From Heard Around Town City Hall News: The Queens Republican Party’s civil war is over – at least for now. A Queens Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that the rightful Queens Republican Party chairman was Phil Ragusa, rendering former Council Minority Leader Tom Ognibene‘s bid to replace Ragusa unsuccessful. A month ago, Ognibene’s insurgent faction of the party – led by Bart Haggerty and the now-convicted John Haggerty – tried to hold a separate meeting from Ragusa’s to elect Ognibene as chair, a move the judge wrote was meant to “create confusion” and to “disrupt the internal affairs of the Queens County Republican Party.” With the battle over, the question now is whether the Republicans can form any sort of detente that will allow them to defend several Council seats against in the next city election, take on State Sens. Tony Avella and Joe Addabbo in 2012, and defend Bob Turner‘s congressional seat.
James McClelland, a Queens Republican operative who works for Peter Koo, said he doubted the ruling would bring any sort of peace, and suggested instead that the Ragusa faction take over everything north of the Long Island Expressway, and the Haggerty faction take everything to the south.
“They’re going to have to do it like North and South Korea, where nobody crosses the 38th parallel,” McClelland said. “Ragusa can stand there with his pencil on one side, and Bart Haggerty can hold his pencil on the other side.”
I thought McClelland was Peter Koo’s chief of staff.