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With friends like this...Senator Diaz sours another endorsement

Bronx Times

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While multiple agencies are tripping over each other gathering evidence against absentee Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera supporting boytoys on the taxpayer’s dime, a new sidenote to the circus is making waves in the September 13 Primary race.

State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.’s stepping in with an endorsement of lead challenger Mark Gjonaj pretty much torpedoed Brooklyn Latino Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez’ endorsing him.

The conservative Pentacostal minister came out foresquare supporting a vote for the Catholic Gjonaj, calling it a “vote for traditional marriage and family values and for respect for life.”

Big WHOOPS!

That was enough for liberal Nydia to pull out of endorsing Gjonaj, whom she had pledged to support and campaign for, especially to exact revenge against Naomi for campaigning against her oppononent in Brooklyn, Senator Erik Dilan.

Dilan, it seems, is supporting Snooki’s boytoy Tommy Torres for a City Council seat in Brooklyn.

Just to clarify the cast of characters in the Snooki soap opera, Naomi had Tommy on her district office payroll as an $1,100 a week “community relations” staff while he was supposed teaching full time in Brooklyn and coaching after school.

That was after breaking up with Vincent Pinela, who ran her Bronx Council for Economic Development, saying she used it as a Miss Piggy bank for pay for romantic trysts and trips to Puerto Rico.

The Gjonaj campaign, obviously taking a body blow with the Nydia non-endorsement, responded that “Nydia talks to Mark all the time. She’s been very supportive and helpful.”

As for Gjonaj’s stance on same sex marriage and abortion, a spokesman said “Mark’s position is the same as Gov. Cuomo’s - he respects the laws as they exist. He believes in equality for all New Yorkers.”

STAND BY YOUR GAL

So far, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who so warmly and enthusiastically endorsed Snooki straight-faced on the steps of Borough Hall, is standing by her, taking her word it’s all one big kerfuffle not worthy of attention.

He was even out there with her last week doing door knocks, telling us Noami was feeeelin’ the luv from the voters.

But hey, as we told Ruben, prosecutors would rather get headlines indicting an incumbent.

And SHOULD things go south for her, wonder if some of the mud sticks to his kicks, if and when he jumps into next year’s citywide race for Public Advocate, the supposed opponent of corrupt and wasteful government?

KIRSTEN KISS-OFF

We have it on good authority that after U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand praised Naomi in a campaign mailing as “working 24-7” in the nabe and in Albany, she’s since sent word back to the campaign “THAT’S IT!” for any connection to Snooki, thankyouverymuch. No official response as of deadline from her office.

OUTTA THE GATE

Can’t make this stuff up folks.

From a degenerate gambler friend who was there: In the 10th race at Saratoga Wednesday, August 22, a horse named Snooki Slew finished dead last - except for the No. 6 horse, who threw its rider.

THE BIG SHOW

In case you were wondering who from the Bronx will be heading off to the Democrat’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C. Sept. 3-6 as delegates to help re-elect President Obama, here you go:

State Senator Jose M. Serrano, Assemblymembers Mike Benedetto, Peter Rivera, Jeff Dinowitz, Vanessa Gibson and Nelson Castro; councilmembers Helen Foster and Fernando Cabrera; district leaders Julia Rodriguez, Yudelka Tapia and Wilbert T. Lawton, with fellow delegate Bronx Dem County Committee Executive Director Ischia Bravowrangling the delegation.

But don’t expect any renegades in what’s expected to be a tightly scripted convention.

REPUBLI-DEMS

Just to wave the flag, a couple of local Republicans will also be on their party line in the primary. But a few Dems will be too, including state Senator Jeff Klein, who as leader of the breakaway four-member Independent Democratic Conference has been making nice with Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos. With only a two-vote lead over Senate Dems, Jeff’s crew can often call the legislative tune.

PAY UP!

While he may have the support of the Bronx Democratic Party to fill disgraced convicted ex-Councilman Larry Seabrook’s seat in a Nov. 6 special election, Andy King needs to pay the city Campaign Finance Board $31G he owes for penalties and repayment from his 2009 try at unseating Larry.

Board spokeman Eric Friedman said King “did file to join for matching funds” for the current race, but if he doesn’t pay up what he owes, he can’t receive any taxpayer moola.

MONTE’S LOSS

The ever affable Montefiore Med Center spokesman Steve Osborne “pulling the plug” at end of month after 14 years. Best of luck, pal, and let’s grab a drink at Neary’s.

Got some hot gossip? E-mail Kappy at bkappstatter@cnglocal.com.

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