Eliot Spitzer just held a press conference with some Latino lawmakers to discuss disaster relief efforts for victims of the hurricane in the Dominic Republic which, the governor said, has displaced tens of thousands of people and killed 150.
“This really is one of those tragic moments that makes us ask ourselves, ‘What can we do to help?’” Spitzer said.
In his midtown office, Spitzer announced he was sending the 105th Air Wing of the Nation Guard, with two Black Hawk helicopters, to the hurricane affected areas for rescue missions.
The event was short, and sparsely attended by news reporters. (They announced they’d be having the 3 p.m. press conference at 2 p.m.)
But the event was, at least on one level, a success. One supporter, Assemblyman Jose Peralta, sought to remind people that Spitzer was, indeed, a friend of the immigrant community–a meaningful statement in the context of Spitzer’s recent difficulties on the immigrant-driver’s license issue.
“So again, I stand here applauding the governor because again he stood up, and stepped up to the plate for immigrant Americans, like he has done, time and time again,” Peralta said.
And Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat told me afterwards, “I think he is really doing this from his heart. He feels the tragedy that has struck the Dominic Republic.”