Bertha Lewis backing "two-time disgraced" Hiram Monserrate because “we believe in criminal-justice reform”
He was expelled from the state Senate for slashing his girlfriend and did time for mail fraud, but Hiram Monserrate was endorsed Wednesday for his City Council run by activist Bertha Lewis.Um, "believ[ing] in criminal-justice reform"--which could mean revising bail and sentencing standards--does not automatically translate into support for a violent criminal like Monserrate. Gothamist put it more pointedly:
The support of the Black Leadership Action Coalition, a political fund-raising arm of Lewis’ left-leaning Black Institute, is a major boost for the former lawmaker in the race to succeed Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland in Queens.
...Lewis told The Post her group endorsed Monserrate because “we believe in criminal-justice reform” and most of the neighborhood residents polled believe he’s the best candidate for the 21st Council District, which includes Jackson Heights, Flushing, Elmhurst, Corona and College Point.
Two-time disgraced elected official Hiram Monserrate—who was expelled from the state Senate in 2010 after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, and then pleaded guilty to spending $100,000 of City Council money that was earmarked for a non-profit on a campaign for higher office instead—received an endorsement for his latest City Council run from a group run by the former CEO of ACORN yesterday.Some commentary
After Bertha admitted she took plastic bag industry $$ and opposed the Lander/Chin bill, I saw her a lot differently— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) June 21, 2017
You can oppose the bill on legitimate grounds. But she was clearly bought off— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) June 21, 2017
Bertha Lewis of @TheBlackInst just announced that black leaders will back @HiramMonserrate in the Council race to replace @JulissaFerreras. pic.twitter.com/tL1lnH9Arh— Benjamin Fang (@benfangBQE) June 21, 2017
How does Hiram Monseratte continue to have a political career. @NYCMayor needs to speak out against this: https://t.co/pUZHEGN19U— eric goldwyn (@ericgoldwyn) June 21, 2017
A flashbackSo @LauraCurran2017 hedges on Solages resignation & domestic abuser Monseratte gets support of "progressive" activist. This is @nydems?— Jessica Proud (@jessicaproud) June 22, 2017
Some of the comments led me to 9/1/09 Village Voice coverage by Tom Robbins, of some not atypical Machiavellian plays by the Working Families Party, of which Lewis was a founder, headlined Power Plays by Party Boss Vito Lopez:
Making judges is just one of the glories of being a Democratic county leader. Another is the joy of being able to bend others to your will. Among the able candidates for the 33rd District seat sought by Levin, Lopez’s mini-candidate for the post, is Evan Thies, who was long David Yassky’s chief of staff. Yassky—desperate not to antagonize Lopez in his own race for the city comptroller’s post—didn’t even endorse his own aide.
Even more craven has been the performance of the Working Families Party, which is backing Levin at Lopez’s behest in exchange for the county leader’s backing for party favorite Bill de Blasio in his bid to become Public Advocate. The party could have chosen any of three other stellar candidates: Thies, affordable housing builder Ken Diamondstone, or veteran civil rights attorney Jo Anne Simon.
De Blasio and Yassky are both Brooklyn products, and it is unlikely that Lopez would have gone against either of them. But the county leader has mastered the art of the bluff.