By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
After two years, in 2006, Spitzer quietly ended his investigation. The only wrongdoing he found was that Senior needed to repay $4,221 of Soundview funds that had been used to buy furniture and speakers for the Senator's office. The Albany Times Union reported that Díaz also "wrote checks from his campaign fund to pay Children and Family Services and the U.S. Small Business Administration for grant money provided Soundview that was misused."
Critics at the time, including Albany watchdog Citizens United, were furious with Spitzer for not appointing a special investigator while he was preparing for a gubernatorial run. His need for the Díaz family's support in the Latino community during his upcoming run, they argued, amounted to a conflict of interest. (The Attorney General's office would not supply the original report to the Voice.)
Not surprisingly, Díaz Senior doesn't like to be asked about this. In a brief phone interview, he said, "That was investigated by the FBI, and everything was cleared. Nothing was wrong" he yelled, adding, "Ask the FBI!"
But when Díaz brings up the feds, he's bringing up another investigation of yet another corruption allegation altogether. The News reported in 2008 that Christian Community in Action, a far larger agency receiving more than $26 million in city contracts for home health care to seniors, was under investigation.
According to the News, the nonprofit received $1.5 million in public funding that had been steered to it by the Díazes. At the same time, according to the group's 2008 federal tax filings reviewed by the Voice, Díaz's current wife, Leslie, was listed as "director of field" for an annual salary of $68,521.
The News reported that also in 2007, "the nonprofit received a grand jury subpoena from the public corruption unit of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia," and, a month later, "the FBI served a subpoena on the Bronx office of the city Board of Elections and seized documents about the Díazes."
The U.S. attorney's office will neither confirm nor deny that any such case is closed or still under investigation, or even acknowledge whether those subpoenas were or were not ever served.
As for the senator who says "Divorce is wrong" employing both his current and former wives at the same time, the two women may never have run into each other on the job. As Soundview CEO, Padilla reportedly told the Albany Times Union, "Leslie Díaz was a no-show during her second tour of duty, as was the senator's ex-wife, Assemblyman Díaz's mother, Didionilda Vega, who was on the payroll for a short time but was shifted to a consultant."
Rubén Díaz Jr. was born in the Bronx in 1973. Like his father, he went to Lehman College. When he was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1997 at age 23, he became the youngest member elected to that body since Teddy Roosevelt. Junior was elected to the Assembly years before his father was even elected to the City Council.
But Junior's fast rise, and his attempts to reach beyond the Bronx, may be limited by his father's toxic politics. The "GayTM," so crucial to fundraising in Democratic circles, couldn't have a more obvious villain than Díaz Senior. That's a serious roadblock for Junior, who may run for mayor as early as 2013.
And yet his actual record is not so different from his father's. Junior keeps finding himself on both sides of a divisive issue, winning him both friends and enemies.
"We couldn't stay open without him," says Dirk McCall, director of the Bronx Community Pride Center, a small gay community center primarily offering youth and HIV services in Mott Haven. He notes that as Bronx Borough President, Junior is very supportive of the center, and he thinks the son shouldn't be judged for the acts of his father.
Junior doesn't shy away from "gay" causes: His face is all over the "Bronx Knows" anti-HIV campaign.
And yet not everyone buys it. "He voted against marriage," points out longtime activist Allen Roskoff, referring to Junior's vote against same-sex marriage equality in the State Assembly in 2007. The measure passed that house without his vote. (Junior's office denied all interview requests for this article, but noted that he supports civil unions.)
In an infamous exchange at a City Hall breakfast last year, Roskoff heatedly challenged Junior's manhood for not standing up to Senior. It got so intense that "I thought his handlers were going to remove me from the room," Roskoff says.
"He asked him, 'Why don't you stand up to your father? Why don't you be a man about this?' " says Cathy Marino-Thomas, who witnessed it. "It was pretty great."
Multiple sources say that Junior gets annoyed with his father's antics, which often leave him blindsided. But if Junior is upset that people associate his father's noise about gay marriage with him, he has no one to blame but himself. This was demonstrated clearly when his father decided to rain on his parade in May.
Bronx Week is a series of events promoting the borough, the sort of event that can be the highlight of the year for a borough president, an otherwise impotent post. When Senior chose to hold his anti-gay-marriage rally at the same time as the AIDS Walk, it was a calculated move against gay rights.
To Senator Ruben Diaz:
I am not alone in wanting to know whether you will ever have the basic human decency to acknowledge to the public the article your granddaughter Erica published in the New York Post, explaining how personally hurtful she finds your hateful ignorance in regard to LGBT human beings.
For reference, Erica's article is here:http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l...
At this next link is a Village Voice interview of you, in which you deny all knowledge of Erica's article in the Post:http://blogs.villagevoice.com/...
It simply is not believable that you had no knowledge of the article. Even were one to grant you the benefit of the doubt, (which in this case you absolutely do not deserve), a decent human being serving as a State Senator instead of denying all knowledge of his granddaughter's article would state an intent to find and to read it. You might even have told the Village Voice that you would read it that very day and get back to them with a statement for them to include in the interview.
I have concerns that what you are doing to your granddaughter Erica constitutes domestic violence. Domestic violence is an aggragate of behaviors that do not specifically have to include assault. One very characteristic behavior is for the abuser to send messages to the victim that their thoughts and feelings do not matter to the abuser or indeed to anybody. That is the message you have sent out, to Erica and to the public, with your denial of all knowledge of her New York Post article. I am adding that your public offer to marry your friend and political associate, the convicted domestic violence offender Hiram Monserrate to his victim sent all the wrong messages to abusers and victims both. When you as an elected official empower an abuser that way, you are, basically, telling victims there will be no help for them to escape their abusers. Surely it is no mere coincidence that under your shabby, irresponible leadership, the Bronx has one of the very highest rates of domestic violence in the country.
Doubling rational and enlightened persons' objections to your attempted public humiliation of your lesbian granddaughter, you maliciously portray all opposition to your hateful bigotry as hot-headed and obscene. You falsified something written on Archbishop Dolan's blog as part of your campaign of demonizing gay human beings; a report on that incident is here:http://thenewcivilrightsmoveme...
Then at this next link, you published on your New York Senate web page a release "Unashamed To Be a Christian" in which you again demonize gay human beings and not coincidentally, disrespect your granddaughter Erica by portraying all opposition to your anti-LGBT bigotry as consisting of people who use curse words at you. Additionally, you do not have an exclusive claim to what it means to be Christian. Many Christians today . . whole Churches . . .. accept LGBTers and support their legal equality. When you misappropriate the word "Christian" with your implicit claim that Christians who favor LGBT equality are somehow less truly Christian than you, you look like a propagandistic hack. http://www.nysenate.gov/press-...
Every decent New Yorker now wants to know from you; when will you in public acknowledge your granddaughter Erica's article published in the New York Post, the one she ended by saying of your anti-gay hate speech "I want him to know that every word he utters hurts his own blood."
You evidently weren't satisfied with hurting Erica with your anti-gay bigotry; you had also to hurt her by denying in public that you have any knowledge of the article she pubished.
Frankly, shame on you.
Let me solve this non mystery. According to my ex boss who is a personal friend of the Diaz family, senior Diaz married his ex-secretary who he had an affair with. That is why both wives were on the payroll at the same time. The Bronx is full of corrupt and inept politicians, I only hope that Diaz Jr. is joking about a mayoral bid.
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When is the Gay community going to understand what the Bible says about a man and a woman? smh ..you cant be that ignorant. The bible says God saw that Adam needed a companion so he made a woman called Eve, not Steve...
Good expos├ę of a sordid opportunist. If the Voice wants to do some serious investigating, it should look into the other hispanic 'reverends' who are running religious scam organizations in the Bronx and siphoning taxpayer money to subsidize hate speech against gays and others while they hide armies of illegitimate kids and family scandals. You'll be amazed what you find.
Gays are just disgusting to look at. Yeah, yeah, they're all people, too, and should have their civil rights -- but legalese aside, I have to say that I find gays physically revolting. It's like seeing insects to me, something just totally weird. Does that mean I think all insects should be removed from the planet? No. And I don't go around squishing every one I see, either! I'm just trying to say that LBGT people are disgusting to many people.
If there's a genetic component to homosexuality, bisexuality, and transexuality (or whatever *that's* called), why shouldn't there be a genetic component to finding such people disgusting? I mean, you know, how folks are predisposed not to like vegetables or insects....
Thanks, Cas, for your intelligent and cogent arguments. Now try pulling your head out of your beer bong for five seconds.
"Gays are just disgusting to look at." Really? I was unaware that all gay people shared visual characteristics that both ease their identification by bigots like you and cause disgust. Do enlighten me as to what visual characteristics I have that cause you nausea, please.
edit: You know, for someone who is disgusted by gays, you sure do comment an awful lot on the Village Voice. Are you aware this publication is well known for its coverage of LGBT issues? Did you know it carries gay sex advice icon Dan Savage's column? Do you have any clue how many gay people live in the Village?
This expose of Diaz is excellent. Diaz's full quote, oft repeated, is "I am Church and I am state and I will not be separated." Diaz's aggressive deceptiveness is plain to see, when Spitzer's investigation found that he had fraudulently spent Soundview money on his Senate office furniture and only paid the money back to Sounview after the fraud was discovered. Diaz then has the nerve to yell at you that "nothing" was wrong. It isn't that he acknowledges his economic fraud, and is committed never to repeat such fraud; it's that he wants to create the impression that you have no business questioning his integrity. Diaz serially misappropriates his official Senate website and letterhead to send Evangelical messages to Evangelicals. That is a violation of 74(h) of the ethics code. A complaint should be submitted and a full investigation conducted. Diaz in offering to marry his friend the convicted abuser Monserrate to Monserrate's victim is sending wrong messages to abusers and victims both, and this explains in part why Diaz's district has one of the highest domestic violence rates in the state. Furthermore, we should consider that with his abuses of power, Diaz is subjecting his family members to domestic violence. He certainly is exercising his political power to control and repress some of his family members in ways consistent with scientific descriptions of domestic violence. This article presumes that Diaz, Jr. is a totally free agent; it might instead have considered how Jr. is Sr.'s domestic violence victim. Sr.'s presence at an AID victim's funeral is repulsive. He was there praying for the "salvation" of the dead gay person's soul, not paying respects to the gay person for who the gay person was. One further matter for investigation would be Diaz's possibly corrupt relationship with fringe religious Jewish extremists in his district. My investigations show that he has steered money to that fringe, and there is an appearance that there could be a quid pro quo involved, with Diaz saying I'll get you this money if you show up at my anti-gay hate events. Like Diaz, these fringe extremists are misognyist. One of them spit on lesbian rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - yet Diaz did nothing to denounce the misogynist spitter. And, this is the same Ruben Diaz who lied about the contents of an anti-gay blog published by Archbishop Dolan, in order to demonize gay human beings with even greater intensity. Neither Diaz nor Dolan would address the problem of Diaz's lie about Dolan's blog. The lie was published the same day Diaz was recording an anti-gay hate radio segment for Dolan's A Conversation with the Archbishop. An appearance was created that Dolan and Diaz are in collusion to promulgate anti-gay hate speech; neither man seems to have an interest in eliminating that appearance. Finally for now, mentioning Diaz's mediocre linguistic abilities certainly is relevant to his quality as a leader. Grammatical use of language is indicative of an ability rationally to reason, and to think in an orderly manner. Poor language skills are a reflection of poor thinking habits. What is more, Ruben Diaz, Sr. does not even speak his mother tongue as would a well-educated person from Puerto Rico.
Reverend Diaz is nether my representative nor I agree with his views, but to discuss his language skills and physical qualities is as low as the positions taken by the reverend. If you want to end discrimination, you need to get your own values in order.
The article was weak and lame. It didn't even mention the fact that this guy is a thug who was done for drug dealing so in a sense the fact that he is being 'trusted' to run an area is shocking but then very few liberal news sites these days do ANY kind of decent reportage articles.
Such a lack of spine. No wonder people went crazy for the Bachmann Daily Beast article that simply rehashed old information.
A decent article on the sliminess of NOM would not only help NY but the gay community because they are the reason you have lost in most states or will lose in most states.
You Apparently Forgot That Diaz Senior Who Was Known Around Town As Satana Or Satan, Was Convicted Of Possessing 12 bags of heroin and 3 bags of marijuana and one scale, he plead guilty to misdeameanors and got probation....unfortunately recovering heroin addicts that turn to jesus become fanatics to keep away the chills and the ghosts but prefer to while away with the holy ghost in the hopes that all the crap that he did in the past, that still haunts him will be erased....two wrongs do not make a right....do not force religion down our throats when what we need is equality......
interesting viewpoint honeybadger... i was under the impression that all people deserved to be treated as humans. I don't understand all this hate.... god wanted us to love one another. it's sad to see how mankind has twisted that. I wonder honeybadger if god would look upon you, with all your hate and contempt, would he smile at you? would he be proud of how much hate you have in your heart?
The VillageVioce reporters, like most others in the media, are all just helping to push a sick agenda by demonizing anyone who speaks their opinion that doesn't match the popular opinion. Homosexuality is a disorder and a form of mental retardation. And the gay community is proving that to be the case every time one of them speaks.
More than one element of "honeybadger"'s comment constitutes hate speech. For one example now, the notion that gay people only are concerned about equality for gay people, constitutes anti-gay hate speech. That hate speech aims to create an us (heterosexuals) against them (homosexuals) scenario in which the heteros are good and the homosexuals are bad. In reality, of course, many heterosexuals favor full acceptance and equality. Some do so, just out of a sense of basic fairness. Others have grandchildren, or uncles, or twins, or other family members, friends and/or colleagues who are gay. They are heterosexuals who want homosexuals treated with respect and decency, instead of hatefully out of ignorance over homosexuality. Whole countries have already granted full equality to those of their citizens who happen to be gay. Anne Rice and Barbra Streisand would be two examples of heterosexuals who want equality for gay human beings. Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, too, are heterosexuals who want equality for gay people. I would like to see "honeybadger" tell Barbra Streisand to her face that she is showing "mental retardation" by speaking up for equality.
Can we reinstate slavery since that's allowed in the bible, too? Homosexuality is scientifically proven to be genetic and exists throughout different species. Why don't you worry more about the single mothers and abusive families that you read in the paper everyday. Me getting married isn't going to affect someone beating their child to death over a broken television.
Like they say about blacks in the bible? Like they thought about women working in the 50's?
Youre a real ray of BS.
Honeybadger - You who are defining homosexuality as a form of "mental retardation;" I demand that you take an IQ test side by side with me and that our results then be published in the pages of the Village Voice.