By Carl Campanile
May 16, 2017
Assemblyman Michael Blake | Photograph: Robert Kalfus
A top national Democratic Party official is coming under fire for making a $1,000 campaign contribution to a New York City Council candidate who opposes gay rights.
Gay rights activists slammed Michael Blake, a Bronx assemblyman who is a vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, for making the donation to state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., who is running for an open Bronx council seat.
Diaz voted against same sex marriage legislation that passed both houses of the state Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo in 2011.
“This is a career-ender. Blake should be removed. You can’t support a bigot like Ruben Diaz and be a vice chairman of the national Democratic Party,” said Allen Roskoff, head of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.
Openly gay Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm chimed in, “We can’t have a DNC vice chairman who says he supports gay rights and gives money to the biggest homophobe in New York. It’s wrong and shouldn’t have happened.”
Diaz, a pentecostal minister and the father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., is running for a vacant Council Seat in District 18 in the south Bronx. The incumbent, Annabel Palma, is term-limited.
Diaz’s filing with the Campaign Finance Board shows he received a $1,000 campaign contribution from “Friends of Michael Blake,” the assemblyman’s campaign committee.
Diaz also received a a $2,750 contribution from Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic Party chairman Marcos Crespo.
“Wow! That’s great. Michael Blake is a great, respected leader in the community,” said Diaz, who has been an elected official for two decades and is favored to win the seat.
Diaz is known for his vocal advocacy of charter schools and services for the needy. But he’s a social conservative who opposes abortion as well as same sex marriage.
But Diaz emphasized that both gay marriage and abortion are legal.
“It’s the law. Let’s move on,” he said.
Blake declined comment requests for comment.
Among Diaz’s primary opponents include Elvin Garcia, who served as Bronx director of Mayor de Blasio’s community assistance unit.