A Major Open-Borders Leader Loses a Minor Contest on Election Day

By David North on November 4, 2009

You had to be watching carefully on election night, but deep in the wilds of Brooklyn there was a noticeable defeat for one of the Roman Catholic Church's leading spokesmen for open borders.

And the pro-open-borders New York Times helped bring about the defeat.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the immigration spokesman, leads the Diocese of Brooklyn (which includes Queens), the fifth largest diocese in the nation, and the largest not headed by an archbishop. He is also founder and former chairman, now board member, of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), a confederation of church-supported pro-immigration lawyers. Earlier he served as a successful church bureaucrat in several pro-immigrant church organizations.

While immigration was not an issue in yesterday's City Council vote, the race sheds some light on the politics and perhaps the powers of the Church. The incumbent Democratic council member, a Catholic herself and a reformer, is Diana Reyna. She had irked the (presumably Catholic) boss of the Brooklyn Democratic machine, Assemblyman Vito Lopez; Lopez sought to defeat her in the Democratic primary but, unusually for Brooklyn, she won.

Then Lopez did something equally unusual; he opted to support the primary loser in the general election when the loser ran with the support of a New York State-only third party, the Working Families party, a generally liberal organization.

Meanwhile Lopez had been helpful to the Church on other issues and the Bishop wanted to support him in his hour of need, so DiMarzio made robocalls to all the voters in the 34th District. The bishop urged support for Lopez which translated into support for Ms. Reyna's opponent, Maritza Davila.

The Times, which had endorsed Ms. Reyna earlier and which has an abiding distrust of Lopez, was upset about this to the extent that its only election-related editorial on Election Day dealt with the contest in the 34th District. It portrayed Ms. Reyna sympathetically as "battling two formidable foes," Lopez and the bishop. The editorial barely mentioned the fact that New York was electing a mayor that day, and New Jersey a governor, and focused on its support of Ms. Reyna.

The voters in the 34th District apparently paid more attention to the Times than they did to both the boss and the bishop, and again, as in the primary, they voted for Ms. Reyna, giving her a thumping 25-point lead over her main opponent, with the Republican candidate coming in a distant third.

Whether it will make any difference in the long run is anyone's guess, but it was nice to see the open-borders folks in election-day disarray.