From my column in today’s NY Post:

"Although weakened by his censure in 2010 for financial misconduct and the loss of his rank on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Rangel battles for a 23rd term in Congress. He has vowed to win this race and make it his last hurrah.

His confidence was buoyed by a Siena/NY1 poll released last month. The poll had Rangel up 41 percent to 32 percent over his younger rival, with 15 percent undecided.Rangel leads among blacks, while Espaillat leads among Hispanics. Indeed, many pundits reduce this contest to a battle between the two competing ethnic groups.

But truth be told, both men are of Hispanic heritage. Rangel’s father was Puerto Rican, his mother African-American.

It’s rather ironic that a Hispanic congressman, who identified for decades as black, is being challenged by a Dominican-identifying politician.

And it’s more ironic that the challenger’s homeland is seeking the mass deportation of black Dominicans to Haiti — with Espaillat’s evident support."


Michael Benjamin