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Senator Diaz: Hochul's Bronx meeting a "deep, dark secret"

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Bronx Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. issued one of his regular "what you should know" emails earlier this evening. Today's topic: his visit this week with Erie County's Kathy Hochul on what he said was her meeting in a secret location -- even to what he said were invited guests until the last minute -- with Democratic Hispanic leaders in the Bronx.

Here is the unedited take from Diaz, with his own headline to the entry:

Kathy Hochul Comes to the Bronx and it is a Deep, Dark Secret

"You should know that earlier this week, Kathy Hochul, who was chosen by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as his candidate for Lieutenant Governor, responded to a request by Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. to come to the Bronx to meet with Hispanic elected officials.

The urgency that was conveyed to me and to New York's Hispanic elected officials by Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. convinced me that this meeting was not to be missed. There were five State Senators who attended the meeting: Senators Adriano Espaillat, Gustavo Rivera, José Marcos Serrano, José Peralta, and me. We were joined by seven Members of the State Assembly: Luis Sepulveda, Marcos Crespo, Carmen Arroyo, José Rivera, Francisco Moya, Robert Rodriguez, and Victor Pichardo. There were also three Members of the New York City Council who attended this meeting: Ritchie Torres, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, and Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.

All of these elected officials came from different parts of the City to meet in the Bronx for a 5PM meeting with Kathy Hochul - who, by the way, was so late that at one point, Assemblyman José Rivera stated he would leave if she made us wait much longer.

You should know that the meeting took place with no public announcement, no written invitations, no press releases, no media - even the venue remained completely confidential until the last minute. You should know that the meeting took place and it was a deep, dark secret.

As you know, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. to be the Co-Chair of the Cuomo 2014 Re-Election Campaign efforts. As such, and as a good Democrat, the Bronx Borough President's job is to go throughout New York State and New York City and try to gain support - especially among Hispanics - for Governor Andrew Cuomo and his running mate.

Among these responsibilities is to give Kathy Hochul a chance to cool off some of the flames of anger - and maybe even put out the fire - by holding a forum where she could explain and clarify her position on several serious issues.

I really don't know if Kathy Hochul achieved her goals. For example, when Senator Adriano Espaillat asked for her position on certain outstanding pieces of legislation, such as the Farm Workers Bill, that impacts mostly immigrants, she said she needed to first sit down with Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss it. She refused to offer her opinion on that bill, and on others.

My dear reader, one more time, I was disappointed by the complacency of my Hispanic colleagues who did not demonstrate a united force to express our insistence about pending legislation to achieve our goals for our communities and our constituents. This is exactly why Governor Andrew Cuomo is laughing in our faces and doing what he is doing to our communities and refusing to make the Dream Act a reality.

You should know that this is exactly why I resigned from the Black and Hispanic Caucus, and from the Somos El Futuro: because what my colleagues in government say and do publicly is very different than what they say and do when push comes to shove in private meetings where real decisions are made. Their performance is very disappointing when it comes to making a difference in our community.

You should know that I held all of my questions because I knew that I would not get a response - but I want to know what she thinks about Governor Cuomo's mandate to New Yorkers who are extreme conservatives that we have no place in the State of New York. I wanted to know if Kathy Hochul thinks that I should leave New York because I am pro-life and because I support traditional marriage, and if she thinks the members of my faith community and other faith communities who share my values should all leave New York State. We all know how Governor Andrew Cuomo feels about this, so we really don't need to wait for her to sit down with him to ask about his position on these family matters.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. showed tremendous leadership skills by bringing all of these elected officials to the Bronx to meet at Hostos Community College and gave all of us the opportunity to question Ms. Hochul and gave her the opportunity to clarify her position on immigration, gun control and other matters that are important to our communities.

Even though her visit to the Bronx was a deep, dark secret, I believe that the Bronx Borough President did a wonderful job.

This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know."

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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