Jul 09 2015

Women’s Soccer Parade Includes Illegal Bus Operation


Canyon of Heroes to become Canyon of Violations.

Congratulations Team USA, you certainly deserve this honor but without the baggage.

As the parade is set for this Friday in the Canyon of Heroes, it is our understanding that Open Loop NYC, the scofflaw tour bus company, has been invited to participate in the parade, that is, not withstanding their open violations of the industry, a source has indicated.

Here they are, ready for the triumphant spotlight in a historic ticker tape parade, but here’s the inside scoop: Open Loop NYC does not have the legal authority to make all but one stop (see our FOILED documents from the DOT), however Open Loop makes over 40+ stops which are listed openly on their website; and now NYC is going to openly embrace them to participate in this operation?

See French Government to New York City: We do as we please!

Mr. Mayor, we love you. But today’s newspaper has you worried about hiring an individual to become a liaison to empower NYC on a national level, in the meantime you sit by and watch how a foreign government doesn’t comply with NYC laws and is putting small business out of work and now you honor Open Loop by allowing them to participate in the parade? Shame!

Mr. Mayor, there’s a lot of your initiatives we approve of, whether it’s universal pre-k or standing up for the poor and downtrodden, but how for the life of you can you allow someone to abuse the system in such a blatant manner, and yet your commissioners – who have all been notified – do nothing about it?

What’s up with that?



Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2015/07/womens-soccer-parade-includes-illegal-bus-operation-mayor-allows/

Jun 30 2015

French Government to New York City: We do as we please!

And next on our tour is an illegal stop in NYC.

And next on our tour, an illegal stop in NYC.

Coming to a block near you! French-government owned bus and tour company making illegal pickups and drop offs all over NYC!

Presenting Open Loop NYC, a company owned and operated by the French government that does what they want without the De Blasio administration even thinking of issuing a violation!

Imagine waiting to cross the street in Manhattan, you’re on the corner about to cross and out of nowhere a giant double-decker bus cuts in front of you to let out 30+ passengers. They don’t care about you. You’re pushed to the side – you have nowhere to go.

In NYC, Open Loop NYC, a hop on hop off tour bus company is creating their own personalized routes and you better get out of their way.

This violation of law shows incredible disdain towards NYC and our rules and regulations. Open Loop blatantly violates procedures and laws without a single action from the responsible agencies that are supposed to enforce rules and regulations here in the city of New York!

This is a major problem and companies like Open Loop NYC are directly responsible for illegal drop offs and pickups, even going so far as to advertise them online! Their Web site is an open door to their abuse of this permit. See for yourself.

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Map from Open Loop NYC pamphlets showing illegal stops.

Open Loop NYC has a DCA license, which allows them to operate. The company applied for a bus stop from the DOT back in April 2014, which was approved. The stop is located on the southeast corner of Bowery and East Houston Street, according to a DOT spokesperson. No other stops are permitted and police are responsible for enforcement, not the DOT.

Hey cops wake up! What is the NYPD doing about it? The NYPD refuses to summon and violate many of these tour busses. The result? Smaller companies are forced out of business because they follow the rules while Open Loop continues to grow. What type of message are they sending to tax paying citizens for being responsible and following rules and guidelines?

A map directly from the Open Loop NYC website showing their illegal stops.

A map directly from the Open Loop NYC website showing their illegal stops.

What are elected officials doing about it? Council Member Dan Garodnick received confirmation from DOT late last week that Open Loop is only authorized “to make stops for pickups and drop offs at Houston and Bowery.” His office is currently informing precincts of the obvious illegal activity.

Garodnick is correct. Open Loop has only one stop allocated by the DOT (but with more than 40 listed on their website). As of this date, Open Loop is illegally using other company’s stops causing congestion. Law-abiding companies are then put at a disadvantage while Open Loop operates with impunity.

These are the regulations that everyone has to abide bye. Hey, Mr. Mayor, why aren’t you enforcing this?

The process. We’ve all seen the enormous double-decker hop on hop off tour busses making their rounds throughout NYC. Most of them are well-regulated and make stops at locations approved by the DOT (The DOT has an approval process by which companies submit stop locations for approval and the city determines whether or not to grant such authority). To keep traffic moving and to avoid overcrowding and cut costly time delays, the DOT does not grant access to more than one company for any single stop. However, companies like Open Loop NYC, skirt this law with little to no enforcement. And the company knows this. That’s why you can’t cross the street in peace. Queens people beware.

So who exactly owns Open Loop NYC? Open Loop NYC is owned by The RATP Group (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), which in English translates to Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports. In other words, the French government owns Open Loop NYC, and they apparently have no regard for the law — let alone New Yorkers who are just trying to use the streets and get to work on time.

Open Loop NYC was contacted for commentary but did not return the call before publication.

Why skirt the law? In order to enter the NYC market, all companies can either buy an existing operator with stops or apply directly to the DOT and wait for them to be granted, which can be time-consuming. Open Loop chose to do neither. Just look at their website. If you look at the map on this link (https://www.openloop-ny.com/new-york-uptown-bus-tour) you can click on any of their “bus stops” to find out where they are. They list about 40 bus stops on the website yet only one of them is approved by the DOT.

Open Loop NYC has no authority to stop and load/unload passengers yet they have been operating without any enforcement. This “create your own stop” mantra is a major safety concern and creates exposure for the city if an accident occurs due to multiple companies jockeying for the same space. What is to stop anyone from entering the market if everyone can stop wherever they want? And what is to stop other companies from stopping at each other’s stops, poaching their passengers and getting into turf wars? This is a real problem!

Next time you see an open loop tour bus drive realize that it’s the French government operating a business without any concern for NYC’s rules and regulations. Vive la France.



Let’s stop this before it “tours” in Queens

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2015/06/french-government-to-new-york-city-we-do-as-we-please-open-loop-nyc/

Jan 29 2015

“What About The Rest of Us?”

Frank MacKay

As the State Chairman of the Independence Party of New York, Frank MacKay gives us his first hand account of the growth of alternative politics in New York with his vivid retelling of the birth and expansion of The Independence Party of New York in his new book, “What About The Rest of Us?”

A behind the scenes look into the fastest growing third-party in New York and the case for why we really need one.

“What About The Rest of Us? poses a fundamental question in its title, and makes comparisons to the status quo hauntingly inevitable. The title is a red flag for both the left and right, in every sense of the terms. Frank MacKay, Chairman of the Independence Party of New York alludes to the compromise of one’s political integrity for the sake of aligning with dictatorial party bosses and their restrictive party platforms. The fallout is disastrous: legislative gridlock, hyper partisanship, dysfunction at the highest levels, and an inflated and inherently inefficient bureaucracy that encourages voter apathy. The best solution, MacKay argues, to stagnation in government and voter apathy is a non-partisan third major party, calling it “the most direct path to fixing our broken system.”

To the status quo, MacKay’s analysis is like shooting poisons in a barrel, but to pragmatists and reform minded centrist citizens everywhere, it’s a wake up call.

For far too long, viable third parties in the United States tend to get buried, minimized in the shrink-wrap world of red and blue politics. And all too often we hear that people are fed up with politics as usual — they don’t want to hear about republicans or democrats and if they do you’ll get an eerie cringe and a comment like “I don’t get involved in party politics,” or “It’s all rhetoric” followed by an uncomfortable silence. We’ve all been there. It’s at this point you need an icebreaker; you need an alternative, another option for all of these sensible and pragmatic people who resent partisan gridlock because it just doesn’t make any sense to them. Is it possible? Is there another option? Yes there is, and MacKay has the answer.

Brevity is the soul of wit. The heart of the book lies in a relatively simple proclamation in the Preface: “The purpose of this book is to educate the public, elected officials, candidates and future candidates on the values of the Independence Party of New York State and the emerging Independence Party of America movement.” It is from this starting point where MacKay launches an erudite tour of assessing dysfunction in modern government bureaucracy, party polarization, and the growth of partisan media.

The principal for writing this book is outlined in the first chapter where MacKay definitively lays out the position of the Independence party in stark contrast to the two-party system we’ve come to know. While both democrats and republicans have become more and more polarized, there’s a growing concern about the pernicious impact of fervently populist or ideological rhetoric in candidates running to the extreme left or right just to satisfy their party platforms and in the process compromising their own core beliefs. The results, MacKay argues, lead to voter apathy and disenfranchisement from this “broken system”.

What About The Rest of Us?Two-party system candidates have become compromised. MacKay recalls George H.W Bush, who in order to become Ronald Reagan’s running mate (and was running as an ultra conservative) had to abandon his pro-choice belief and hop on the right to life band wagon. Case in point, our two-party system severely limits a candidate’s true position, and the result leads to elected officials who don’t genuinely support said policy positions. And this is a huge problem MacKay argues, they compromised themselves and their values for the sake of an election. No wonder people are fed up!

The solution is what MacKay calls “local autonomy,” the key to the Party’s newfound success. Candidates on the Independence line do not have to take marching orders from political party bosses or follow tooth and nail a restrictive party platform insofar as policy positions and social issues are concerned, instead they are free to make conscious and pragmatic decisions as to what is best for their constituency. The Independence Party stands by the independence of their members. Such a stance scares critics and in particular republican and democratic party officials for rocking the foundation for which they have built their political power base. No wonder they assail the Party for “standing for nothing”, not realizing that they do in fact stand for their candidates and standby their autonomy, a foreign concept to many establishment types.

“There are millions of Americans who will no longer stand for this charade, and they have lost faith in the major parties and their respective leadership.   A new major party – a third choice – is what this nation needs.”

The path to reform won’t be easy, MacKay says. And campaign finance reform isn’t likely because neither party would support meaningful change and are generally protected on first amendment grounds. His response reinforces the solution he proposed in the preface, “The only reasonable path to reform is through a viable third major party movement to counter-balance the current two-party system.”

MacKay offers The Independence Party as a model for such change; with a simple and straightforward platform that “promotes political independence and centered and pragmatic leadership.” The book takes us on an inside account of the Party’s history through its formation and the evolution of leadership, both successes and failures in all its Machiavellian detail. MacKay also describes the new wave of the Independence Party, a party that has learned from factional infighting to be reborn as a beacon of hope for pragmatists and centrists everywhere.

Thanks in part to such trials and tribulations, the Independence Party is riding a wave of success — and not just in terms of political seats won but particularly among the rising number of people who like to dwell on the frontier justice of independent politics. The evidence of their success is in the numbers: The Independence Party is now the largest third party in New York with 5000,000 registered members. The tome concludes with forecasting and predictions that lay the path to victory for a nationwide independent movement with a detailed profile of an ideal third-party candidate to run for President and ultimately leading readers with the notion that it could really happen.

I found the most interesting part of the book was his interview with Laureen Oliver, the first State Party Chair and former gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano’s chief advisor who recounts the inside story of how the Party first achieved ballot status (with plenty of surprise insight in this chapter). In this chapter we are introduced to a true a grassroots activist that traveled through all 62 counties in New York to collect petitions and achieve the coveted ballot status. Imagine the stories she could tell? She’s a brilliant strategist and I could only hope that somehow she is still involved in independent politics.

In the recent past there have been numerous smear campaigns against the Indy Party too. Are these hit jobs politically motivated by operatives in the major parties or by a partisan media? Probably, but who really knows for sure? The biggest issue — and I use that term loosely — that the media blows out of proportion are the uninformed voters confused by the voter registration form and may have unknowingly registered in the Independence Party. Every now and again during election time some bright voter will find out that he or she unknowingly registered as an Indy when they meant not to register in a political party (and then the news will do an exposé on him or her and call the Indy Party deceitful and misleading, partisan media anyone?). Perhaps it’s not that the voter was uninformed (after all it’s nothing a quick Google search wouldn’t clear up), but rather the form can be genuinely confusing. Yes the form is ancient but even the Independence Party has advocated to move “I do not wish to enroll in a political party” to the top of the form in order to avoid any more confusion. Why hasn’t that passed into law already?

I would recommend this book to anyone has become discontent with politics as usual but is looking to learn more about the mechanism and driving forces behind viable alternative politics in New York. With Shelly Silver arrested, and throngs of democrats and republican state lawmakers breaking the law or locked in partisanship, if there ever was a time for an independent movement in Queens and across New York, it’s clearly now.

In the end, the book is a fascinating glimpse into a grassroots political party that has become the largest in New York State and for good reason: It’s fusion politics that gives movements like the Independence Party a fighting chance in New York, and for this very reason it is often at odds with Democrats who seek one party control by eliminating fusion politics altogether. We can’t let that happen. Witnessing firsthand the petty party politics, the wanton decrees from political party bosses, and the compromise of candidates positions just to meet those decrees inspired me not only to write this book review and set the record straight but  to join the Party of pragmatism where I’ve since taken a leadership post as State Committeeman in the 11th SD in Queens County (State Committee members of the Indy Party have one male and one female leader per SD) of the Independence Party of New York, the first in a long, long time. So yes, we are partial to the cause. Big things are once again on the horizon.

If you want to read the inside scoop about the Independence Party, read “What About The Rest of Us?”


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2015/01/frank-mackay-what-about-the-rest-of-us-independence-party-ny/

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:



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

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.45.38 PM

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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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?



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


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.



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?


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.


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


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.


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.


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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.28.45 PM

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.




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

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