Presidential hopeful Texas Governor Rick Perry stopped by Inwood this past Mon., Sept.19th for a meeting and fundraiser with Fernando Mateo, head of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, held at Papasito Mexican and Agave Bar on Dyckman Street.
According to sources, Gov. Perry’s campaign contacted Mateo to set up the event which was attended by about 50 predominantly Latino small-business owners, raising $50,000.
Considering Perry’s his conservative views on immigration, his visit to the predominantly Latino neighborhood seemed a curious – perhaps incongruous – choice.
Local elected officials also chimed in about Gov. Perry’s visit to the neighborhood, pointing out that Perry’s recent legislative efforts have upset Latinos in Texas and nationally.
Other concerns too were raised in light of Perry’s visit. Congressman Charles Rangel, who stopped in for a brief “courtesy” visit with Perry, issued a statement afterwards, in which he denounced Perry’s positions on Social Security
Congressman Rangel explained, “The poor, the sick, and the aged are struggling to put food on the table. While we have an obligation to do the right thing and show compassion to those who are most vulnerable in our country, it is frightening that Governor Perry has shown no compunction in executing his constituents or calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme.”
Although at one time signing legislation which gave in-state tuition to certain undocumented students, Gov. Perry has also recently shifted his immigration policies in what some decry as efforts to appease Tea Party members and more conservative loyalists in the Republican Party.
It was Governor Perry’s second visit to the Big Apple in two weeks, which included other two fundraisers with Jewish leaders and members of the Orthodox Jewish community.
There were some who were far less riled – or impressed – with Perry’s visit.
“I’ve seen him on tv,” grumbled an older man trying to get past the crowd on the sidewalk outside Papasito. “Is he famous?”