The New York Post - By AARON SHORT - Posted: 12:58 AM, September 11, 2011
Vito, let us in!
In the state Assembly race in Brooklyn, two candidates claim they can't campaign in senior housing projects run by allies of Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez -- because only Rafael Espinal, Lopez's handpicked candidate, is allowed in.
Jesus Gonzalez and Deidra Towns say the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Center, a Lopez-founded charity that manages several senior facilities in the district, has made it nearly impossible for them to meet constituents in those buildings.
The Working Families Party's Gonzalez said he called to schedule visits three times in a month and was repeatedly rebuffed.
The barring of political foes from Lopez's empire dates to the December 2009 adoption of protocols requiring all candidates and public officials to schedule visits with Ridgewood Bushwick a week in advance.
But "seniors should not be walled off from the world for political reasons or any other," said Susan Lerner, of the good-government group Common Cause.
All agreed that seniors are a key voting bloc in this race.
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