Following the Money

Last night, I was up at a a panel about blogging panel on 8th street in Park Slope, just a few blocks from Margarita Lopez-Torres, which means one more chance to revisit the story about the that check she was supposed to have received from the Bronx Democratic Party.

So here we go.

The $1,000 contribution from the Bronx Democrats to Lopez-Torres, an insurgent candidate in Brooklyn, is part of the not-so-subtle rivalry between the county leaders in those boroughs: Jose Rivera in the Bronx, Vito Lopez in Brooklyn, and their aides who say there is no rivalry.

Lopez’s people swear – and I believe them – that they didn’t know anything about the check and that they’re not part of any inter-borough rivalry. They point to the fact that the check was never listed as an expense by the Bronx Democrats.

Bronx sources close to Rivera say the truth, which is a little embarrassing, is that the check number and date line up perfectly with other checks written at the time. Which means it wasn’t written just to fool some blogger like me but rather, to actually help out a candidate they liked. Bronx sources say a person fundraising for Lopez-Torres contacted Rivera – who they proudly say is cheap – asked for the check.

This, and Brian McLaughlin’s contribution scheme shows how difficult it can be to follow the money to the real story sometimes.

– Azi Paybarah