Tag Archive: Borough President

Feb 27 2014

Does Your Senator Ever Embarrass You?

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 5.08.43 AM

Can anyone name a key piece of legislation that has affected the lives of residents in his district? Or a capital project? The answer is no as Tony Avella continues to campaign for a better salary.

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 he selling out? Is it because he’ll make more money and get more staff – all to run for another office because thats what political prostitutes do? They don’t care about the people; they only care about their own interests and self-preservation.

When Avella was running for Beep he was with Senator Gianaris, and you’d see him with Senator Huntley and other indicted politicians. So what ended up happening? Avella dropped out mid-race to avoid a political disaster. It proves he’s only had one interest: to take a paycheck from government. Tony Avella has been on the public dime his entire life.

Avella has no political values or core beliefs. Now we don’t mind when elects stand up for what they believe in, but Avella is all about what will bring him to the next political step.

But wait a minute. Is this the same IDC that opened the door and accepted the likes of Malcolm Smith? Is it the same cabal of coo coos that supported Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada as they ripped off the government and empowered themselves politically? There’s nothing independent about this move; it’s all about self preservation and political advancement.

Let’s face it folks, Tony Avella is nothing more than a cheap politician that has only represented himself. Why else would he take donations from convicted felon Richard Lipsky or fill the College Point Little League grounds with toxic waste? When all is said and done, Tony Avella is all about himself. Government is no longer of the people, government is for special interests, and Tony Avella is the perfect example.

If you want to see the worst example of politician, you'll find Tony Avella: self-promoter extraordinaire.

If you want to see the worst example of politician, you’ll find Tony Avella: self-promoter extraordinaire.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/does-your-senator-ever-embarrass-you-mine-does-its-tony-avella/

Jul 30 2013

Peter Vallone Jr. Is The Best Choice For Borough Prez

250px-Peter_F._Vallone_Jr.

Peter Vallone Jr. is by far the best choice. As Councilman, many of his bills which have become law have had a positive effect on the lives of all Queens residents – all 2.25 million of us.

With the Primary election just a few weeks away, we’re asking all of our readers to cast their ballot for Peter Vallone for Queens Borough President. 

While many critics can argue against the need of a Borough President, it is the position of this blog that the office of Borough President will lead Queens into the future, if elected into the right hands. 

While every candidate has his or her detractors, Vallone has generally impressed during the 11 years he represented the 22nd District on the City Council. He’s been a constant advocate against cuts to law enforcement and first responders thus making sure that all of us are safe at home. And he’s been a vocal proponent making sure Queens receives it’s fair share of resources from Albany and Washington.

Most recently he’s secured funding to help rebuild the shattered Rockaways. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We could post for days trying to cover his legislative accomplishments, but everyone in the political world knows anyone can be “electable” –if they are able to target and pull those out who will support that specific candidate. It’s a double-edged sword. Indeed, a less qualified candidate has a shot at winning using the formula: target, target, target & pull.

In closed primary elections, it’s the attentive elite which decide the outcome. A majority of the electorate will not return to the polls until 2016 (to vote for Hillary Clinton, or Governor Chris Christie for example) so in the meantime (in ballpark average) 10% of an ED will turn out, making your vote absolutely critical – much more so than any Presidential election (just ask some of the Council candidates that lost by one or two votes this year). We believe the importance here is for you, the voter, to make an informed and independent decision and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Surely, we’re preaching to the choir but that’s the value of our endorsement: encouraging independent decisions. Our goal, when we’re not too much on our high horse, is to inform and influence your thinking, and encourage a course of action we believe is for the betterment of Queens. 

Long term, the city faces deep and serious financial problems which won’t bode well for us.
 To counter this our next Borough President must find avenues for growth. And from the perspective of city government, this involves reaching out and generating confidence in what Borough Hall does. Peter Vallone has this ability. The other candidates are short on skills, solutions or both. Tony Avella and Melinda Katz lack a clear vision for how they’d transform their ambitions for Queens into reality.

Now we choose the candidates we support with great care. After all, if we’re giving them our endorsement, we want to be very sure that we support candidates who have the strongest potential to be champions for Queens. With that being said, our choice is clear, it’s Peter Vallone; he’s sharp as a tack and loud as an air horn. He’s got the experience, skills, and ideas that best match the challenges ahead.

We’re asking all Democrats on September 10th to bring a friend, a neighbor, or family member and cast a ballot for our future, for our next Borough President, Peter Vallone.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/peter-vallone-jr-is-the-best-choice-for-queens-beep/

Jun 28 2013

Former Mayor David Dinkins To Make Endorsement In Queens BP Race

images-1Esteemed former Mayor set to endorse Leroy Comrie for Queens Borough President this Sunday, June 30th.

The official announcement will take place in front of Calvary Baptist Church, in Jamaica Queens after the service. Dinkins and Comrie will be joined by civic and community leaders for the announcement. Over 50 religious leaders, have already come out in support of Comrie and he recently picked up the endorsement of District Council 37 (DC37), New York City’s Largest Public Employee Union and the Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA) Union.

 

 

WHAT: Mayor Dinkins to Endorse Leroy Comrie for Queens Borough President

WHEN: Sunday-June 30th

TIME: 1:00PM

WHERE: Calvary Baptist Church-110-11 Guy Brewer Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11433

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/former-mayor-dinkins-to-make-endorsement-in-queens-bp-race/

Jun 12 2013

Vallone Campaign Attracts Best and Brightest

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 8.48.48 PMWith field offices opening across Queens, the Vallone campaign has certainly got a leg up when it comes to experienced campaigners leading to a serious brain-drain for his chief rival, Melinda Katz.

While Council campaigns gear up across the city, and only a finite number of people who actually know what they are doing, the Vallone campaign attracted and hired the best and most experienced field organizers, media moguls and political people this city has to offer.

Certainly with stakes this high, no candidate would want their neighbor’s grandson spearheading their operation. But none of this may matter in the long run because it’s an excellent field operation and GOTV initiative that will win the office of Borough President.

As of now it looks like Vallone has the competitive advantage.

Full Disclosure: As you know, this blog has been an avid supporter of Peter Vallone Jr. so you can take this with a grain of salt or not.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/vallone-campaign-attracts-best-n-brightest/

Mar 01 2013

Peralta’s Supposed ‘Trojan Horse Deal’ Insults Nicest Guy In Politics

trojan-horseAlleged invitation to kiss his ring insults all of Southeast Queens.

Just when you think you heard it all, Senator Jose Peralta publicly humiliated City Councilman Leroy Comrie by offering him a second-rate job as his underling, according to rumors.

Where do you think these rumors originate? Looks like someone was testing the waters.

But in politics it’s all a matter of interpretation. Was it a sign of contempt for the distinguished gentleman from St. Albans and his constituency? Or was the rumor a cleverly disguised sign of Peralta’s weakness as a candidate as his voter base turn their backs on him while he oversees the destruction of public parkland in FMCP?

We may never know for sure, but what we do know is that while both are running for Queens Borough President, Peralta’s supposed ‘olive branch’ was seen as a crass attempt to hold down his losses in one of the highest turnout voting blocs in Queens (second only to David Weprin).

The supposed deal is predicated on the assumption that Comrie’s religious black base would be inclined to vote for him and Peralta by combining two ethnic based voting blocs and thus increasing their chance for victory in a crowded race. But the p.r damage was already done as the rumor spread around town.

Unlike the Trojans, Comrie, who is known as the nicest guy in politics, and is also the Deputy Majority Leader, put a wet towel on the idea when he politely said there was no serious discussion of a possible Peralta\Comrie ticket, just some speculation. Wink. Wink.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/03/peralta-insults-nicest-guy-in-politics-with-trojan-horse-deal-comrie/

Jan 29 2013

‘Tony Avella Supports Anti-Asian Racist’ [letter to editor]

tonyandsonny

Anti-Asian Racists?

Old wounds never quite heal.

Below is a letter to the editor from a Korean-American activist which describes a long-standing sense of outrage and disapproval inside Asian-American communities and political circles regarding Tony Avella’s advocacy of anti-asian racist Sonny Carson.

[Email] While in the New York City Council, Tony Avella strongly supported renaming a street after racist Sonny Carson.

In 1990, Sonny Carson organized a boycott of Korean owned businesses in Flatbush Brooklyn. Sonny Carson proclaimed himself ”anti-white and anti-Asian.”

The anti Asian boycott, tried to shut down Korean and Chinese stores not only in Flatbush but also in Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and Jamaica, Queens.

Sonny Carson also stated on various occasions that in the future “there’ll be funerals, not boycotts.”

It is inexcusable that Tony Avella wanted to rename a street after Robert (Sonny) Carson, the convicted kidnapper and racial antagonist who lead the boycott against Asian American store owners. Sonny Carson and his supporters shouted threats and spit at Korean Americans. Sonny Carson handed out flyers telling people to ”boycott all Korean stores” and avoid shopping ”with people who do not look like us.”

Tony Avella supported anti-Asian racist Sonny Carson so Korean Americans should not support Tony Avella for Queens Borough President!

He is trying to fool us by pretending to care about Comfort Women.

 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/sonny-street-name-bid-hits-dead-article-1.250449

- Dong Sun Park

Queens

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And In Korean:

당신이 현 뉴욕주 상원의원 토니 아벨라 (Tony Avella) 에 대해 모르셨던 사실.

뉴욕시 시의원으로 활동하는 중, 현 뉴욕주 상원의원 토니 아벨라는 강력하게 인종 차별자인  써니 카슨  (Robert Sonny Carson) 의 이름을 딴 거리변경을 지원하게됩니다.

1990 년, 써니 카슨은  브루클린에 있는 Flatbush 지역에서 한국 인 이민자 들이 가지고 있는 상점에 대한 보이콧을 열렬히 펼쳤습니다.

이 소니 카슨이란 인물은 강한 반백인 성향과 반동양인 성향을 지닌 사람으로써 한국인 과 중국인들이 가지고 있는 상점에 대해 보이콧을 선포,

브루클린 Flatbush에뿐만 아니라 베드포드 스타이븐슨 (Bedford Stuyvesant) , 할렘, 브루클린과 자메이카 등 여러 지역에서  각종 방법을 동원해 한국어, 중국어 점포들을 폐업시키려고  노력한 사람입니다.  또한 써니 카슨은 각종 행사에 참여 , 이 한국인과 중국인 상점들에겐 앞으로는  “ 단순한 보이콧이 아니라, 장례식이 있을것” 이라며 위협하고 다녔습니다.

써니 카슨과 그의 지지자들은 한국인 이민자들에게 갖은 위협을 일삼으며 사람들에게 ’한국 상점 보이콧’, ‘우리처럼 보이지 않는 사람들과 쇼핑을하지 마십시오.’ 라는 전단지를 나누어 주며 한국이민자들의 경제활동을 적극적으로 막았던 인물입니다.  토니 아벨라 주 상원의원은 이러한 한국인 상점에 대해 반인간적인 행동을 하고 유괴범 판정까지 받았던 써니 카슨이라는 인종차별자를 기리는 거리변경 법안을 거리낌없이 지지하였다는것에 전혀 변명의 여지가 없으며 이는 또 토니 아벨라 상원의원이 한국인을 대변할 인물이 않된다는 것을 입증하는 증거가됩니다 .

이제 이러한 사실을 당신이 아시는 한, 인종차별자를 적극 지지했던 이 토니 아벨라의원을 한국인이 많이 거주하는 퀸즈 지역의 퀸즈보로장으로 선출시키는 일은 없어야 할것입니다!

Sonny Carson

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/01/tony-avella-supports-anti-asian-racist-loe/

Jan 18 2013

[Updated] Queens County Clerk Files To Run For Boro Prez

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Pheffer to run for beep.

*** CFB Reports must be filed every year. She will not be running,****

 

 

Audrey Pheffer, a former Assemblywoman and presently the Queens County Clerk, will be running for Queens Borough President, according to her latest CFB report.

Pheffer has amassed $346,899, although her last contribution was reported in 2008.

In a tough and crowded primary, she will face off against Peter Vallone, Tony Avella, Leroy Comrie, Jose Peralta, Melinda Katz, and Barry Grodenchik.

In 2001, Pfeffer abandoned her campaign for Borough president to support Helen Marshall who was handpicked by former Democratic Party boss Tom Manton.

Pheffer resigned from her Assembly seat in 2011 to become the Queens County clerk after the post was left vacant by the death of Gloria D’Amico in 2010.

To date, she has not made a public statement declaring her intention although she has the second largest war chest behind Peter Vallone who leads the pack with over a million dollars.

For Reference:

  1. Peter Vallone: $1,016,948
  2. Audrey Pheffer: $346,899
  3. Melinda Katz: $280,844
  4. Jose Peralta: $134,680
  5. Leroy Comrie: $61,151
  6. Barry Grodenchick: $56,773
  7. Tony Avella: $6,857

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/01/queens-county-clerk-in-crowded-race-for-boro-prez/

Dec 12 2012

Vallone’s combined base has already grown too large for Avella to win in northeast

In 2009 an acrimonious primary race for City Council ripped through northeast Queens like a tornado. The results give a hint where the votes will go for Borough President. To summarize a long campaign, the vote was sliced 6 ways. Paul Vallone came in third to Jerry Iannece and Kevin Kim won (later defeated by Republican Dan Halloran). But now with Iannece out of the picture, his 2,139 votes will certainly go to Paul for City Council, and they’ll go to Peter for Borough President too ensuring victory in northeast Queens.

In the past four years, Paul’s voter base has grown and been nurtured through his visibility and service to the community. In a Primary Election it’s the party loyalists that show up to cast their ballot, however in this case Paul has his own base as well as the loyalty of the party’s prime voters. The sheer number will stop any chance of Peter’s rivals winning in northeast Queens. Granted we are not talking about the average voter. These are primary voters whom will wake up on Election Day knowing who they are going to vote for and it just so happens that this time most of them will cast a ballot for ‘Vallone’ straight down the line.

In his last election Avella enjoyed the support of labor which poured in from across the state to help win in a geographic area roughly 1/8th the size of Queens. They won’t be there this time around. Avella’s main problem will be that he can’t raise enough money and that will stop most attempts to overcome the momentum of Peter’s campaign. If this was a popularity contest, Tony Avella would win in northeast Queens, after all he’s an excellent representative with name recognition. But this is not a popularity contest, this is a primary election and if you don’t have the cash to deliver a diehard base to the polls or hire enough staff, you might as well call it quits.

My second point is that longstanding resentment against Tony Avella in northeast Queens for his character assassination of former Senator Frank Padavan has left a sour note with many voters that want to see Avella out of office or possibly tarred and feathered (yes it’s that bad). It should be noted that the fickle, yet coveted Whitestone bloc will go to Paul, and thus Peter for these reasons. Clearview Gardens will also lean Vallone, so will Beechhurst, Malba, and College Point due in part to the advocacy of their respective community leaders.

Regardless of whom County may endorse, votes still win elections.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/12/vallones-support-base-is-energized-and-has-already-grown-too-large-for-avella-to-win/

Dec 07 2012

The Perfect Storm Is Upon Us

The battle for Queens Borough President  is shaping up to become the most exciting race in 2013 right next to the Mayor’s race. With big names and big politics at stake, some are even calling it “The Perfect Storm.”

It’s not even 2013 yet, but the heat is on in a wide open race where anyone could win. At the time of this post, 5 candidates have declared (or all but declared) including City Councilmembers Peter Vallone (expected to formally announce this Tuesday) and Leroy Comrie, State Senators Tony Avella and Jose Peralta, and Lobbyist Melinda Katz.

Campaign war chests are growing, however not everyone has filed.

Peter Vallone: $1,017,498.00

Leroy Comrie:  $61,151.00

Jose Peralta: $60,015.00

Melinda Katz: n/a

Tony Avella: n/a

Many theories and possible scenarios are floating among political circles, but we say with confidence that real party insiders tend to chuckle at our speculation. Point is,  this time there are too many variables in this race for any predictions worth consideration, so let’s look at some elements in the race we can verify. While it might be crass, (and reduce all us voters to mindless drones incapable of formulating an opinion based on issues) if we look at this race through the assumption that people tend to vote along ethnic lines, then the largest voting bloc in Queens i.e.the Rockaways and Jamaica will vote for City Councilman Leroy Comrie. And he’ll stand a good chance if he ran raise the money. Speaking of cash, City Councilman Peter Vallone so far has the largest war chest and he has the name recognition in Western Queens, but that’s not all. Peter has a lot of support in Howard Beach, Ozone Park, and Breezy Point, which has gone unnoticed in the press. An interesting scenario would be to see Peter endorse Leroy as his Deputy Borough President (party nomination notwithstanding), but that’s a story for another time.

In the northeast section of Queens, there will be two Vallone’s on the ballot as Paul (Peter’s brother) will be running for City Council in the 19th District. No one can agree if this is beneficial or not so we’ll just have to wait and see. I think one element to examine will be the layout of the ballot to predict if it will help or not. What we do know is that Peter Vallone is very popular in the Western and Southwest portions of Queens with a large pocket of support in the Northeast thanks to Paul’s activism and visibility in the community. This could give him the edge above the rest.

Everyone’s wondering who will Joe Crowley pick. The Party nod might go to Senator Jose Peralta and thus Labor support will also go with him. Also the very large, very active Democratic Clubs in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights will surely be on the ground campaigning for Peralta and should not be underestimated. Senator Avella on the other hand, who once ran for Mayor will not likely receive the Party nod, but he has experience and borough wide name recognition. It is possible Tony Avella could split Peter Vallone’s base of support and vice versa.

We can’t ignore Melinda Katz as a serious contender. She is popular in Forest Hills and is so far the only Jewish candidate in the race. And she has Curtis Silwa by her side. I wonder if this will help or not. But what we do know is that she will likely corner the Jewish vote, which tend to come out and vote in primary elections. Let’s not forget Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik which throws another curveball to this election. At the end of the day, we really can’t predict where this will go. There’s too many variables. However if we open the books of campaign strategy, this primary, like all primaries boils down to a pull operation. With the vote being tugged five different ways, a candidate’s win number is reduced, which could be advantageous in some cases.

In any case, the office of Borough President is what you make of it. The Beep is like a County Executive and it’s a coveted job. Some say the office should be abolished, but we say use it to make Queens a better place. As the steward of our county to lead us into an uncertain future, the BP should be like a magnate for attracting new industries and businesses. The ideal BP will play a vital role in economic development.  Slightly more than cutting ribbons, the office should be playing an active role in job creation.  The office is also a bully pulpit for the aspiring candidate. Some candidates will use it as a springboard for higher office, and the advisory role in the many facets of Borough governance gives the outspoken candidate the platform they so desire. The advocacy element is particularly beneficial when Queens needs a mouthpiece to compete with the other Borough Presidents clamoring for the same resources. But to fully understand the purpose of the office you have to understand the powers granted by the NYC Charter, which are explained as follows.

The Borough president has the responsibility for:

  • Appointing Borough officials and community board members
  • Recommending Borough Expense Budget Expenditures (allocating the borough’s share of 5 percent of “discretionary increases” in the city’s general fund)
  • Recommending Borough Capital budget Projects
  • Recommending legislation to the City Council
  • Review Borough Impacts of City Budget Policies
  • Monitoring City Contracts within the Borough
  • Chairing the Borough Board
  • Calling Perioding Public Hearings
Required to prepare or submit:
  • A Strategic Policy Assesment
  • Transcripts of all public hearings held.
Ok, that was a lesson adapted from grad school. I keep referring back to it because most people can’t explain what the Borough President actually does. On that note, I wonder if all the candidates will appear on TV for a live debate and if they do, if asked, will they be able to outline the charter granted powers of the Borough President? There’s a lot more to it then meets the eye. Anyway, this post is not all encompassing. There’s plenty of angles to examine on this race and surely the cannons of scrutiny will signal which direction it takes. Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/12/the-perfect-storm-2013/

May 25 2012

Meng Vows to Protect Medicare and Social Security: “A non-negotiable position.”

"We can never balance the federal budget on the backs of our seniors. Seniors are rightly worried these days about important programs like Medicare and Social Security being harmed by misguided polices coming out Washington, D.C. We need a Congress that is working for us, not against us. I know that Grace Meng can be trusted to stand with seniors and our most vulnerable neighbors as we fight against misguided and dangerous attacks on these vital entitlements.” - Former Queens Borough President Claire Schulman.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/meng-vows-to-protect-medicare-and-social-security-schulman-approves/


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