Election Day

(Editorial from the NY Times)

Councilwoman Diana Reyna, a Democrat from City Council District 34 in Brooklyn, is battling two formidable foes in Tuesday’s election. One is a vengeful Democratic Party boss, who rails about her independence, and the other is the Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, who has made robocalls supporting the party boss.

If Ms. Reyna is defeated as a result of these misplaced efforts, it will be a real loss for the residents of her district. Ms. Reyna has helped her struggling constituents with housing and school difficulties. Her willingness to stand up to Assemblyman Vito Lopez - the boss who increasingly runs the Democratic Party in Brooklyn with an iron fist - shows extraordinary political courage.

In his recorded phone messages to every registered voter in District 34, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio does not mention Ms. Reyna or her opponent, Maritza Davila of the Working Families Party. His pitch is to support Mr. Lopez, who has been helpful to the church. But the subtext is clear: Mr. Lopez has been working overtime to elect Ms. Davila instead of his party’s candidate.

Mr. Lopez has, indeed, helped the church, most recently by blocking legislation in Albany that would have temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving the sexual abuse of children. The church has returned the favor by ordering a priest to drop his fight against the rezoning of a 31-acre parcel that Mr. Lopez favors.

It is that same rezoning, for a housing project called the Brooklyn Triangle, that helped land Ms. Reyna on the boss’s enemies list. Ms. Reyna sided with community members who opposed the secretive way the project has moved forward through the city’s development process. Voters in City Council District 34 should reward that independence by re-electing Ms. Reyna.