The NY Post runs a scathing piece today about Assemblymember/ Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez, based on a 2005 recording of a meeting with “eight little old ladies.” This report comes one day before he faces a challenge from the New Kings Democrats at the Kings County Democratic Committee meeting at St. Francis College. Of particular interest in the article — in light of Lopez minions Reichbach and Willamson claiming to have played a part in the relocation of a North Heights polling place last Tuesday — is the Boss’ riff on poll workers:
NY Post: Lopez uses strong-arm tactics, repeatedly mentioning two upcoming taxpayer-funded trips he hosts, suggesting only supporters can go.
“I want to take people on the trip who really don’t like me?” he says. “I mean, that’s stupid, right? That’s what I’m trying to say.”
Lopez then hints to one of the women, who had worked as a $225-a-day poll worker, that only Velasquez supporters will get the coveted gigs on Election Day. Poll workers are legally prohibited from trying to influence voters.
“If I put people in the polls to be poll watchers and the candidate that [Lopez’s political] club backs is not backed by those people, how can I do that?” he says.
Later, he says, “Either people are with the club or not with the club.”
At one point, Lopez suggests that if the votes for Velasquez fall short at PS 19, the polling site nearest the women, he will punish the entire neighborhood.