By GERSON BORRERO
On Tuesday night, I received this flyer from a source — sent via a text message. The trusted bochinchero told me, “It was texted to me from an activist from the Bronx, who also said that a veterans organization invited him to meet this Sunday. If I get the location I’ll let you know.”
Another source confirmed that “there is activity going on for Joe.”
I then asked my source — who at other times has spoken to me and shared accurate information — a round of questions, to which he responded, “I can’t say any more on this, Gerson.” He then acknowledged that “there’s a significant portion of the district that voted for Ocasio-Cortez that feel they made a mistake.”
He wouldn’t go any further.
Another source confirmed the buzz that there was a wave of support for Crowley, and said, “She made a lot of commitments to a lot of people.” The Democrat, who doesn’t vote in the 14th Congressional District, then made it clear: “I’m not getting involved. It’s not my fight.”
After reporting what I heard online Tuesday night, things started to move.
Several Republicans who are actively working against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have sent me direct messages about the column. They confirmed that they are in fact voting for Joe Crowley on Nov. 6, in part because the GOP candidate has serious personal issues that have been widely reported.
“Some of us had already decided that we were voting for Crowley. The way we see it, he’s a Democrat that we know. We’re not going to vote for that know-nothing socialist,” said the Republican bochinchera from the Bronx.
Other sources — both Dems and Reps — in Queens have also confirmed that they are indeed voting for Crowley, the loser of the June 26 Democratic primary.
One explanation for why this is happening — at least in the Bronx — came from an insider at the county party, who said Ocasio-Cortez has not engaged the Bronx leaders. The source told us that “as far as we know, Marcos [Crespo] and Ocasio-Cortez have only spoken once.” The source indicated that it was a congratulatory call: “He did reach out and wish her well, and told her he looked forward to working with her.”
Another bochinchero said that “Ocasio-Cortez has spoken to and met with others, and there’s nothing to indicate she has expressed anything negative towards the Bronx Democrats.”
I asked the inside source if there was a coordinated effort with the Bronx organization for Election Day. The response was, “County is not sure what her plan is for voter turnout. We have worked towards getting ALL Dems elected in Bronx.”
As for Crowley himself, the only response we got to the story came from Lauren French, communications director for the congressman.
“Joe strongly supports Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and we know she’ll be the next member of Congress for NY-14. This flyer is a distraction and shouldn’t be news. People printing a piece of paper doesn’t mean much at all. Right now, all efforts and energies should be spent in helping elect Democrats to Republican-held seats. End of story,” she said.
I asked her if Joe would be issuing a statement, from his lips. Hours later, we got this tweet from the congressman’s account:
“Not running. Not campaigning. Shut down campaign operations months ago. Not circulating fliers. To whoever is: knock it off. Focus should be on electing Democrats to Republican seats. I’ve moved on, so should everyone else.”
All of this may be all talk and the frustrations of many regular Democrats and Republicans. The one thing I do know is that I asked a millennial — who lives in the Queens portion of the district and who voted for Ocasio-Cortez in the primary — if he was going to vote. His response was, “Of course! I was going to anyway, but especially now after your story!”
Gerson Borrero is a veteran journalist and commentator. His weekly Bochinche column looks at insider gossip and exclusive tips about New York politics.