West Side Tammany

My story a couple of weeks ago about the new West Side machine — Tammany, the headline writer called it — was truer than I knew.

Jerry Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer — freshly elected on a “reform” platform — have spent the past few days leaning hard on County Committee members, in order to swing the vote to their favored candidate for State Assembly, Linda Rosenthal.

It’s an unreformed, utterly inside process that gives a candidate the Democratic line and big leg up in the February special election.

“I felt like I was in some backwater town in Arkansas or something,” said Mike Lupinacci, an outsider running on an education platform who made his way to a rules committee meeting one recent evening. “It’s like the 19th century — they don’t know how to use modern technology…. They’ve just decided they think Linda’s the person, which is fine, but the County Committee members won’t even have met most of us until Sunday.”

I asked him if this seemed like a “reform” process.

“Oh please. Give me a break. They’re not even reforming their own back yard. The whole thing is so pathetic.”

Another outsider, Charles Simon, said he hadn’t been following the process closely.

“It’s kind of old-school,” he said. “I did have a few conversations with Scott over the course of the past several months in which Scott said he was happy with the process and he wasn’t looking ot play kingmaker.”

The Beep apparently changed his mind.