'surface issues'

Off Message?

This morning, Adriano Espaillat’s congressional campaign posted a videohighlighting their endorsement from Vincent Morgan, a former aide to Charlie Rangel, the incumbent they’re trying to oust. In the video, Morgan seems to make a slightly different pitch than the campaign generally has to this point, suggesting that voters are looking beyond “surface issues, like our race and socioeconomic standing.”

If there’s one major theme of Espaillat’s congressional campaign, it’s that his candidacy represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put a Dominican-American in Congress, an achievement that is overdue.

Also, try telling some other Espaillat supporters, like Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (who is an outspoken ally of the Occupy Wall Street movement) that voters are looking past socioeconomic issues this year.

From my story:

Adriano Espaillat is preparing for nuclear war with Charlie Rangel. The only question is whether he’ll push the button.

A spokesman for State Senator Adriano Espaillat confirmed a report they are circulating petitions to get on the ballot and unseat the 21-term congressman, who is an iconic figure in black politics and founding member of the Black Congressional Caucus.

Rangel, 81, is currently suffeing from back problems that forced him to miss votes in Congress. He’s also drawn a number of challengers this year, including former aide Vince Morgan, businesswoman Joyce Johnson, and, possibly, presidential aide Clyde Williams.


Espaillat had called for creating a majority-Latino congressional district next to Rangel’s, and warned that if it didn’t happen, there could be clash between Latinos and blacks.

Speaking to a mostly black audience on 145th Street last weekend, Espaillat, who is Dominican, said, “They increased the Latino population in Charlie Rangel’s existing district to 55 percent, basically setting the ground work of 20 years of nuclear political war.”

It’s the coalition-building candidate versus the historic candidate, in NY-06:

"The Assembly district that I have right now is incredibly diverse," he said. "On any given week, I can be in a Korean or Chinese church, a synagogue, a Sikh temple, a Bangladeshi mosque, you name it. That diversity of my current district really prepares me well to run in the sixth congressional district.

"So I have a great relationship with the Asian community, the Chinese community, the Korean community, the South Asian community, both the Bangladeshi community, the Indian community, the Sikh-Indian community, the Hindu-Indian community. And of course, also part of the Asian community, the Bukharian Jewish community."

"By the way," he added. There’s a Korean church and senior center down the street, and "I’m there often enough that people think I’m a congregant."

Rangel congressional aide intimidated my supporters with ‘PLEASE CONFIRM!’ email: challenger

My story:

But for [Joyce] Johnson, the whole correspondence was inappropriate, and that the gesture, rather than any particular wording Eaton used, was meant to chase away her supporters.

"When you get a call to say please confirm," Johnson explained, "there’s an implication in it that there are some consequences. Otherwise, why do it?"

A spokesman for Rangel declined to comment.

What sound would you require digital cameras to make?

GOP Rep. Peter King of NY-3, is likely to be the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee when congress reconvenes in January. He’s addressed public safety issues big and small. Among the pieces of legislation he’s sponsored is a bill "To require mobile phones containing digital cameras to make a sound when a photograph is taken."

The sound digital cameras often make now are echoes of the old SLR cameras, when the shudder would literally lift up (then down, very quickly), allowing light to pass through the camera lens and directly hit a section of film in the camera. 

What sound would you require digital cameras to make?