Brooklyn Democratic County Leader Vito Lopez is declaring that Brooklyn, as a political powerhouse, has returned.
He attributes the rebirth to a series of small recent victories.
First, Lopez managed to block–or at least delay–the confirmation of city clerk appointee Hector Diaz of the Bronx. He and a coalition also blocked the appointment of another Bronx official up for appointment as a commissioner of the Board of Elections. Lastly, three judges from Brooklyn were appointed to the bench by Eliot Spitzer.
When I spoke to him on the phone, Lopez told me, “The whole theme of what I tried to do in my two years is ‘Brooklyn is Back,’ and we’re really proud that. People, after years of not respecting our political credibility, people are respecting it, and we are the first to be called on these key positions.”
Lopez said the city clerk fight meant that “Probably for the first time, all the people in Brooklyn were together.”
Of course, the cumulative effect of these events has also been a big victory for Lopez in his rivalry with Bronx Democratic Leader Jose Rivera, and what Lopez calls the "Bronx political operation."
I asked Lopez if he thinks his influence is being felt beyond the borders of Kings County.
He responded (tellingly), “I’m not going to comment on that. But because of the fact Brooklyn is coming more together, and has been able to achieve some victories, that is correct.”
Before getting off the phone, Lopez said, “It would be nice if somebody could write something politically positive," he said. "These are big victories. The things that we’ve set out to do, we’ve been able to accomplish.”