Despite all of the recent bad press that party chairman Vito Lopez has been getting lately – strong-arming elderly ladies into voting for his judicial candidates with threats of moving affordable housing; people allegedly being paid to vote a certain way on the board of directors of a non-profit he has close ties with; reports that he had a staffer at the same nonprofit fired for supporting a rival – none of it was enough to keep Lopez from being reelected chairman of the party by an overwhelming majority Monday night.
According to reports, most of the votes came by proxy. If you're unfamiliar with that process, it basically means that voting members of the party signed their vote over to Lopez, which means he can vote for them anyway he wants. Apparently, he didn't use any of those proxies to vote for challenger Chris Owens.
You have to wonder how long Lopez is going to be able to keep this up. The New York Post has been hammering away at him the past week with its string of damaging press. On the other hand, Lopez has been pretty brazen about the fact that he runs the Kings County Democratic Party, and in the past hasn't given that negative press a second thought.
In fact, according to one of our twittervolks out there, Lopez is following the same tact, getting tough in the face of tough questions from reporters. Here was one tweet we received from a trusted NYC newshound:
“Assemblyman Dov Hikind tells journos Bk Dem Leader Vito Lopez is not well. Journo asks Lopez if that's true. Lopez calls journo "sick lady"”
So Lopez is still fiesty as ever, but now that there is a faction in the Kings County Democratic Party – including energetic upstarts like Owens and Lincoln Restler – actively holding Lopez's feet to the fire, things might just get too hot in the kitchen for the powerful assemblyman this time around.