Virginia Perez: Because She Cares?

eHezi Governance, History, New York State, Politics, Westchester County, NY, Yonkers, NY 18 Comments

Fred Polvere, national political columnist who spends his days climbing, hiking and reading, reading, reading.

Virginia Perez engaged in the Democratic Primary to represent New York State Senate District 35.

The legislative program of the NY State Conservative Party is a guide to making the rich richer. From doing away with progressive taxation to no taxes on dividends, it wants to increase the already immoral wealth disparity. It proposes to pay for these reductions in taxes with cuts to Medicaid and education. Fire districts and libraries would also face the chopping block. The list includes one proposal after another leading to the wealthy living in luxury and the rest of us driving on pot-holed streets and paying private companies for use of once-public facilities.

But it is not just the reverse Robin Hood agenda that characterizes the Conservative Party. It encourages law enforcement agencies to use “profiling, surveillance and stop, question and frisk.” It wants to restore the death penalty in New York. It wants to loosen gun laws, and its program’s language suggests support for the frightening “stand your ground law” that led to the acquittal of an armed man who murdered a 17-year-old unarmed boy who was minding his own business. In addition, it wants to eliminate parole for felons – without mentioning the costs of our incarceration industry. And, of course, it wants police to detain people “suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.”

The Conservative Party is not just right-wing: it is reactionary – so far right that it withheld its support from Republican Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral runs in 1989, 1993 and 1997 because he was too liberal. Yet, Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez was a Conservative Party member. She became a Democrat – in her words – “Because I care.” Actually, she had to register as a Democrat in order to run for office in her corner of Yonkers.  But how has she demonstrated her Democratic politics since her years in the Conservative Party?

“I was her [Perez’s] first donor. She cares for her constituents,” said Julie Killian. “She’s involved in politics for the right reasons and those are the kinds of people I support.” Julie Killian is the fact-free Republican who runs against DEMOCRATS and is opposed to Democratic policies. Many other Republicans (e.g., Maisano, Tubiolo) also donated to her campaigns. One has to wonder: why are these Republicans donating to a Democrat?

Perez’s biggest donor, with three donations totaling $4,000 would be the one-and-only Jeff Klein. That’s right – the NY State Senator who founded and led the faction of Democrats who caucus and vote with Republicans – the so-called Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC. A primary motive for joining Klein’s IDC was monetary gain in the form of “lulus.” Lulus are payments in lieu of salary, attached to leadership duties or top committee posts. All members of Klein’s caucus received lulus. You can bet the ranch that Perez is looking for the same “because she cares.”

Perez writes “my constituents are my only ONE and TRUE priority.” Yet, she worked with Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, voting yes on every one of his budgets – leaving the County with millions in shortfall. Astorino, a Tea Party and Trump acolyte, attempted to fulfill the Conservative Party’s wish list for cutting taxes on the rich, privatizing everything and cutting every safety net program that helps the poor. This would be particularly disastrous for Perez’s southwest Yonkers constituents, but she claims to be running for the State Senate “Because I care.”

Critics of Perez have complained that she did not represent her constituents’ interests by voting with Astorino and is not a Democrat. She always responds the same way: “I am a fiscally conservative Democrat.” On Dec. 28, 2011, citing unmanageable debt, Perez filed papers in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, stating that she had $476,976 in liabilities and $120,561 in assets. That characterizes Perez perfectly: a fiscal conservative just like Astorino.

The thing about her campaign for New York State Senate District 35 is the glaring lack of statements of her positions or of any achievements in the County Legislature. All she seems to have to say is “In me you will always have a fighter, a doer and someone who will ALWAYS and ONLY answer to you and never to the establishment.”

Perez recently announced her main policy position: she will ensure that Yonkers gets its fair share of state education funding. Either Perez is misleading her constituents or is willfully ignorant. Yonkers gets less funding per student than districts in Long Island and upstate because the state senate is controlled by Republicans. By aligning with them, Jeff Klein and the IDC have perpetuated the inequity in funding. In a FiOS1 interview, Perez was pressed about her intentions in Albany, but she refused to commit that she would not caucus with Republicans. If Perez were to win, it’s a good bet that she would align herself, once again, with Republicans and the shortfall in funding for Yonkers’ schools will continue.

Virginia Perez is not and never was a Democrat. One doesn’t switch from the Conservative Party to become a Democrat. How do her constituents reconcile her votes with Astorino? Do they know that Phil Gille, Astorino’s Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Social Services is running her campaign? Why are Republicans canvassing for her? She couldn’t have repeatedly voted with Astorino and claim to represent her constituents who aren’t the super-rich.  She couldn’t have voted to reduce funding for the needy and call it “fighting the establishment.” She couldn’t have voted not to fix infrastructure, and to use one-shot deals to pay for operating costs, and to privatize as many governmental activities as possible and claim to be a Democrat. No, I don’t doubt that Virgina Perez cares, but it is only for herself – certainly not for her constituents.


Fred Polvere, national political columnist spends his days climbing, hiking and reading, reading, reading.


eHeziVirginia Perez: Because She Cares?

Comments 18

  1. The fact that IDC founder Jeff Klein gave $4,000 to Virginia Perez’ campaign is a perfect illustration that she is not who she says she is. I witnessed first hand her enabling of former County Executive Astorino’s terrible policies in her own mini-IDC on the County Legislature. She is not a true progressive by any stretch of the imagination. By contrast, Andrea Stewart-Cousins walks the walk and deserves reelection on Sept 13. Thanks for the edifying article.

      1. Hezi, why is it that a candidate running for major office such as Senator is not submitting the mandatory financial disclosures? The public has a right to know and access this information on the candidates. There are ZERO filings for Ms Perez Senate campaign. Isn’t this a breach of campaign finance laws? What is the role of Westchester BOE in monitoring and assuring compliance by candidates? What is the penalty for willful negligence?

    1. Jennifer you have it backwards Stewart-Cousins is all talk and no action-what has she done as a Democratic leader to stem the stench of corruption in Albany-absolutely nothing-every year Yonkers is on the brink of collapse-the only thing Stewart -Cousins is good for is giving long winded speeches with empty promises.

  2. It’s clear Paul was put up to write this for the indivisibles, he did it for some other loser and we saw how that worked for him. Democratic Primaries are healthy, giving voters a choice is good , giving the fact that there’s no Republican running. I was voting for Andrea Cousins until Paul wrote this article.

  3. I look for the day when Fred is taxed out of his home. Democrats just gave him a 6.2% tax increase. That’s right a Democratic Mayor and Democratic majority city council. Keep cheering on tax and spend liberals.

  4. Virginia Perez has barely been a Democrat. All the photo opps of her cleaning streets will not hide the fact that she has not been a very present or effective County Legislator. By aligning herself with former County Exec Astorino, she undercut legislation that the democratic caucus hoped to enact. Mr Astorino left the county severely in arrears, so his policies could not be about fiscal conservatism. One can only speculate that Ms Perez’s motives were more self serving. We simply cannot trust that, with this record, she would be an advocate for the Democratic legislation this state needs.

    Senator Stewart-Cousins, by contrast, has been an effective advocate for Yonkers and Westchester.

    She’s the real deal. Let’s re-elect her.

    1. “HAS BEEN” ? Well, can not argue with you there Elizabeth de Bethune! Lol! Why is she running from a debate with Perez? What is she afraid of? Keep running Cousins because there are two things the voters are tired of
      1. Career politicians 2. Career politicians that hold office and do nothing! Cousins your trademark is your array of shawls and I now realize you can use it wipe your tears when you lose.
      Out with the old in with the new!
      Keep running from the debate as we sit , watch and wait until we make our vote “ SHOW YOU THE DOOR”

    2. Ms Bethune what a pipe dream you are selling-year-in and year-out Yonkers has struggled and Mrs Stewart-Cousins has not delivered other than her typical photo-op pictures-what about the pervasive stench of corruption in Albany-Sampson and Smith those names ring a bell?-she is part of the problem and not the solution-where has she been calling out Gov Cuomo in his pay to play corruption-nowhere . She is all BS talk and no action.

    3. Elizabeth, how can you say she’s effective??? Each year Yonkers is shortchanged by NYS. She’s effective in promoting herself. I normally don’t vote in primaries, but this year I’m voting against every incumbent.

  5. Thank you for helping get the word out about who Ms. Perez really is. In smaller races, voters often don’t know much about a candidate and rely on their party membership. In Ms. Perez’s case, that would be a mistake.

  6. Dear Mr Polvere ,

    I have no clue who you are and why Hezi would post an article from you. I did google you and the only thing I could find is that you are a tree hugger. I will dig deeper later when I have more time and ask around. So, let me start by saying I am a Republican, that said, I vote for the candidate not the party. It always amazes me in a country where you don’t have to identify with a gender ( unless you are a hermaphrodite, a newborn is clearly male or female) there is discrimination against a person for their political party affiliation. I happen to like both candidates however, I am drawn to Virginia Perez and her strength to stand up and do what she believes in. United we stand, Divided we fall. I wonder what your motivation is and believe me when I say there are no secrets here . I will find out your ulterior motives and see if Hezi will allow me space.
    As the teens say “IF you have some type of feelings” about her then you need to keep them to yourself. You are doing a great injustice because unfortunately many do not do their homework and will believe what they read.

    You say “Why are these Republicans donating to a Democrat?” Well, sir for the first time in thirty plus years I have connected to the reason why my parents were Republicans. We are and were not narrow minded people. We believed in a cause back when there was a middle class. Some of my best friends are Democrats and amazing people but then you have some like Corazon Pineda that think she is Robina Hood. The middle class continues to disappear and my question is when the homeowners move on and leave who will support the poor then?

    Must I remind you that there are homeowners across all political affiliations. Sure there are some that are rich but the majority are struggling to hold on to their homes and live paycheck to paycheck.
    You go on to post about her bankruptcy but you should as a man be commending her as women and educate yourself on her story and strength! She was raised and educated right here in Yonkers. Her City Council seat was stolen from her by eight votes and fraud, her brother was murdered right here in our city and as a citizen. She started a community watch!
    Mr Povere you are ignorant! In condemning a women with the strength to fight for what she believes you show your weakness. BIPARTISAN! Try and say it Mr Polvere because you can do it!

    You want to make her truth ugly then please step away from the trees and try hugging a person.

    If we do not start to come together and fight for the things that human kind need instead of a political party then we are doomed. We can agree the reasons for the fall of Empires throughout history are: becoming overextended,being overexerted,growing overconfident,
    or some combination thereof.

    So, While you point fingers I will be supporting Virginia Perez and will think of you the minute I hear her victory.

    As for Senator Cousins I wish her well and hope that County Legislator Perez puts a fire under her booty and gets her moving. Voters do not want career politicians anymore. Work for the voter or work your way on out.
    I am hoping it is not “too late for an old dog to learn new tricks” and you might actually open your mind. You can save all the trees and parks you want but WHOM is going to save the humans?

    Signed, on behalf of ALL political parties that breath oxygen from your trees

    1. Everyone is welcome to give expression to their perspective. You are welcome to present your perspective and rationale. The parameters are simple to comply with… be respectful.

      I welcome your input.



      Direct your Op-Ed to

    2. Have you ever met Virginia Perez? Do you know her? Based on your emotional response to the Editorial, I think not! Suggest you sit down, get to know her. And then your decision will be made. No positive or negative input here.

    3. Dear Mr. Republican, Yiu need to learn your Yonkers history. Virginia brought Corazon into Yonkers, registered her to vote and they ran overlapping campaigns to get Corazon elected since Virginia had a vendetta against Wilson. She and Corazon are enemies now and she and Wilson are lovebirds again. She manipulated Wilson promising him she would help him win back her seat in her vendetta against Corazon. Everyone in Yonkers politics know Virginia is a manipulative, bisexual, bipolar, vindictive, aggressive, fast-talking, self-absorbed shrew. Virginia can’t keep any allies because she turns on everyone after they have lost their usefulness. Her only loyal ally is Phille Gille.

      1. Dear Dark Heart,
        The fact that you state Perez had that type of power over a man is intriguing to say the least. If it is true she that she brought Corazon into politics that is annoying. I happen to know for a fact that Corazon didn’t live in Yonkers her first term but in Harlem. That is a BIG pet peeve of mine. She got smart and moved into an apt here.
        Your anger and prejudice is clear as you throw in bisexual as if it is vile. Your ignorance and prejudice statement stops me from putting any weight to your opinion.

        Oxygen Relief, your opinion I will consider however, yes I happen to know Virgina about as well as I know Andrea. We have worked on two events together and I volunteered with quite a few more with Andrea. The game is politics and the objective is to make it to retirement without ruffling feathers. In another words, it should be called Mission Impossible! If the good outways the bad and your you can manage to maneuver through the Board and come out alive then you win!
        The sad part is that there are not enough number of women in politics to make a baseball team. They should be uniting together against the male dominated career. I am sure the one thing many can agree on that the days of a politicians sitting in office and not representing their constituents are over. Voters want accountability and action. If what those opposed to Virginia state is true in time and with more power it will be clear to blind man with glasses.

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