By the time you read this, the election will have been decided and Jackson Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods will have a new state senator, but a lot happened in this highly contentious (and utterly entertaining) race over the past seven days. (For full election results, visit our website for the Long Island City Journal at www.licjournal.com.)
First, there was a debate in Jackson Heights in which Monserrate was continually heckled as he tried to speak, and one person even had to be forcefully removed from the building because he wouldn't stop harassing Monserrate every time he tried to speak. Meanwhile, another person in attendance smeared red lipstick across her face, referencing the incident between Monserrate and his girlfriend in which Monserrate slashed her across the face. That whole sordid affair and his subsequent guilty plea on a misdemeanor assault charge is eventually what led his colleagues in the State Senate to vote to expel him.
Speaking of Monserrate's girlfriend, we received a press release via email this week announcing her support for Monserrate. No hard feelings, indeed! In fact, she posted a short video on YouTube of her urging residents to vote for Monserrate, even using the phrase "Yes We Can," which is the party line Monserrate is running on in the special election.
But Monserrate isn't taking all of this lying down. He lashed out at Peralta for a piece of campaign literature that let voters know that it took “40 stitches to close” the wound on Giraldo's face. During a NY1 debate on live television Friday night, Peralta denied having anything to do with the mailer, but after the debate members of his campaign staff admitted to mailing it to voters.
And according to a New York Times article, Monserrate posted a message on his Facebook page hinting at past infidelities on the part of Peralta, suggesting that he cheated on his wife. Unfortunately, we couldn't see the post for ourselves, only “Friends” can see Monserrate's “Wall” and that exclusive list doesn't include us. :<(
And Peralta's camp sent out a press release over the weekend stating that several cars belonging to campaign workers had been vandalized. The work of Monserrate, perhaps? Peralta and his folks strongly think so.
Monserrate and Peralta used to be tight like “brothers” (their word, not ours), so it wouldn't surprise us if each had a lot of dirty laundry on the other. In fact, we were a little disappointed (for purely selfish reasons, of course) that more didn't come out during the campaigning – maybe both figured that it was a bad idea to open that floodgate.
Still, wild times indeed. We wonder if this whole thing will play itself out again in November when the winner has to defend the seat again?