Fed up with the antics of State Senator Hiram Monserrate – which include abusing his girlfriend and holding the State Senate hostage last year by jumping ship and voting with Republicans – the Queens Democratic Party has decided to run a challenger in next year's primary: Assemblyman Jose Peralta.
Peralta is a well-liked polished Corona politician who has represented the area for several years now. He's also been a one-time political ally of Monserrate, and the pair often appeared in public together. Now, however, they're opponents, and we expect there is going to be a lot of dirty laundry aired out in the months before next September's primary. But why wait until next summer, the jabs and barbs have already started to fly!
Peralta was recently accused of funneling money from the Corona-Elmhurst Economic Development Corporation in a story printed in the Daily News, a story that Peralta alleges is false and planted by Monserrate himself.
In fairness, the paper trail that makes the case that Peralta skirted both laws governing non-profits as well as campaign contributions is confusing at best. We won't get into all of the specifics, but it does appear that if there was any impropriety on the part of Peralta, it was the result of innocent mistakes.
According to Peralta's chief accuser, Humberto Suarezmotta, a local community activist, the fact that the Corona-Elmhurst Economic Development Corporation is no longer in business and the sign on its 104th Street office has been taken down, is evidence that Peralta was breaking the law.
According to Peralta, the reason the corporation is no longer in operation is because its executive director recently underwent a major surgery, and the funds for the group – some of which came from Congressman Joseph Crowley – have been frozen until a new person can be found to lead the organization.
(Coincidentally, Congressman Joseph Crowley heads the Queens Democratic Party, which is challenging Monserrate, so it doesn't surprise us that his name was dragged into this as well.)
In an omen of things to come, we believe, Peralta wasn't shy about denouncing the allegations, as well as getting in a few hard jabs at Monserrate in the process. Here's a portion of his statement:
“This is all part of Hiram Monserrate's dirty bag of tricks to confuse his constituents. Recently he was on NY1 calling the victim of his domestic abuse 'drunk,' 'erratic,' and 'aggressive.' Now he shamefully wants to change the subject and obscure the fact that he is an abuser and unfit to hold office.”
How many times do you think we are going to be reminded over the next year that Monserrate pled guilty to abuse?
Monserrate and Peralta have been on the political scene together for a long time and used to be fairly tight, and if there is dirty laundry and skeletons in the closet you can be sure that each knows plenty about the other one.
And if this story, which seems inconsequential at best, is any indication, the gloves are going to come off real soon, if they haven't already.