Theodore Roosevelt delivering his famed July 4th, 1917 speech from the steps of the Forest Hills Railroad Station. Follow: TheGhostOfQueensPast
February 25, 2014
It’s time to eliminate the patronage and dysfunction at the BOE says Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Clearing house and then rebuilding the foundation is going to take time and a lot more oversight. Luckily, the hearings are bringing it to light. [From The Brooklyn Daily Eagle] The …View full post
The upside of betrayal. After Senator Martin Dilan called for Senator Tony Avella to be excommunicated from the Democratic Party, the lawmaker announced his committee assignments Wednesday, and now we all can see why Tony truly left the Democrats in the dust: Avella is now seated on the Banks, Codes, Education, Housing, Construction and Community …View full post
You’ve been a bad boy Tony. At her campaign announcement, Grace Meng said how deeply disappointed she was with Avella’s switch to the IDC. This means a little more than at first glance: Meng is an optimist known for her sincerity, warmth, and candor to everyone – even her political enemies – which comes in …View full post
John Liu, hometown hero, antes up and denies widespread rumors of a challenge to Congresswoman Grace Meng in NY6, even offering his endorsement to the beloved incumbent in his hometown. Despite the endorsement, rumors are still floating about Liu gunning for Congresswoman Nydia Velazaquez’s seat, a fact he doesn’t deny, so it still seems a run …View full post
It’s been an exciting week on Queens-Politics from Traitor Tony’s latest shenanigans to a classy showdown at City Hall. Below are links to all the action, not to be missed of course. Please don’t forget to Like us on FB or Follow us on Twitter. Grant Lally, GOP candidate for Steve Israel’s …View full post
Local Queens transit activist, Ali Fadil, writes in discussing his frustrations with Senator Tony Avella regarding negative rumors Avella allegedly spread about him to MTA officials instead of working together to solve a community issue. [Letter to the editor] Dear Queens-Politics: As you all may know I am a community activist based in Northeast Queens and …View full post
Ladies and gents let’s look at the distinguished history of the candidate that runs for anything, anyhow, anytime. Within a four year period, Tony Avella ran for mayor, senator, and borough president, so is it to anyones surprise that he sold out his constituency in order to become a member of a separate caucus? Why is …View full post
Was Grant Lally drinking last night when he tweeted his opponent calling him a 2x loser or did Anthony Weiner hack his account? For those who may not know, a contentious primary for CD-3 is heating up between two republicans, Grant Lally and Stephen Labate and so far what we know of Lally is a …View full post
Theodore Roosevelt delivering his famed July 4th, 1917 speech from the steps of the Forest Hills Railroad Station. Follow: TheGhostOfQueensPast
February 25, 2014
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/photo-of-the-day-teddy-in-forest-hills/
Feb 25 2014
Time to take the gloves off.
Stephen Labate (R- North Babylon), a candidate for NY’s 3rd Congressional district, sent out a press release calling attention to the alleged claims of an endorsement made by his opponent, Grant Lally.
Labate, who grew up in Queens and graduated from SJU, has an impressive record of military service, the kind that impresses ethics and accountability in public service, so it’s no surprise to see his campaign bringing this to light.
For those who may not know, CD-3 is in play for Republicans and includes a large swath of Northeast Queens. Stay tuned for more details.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COMMITTEE TO ELECT STEPHEN A. LABATE, INC.
P.O. BOX 6177
NORTH BABYLON, NY 11703
Contact:Elizabeth (631) 255-5151
Labate Campaign Raises Serious Concerns About The Integrity of Grant Lally
A senior aide to Stephen Labate for Congress, Jessie Bohman, is calling on Grant Lally to apologize to voters and members of the Conservative Party for his false claim that he has received the endorsement of their Party.
Bohman expressed outrage saying “Lally has been deliberately misleading the public by claiming in his initial press release and at numerous speaking engagements that he has received the official endorsement from the Nassau County Conservative Party. Upon our reaching out to the Conservative Party, we learned there was never an official endorsement. In fact, at a recent meeting of the Nassau County Conservative Party, it was agreed that, as a Party, they should remain neutral.”
According to Bohman, “Mr. Lally has been spreading untruths since coming into the race. This raises serious questions about the validity of any endorsements Lally claims to have.”
Bohman continued, “I’m calling on Mr. Lally to apologize to the members of the Conservative Party and the voters of the 3rd Congressional District for deliberately trying to mislead the public. Lally’s shady tactics should raise serious questions about his integrity and ability to hold any elected office or position of trust. The voters of the Third Congressional District deserve better from their Congressional candidates and elected officials.”
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/labate-campaign-questions-integrity-of-grant-lally/
Feb 24 2014
Why does the FEC penalize candidates? Because that’s what they do, at least according to Grant Lally, a Congressional candidate who is very familiar with illegal campaign contributions.
According to the legend of Achilles, as a baby Achilles was dipped into the river Styx in order to make him invulnerable by his mother Thetis. It was a smart move; it made Achilles strong, seemingly invincible to his enemies who cowered at the mere mention of his name, however his heel wasn’t covered by the magical water and thus the supposedly invulnerable Achilles - despite his strength and prowess in battle – had one fatal weakness: his heel. And as fate would have it, he was shot and killed by an arrow straight through his Achilles’ heel.
Grant Lally, like Achilles, has a fatal weakness: he paid off the government when the Federal Elections Commission fined him $280,000 for accepting illegal campaign contributions from his parents, and then lied about it. And now, seeking public office yet again, he won’t talk about it, but he’ll be sure to accuse you of being a Democrat if you ask.
It’s all about character and integrity in this race, and so it will be a recurring question in the campaign because it’s like a downright admission of his guilt. After all, why would Lally pay the fines (one of the largest fines ever in FEC history) if he didn’t do anything wrong? What would stop him from doing it again? This is really serious. But that’s not what this post is about. Rather, it’s about a potential federal elected official unwilling to answer questions at a public forum. So how can voters trust him? Will he dodge ALL questions about the matter? Nevertheless, in the video Queens-Politics contributor, Jack Oneil was one of the few brave citizens to actually speak up at a civic forum in Forest Hills where he questioned Lally directly about the fines, his payoff, and why exactly he didn’t fight them. Lally, in return, stonewalled.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/grant-lally-folds-under-questioning/
Feb 21 2014
Week in review: After a highly anticipated return, QP began posting the latest news and insight last week. To catchup, here are the links to the most important news and opinion of the week.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/week-in-review-1/
Feb 21 2014
He runs Queens Library and he makes $391,594 a year.
As if Thomas Galante’s bloated salary isn’t enough to make your head spin, Galante displayed his royal arrogance Thursday at a budget hearing inside Borough Hall where he repeatedly requesting more funds for Queens library while defending his outrageous $2 million dollar severance package and other perks.
From The NYDN: Galante usually outlines the library’s budget needs during the annual hearing. But he started his presentation addressing the firestorm over his $392,000 salary and compensation.
The News reported that the head of the taxpayer-funded system earns $392,000 plus lavish perks including a sports car and a secret $2 million golden parachute in his contract. Galante also spent nearly $140,000 on renovations to his executive office — including a private smoking deck.
“We’ve been working very hard to address these issues and I do expect that a series of measures will be taken,” Galante told Katz and local lawmakers at the hearing.
“This is a budget hearing,” snapped Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie.
When Galante started talking about possible looming budget cuts, Comrie cut him off asking “Do you have a budget request?”
Katz, who demanded the library’s Board of Trustees snip the lines of the secret golden parachute in Galante’s contract, also told him she did not want to engage in a “back and forth” about the issue at the hearing.
Instead, she grilled him about how the library handles capital budget issues and branch renovations.
In his testimony, Galante said the library system wants a “sufficient increase in operating funding” to hire staff and expand service hours.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/katz-roasts-library-fat-cat-at-budget-hearing-qbh/
Feb 21 2014
Out with the old and in with the…?
With Senator Toby Stavisky officially changing her legal residence from Whitestone to Forest Hills, she’ll have to give up her District Leader position in the 26th Assembly District, leaving the slot open for a handpicked candidate or a new challenger.
According to sources familiar with the situation, there’s already a candidate Stavisky is grooming as her replacement, Marian Schwartz, a member of Stavisky’s FDR democratic club who also serves as Vice President of Programs and Publicity. Interestingly, Marian is also the wife of recently elected Supreme Court Judge Barry Schwartz (Queens County).
Seems Marian is amping up her visibility with her latest endeavors at the club, still there are some individuals that feel stepped over; folks with stronger community ties and name recognition. This could present a problem for Stavisky who will need everyone’s support for her reelection campaign this year.
While a District Leader’s name must appear on a petition, if not challenged they automatically assume the office. Still, the rules are a little cloudy as they are governed by county organizations not the state party. Nevertheless, District Leaders were meant to be the eyes and ears of local voters to the Democratic Party, often on the front lines volunteering on elections and for different community causes.
Can you think of anyone like that? The FDR Dems can.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/could-there-be-tension-brewing-over-at-the-fdr-dem-club/
Feb 20 2014
The race for Malcolm Smith‘s senate seat is heating up.
Despite his federal corruption charges, Smith has defiantly declared his run along with attorneys Munir Avery and Clyde Vanel, but there’s still talk of one more candidate entering the race.
Perhaps one of the most credible democrats from south Queens is Leroy Comrie, a former City Councilman now serving as Deputy Borough President under Melinda Katz.
According to inside sources, Comrie is being urged to make a run by Queens Democrats.
Do they smell blood? Absolutely, Smith is weak. Is it a long shot? Maybe. Can it be done? Certainly. Comrie has more than ample name recognition, the ability to raise money, plus he’s a skilled campaigner and an experienced statesman, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him restore integrity in the wake of Malcolm Smith’s political scandals, or to see why people would want him to do it.
Surely, the deputy borough president is a cushy gig with a nice salary, an office with a view of the remains of a beautiful fountain, even a driver – but this may not be the dream job of a skilled lawmaker.
Leroy Comrie, will you run again?
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/leroy-comrie-against-malcolm-smith/
Feb 20 2014
ABC’s Diana Williams had no idea she was about to witness an intergovernmental clash of the titans.
Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) recently debated Senator Greg Ball (R-Brewster) regarding NYC-based municipal issued ID’s to undocumented persons. Senator Ball, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee doesn’t agree with Dromm’s proposal, at all. What ensued was a clash of ideology from both the left and right extremes — at times degenerating into intangible nonsense and threats. Regardless, both elects stuck to their beliefs and threw a few barbs at each other (Dromm’s is the most memorable at the end, you bum). Still, we’re proud of the Councilman for sticking up for Queens and his constituency. Watch it here.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/councilman-danny-dromm-youre-fear-mongering-senator-greg-ball/
Feb 18 2014
Grant Lally is not an angel of good government.
Earlier this afternoon we posted a link regarding Congressman Steve Israel’s opponent, Republican Grant Lally, announcing his third bid for Congress. Shortly afterwards, a reader sent us a link to cases of political corruption involving Lally, his questionable campaign disclosures, even a book casting him into history as the recipient of one of the largest penalties ever handed down from the Federal Elections Commission in 1998:
” –$280,000– for receiving more than $300,000 in illegal campaign contributions from his parents for his 1994 primary and general election campaigns, and then lying about it.”
“The FEC has imposed only two penalties larger than Lally’s civil penalty, to be paid by him and his parents.
“Knowing and willful is the most egregious sin we have, and he admitted to that,” said FEC spokesman Ron Harris.
An aggressive campaigner, Lally challenged Ackerman in 1994 and again in 1996. He accused the incumbent of a number of sins, among them accepting campaign money from organized crime. – AP May, 1998
There was also a mysterious break in to Gary Ackermans Queens campaign office in 1996.
Perhaps most interesting, Lally had a role in the infamous “hanging chad” incident as an election observer in Florida while on George W. Bush’s campaign team.
Fast forward to 2011, Susan Persaud, a New York attorney and an associate at Lally’s law firm, Lally & Misir was arrested and indicted in what the Queens DA called, ‘A massive international ID theft ring’ as a ‘collusive attorney’ in a case that is still pending. Persaud was accused of providing her clients with information about how to conduct their crimes and evade authorities, according to Wired. Persaud, 34, at the time, allegedly received payment for her services in the form of expensive designer shoes.
Were resources from the law firm used? We don’t know for sure. Does it hurt to have a mother who is a NYS judge when there is an investigation? Probably not.
Currently, Grant Lally has been retained in a defense capacity by Vince Tabone who is facing Federal Corruption charges for trying to fix the NYC mayoral nomination
Lastly, to top it all off, Grant Lally is one of these anti-Obama non-pragmatic imbicils that want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he claims has been a “drag on the economy” and caused premiums to increase, according to an article in Newsday.
“I want to stand up for the people in this area,” Lally said.
There you have it folks, many other news outlets reporting on Lally’s candidacy tend to forget and let facts just slip right by the voters, the truth, however, cannot be swept under the rug for long.
Stay out of Queens Lally.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/steve-israel-challenger-has-baggage-grant-lally/
Feb 18 2014
February 14, 2014
Contact: Kevin J. Ryan
Northeast Queens Republican Club Welcomes Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor at National Review
Who: Northeast Queens Republican Club, National Review Editor and Conservative pundit Jay Nordlinger
What: February general meeting
Where: Clearview Golf Course Clubhouse 202-12 Willets Point Boulevard. Queens, New York 11360
When: Wednesday, February 19 at 8pm
Jay Nordlinger, a Senior Editor at the National Review and nationally known political commentator, will be the NEQRC guest speaker at our February meeting. He writes about a variety of subjects, including politics, foreign affairs, and the arts. He is music critic for The New Criterion and City Arts, as well as for NR. For National Review Online, he writes a column called “Impromptus.” He has won awards for his work on human rights, in particular. Some 100 pieces are gathered in Here, There & Everywhere: Collected Writings of Jay Nordlinger. Nordlinger’s most recent book is Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World. A native Michigander, the author lives in New York.
The Northeast Queens Republican Club was founded in 1894 and continues to be the largest, most active Republican Club in Queens. Our diverse membership includes Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, Conservative Democrats and voters with no party affiliation. The coverage area extends from Jackson Heights to Littleneck, from the Long Island Sound to south of theGrand Central Parkway. Our membership covers a diverse demographic of young to mature voters and various ethnic groups.
Visit our web site: http://northeastqueensgop.com
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/jay-nordlinger-of-the-national-review-to-visit-ne-queens-gop-club/
Feb 18 2014
I’m the Chapter Lead of Northeast Queens for Action—the local Northeast Queens chapter of Organizing for Action—and I’m writing because I’m trying to do whatever I can to help get my community enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance.
Over the last several months, I’ve been organizing phone banks, canvasses, letter-writing parties, and other events to get in touch with as many people as possible to make sure that they know where, how, and when to enroll in health insurance, if they don’t already have it. The Affordable Care Act ensures that people who used to be vulnerable—What if they got sick suddenly and couldn’t afford the treatment? What if they hit a lifetime limit on coverage? What if they had a preexisting condition?—now can be sure that if they get sick at no fault of their own, they’ll be covered. The ACA ensures that people can get the coverage they deserve at a reasonable cost.
I’m writing to make sure that all of your readers know that to be covered by the end of the year, they need to sign up by March 31st. If you need to sign up for coverage, please visit nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call (855) 355-5777.
Flushing, New York 11358
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/sign-up-for-the-affordable-care-act/
Feb 18 2014
From LI Politics:
Grant Lally is the managing partner of Lally & Misir, LLP. A top ranked attorney, Mr. Lally is an experienced practioner with an extensive background in commercial and corporate transactions, federal and state litigation, administrative proceedings, and appellate practice. He has practiced law for over twenty years in the New York metropolitan area, and is also a Solicitor in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Mr. Lally is an expert in legal and media crisis management and has handled many high profile matters, including those involving international jurisdictional conflicts. He has counseled and represented Heads of State, Government Ministers, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and appears regularly on radio and television.
Mr. Lally’s past practice has included successfully representing President George W. Bush before the Miami-Dade and Orange County Boards of Election at the 2000 Florida Recounts; handling numerous complex corporate reorganizations involving multi-jurisdictional assets; recovering priceless stolen art from an international auction house; restructuring of clients’ business affairs to reduce their tax and liability exposure; successfully litigating major elections cases and appeals; representing media groups in domestic and international litigation; handling complex domestic relations, divorce, and custody matters; serving as general counsel to numerous corporations in the health care, media, manufacturing, and hospitality industries; and representing parties in multi-national litigation.
Lally’s partner, Deborah Misir, has filed legal briefs and participated in the most important litigation before the US Supreme Court in 50 years – the Obamacare case.
Mr. Lally graduated with his B.A. with honors from The Johns Hopkins University; his J.D. from Boston University, School of Law; and an LL.M. in International & Comparative Law from Georgetown University, Law Center.
At Lally & Misir, LLP, Mr. Lally specializes in handling complex civil litigation and transactions, including business transactional work, corporate and business litigation, international arbitration and litigation, multi-jurisdictional conflicts including business and divorce proceedings, and the media management of these conflicts and transactions.
Mr. Lally was Founding Chairman of the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies, Long Island chapter, and served as Founding Chairman of the New York State Republican Lawyers Association. He served on the National Board of Governors of the Republican National Lawyers Association (1990-2008), and on the Board of the Bay of Pigs Brigade 2506 Museum in Miami (2004-2006). He currently serves as National Co-Chairman of The Irish American Republicans, and serves on the Boards of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, the Plattduetsche Home Society, the Institute for US-Cuba Relations, and the Brehon Law Society of Nassau County. He is a member of the Irish American Bar Association of New York, and the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/meet-steve-israels-challenger-grant-lally/
Feb 18 2014
Stop trying to kill jobs Tony.
For over sixty years, there have been multiple plans to develop Willets Point and although many have failed, this blighted, toxic waste land is finally scheduled for revitalization that will create much-needed jobs in Queens, but Senator Avella doesn’t want it, he doesn’t care about jobs because he doesn’t need one.
Tony Avella has worked his whole life on the public payroll with do nothing positions with Mayor Dinkins, Senator Stavisky, City Council, and now as State Senator so it’s easy to understand how he doesn’t grasp the need for private sector development and job creation. Because of that, maybe it explains his bizarre crusade to destroy the families of trade union workers? How does Tony Avella think that the operating engineers and carpenters are going to get work without this project? What’s Paul Graziano going to shake his pony tail and all of a sudden the economy is going to get better? Is QueensCrap going to employ 5000 people on her blog? Are the weirdo 2 man civics going to suddenly start fracking on Northern Blvd. and create a thousand jobs? However it comes about, people are still suffering and Tony’s go-it-alone maverick attitude doesn’t seem to help out.
On the surface, it appears that Avella is mad because of incentives given to developers, but the incentives were credible, and the millions that would be pumped into the economy could have went elsewhere – but they chose to invest it here in Queens. That’s the surface; if you dig a little deeper, Tony Avella has morphed into an angry player hater, and he’s all alone. His colleagues know better than to sign on board with his cheap headlines, they won’t go anywhere near him because he’s a terrible politician and everyone knows it. He can’t cooperate with colleagues and he can’t pass anything in legislature – it’s all smoke and mirrors with Tony, you get nothing, just a name you know yet lacking in any political capital to get the job done. His disdain for developers is so profound that he’s willing to let union workers, their families and children become the collateral damage. Obviously joblessness was not one of his considerations.
Does Tony Avella realize that when a union worker is out of work it devastates families? Not everyone has a public check wired into their account every two weeks. Is Tony really that out of touch with New Yorkers that he’s turning the destruction of jobs into his own psychotic vanity project?
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/senator-tony-avella-job-killer/
Feb 14 2014
Jerry Iannece, chairman of CB 11 and former candidate for City Council and State Assembly, will be giving up his volunteer post due to mandated term limits.
It’s rather unfortunate that we have term limits on the local level particularly in this case when good people whom actually do a great job in this volunteer role and yet there are no term limits on the state level where incompetent legislators can collect a public salary and run again and again.
When anyone is in power for a long time, they get comfortable and complacent. We need new ideas and fresh perspectives, but Iannece was an exception to this rule and has overseen many successful projects including the remediation of Oakland Lake. He was always on call and knowledgable about local issues and he wasn’t on the public dime.
It’s not likely he’ll step too far away from this, after all activism and a desire to serve never really go away but it’s still sad to see an effective leader have to step down when state legislators can run again and again. Surely it’s comparing apples and oranges – bringing into question a whole bunch of upstate vs. downstate organizational procedure, but if a great volunteer community board chairman like Jerry Iannece has to step down then so should our Assemblymembers and Senators, good or bad.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/ianneces-term-ends-as-cb-chair/
Feb 14 2014
It’s been little over a month since the new class of City Councilmembers were sworn in and while they’ve had just a short time to acclimate to their new responsibilities and duties, sometimes it’s not so easy getting a fully functioning office up and running ready to serve the community without delay, but newly elected Councilman Paul Vallone has done just that, and he’s ready to serve.
Located on a busy intersection off Bell Blvd. Councilman Vallone’s office held their first open house a few weeks ago inviting the entire community inside to see the progress. Once a dark and aging outcrop, Vallone relied on donations and volunteers, particularly Marsha Khan, Vice-President of the Clinton Democratic Club who helped design an ergonomic office by utilizing every inch of space. It’s truly impressive, yet what’s even more impressive is the work that goes on in here.
Beginning with a trained staff, Vallone hired brilliant advocates from the community that know the people and neighborhoods they are their to serve. Utilizing talent from his brother’s office, Jonathan Szott, now Chief of Staff helped ensure a smooth transition of Vallone’s neighborhood activism into a full service Council office. He’s even appointed local cultural and community liaison to get ears on the ground into every corner of the neighborhood.
In the meantime, while some candidates – even elects – disappear after an election (like his opponent Dennis Saffran who has not been seen since his loss), Vallone has been at every major event in northeast Queens, especially at the commitments he’s made before seeking election. It’s inspiring and hopefully will rub off on his colleagues in City Hall and all candidates to come in the future. Some people say he’s continuing a legacy, but we like to think he’s beginning his own.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/paul-vallone-ready-to-serve/