PRIMARY ELECTION RESULT: Winner - Adam Clayton Powell IV (Dem)
PRIMARY ELECTION CANDIDATES
Adam Clayton Powell IV (Dem)
Eddie Baca (Dem)
John Ruiz (Dem)
Amid Allegations, A Race
Over two dozen reporters and cameramen
surrounded the steps of City Hall in mid-July for a press
conference held by Adam Clayton Powell IV, the member
of the New York State Assembly representing East
Harlem. "We all know why weĂre here," began Powell,
who is running for reelection. "We have yet to pass a
budget in Albany. I hope to do so soon. Thank you." He
turned as if to leave, eliciting laughter from the
reporters. Powell, aware of the real reason his press
conference had drawn a crowd, then went on to address
the allegations of rape that have placed him in the
The race for Adam Clayton Powell's seat has so far featured little
discussion of the issues affecting East Harlem. The
candidates in the Democratic primary -- Adam Claytotn Powell,
District Leader John Ruiz, and former chair of
Community Board 11 Eddie Baca -- agree that the
neighborhood needs more affordable housing, improved
education, and greater attention to health issues,
such as East Harlem's high rate of asthma. Each
candidate is running on his record, and attacking the
record -- and character -- of his opponents. A fourth
candidate, Rubye Wright, declined to be interviewed
for this story.
Adam Clayton Powell has had to defend not only his public record,
but also allegations
regarding his personal life. On July 3, Powell was
accused of rape for the second time in less than two
months. The first alleged victim, a 19-year-old Albany
intern, later changed her story, saying that what took
place between herself and Powell was consensual. The
second, a 38-year-old acquaintance of Powell's, plans
to press charges. Powell maintains his innocence on
both counts. Following the second accusation, John Ruiz
held a press conference on the steps of Powell's
office calling for his resignation. "With all the
problems he is having right now, he should take time
to address those problems," said Ruiz. Eddie Baca said he
would not comment on the charges against Powell until
the legal process had run its course.
John Ruiz and Eddie Baca have both focused on what they see as
PowellĂs failure to adequately represent the district.
Both claim that Adam Clayton Powell is inaccessible, and that his
office is not helpful to East Harlem residents.
Eddie Baca says that Adam Clayton Powell "has just not been present.
ThereĂs a lack of interest. There has been no
initiative, or anything of significance that you can
point to as his."
"Being visible here in the street is
so important," says John Ruiz. "If people have an issue,
they want to know someoneĂs listening. We have had to
scream and holler at Powell just to get him to come to
Others in the community share similar sentiments.
Melissa Mark-Viverito, who ran for City Council in
2003, has endorsed John Ruiz. "We need representatives that
will be able to bring resources into the
neighborhood," she said. "It's not happening."
Some in East Harlem say that Adam Clayton Powell has won more on
the basis of his famous name than because of what he
has done for his constituents. Powell is the son of
former U.S. representative and famous civil rights
activist Adam Clayton Powell Jr. "The unfortunate
thing about him is that a lot of our people vote for
the name, and he plays that up," said District Leader
Keith Lilly. "If people actually looked at the
record, they might make a different decision."
Adam Clayton Powell dismisses claims that he neglects the East
Harlem community. He said in an interview that, while
in the Assembly, he has secured funds for East Harlem
senior citizen centers and basketball leagues, and has
brought new housing to the neighborhood. He said he is
most proud of his Senior Citizens Rent Increase
Exemption legislation, which limits rent increases for
seniors. He also claims to be "the most visible
elected official in East Harlem." "People see me, and
they know me," said Powell. Candy Vazquez, a district
leader in East Harlem who has endorsed Powell, says
she has seen him at several functions and events with
John Ruiz had originally planned to run for State Senate,
but switched to the Assembly race after the second
rape allegation against Powell. Eddie Baca said Ruiz only
entered the Assembly race because "he was smelling
blood." And Geoffrey Eaton, chief of staff for East
Harlem city councilmember, Philip Reed, says John Ruiz
switched to "save his own face" after a poor start in
the Senate race.
John Ruiz, though, says he made the switch in response to
requests from the community.
"If I was an opportunist, I would have been in the
first time Powell was accused," he said. "The first
time, we gave him the benefit of the doubt. The second
time it happened, you start to think 'there's a
pattern here.' I stepped in to provide a choice."
If elected, John Ruiz says he will work for affordable
housing and job training in East Harlem, as well as to
provide senior care, obtain a living wage for workers
and address the neighborhood's health issues. Ruiz
points to his record of community service and his
nearly 20 years as a New York City firefighter. For
over ten years, Ruiz educated children and seniors
about fire safety as "The Rappin' Fireman," for which
he received several community service awards. Since
becoming a district leader, he has worked to make his
office accessible to constituents, and says the club
will host community meetings once construction on its
conference room is complete.
Baca says his top priority if elected will be
reforming the foster care system. He plans to "put a
spotlight" on the city Administration of ChildrenĂs
Services, which, he says, does not put a "serious
effort" into keeping families together or providing
appropriate care for children. He said he has already
dealt with the agency as chair of Community Board 11.
He also wants East Harlem's new developments to be
built by companies located in the area and to ensure
that East Harlem's HIV positive residents and teen
parents receive the proper attention.
It is unclear how East Harlem residents view the rape
allegations against Adam Clayton Powell. John Ruiz believes that
residents are outraged and want Powell out. Candy Vazquez
says most of the people she has spoken to "believe the
assemblyman has been set up."
Adam Clayton Powell, for one, is confident about his prospects in
September. "There is a better chance of us getting a
blizzard on primary day than me losing," he said.
Until then, predicts District Leader Bill Moore, "There will be plenty of
Eddie Baca is director of the Association of Community Architecture and
Businesses, an organization that develops low-income housing. He served as chair of
Community Board 11 from 1994 to 1997 and was co-chair of Mayor David Dinkins's
Task Force on La Marqueta in 1994.
Adam Clayton Powell IV has represented the 68th Assembly district in the New York State
Assembly since 2000. From 1992 to 1997, Powell served as a New York City Council
member representing East Harlem and parts of the Upper West Side and the South Bronx.
John Ruiz is a Democratic district leader in the 68th Assembly district, a position to which he was elected in 2003.
He served as a firefighter for nearly 20 years in East Harlem, Washington Heights, and Lower Manhattan. While a firefighter, Ruiz founded
the Rappin' Fireman Safety Program to educate children about fire safety. He also founded Our Firefighter's Children's Foundation, which provides food and gift to low-income people.
Harlem Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, accused by two women earlier this year of alcohol-related sexual assaults, is holding a "tequila shots" fund-raiser next week with contributors asked, "How many can you do?" When told of the event, a law-enforcement official familiar with the charges leveled against Powell said, "Are you kidding?" (NY Post)
Manhattan state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, dogged by scandal, will not mount a previously expected primary challenge to veteran U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel of Harlem, according to election documents released yesterday. The Rangel race had been touted more than a year ago as a potential clash between an older Democratic stalwart and Powell, whose preacher father lost the seat three decades ago to Rangel and who had the support of the Rev. Al Sharpton. (Newsday)
Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell 4th publicly acknowledged yesterday having sex with the two women accusing him of rape - but said they agreed to it. "The sex was consensual," the 42-year-old Harlem lawmaker declared at a contentious news conference on the steps of City Hall. (Daily News)
Assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV - who is accused of raping a
Manhattan woman - passed two lie detector tests, the politician's lawyer
said yesterday. Powell, who has called the allegation "outrageous," was given
separate examinations last week by Richard Arthur, who once gave a test to
Jack Ruby after Ruby killed JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. (New York Post)
Keith Wright, a former chair of the State Legislative Black, Puerto
Rican and Hispanic Caucus, has denied allegations that he is actively working
behind the scenes to have his colleague Adam Clayton Powell IV ousted.
Wright's involvement in the alleged scheme came to light at a press
conference held in front of Powell's East Harlem district office to demand
his resignation stemming from two back-to-back rape allegations. (Amsterdam News)
Embattled state assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV won't
meet with prosecutors probing rape allegations against him unless he has to,
his lawyer said yesterday. (New York Post)
Adam Clayton Powell IV is scheduled to meet with Manhattan
prosecutors as soon as today, to respond to
allegations that he raped an acquaintance in her Central Park West
apartment late last week. (Daily News)
Manhattan assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV yesterday strongly
denied allegations that he raped a woman last week at a West Side apartment.
Powell issued a brief written statement a day after law enforcement sources
said that police were investigating him in a sexual assault case for the
second time in two months. (Daily News)
Manhattan assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV is being
investigated on a rape accusation for the second time in as many months, law
enforcement sources said yesterday. A woman told police that after meeting Powell at a
party Thursday night, they went to her West Side apartment, where he raped
her at about 8:30 p.m., police officials said. After he left, she called
911. (Daily News)
Top state lawmakers yesterday expressed dismay and concern that an
East Harlem assembly member from an esteemed political family has been
accused of providing alcohol to a 19-year-old intern during an alleged sexual
encounter at a capital-area hotel. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-
Manhattan) said the allegations against Adam Clayton Powell IV, son of
former U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., were "deeply upsetting and
troubling" and vowed to review a 28-year-old program that brings interns to
the Capitol. (Newsday)
Adam Clayton Powell IV, an assembly member from East Harlem with
longstanding congressional aspirations, has formed an exploratory committee, conducted
several fund-raising events and met with supporters and advisers throughout
Harlem. But he still seems somewhat tentative about whether he will run in
this year's Democratic primary against Representative Charles B. Rangel, the
dean of New York's congressional delegation. (New York Times)
â€˘ Albany's Dysfunction
â€˘ Blame Albany
â€˘ How Albany Controls New York City
â€˘ Will Albany Scandals Lead to Reform?
â€˘ Albany Rules?
â€˘ Upstate Downstate Debate
Eye on Albany Campaign 2004 home
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