If it seems like there’s a lot of talk recently about corruption in Queens politics, you’re right.
In the latest news, Queens City Councilmember Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) is on trial for stealing taxpayer money. He’s still running for re-election, though, with the support of the Queens County Democratic Party.
Could all this negative news be targeted at Rep. Joe Crowley, the county Democratic leader?
- Theory One: His enemies in Congress want to prevent him from advancing. Crowley is talked about as a potential successor to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. If he’s embroiled in scandal in Queens, that’ll make it harder to lead in the House.
- Theory Two: This is about the race for City Council Speaker. As the Queens County leader, Crowley could steer Queens Councilmembers to vote for his chosen candidate. If he’s weakened, he might not be able to negotiate for as much in exchange for that support.
- Theory Three: It’s all about the IDC. Crowley is said to want to challenge Jackson Heights State Senator Jose Peralta. This year, Peralta defected to the Independent Democratic Conference, strengthening their alliance with the Republicans for control of the Senate. In retaliation or perhaps to stop Crowley from threatening Peralta, the IDC is leaking this negative news.
In any event, Joe Crowley is learning something that Sen. Chuck Schumer long-ago discovered: it’s very difficult to control both New York and Washington. Schumer chose Washington and now leads the Senate Democrats. What will Joe Crowley choose?