Tag Archive: Assembly Member

Nov 08 2011

Lancman discusses ‘Worldwide Campaign against Israel’

The question of a new anti-Semitism and its relationship to the Israel delegitimization movement will be the subject of a forum at the St. John’s University School of Law in New York, co-hosted by Assemblyman Lancman, the Israeli consulate in New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, and the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center & Archives on Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. eastern time

Assembly Member Rory Lancman’s op-ed  article discusses antisemitism across the world.

A little background: on Monday, swastikas were painted on two public libraries and a synagogue in Elmhurst. Lancman writes the article with this demonstration of hate fresh on his mind. Communities are outraged.

In the op-ed, he discusses antisemitism on a global level.

Posted on  Jpost.com

Anti-Semitism and anti-Israel advocacy

How much of the rising crescendo of worldwide criticism aimed at Israel reflects anti-Semitism? Perhaps not the traditional anti-Semitism of blood libels, global conspiracies and crude personal slurs about greed and dishonest dealings, but anti-Semitism manifested in a new way, with Israel now acting in the role of the despised Jew of old? The question comes at a critical time for both America and Israel. Both countries are being forced to make difficult choices in the months and years ahead on such profound issues as Palestinian statehood and Iran’s nuclear program, in an atmosphere where these choices are framed less by their intrinsic merits than by the metastasizing external, political and economic pressure being applied by anti-Israel advocates.

But if that advocacy is rooted in anti-Semitism—and is exposed as such—then much of its political and economic pressure is stripped of any veneer of legitimacy and drained of its power.

Anti-Israel advocacy has reached extraordinary proportions in both its breadth and zeal, aimed squarely at delegitimizing the Jewish state and denying it the rights, protections and privileges accorded to other nations. There are simultaneous worldwide lawfare and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns being waged to handcuff Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, suffocate the country’s economy, deny its citizens free movement and, fundamentally, to offer justification for those who attack Jews and Jewish property.

For Full Article: http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=244695

###

Queens Politics wishes this symbol of hate and intolerance will disappear forever. On November 4th, City Council Member Danny Dromm held a rally against bias crimes in front of one of the libraries.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/lancman-discusses-worldwide-campaign-against-israel/

Oct 11 2011

Meet The Most Corrupt Politician, possibly ever.

Queens Politics names ex-Assembly Member Brian McLaughlin, the reigning Champ as the most corrupt politician of the year, possibly the decade.

In an email, a reader asks who is the most corrupt local politician to ever be elected? That’s easy. Brian McLaughlin.  Find out what happened when Brian met Tony Seminerio in prison, the man be befriended by wearing a wire in exchange for leniency.

It’s eight more years in a federal penitentiary for disgraced ex-Assembly Member Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing), whose name is a euphemism for corruption, looting, payoffs and bribery in Queens political circles – and was known to bed high-profile elected officials and campaign operatives.

McLaughlin, who was a former labor leader and seven term legislator is generally perceived as lower than wife-beater Hiram Monseratte, and definitely lower than elected officials who allegedly don’t reside in the districts they represent. Find out why.

That’s some intro! What does one have to do to win the Queens Politics 2011 Malfeasance award? Become the biggest crook  in the history of local politics.

While Brian McLaughlin has been rotting away in Butner Federal prison for the past two years (8 more to go), his memory lives on in the annals of Queens Political history. This is the kind of guy that would steal your wallet then help you look for it.

Who did Brian McLaughlin STEAL From? The real question is whom didn’t Brian steal from?

Brian’s rap sheet is filed in over a dozen volumes but he is most remembered for his theft and embezzlement of  $3.1 million from a Queens Little League including shaking down Local 3 Electricians, and Petrucelli Corp. engineers.

The judge said his crime spree was “mind boggling.”

Brian lived a life of luxury by exploiting children and non-profit organizations.

His catalog of wrongs to the court took a stomach wrenching 45 minutes to complete. With stolen funds, Brian bought his mistress an imported car, and even forced union members to kill rats in his basement, dog sit and hang Christmas lights without pay. See the News Buster article which claims the NYT ‘whitewashed’ the story and left out the “juicy details.”

Brian was a local guy trusted with the public interest and ended up only serving himself and his family.

Betraying Tony Seminerio

What most people didn’t know was who Brian was as a person. According to inside sources, Brian, also an ex-labor leader, was known to speak in a fake Irish brogue to help him fit in with union workers. What a tool! In a story that I will always remember, Brian –who was subsequently outcast by his colleagues after his indictment – betrayed the one guy that tried to be his friend. That friend was ex-Democratic Assembly Member Tony Seminerio.

Seminerio was no angel, but in a gesture of goodwill reached out to his embattled colleague, Brian – the only politico to do so. How did Brian repay Seminerio’s generosity?

Brian cooperated with the authorities by building a relationship of trust with him and ultimately  wearing the wire that got Seminerio indicted. And he did it all with a smile.

What was going through his head? Brian thought he would walk for his cooperation by giving up Seminerio, the one guy that tried to reach out to him, but much to his dismay, my inside sources say Brian was shocked when he was sentenced to 10 years. “But I cooperated!” I’m sure that’s what he thought. Turns out for his cooperation in the investigation of Anthony Seminerio, who was sentenced to 6 years in a million dollar influence-peddling scheme , Brian was spared 5 years off of his sentence.

When Brian and Tony were sentenced, they were both assigned to the Butner Federal Correction Complex. While going to lunch for the first time in prison, Brian ran into Tony – the first time since he sung like a canary in the court room. Tony and Brian, both former teflon dons looked at each other straight in the eye.

Brian almost didn’t recognize Tony in his new digs. There he was in an off-yellow jumpsuit  eating a prison special; bologne in hand. As the story goes, Brian looked up, dropped his lunch tray to the ground, turned tail and ran away as fast as possible. The guards were laughing. This would be the last time they would ever be in the same room together.  Tony died in 2011.

I never met Brian. But I vaguely knew of his son from the neighborhood who was arrested in a prescription drug-selling ring last year. Furthermore Brian helped start the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club which he siphoned money  from. Thankfully we have  gotten as far away as possible from Brian’s legacy of malfeasance.

Did McLaughlin pay any of it back?

In August 2011, Celeste Katz reported that Brian has surrendered his $80,000 Mercedes and sold his $652,000 home in Long Island to help pay off the debt.

He was supposed to cough up the $783,000 remaining in his campaign account, and in March 2010 McLaughlin delivered a $457,253 check to prosecutors with the expenditure marked “preliminary order of forfeiture.”

Yet he still has more than $285,000 in the campaign war chest – sitting in a tax-free bond account earning interest, campaign records filed last month show.

McLaughlin’s lawyer, Michael Armstrong, said the ex-assemblyman “has turned over all his forfeited assets to the government and he is not standing in the way of anybody receiving payment.”

According to the Post Brian’s mom, 84, is also a victim of his corrupt deals,

Crooked ex-politician Brian McLaughlin’s mom has added her name to the list of victims in his epic, $3.1 million rip-off scheme.

Court papers filed by Ilene McLaughlin, 82, say she lost $145,000 that the former Queens assemblyman borrowed against his swanky second home on Long Island’s exclusive North Shore.

The widowed granny, who lives in a modest co-op apartment in Flushing, says in her self-filed court documents that she handed over the dough in March 2006 but never got a nickel back.

For his crimes against the neighborhood, Brian McLaughlin is awarded the 2011 Most Crooked Politician Award.

 

###

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/future-elects-beware/

Oct 07 2011

Lancman Examines Occupy Wall Street Protest

Legislator feels empathy. Offers insight in an Op-ed to the HuffPo.

In an Op-ed column to the Huffington Post, State Assembly Member Rory Lancman (D-25) takes a look beyond the occupation of Zuccatti Square.

Rory Lancman was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s a very down to earth guy and he likes to update his Twitter and FB, unlike many pols who leave it dry and lacking character. I always know what he’s up to. Lancman received his B.A at Queens College and has always lived in the neighborhood. So, he’s really in touch with what’s going on. He’s also a regular visitor to my Democratic Club.

Everyone is talking about the Occupation, so you can mention the Corporate Political Activity Accountability To Shareholders Act  to your friends and sound like  a genius.

QP breaks the letter down in bulleted format for ease of reference.

 

There is a lack of specific demands by the protestors.

Reoccurring themes are considered the source of the problem:

  1. Accountability on Wall Street for the financial crisis.
  2. A political system controlled by people, not corporations.
Results:
  • Wall Street protest reflects frustration across America.
  • Middle-class homeowners are being hurt the most.
  • i.e Warren Buffet pays less tax than most of us.

According to the Op-ed letter,

There are “shovel-ready” solutions in the form of existing bills currently before the New York State legislature.

Legislation and case law have weakened the protections of people who got a bad deal from investors.

The solution: Cut Red Tape, Increase Transparency
  1. Empower  New York’s famous Martin Act, which keeps financial fraud accountability simple.  To do this they must pass the Institutional Investor Recovery Act, which would unleash the power of the Martin Act by allowing public and union pension funds to bring their own lawsuit without waiting for the Attorney General.
  2. Legislation pending in both chambers would extend this surcharge for families making over a million dollars a year — which means most affected families would still see a tax cut.
  • New York can stop the lobbyists and predatory corporations by heeding the Supreme Court’s challenge to improve shareholder control and corporate disclosure of political expenditures.
  • The “Corporate Political Activity Accountability To Shareholders Act” requires corporations to tell shareholders what they hope to buy with their money.

We should urge our legislators to support this.

What are the results of the demonstration?  T.B.A

The question now is where that frustration leads us.  Here in New York, and in state legislatures around the country, we have a unique opportunity to crack down on abuses of the financial system, level the economic playing field, and empower people rather than corporations in the political process. But it will require focus on concrete measures. The three discussed above are a good start.

- This is a break down of an Op-ed for skeleton facts. I believe in state solutions and I believe Lancman’s suggestions are worth further examination. Discussion?

###

UPDATE:

Today, 4\7  NY1 reports that the message has reached the White House and the President has responded.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/lancmanwallst/


Hit Counter provided by brochure holders