At a press conference on the steps of City Hall this morning, Brooklyn Democratic Leader and Assemblyman Vito Lopez endorsed Councilman Erik Martin Dilan’s congressional candidacy, while repeatedly slamming Dilan’s opponent, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
In particular, Lopez took issue with the fact that the media (another favorite Lopez target) supposedly has not adequately covered Velazquez’s record in Congress.
The Daily News did report that through last August, Velazquez had not sponsored a single bill, amendment or resolution during 2011 – yet the paper endorsed her anyway earlier this week over her “mediocre opponent.”
Lopez is clearly not happy with the development.
“I don’t understand. But I do understand the press,” Lopez explained. “How can a person not introduce one bill, have one of the worst voting records, and one of the worst records in Washington, and this person gets endorsed over a person that is really out there killing himself and getting things done?”
Lopez held court for much of the press conference among a cadre of other Brooklyn elected officials aligned with the county leader, including Councilman Domenic Recchia, Councilman David Greenfield, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Councilman Steve Levin and State Sen. Martin Dilan, Erik’s father, among others.
Lopez also charged that the press is not adequately covering the fact that Velazquez allegedly got $1 million of her $1.3 million in campaign funds from Wall Street.
“No one wants to write about where that money comes from, and everyone knows the kinds of commitments she has to make for that funding,” Lopez said. “But she is the progressive person. So she’s funded by the banking industry, Wall Street, but she’s the progressive. Well, tell me, how you can rationalize that?”
“It would nice if someone could write a little bit about Eric, his career and his campaign,” Lopez added. “The media cannot make the victory, I hope. The people will make the victory.”
I asked Lopez and Dilan about Velazquez’s charges that Dilan is running at the behest of the Brooklyn Democratic leader. Dilan said those were “completely false.”
“After 20 years of having no campaign at all, you wouldn’t think someone would have sour grapes about having opposition,” Dilan added.
“I think it’s more significant that a person talks about her record,” Lopez chimed in. “And I think if you’re a good journalist, you’d be reporting on her record.”
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