Councilman Vallone will run for Borough President, then for D.A
Politicians come and go, but Peter Vallone Jr. is here to stay.
Amidst a flurry of rumors and speculation as to who will run for the District Attorney of Queens – the most worthwhile candidate – City Council Member Peter Vallone (D-22) is openly tossing his hat into the ring and Queens-Politics is egging him on to do it.
Dubbed The Man Who Hates Graffiti by the New York Times, Peter Vallone is no stranger to fighting crime – he served as the Assistant District Attorney for six years by prosecuting criminals and helping to keep our streets safe.
When asked if he’ll make a run for D.A, Vallone Jr. said, “I loved the six years I spent as an Assistant District Attorney and look forward to serving all the people of Queens in the future.”
During his time as a prosecutor, Peter compiled an impressive trial record of forty top count convictions against one acquittal. As City Councilman he changed the face of our city with his pioneering legislation to ban all solid storefront gates, which were considered a blank slate, an open invitation to the city’s numerous graffiti vandals. He also volunteers his legal service to help the elderly, the poor, basically anyone who ever needed an advocate in their corner, Vallone was there for them.
Vallone, 50, is presently the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of the Council. He also serves as a member of the Environmental, Governmental Operations, Oversight and Investigations, and Standards and Ethics Committees. These leadership positions combined with his experience as a former prosecutor have equipped him with the skills to become Queens number one crime fighter.
Well, his response was just short of a yes. Queens-Politics predicts not only will he run, but he’ll win. The observation comes from studying the Councilmember, listening to him at Civic meetings, tracking his legislative record, and keeping an ear out. But the race for D.A does not take place until 2015, and that’s a long time away. With Vallone term limited for his Council Seat in 2013, all signs point to a run for Borough President, then a run for D.A.
With strong connections to the North and Southeast Queens voters, borough-wide name recognition, and a strong record of civic accomplishments with significant campaign experience, it looks like he could do it even with City Councilman Leroy Comrie gunning for the seat in a Primary. According to a quick neighborhood canvas, Vallone will have the support of Whitestone and Howard Beach and the greater surrounding areas (they are very excited to support Vallone for Beep), which is a huge disadvantage to Leroy Comrie. Also, Vallone has already raised more than $1 million for his 2013 run compared to Comrie’s $6,800.
And Grace Meng? She’s mulled a run for Beep too. But in a gut prediction, we don’t think she’ll toss her hat in the ring. Grace is an amazing Assemblywoman and the people of Flushing would be at a huge disadvantage to lose a great legislator even if it makes practical sense – a pay raise and half the commute.
Queens-Politics does not receive money from the Councilman, nor do we work for him. In fact, in most interviews he stares over my head like he just saw a crime in progress. However, this is a man that was raised on the importance of service to the community, and it shows in his volunteerism. His brother, Paul Vallone is also the President of the Clinton Democratic Club, and the Bayside-Whitestone Lions International, a service organization (we highly recommend coming to a meeting to see the community service these organizations perform). Paul should become the next City Councilman in District 19 for the same reason – he’s good people and he has a history of community service.
Cynics will say, oh no Peter is in bed with lobbyists and developers. This is not true. His father, Mr. Vallone Sr. does in fact run a consulting firm in Manhattan, but there is no favor trading or collusion. Peter is not a client of the firm, unlike some other nefarious consulting groups like Parkside where family ties blatantly conspire with state business (Evan Stavisky’s firm lobbies on behalf of CUNY while his mother, Senator Stavisky, is a client of the firm that chairs the Higher Education Committee). In Peter’s case there is no conflict of interest. Developers and lobbyists donate money in the same way single donors make a campaign contribution. That’s how the system works; it runs on money, anyone’s money and candidates need it when a race costs at least $100,000. Some people will call it buying influence. That’s nonsense. By that measure, everyone who’s ever donated to a campaign deserves special treatment for his or her pet projects, which doesn’t happen (Campaign Finance is a mess in this city, but that’s another story) – except for the Parkside Group, who are campaign consultants for political hopefuls but also lobby the same elects on behalf of private clients, a huge conflict of interest that has not been atoned for.
Vallone Jr. through his work on the Ethics committee is well aware of the corrupt culture and practices in city politics. Surely, that’s that’s the lynchpin of his independent streak. We wish him luck in his future endeavors, for Beep then D.A.
See you on Queens Boulevard…