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Where’s Charlie? Rangel working on putting one foot in new Bronx territory

Bronx Times

WHERE’S CHARLIE?

With a redistricted western swath of the Bronx now making up a big 26% chunk of his 15th Congressional District, you’d think Charlie Rangel might want to put down some local roots.

But he still hasn’t set up a borough district office, or designated a community representative to deal with Bronx constituents.

Even his website gives the borough short shrift, stating “Outside the borough of Manhattan, the Fifteenth stretches to include a small area of the Bronx....”

But Charlie personally returned our call to his press person to tell us things are in the works to TRY to make his new constituents happy.

He’s already talked with Bronx Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie, he told us, and once the dust settles in the new congress, and he has a better idea of his office budget, he plans to meet with both Carl and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., as well as other Bronx leaders, to see how to “best serve my constituents,” whether they have city, state or federal issues.

While he hopes to designate a Bronx community representative, Rangel said he doesn’t expect to open a Bronx office – “but I’ll be listening to a large extent to what the people in the Bronx thinks best for them.”

Meanwhile, Bronx folks will have to make do with trekking to his district office in the state office building at 163 W. 125th St. in Harlem.

SLIPPAGE

Former Bronx Boro Prez Adolfo Carrion must be singing his version of a Rolling Stones song – “I can’t get no traction” – as he seems to keep sliding down the electoral greasy pole.

First he dropped his longtime Democratic affiliation (and a potential shot at running for Comptroller in the Dem primary) to try to sell himself to the GOP county leaders as their fair-haired mayoral candidate. But love, it seems, is fickle.

With recently resigned MTA chair and former Giuliani deputy mayor Joe Lhota now looking like the GOP’s potential mayoral boytoy, AC is sliding further down that pole.

“He’s boxed in by a real Republican now,” sayeth a high ranking Bronx political source.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that he’s a leading contender for the Independence Party nomination for mayor, “but party officials caution that a formal vote hasn’t been taken by the party’s executive committee and he is still meeting with officials.”

The controversial Independence Party was in hot water recently for trying to trick voters into thinking they were voting as INDEPENDENTS.

To add to AC’s woes, the Journal recapped his rocky relationship during his brief stint as the White House urban affairs guy before being shuffled off “to a midlevel position in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development” before stepping down last year.

And then there’s that plea deal and $10G fine with the city Conflicts of Interest Board over – let’s just say taking his time – paying an architect for work on his City Island manse while the architect had official business with the BP.

One political wag thinks that if Lhota keeps traction, AC might hang on to the GOP ticket as candidate for controller, which he had planned to run for anyway when he was still a loyal Democrat. Quien sabe? Who knows?

SKLEINOS

Even if Senate Republicans get up with a 32-30 majority once results from an upstate recount are in, it won’t neutralize Bronx Senator Jeff Klein’s five-member Independent Democratic Conference.

First off, publically cutting a deal for a power-sharing coalition with GOP conference leader Dean Skelos BEFORE the election was great timing, sayeth an IDC insider – NOT Jeff. “It made Jeff the fourth man in the room with Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.”

And given the vagaries of the electorate and Republican strength, “This is a long term plan,” sayeth the source. “Two years, four years, six years – a lot of things can happen.”

LUCKY LARRY

Ex-Bronx City Councilman Larry “Bagel Larry” Seabrook, he of the $177 bagel expense chit, lucked out with a federal judge Tuesday, pulling a minimum five years for hanky panky with city bux, do-nothing nonprofits and padding payrolls with his mistress, family and pals. Off to the pokey March 8, wonder if he’ll wind up working in the prison bakery?

MEA CULPAS

When we’re wrong, we’re wrong. So we’ll man up and peel back on two items from last week.

First, Bronx Dem Party Boss Carl Heastie said that while we hit the nail on the head over Manhattan Dem Boss Keith Wright being at loggerheads with Greg Soumos, his commissioner to the city Board of Elections, over supporting Bronx Dem Commissioner Naomi Barrera for the new board exec director’s job, Carl NEVER made a deal with Keith to push Naomi for the job if Carl delivered the Bronx for Charlie Rangel (which he failed to do. Charlie’s primary challenger state Senator Adriano Espaillat edged out Rangel in the Bronx.).

And secondly, new Soundview/Parkchester Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda claims he wasn’t pulling Community Board 9 member William (Willie) Rivera’s strings when Rivera made the (failed) motion to vote on ousting district manager Francisco Gonzalez. Willie was supposedly state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and Boro Prez Ruben Diaz Jr.’s hatchet man on that one.

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