Tag Archive: City Council District 32

Oct 31 2013

Simon Says: It’s Go Time!

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.28.21 PMLongtime community activist, Lew Simon has all the pieces in play to take back the 32nd City Council District.

This evening I had the chance to chat with Democrat Lew Simon about his path to victory. While Simon has run before and lost, this year he is more organized by hiring an experienced campaign staff from Red Horse Strategies. 

“We’ve been on the phones, going door to door and we will be pulling them out on Election day,” Lew said describing his campaign’s strategy as focused – not only having identified the support he intends to pull out but concentrating on a large-scale ground operation.  

Lew is running against incumbent Eric Ulrich, a one term Councilman who Simon said failed to serve the entire community during his tenure. Simon cites Ulrich’s poor attendance record at Borough Board and stated Council meetings, as well as his reputation for ignoring constituents pleas for help, as grounds for removal.

“He has one of the fifth lowest attendance at meetings! That’s unacceptable when you’re being paid,” said Simon who went on to explain that if elected as a member of the Democratic party, he would be empowered to chair a committee (Simon set his eyes on Parks and Recreation) unlike his Republican rival that while in the minority party cannot chair any committees thus limiting his ability to accomplish an agenda.


Lew Simon speaks at a local rally.

Counting on his experience as a longtime Assembly District Leader, Simon feels he’ll be better able to communicate with constituents. He mentioned the support his campaign received as proof, calling it a “fusion” including members of ethnic coalitions, civic organizations, even members of his opponent’s party.

“I never would have expected Republicans to come over and work with me and I’m proud to have them,” said Simon.

His agenda for City Hall is pretty robust. “My first priority is rebuilding after the hurricane.” Simon vowed to make sure his district gets everything available “by not playing favorites” and calling participatory budgeting “a great thing”.

Neighborhood safety is also a major priority. “There are many parts of the district that have not gotten help… We need better lighting, additional police, the old-fashioned way of police officers walking the beat, not cameras, cameras that don’t do anything,” Simon explained.

In terms of supporting the Community Safety Act, Simon said “it is ridiculous to threaten police officers with lawsuits,” and pointing to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which is already in place, by giving it an enforcement mechanism by appropriate legislation.

Recently Simon had two stints placed in his heart, however the downtime had not taken him off the campaign trail entirely, in fact he made the most of it and campaigned right from his bedside.

“For the few days I was out, I’ve done more by phone, and the staff are working hard. Field operations are doing a superb job and I thank them.”


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/lew-simon-says-its-victory-time/

Feb 07 2012

Reporter Wooed By Ulrich

Credit: Gabel For News

Ulrich sweeps a reporter off his feet with his slick head of hair and Cheshire grin.

All it took was a ride to the subway and an appearance by a Yorkshire terrier and bam – a glowing piece of journalism that will likely be hung up in the office by Councilman Ulrich.

The article explores the selection of Eric Ulrich as Mitt Romney’s goto guy in New York City. However, there is no mention of Ulrich’s questionable political maneuvers in the fractured GOP, no questions regarding how he improperly used Bloomberg’s campaign staff in 2009, or how Ulrich plans on aiding a candidate when the County organization is supporting Newt Gingrich as the GOP nominee.

While official endorsements are yet to be announced, there is a clear divergence in support for the GOP candidates. For example, Robert Hornak, the spokesman for the Queens County Republicans was encouraging residents of Florida to vote for Newt Gingrich on his Facebook,

To all my friends and family in Florida, please consider voting for Newt Gingrich this Tuesday in the Presidential Primary. We need someone with serious ideas to fix this country, and Newt has the ideas we need, said Hornak.

GOP County Chairman Phil Ragusa was as all but endorsing Newt Gingrich in his comments originally reported by the Glendale Register,

Newt Gingrich is a strong and very impressive candidate and is someone I think the American people would have great confidence in when it comes time to turn around our failing economy and put America back on the right track. We’ve been blessed with a very strong field to choose from, but everyone I talk with agrees that Newt is the smartest candidate with an incredible command of the issues, said Ragusa.

Meanwhile, Vince Tabone Executive Vice-Chair of the Queens GOP was on the record courting Romney, but didn’t come off as adamant for a candidate as did Ulrich, Hornak, or Ragusa.

Many New York employers who want to see an end to President Obama’s anti-business rhetoric and policies have told me that they trust Mitt Romney to implement pro-job, pro growth policies and get the economy moving again…and after you meet with Mitt you are immediate[ly] impressed with how sensible and stable he is, said Tabone.

Councilman Dan Halloran went as far as to welcome Ron Paul to Webster Hall.

“The councilman is happy to introduce Congressman Paul,” according to a report first appearing in the Douglaston Patch.

Finally, Elio Forcina now considered a rising star in GOP politics whole heartedly endorsed Rick Santorum as the best thing since thing since parochial school.

Of course I want anyone but Obama…but how can anyone support Newt Gingrich…we here in Queens know how influence peddlers can destroy a community. Nothing against Romney,  but I believe Rick Santorum has the prayer life and the interior life to take on the Obama machine.

At a time when solidarity could have brought the Queens GOP some national recognition, it looks like Ulrich could have shot himself in the foot. Looking at what insiders call the de facto South Queens GOP, if drumming up Republican support in NYC for Mitt Romney means Ulrich sending Tom Ognibene and the Haggerty brothers knocking on doors in a heavily Democratic district with a skewed message, well then it’s a slam dunk. The bemusing report hits the nail on the head in the last sentence,

 …then I was back on the subway, staring out the window at the countless rows of drab, broken buildings that make up the town Ulrich hopes to sell on a Mormon Republican millionaire from New England.


IBTimes: Eric Ulrich, Mitt Romney’s man in New York City, has photographs of two presidents hanging above his desk in Ozone Park, Queens. The two leaders represent vastly different philosophies, but they have long been two of Ulrich’s personal heroes.

“John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, two Irish Catholics,” he told me (though Reagan was actually a Protestant), beaming up at the framed portraits. “They’re two very inspiring figures with interesting stories.”

Ulrich, 26, is a Catholic Republican himself. But as the youngest member of the New York City Council he has supported living-wage legislation and other progressive measures, staking out a center-right slice of the electorate similar to the one courted by Romney, whose campaign chose Ulrich to be its New York City chairman in November.

For full article: http://newyork.ibtimes.com/articles/291560/20120201/mitt-romney-2012-new-york-ulrich-eric.htm

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/02/reporter-wooed-by-ulrich/

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