Sep 17 2014

Jackson Heights GOP Club Hosts Statewide Candidates

gop-elephant-dl-apTwo Republican candidates, Sheriff Chris Moss for Lt. Governor and John Cahill for Attorney General, will be in Elmhurst this evening mustering up support at the America’s Mayor Republican Club.

Details below:

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/jackson-heights-republican-club-hosts-statewide-candidates/

Sep 11 2014

Radical animal rights group influencing elects for carriage ban

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The next big battle of influence peddling in City Council will be the Horse-Carriage Ban. Let’s keep an eye on elects for any last-minute “changes.”

City Council Members should not be under the influence.

As supporters and opponents go head-to-head with their positions on the Horse-Carriage Ban, lobbyists will be targeting City Council Members with a full on assault to sway their votes, but there’s one legislator who could not be bought.

Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr., Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee (which currently has oversight of the carriage industry) held a press conference and officially announced he’ll oppose the elimination of carriage horses in Central Park. That’s quite a clear statement. Now here’s a legislator who did his own independent investigation and found the industry to be clean, safe and well-regulated, truly an icon of New York City, but more on that later.

As of now, of the 51 council members, 13 are for the ban, eight are against it, and 26 remain undecided. Meanwhile, radical animal rights activists are fueling up their lobbyists for an all out influence war in City Hall to change this.

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Save the horse-carriage industry.

So first, let’s talk turkey. Tourists love the horses, the industry generates millions of dollars every year in tax revenue, and employs over 300 people. According to a Quinnipiac poll, a whopping 61% of New Yorkers support the horses in Central Park –even Liam Niason came out in their support. But like all contentious issues, there’s a few powerful, rich elitists who have formed a special interest coalition and are using undue influence to promote their agenda to ban the horses contrary to the will of a majority of New Yorkers.

So how could they get away with it?

The conditions are ripe for inducements and kickbacks. With the ban up for vote, elected officials could be bought off in exchange for support, or receive sweet committee assignments  as inducements from the top– perhaps even throw in a little something extra for their district? De Blasio even campaigned on the promise to ban the industry, but later deferred to the Council to propose the legislation.

Nothing is as what it seems. Some of these animal rights groups supporting the ban could already be facing serious criminal charges, and we aren’t even mentioning PETA here. The Feds are investigating the independent expenditure group NYCLASS, the animal rights group that backed de Blasio during his mayoral bid and sank $174,000 into last year’s elections. A large chunk of that cash went to the political action committee NYC is Not For Sale, which ran nasty attack ads against Christine Quinn.

There’s already been intimidation and threats in City Hall, with more likely on their way. During the mayoral primary, “NYCLASS’s political consultant Scott Levenson of the Advance Group (a lobbying and consulting firm) told two Quinn aides that if she wouldn’t back a ban on the horse and carriage industry, the group would launch a campaign to bring her down. She didn’t back the ban, and the group went on the attack.”

The FBI is currently investigating. In May, the Advance Group was fired amid mounting pressure and replaced with Hank Scheinkopf.

Intimidation comes in many forms; if not in City Hall, even in Council chambers too — where leadership can dole out rewards or punishment — and whip up votes with the stroke of a pen.

Will your council member sell out to the radical agenda of NYCLASS? Let’s see who changes their mind in the next few weeks.

Perhaps the only way around the quid-pro-quo dance of animal rights lobbyists is a ballot question to let democracy take its course — after all, they can’t buy us all off. If you’re a believer in honesty and transparency, then don’t stifle debate, dialogue, or intimidate public officials, let’s keep the bribery of elects to a minimum and let the people decide. And if not, call your legislator and tell him or her that you support this industry because the horses are treated well, that you’ve always romanticized a carriage ride as a truly New York experience, and they should too.

NYC Carriage Horses in Central Park,  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NYC Carriage Horses in Central Park

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/radical-animal-rights-group-lobbying-elects-for-carriage-ban-nyclass/

Sep 10 2014

All Primary Election Results

Full election results are available here, just scroll down to your district:

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/all-primary-election-results/

Sep 10 2014

Stavisky declares victory, sends Jung back to Jersey in shame

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Senator Toby Stavisky has been reelected with 5,002 votes, 1,274 more than her opponent, S.J. Jung.

The people have spoken.

Incumbent state Senator Toby Stavisky has been reelected to state Senate in Queens by a landslide.

While there was some mild trepidation. it wasn’t until the last few weeks leading up to the election that pundits started taking S.J Jung as serious competition for the 15-year incumbent, still it wasn’t any dirt off of Stavisky’s shoulder.

The Senator was reelected by an astounding 55% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

It was a tough, door-to-door campaign. Despite her opponent’s best efforts to conjure up fictitious roots in the district, Jung couldn’t distance himself from the anti-Semitic Support Network that fueled his campaign. The revelation had reportedly infuriated Toby’s base of Jewish voters who came out in record numbers to cast their ballots for their beloved Senator.

While it may seem like matching a candidate to the demographics of the district is the right thing to do, this race proves that ethnicity has no bearing on electability — or maybe Jung’s communication staff wasn’t doing their job, either way, he lost.

In the end, S.J. Jung will breathe a sigh of relief knowing he doesn’t have to pay the toll on the GW until it’s time to come back and run again.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/toby-stavisky-declares-victory-sends-jung-back-to-jersey-in-shame/

Sep 10 2014

Liu Wants All Votes Counted

Another two years of Avella? Maybe not.

This evening we were over at John Liu’s election night party to hear first hand from the candidate the results of one of the most contentious primary challenges in the entire state.

As of right now, Liu is trailing Avella 5,689 to 6,133 (51.53% vs. 46.97%). However, as of publication, not all the ED’s have been counted nor the absentee ballots, so there’s still a chance Liu may walk away as the victor, albeit a small one.

“Every vote counts, so every vote must be counted.  The voters of our district deserve a full, fair and honest counting of every vote cast to ensure their voices are heard. We are optimistic that once all votes have been counted, we will be victorious,” Liu said in a statement.

The atmosphere of the election party wasn’t overtly optimistic. Despite the best efforts of the campaign, the look on many people’s faces was of uncertainty. Nevertheless, John Liu vowed to press on until all votes are counted.

“Avella really pulled out his base,” said one political insider, “but it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

 

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Technically he can still pull of a win, we’ll just have to wait a week or so until all the votes are in.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/john-liu-wants-all-votes-counted/

Sep 09 2014

Hey SJ Tell Your Workers Not to Violate Election Law!

Jung

The vote has been compromised.

Ushering votes inside a poll site? Just ask S.J Jung.

This morning at PS 46 in Oakland Gardens, voters were a little shocked to see a person inside the polling station wearing a “Vote for SJ” t-shirt “assisting voters, ” a clear violation of election law.

While we can’t tell if this person was a BOE employee or a Jung campaigner– either way this is clearly a violation, one worse than the other.

And it happened multiple times.

The Jung supporter was clearly walking around the poll site, according to eye witnesses, and “assisting” Korean voters — but more than likely this “assistance” came with encouragement to vote for Jung.

Such blatant acts of electioneering inside poll sites is absolutely abysmal, and poll supervisors are supposed to stop this immediately, but someone wasn’t doing their job.

Clearly, it’s this is an indication of the work Jung would do if elected.

And more than likely when confronted, Jung will seek refuge above the cloud of work his campaign was really doing to get him elected: compromising the vote.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/hey-sj-jung-tell-your-workers-not-to-violate-election-law/

Sep 08 2014

25 Reasons Not To Vote For Tony Avella

Tony Avella

Were you thinking of voting for Tony Avella? Think again

Here’s some insight into the biggest mistake you could make this year.

Tony Avella has long touted his maverick demeanor, his “independent streak,” but what has he really done for the community?

There’s some debate on this matter (mainly between die-hard Tony supporters and facts), though no one can argue the bottom line: Tony Avella’s attitude is not conducive to political efficacy.

Just see for yourself. Below, Queens-Politics has added every link to our extensive coverage of Tony Avella in the past two years. From dabbling in contaminated field projects to shunning local civic leaders — there’s plenty of reasons to look to John Liu as the future of Senate District 11.

Just pick one.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/were-you-thinking-of-voting-for-tony-avella/

Sep 06 2014

Guess where S.J Jung’s money is coming from?

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$118,956 of $219,402 (54%) came from New Jersey.

Here’s a hint: it’s not Queens.

According to the Campaign Finance database, 54% of all contributions to the S.J. JUNG FOR STATE SENATE committee came from New Jersey.

Whether it’s Edison, Closter, Teaneck, Cliffside Park, or Englewood Cliffs, Jung’s candidacy is being financed by out-of-towners.

Maybe we should call him South Jersey Jung?

Contributions buy influence, it’s a fact, but do we really want that influence coming from New Jersey into Queens? What does this say about the candidate?

According to the 2014 report, Jung raised a total of $219,402, of which $118,956 (more than half of his donations) came from New Jersey-based contributors.

And there’s even more money that came in from outside the district, other than New Jersey, adding insult to injury.

It’s no wonder a hunk of his campaign war chest is coming in from New Jersey, Jung’s lived there for most of his life – only making an occasional appearance here in Queens to run for one office or another.

The proof is in the pudding. Aren’t we tired of this?

Jersey

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/guess-where-sj-jungs-money-is-coming-from/

Sep 05 2014

Many critics should be sending apologies to John Liu, the New York Times did

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Last week, the highly coveted New York Times endorsement was given to John Liu for state Senate in District 11. Tony Avella must have crapped his pants.

This endorsement resonates with people, after all, it’s the liberal paper of record, and they didn’t choose Avella. So what does this really mean?

During the campaign, you might have heard Avella bashing Liu regarding the wrongdoing of people on his campaign. Avella was trying to falsely connect Liu to those charges, but the rhetoric fell flat this week with the endorsement.

The NY Times said despite the fact that two of his campaign associates were convicted, there’s isn’t any evidence that John Liu knew about the campaign activity, so in other words, it never went to the top, and Avella is a liar.

“Those charges did not touch him,” wrote the Times. “But it was troubling nonetheless. Still, he is a supporter of campaign financing reforms and has good ideas about how to save and spend the state’s money.”

The Times cited Liu’s commitment to campaign finance reform and noted that he has “good ideas about how to save and spend the state’s money.” That’s one of the biggest compliments we’ve ever heard and it’s about damn time someone woke up. Liu was treated as if he was the culprit, but he wasn’t, and the NYT agrees.

The New York Times is right. Critics need to apologize to John Liu. He could have been our Mayor, but Liu was denied matching funds, and it destroyed his campaign.

Currently Tony Avella is still trying to pin this on him – filling people’s heads with nonsense in an attempt to cover up his serial campaigning.

But coming from a titan of good government like the Times, the paper of record, that’s quite a serious statement.

Remember this endorsement the next time you hear more dubious accusations from Tony Avella.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/many-critics-should-be-sending-apologies-to-john-liu-the-new-york-times-did/

Sep 05 2014

Why has Tony Avella Failed to Deliver?

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We need someone to spur economic growth and he’s out there raising money for his own political causes.

Borough President, Mayor, City Council, take your pic and Tony Avella has run for it.

When Avella was supposed to be working for us, nothing was being done because he was busy running for another political office.

Instead of having someone to fight the corruption, the waste and mismanagement, we can’t find him because he’s busy campaigning outside the district.

When Tony Avella was our councilman, he being honored in Rego Park, Astoria, Jamaica, all because he was running to do “public service” other than what he was elected to do in our community in the first place.

Now most people would be honored to serve the community in state senate, but he keeps looking elsewhere.

Things would be better without Tony Avella — our economy would grow, jobs would come back, but it appears that with Tony Avella in charge politics is all about self-interest and self-interest only.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/why-has-tony-avella-failed-to-deliver-sd11/

Sep 05 2014

Avella Caught in Pay to Play Scandal

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Talk about pay to play politics.

You have to see the light.

Tony Avella pledges 400K to a Co-op that hand delivered a tacit endorsement letter for his campaign to their shareholders.

Glen Oaks Village is a lovely, quaint little co-op in Queens with a tight-knit community governed and administrated by a Board of Directors and an Executive Board. As a co-op, they aren’t supposed to endorse candidates, but that didn’t stop Glen Oaks Village officials from hand delivering what can only be described as an “endorsement of Tony Avella” letter to ALL residents including all shareholders and tenants.

According to the letter, “The Board believes candidates that strongly support co-op housing and take positions that help Board members work effectively and keep costs down should be supported by voters.” The letter goes on to describe how Tony Avella has advocated for the co-op community and it goes on like this.

Friedrich

You should question the motive behind this letter.

What kind of propaganda mill is Glen Oaks running out there? Are they blazingly ignoring the fact that John Liu did more for co-ops that Tony ever could have with one of his rallies? Or are they being misled by a political insider? As Comptroller, Liu audited property-tax rolls to determine why the values of some co-ops and condos shot up by as much as 147 percent, putting homeowners at risk of huge tax hikes. He never gave up, Liu found the root cause of the problem and advocated for reform. His office actually found flaws in the city’s valuing of properties. “According to the audits, the Finance Department suddenly and drastically upped condo and co-op property values without warning, leading to an uproar over alleged opaque practices. Liu’s audits also accused the DOF of ignoring errors made by a new and allegedly faulty multimillion-dollar computer system. “

That’s more accomplished for co-op owners than Tony Avella ever did. 

But something doesn’t smell right. And that’s because it’s good ol’ fashioned propaganda. The letter goes something to the tune of this: We, the Glen Oaks Village Inc., support candidates that fight for co-ops, Tony Avella fights for co-ops, you should support candidates that support co-ops too.

Well, we got news for you folks, this letter should be written in support of John Liu judging by who’s had a real, tangible impact on resolving tax issues in the co-op community.

Still, it’s very clever and it only cost taxpayers $400,000.

Tony Avella has always belly ached about good government and transparency, but what we have here is pay to play politics, and the scapegoats are the residents of GOV — they are being misled with complete falsehoods. If you listen to this letter, you’ll miss out on voting for the man that actually helped them. Tony’s the real hypocrite, a very smooth charlatan. So what do you say Mr. Avella? Did you buy this letter? We’ll leave the lights on for you.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/tony-avella-caught-in-pay-to-play-scandal/

Sep 04 2014

Update The State BOE Website NOW

Let’s bring it into the 21st century.

There’s a few things New York can do to improve voter turnout, for starters they could put the primary date and time clearly on their website.

Many of us have become very familiar with the New York State Board of Elections homepage, however if you were viewing the page to find out the election date, you’d be lost because the website is directly out of 1999.

In the Mayoral election, voter turnout hit a record low with only 24% of registered voters casting a ballot. That works out to barely over one million of the 4.3 million registered voters in New York City. If this is our measuring stick for the statewide primaries, turnout will be abysmal. 

So how do we improve the situation? Let’s start with updating the NYSBOE website to at least post the date CLEARLY on their homepage. See for yourself:

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it’s one step away from a BBS.

Note, the Primary date wasn’t posted until this week. And when it was, it was tossed into an excel column at the bottom of the page.

This website is outdated, boring, and confusing.

To see a better example, check out the city’s BOE website which posts the election date at the top of the homepage, including the time in five different languages.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.28.05 PMWe’re not saying that updating a website is going to improve turnout. Same day registration, weekend voting, online voting, there’s a lot that we could do. But honestly, how much money would it cost to redesign the website? Let’s make it a little more visual and interactive. The City did it, why can’t the state?

Sure, we can rely on candidates, NGO’s, and the like, to GOTV, but where is the central hub to connect all voters, to urge and remind them about upcoming elections?

The BOE website is there, that is, if you like to look at artifacts.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/update-board-of-elections-website/

Sep 04 2014

AGAIN HE ORDERS… “A ONE WAY TICKET FROM NEW JERSEY”

Jersey

S.J. must love Chris Christie.

S.J Jung is a longtime Republican seeking office in SD 16 –a district where he has no roots  or community service because he’s lived in New Jersey.

So what’s the issue? Jung was only registered in NY since 2009, shortly after he moved here from Westwood, New Jersey. In that same year, he ran on the WFP line and lost to Democrat Yen Chou, so that didn’t work out, and rumor had it he moved back to New Jersey until the time was right to move back to NY to try and steal another seat.

Don’t believe us? Check out his buff card below:

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But wait, it gets better. “Diversity is a virtue,” said Jung, according to his website. “As a member of the State Senate, I will continue to be a bridge-builder who reaches out to and works with diverse communities, while providing unifying leadership that brings people together.”

That’s pretty funny, Jung the “bridge-builder,” because the only bridge you are building is the one back home to New Jersey.

According to his website, “For the last twenty-six years, S.J. Jung has been a passionate advocate for the community (what community?), fighting for policies supporting the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including immigrants and working families, and building bridges with diverse communities to enhance racial and ethnic harmony.”

Twenty-six years? What a load of campaign nonsense! Lifelong residents of the district have never seen or heard from S.J Jung except when he flirts with a run for office or steals credit from the good work of the Minkwon Center .

And what’s this about “ethnic harmony” he’s trying to create? If you read our article yesterday, you’d know that’s simply not true. Jung is supported by an Anti-Semitic coalition that will piggyback their agenda vis-à-vis Jung’s “campaign consultants” directly into legislation.

In New Jersey, we expect to hear about corruption. It’s basically built into the system. They have 566 municipalities, the most per capita of any state. Local governments tax the citizens dry, while preserving the opportunities for graft that flow from operating redundant public services. The state legislature likes it this way and always has.

We have to ask why was this left out of his his bio?

Look, this community is not to be taken advantage of just to become the collateral damage in Jung’s lust for power. Or even worse, resemble New Jersey in any size, shape, or form.

No one here wants to be a pawn in this huge electoral scheme and we aren’t going to remove the only woman representing us in Senate just for some Johnny-come-lately.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/again-sj-jung-orders-a-one-way-ticket-from-jersey/

Sep 04 2014

S.J Jung to Kids: Ditch School for Me

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Hey kids, you can ditch school to help me get elected.

The S.J. Jung campaign tells kids and teachers it’s ok to play hookey to help him get elected.

It’s that time of year again and the kids are just getting back to school however, school isn’t that important when it comes to working for free to help someone get elected. See the story below.

[From The Post] A candidate for a Queens state Senate seat is teaching high- school students a strange civics lesson: It’s OK to skip school to help get him elected.

S.J. Jung’s campaign e-mailed students at top-rated Townsend Harris HS, saying the pol’s team would provide “an absence letter to excuse you from academic duties” if they agreed to volunteer to defeat Sen. Toby Stavisky in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

“We are looking for an insane number of bodies to help, starting on Thursday, 9/4. I know that school also starts on the same day, but just remember that this is the last week of this campaign,” Jung staffer Wennie Chin wrote.

“I will gladly write an absence letter to excuse you from your academic duties.”

Chin wrote that teachers “will also be proud of our dedication towards S.J. and his candidacy — Mr. Scardino himself will be door knocking with us this weekend.”

This is the man who wants to replace the Chair of the Higher Education Committee? That’s some example he’s setting.

For full article: http://nypost.com/2014/09/04/senate-candidate-urges-students-to-play-hooky-to-aid-campaign/

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/sj-jung-wants-kids-to-ditch-school/

Sep 04 2014

Vote Ramos for District Leader

JessicaRamos

Vote Ramos Sept. 9th.

UPDATE: Due to legal action, Jessica Ramos has dropped her bid for District leader. Her name will not appear on the September ballot.

District leaders are the rock of the Democratic Party, you’d be lucky to have one like Jessica Ramos in your community.

A good District leader is the first point of contact on the ground level with voters. The position is one of four that represent assembly districts in Queens, consisting of two men and two women.

No, they aren’t paid positions, they are strictly volunteers, but the best of which harness their energy and activism and do something productive  that helps improve the quality of life of people in their district. District Leaders don’t even introduce legislation on the floor, but they can lobby for it, and the title often lends a bit of credibility to their particular cause.

District leaders typically do not have a one size fits all characteristic, rather individuals make of it what they can. Some District leaders make a positive difference in their communities, or become labor leaders, even a steam valve for the entire neighborhood, while others don’t even seem to live in their district, or are appointed in absentia.

Take for example, Jessica Ramos, a Cornell graduate, who, at 29, for the past four years has served as a model Democratic District leader in the 39th Assembly District Part A which covers parts of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. 

Ramos is a labor leader, an advocate for women, a community organizer, she’s fought for immigration reform and LGBT rights, and she’s even worked on historic elections, but for whatever reason, Ramos is running without party support.

Despite carrying her own petition, Ramos received numerous endorsements from unions and Democratic clubs – like one of the largest in central Queens, The New Visions Democratic Club —  including the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. So to some people, you’ll always be District leader, even if you had to carry your own petition.

For her remarkable independence, her resolve in the face of adversity, and her genuine commitment to Queens County, Queens-Politics proudly endorses Jessica Ramos for District leader.

Political parties tend to shy away from costly District leader primaries, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. But once you do win, with or without Party support, you’re back in, and within two years you’re running on the slate again (hopefully doing the right thing in your neighborhood).

The point is, if you know a Jessica Ramos in your neighborhood, please vote for her on September 9th, it will be the best decision you’ve made in a long time.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/vote-jessica-ramos-for-district-leader/

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