Ed Koch has an enemies list and almost every incumbent Bronx legislator is on it. The former mayor has founded NY Uprising, a group of former elected and appointed officials that is demanding incumbent and wannabe state legislators sign a pledge promising to support non-partisan independent redistricting, ethics reform and budgetary reform.
Those that sign on are deemed “heroes.” In the Bronx, only State Senators Pedro Espada and Jeff Klein are on that list, as are Espada challengers Gustavo Rivera and Fernando Tirado. (Daniel Padernacht, like most Bronx Dems, is on the group's enemies list).
We texted Bronx Democratic Party head Carl Heastie (he's well known for his texting preference) and asked why his team of Bronx Dems haven't signed on to the NY Uprising agenda. “Just didn't feel the necessity,” he texted back. Asked to elaborate, Heastie said, “Koch has a right to lobby for his issues, but I don't feel compelled to respond to him.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was less reserved. He said he agrees with almost all of the group’s agenda. But, he said, part of the pledge is agreeing to what the position of the Citizen’s Union, a good government group, is on redistricting (though this does not seem to be on the Web site). Making a pledge dependent on the position of an outside group, which could change in the future, doesn’t make sense, Dinowitz said.
Dinowitz also didn’t appreciate being lectured on ethics by Koch, who had close ties to scandal-plagued outer-borough political leaders during his tenure.
“Koch named Espada as a hero of reform,” Dinowitz said. “I think that speaks for itself.”