Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dinowitz, leading Obama reelection campaign locally, named delegate for national convention

Here's a story from this week's Riverdale Review.

By Brendan McHugh 

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, leading the local charge to reelect the president of the United States, has been selected by the Obama for President Campaign as a candidate for delegate to the Democratic National Convention. 

Dinowitz, who has been selected five times before, would be the only Bronxite representing the 17th Congressional district. 

In 1980, Dinowitz was one of the youngest delegates in the convention held in New York City. He was elected as a Ted Kennedy delegate. He was a Bill Clinton delegate in 1996, an Al Gore delegate in 2000, a John Kerry delegate in 2004 and a Hillary Clinton delegate in 2008. 

Both President Obama and the candidates for delegates to the DNC are running in the April 24 New York presidential primary. It would appear that they are unopposed. The 17th CD elects eight convention delegates; the other candidates on the slate include Mario Cilento, the President of the NYS AFL-CIO, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and several local legislators and party officials from Westchester and Rockland counties. 

The convention is Labor Day weekend in Charlotte, N.C. 

Delegates go to the convention and typically vote the way their district votes. Because Obama is unopposed and the incumbent, he’s already garnered the unofficial victory. When there are multiple Democratic candidates, like in 2008, delegates help determine the nomination by choosing from a set of candidates. 

“I am excited and honored to again serve as a National Convention Delegate for the Democratic Party,” Dinowitz said in a release. “President Obama has an incredible record of accomplishment over the past three years. He saved the American auto industry and probably prevented a depression. He kept his promise and ended the war in Iraq. He got Osama Bin Laden. He ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” 

Those points were the same in a speech he gave to the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club and the Northwest Bronx for Change political groups Saturday at the kickoff party to reelect Obama. Local activists joined together before heading off to petition for the President’s reelection. 

“The more you watch the Republican debates, the harder you’ll work to reelect Obama,” Dinowitz told the crowd in the Ben Franklin clubhouse, 304 W. 231st St. 

City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell also took time to rally the two dozen in attendance with some GOP criticism. 

“The fact is, I have never heard that type of nonsense and destructive rhetoric from the Republican Party,” he said, saying that while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a moderate in today’s standards, he would have been an extremist in the 1970s and 80s. 

“There’s no sensitivity to diversity,” he added about the Republican campaigns, calling it an “undercurrent of racism.” 

Pablo Ruiz, the regional director for New York and Long Island for Obama’s Organizing for America campaign, was at the kickoff party to praise the work of the grassroot activists and urge them to do whatever it takes to help. 

“We want to make sure our base is energized,” he said, hoping to generate enough excitement to encourage people to take trips to Pennsylvania—a key swing state come November—rather than spend their time campaigning in New York, a state Democrats are guaranteed to win.

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