 Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver -- et al -- agreed to pay Lopez's accusers, an additional $2,400 in taxpayer coin was shelled out to pay for mediation sessions among Lopez, the alleged victims, and the Assembly.

Lopez and his accusers also dished out $2,400 each to California-based mediation specialists JAMS Inc. when the parties couldn't agree on an appropriate settlement to keep the allegations hush-hush.

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Assemblyman Sheldon Silver Pestered by Yet Another Potential Felony

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You can add alleged voter fraud to the growing list of potential felonies surrounding Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's re-election campaign -- but it probably won't even matter; he's Shelly Silver!

It turns out that Silver's kids are all voting in the powerful speaker's district, presumably for their old man. The only problem with that is none of them actually live there -- and haven't for quite some time.

One of his kids doesn't even live in New York, but has voted here six times while living out of state.

Two of Silver's kids -- Edward Silver, 43, and Michelle Trebitsch, 34 -- are registered to vote at the speaker's apartment at 550 Grand Street in Manhattan. Trebitsch, however, has lived in Brooklyn since 2000, and Edward Silver bought a home in Cedarhurst, Long Island in July 2010.

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New York GOP Owes Assemblyman Vito "Gropez" Lopez A Thank You For His Alleged Pervy-ness

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New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox has issued three statements in the past 24 hours -- which is three more than he's issued in the past two weeks -- each of which references shamed Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez's pervy-ness.

In each statement, Cox seems outraged that Lopez allegedly is a dirty, dirty old man who sexually harasses his young, female staffers. But Cox shouldn't be outraged, he should be elated -- Lopez has single-handedly provided New York Republicans a somewhat valid response to Democratic claims that the GOP is waging a "war on women."

For example, what does Lopez's pervy-ness have to do with Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic co-chair Stephanie Miner? Not a whole lot -- but that's not gonna stop Cox from attempting to link Lopez's pervy-ness to some "incendiary" remarks made by the mayor.

Further reading on Lopez's pervy-ness:

Vito Lopez In Sex And The Assembly: How To Sweep A Scandal Under The Rug

Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work

Vito Lopez's Pervy-ness Cost Taxpayers $103,000 -- Thanks To Shelly Silver

Gloria Allred, NOW Have Shelly Silver In Sights Over Hush Money

Here's The Letter Shelly Silver Sent Assemblyman Vito Lopez



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Defying Silver: Assembly Wannabe Frank Commisso's Cojones Could Spell Political Suicide

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Democratic Assembly wannabe Frank Commisso isn't afraid of Shelly Silver -- even though he probably should be.
Frank Commisso Jr. currently serves on the Albany Common Council representing the city's 15th Ward. He's also running for Assembly as a Democrat -- and may have just committed political suicide.

Enter Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful politicians in New York, who currently is catching some of the shrapnel from the Vito Lopez sex scandal -- as we've chronicled, Silver swept allegations of sexual misconduct by Lopez under the rug by paying off two alleged victims with more than $130,000 in taxpayer money, which Commisso finds to be about as appalling as we do.

So, the wannabe lawmaker announced today that if he's elected to the Assembly, he will not support Silver for another term as speaker -- which makes him the only Democrat to even acknowledge that his party's uber-powerful leader handles sex abuse cases about as well as the Catholic Church.

Further reading on Lopez's pervy-ness:

Vito Lopez In Sex And The Assembly: How To Sweep A Scandal Under The Rug

Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work

Vito Lopez's Pervy-ness Cost Taxpayers $103,000 -- Thanks To Shelly Silver

Gloria Allred, NOW Have Shelly Silver In Sights Over Hush Money

Here's The Letter Shelly Silver Sent Assemblyman Vito Lopez



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Shelly Silver Wants Pervy Assemblyman Vito Lopez To Call It A Career

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Vito Lopez
In an apparent attempt to save a little face, Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he's asked disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez to quit his job in the wake of the ongoing sex scandal that's plaguing both pols.

Lopez, as you know, has a habit of allegedly sexually harassing young, female staffers by -- amongst other things -- asking that they not wear bras to work and shoving his hands up their skirts. Multiple women have complained about Lopez's unwelcome advances -- two of those complaints were settled with more than $130,000 in taxpayer money that Silver signed off on in an attempt to sweep the allegations against his former pal under the rug.

Silver, who currently is at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, now says he spoke with Lopez on Friday and urged the once-powerful Brooklyn Dem to call it a career.

Further reading on Lopez's pervy-ness:

Vito Lopez In Sex And The Assembly: How To Sweep A Scandal Under The Rug

Ladies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To Work

Vito Lopez's Pervy-ness Cost Taxpayers $103,000 -- Thanks To Shelly Silver

Gloria Allred, NOW Have Shelly Silver In Sights Over Hush Money

Here's The Letter Shelly Silver Sent Assemblyman Vito Lopez



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Brooklyn D.A. Requests Special Prosecutor To Investigate Assemblyman Vito Lopez's Pervy-ness

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"Honorable" is open for interpretation.
Things just went from incredibly bad to incredibly worse for shamed Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

Not only has he been "disciplined" by Democratic Assembly leader Sheldon Silver, but he could potentially face criminal charges for several claims of alleged pervy-ness made against him by multiple female staffers.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced this afternoon that he's requested that a special prosecutor look into whether any of the claims made against Lopez are criminal offenses. Hynes can't investigate the allegations himself because he "determined that the support of the Kings County Democratic County Committee, led by Assemblyman Lopez, for my re-election campaign in 2009 and my upcoming re-election (2013) had the potential to create an appearance of impropriety."

Further reading on Lopez's pervy-ness:

Vito Lopez In Sex And The Assembly: How To Sweep A Scandal Under The RugLadies, Assemblyman Vito Lopez Would Prefer You Not Wear A Bra To WorkVito Lopez's Pervy-ness Cost Taxpayers $103,000 -- Thanks To Shelly SilverGloria Allred, NOW Have Shelly Silver In Sights Over Hush Money

Here's The Letter Shelly Silver Sent Assemblyman Vito Lopez



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