Tag Archive: Ed Braunstein

Nov 01 2013

How About An Election Weekend?

http://www.meadecounty.org/elections_photo.jpgLocal elects rally to move Election Day to the weekend to increase voter turnout.

Press Release:

Rep. Israel, NY State Sen. Avella and NY State Assemblyman Braunstein to Call For Passage of Legislation to Move Election Day to Weekend 

Moving Election Day to a more convenient time would increase voter turnout 

Bayside, NY— On Monday, November 4 at 11 a.m., Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington), New York State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and New York State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) will call for immediate passage of legislation to move Election Day from the first Tuesday to the weekend after the first Friday in November, thereby making it more convenient for voters and increasing voter turnout. As seen in our most recent election last November, long lines in many polling places kept voters waiting for more than two hours. Voter turnout in the United States has long lagged behind similar democracies around the world.  Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters actually voted in the United States in the 2012 elections.

Who:              Rep. Steve Israel (D – Huntington), New York State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and New York State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) 

What:            Rep. Israel, New York State Senator Tony Avella and New York State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein to call for passage of legislation to move Election Day to the weekend.

When:           Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

Where:          Clearview Senior Center, 208-11 26th Avenue Bayside, NY 11360

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/an-election-weekend/

Oct 04 2012

Behar says two years later and Albany is still a mess!

For interesting and thought provoking political commentary check out www.boycottevil.com

Steve Behar, a former candidate for Assembly and campaign manager for James Sanders’ primary victory, is calling shenanigans on so-called “independent reform” candidates.

Behar’s blog, www.boycottevil.com is a must read for political enthusiasts. In his most recent article (which caught my eye), names were omitted, however I’m willing to bet the farm he was referring to State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (and other candidates too) who rode into office touting reform platforms and two years later have failed to deliver on any of their promises.

Legislative reform bills are also suggested and worth further exploration. I know they are mere suggestions but it’s more than most politicians have done in their first term(s).

Anyway, hope is not lost as another essay contest from disgraced ex-Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s protege may very well clean up the cesspool in Albany.

Check out the article below:

From BoycottEvil: Very soon voters in New York State will once again head to the polls to vote in the upcoming Election.  While I am NOT a candidate for office this year, the season brings me back to 2010 when I was a candidate for the New York State Assembly.  It also reminds me of how dysfunctional our state government still is and how hard it will be to fix it.

In the two years since I ran for the Assembly, our state government in Albany has once again been a miserable failure and remains a cesspool of corruption.  Two years ago nearly every candidate from Montauk to Buffalo was a self-proclaimed “Independent Reformer.”  These charlatans promised to reign in the lobbyists and special interests, to institute independent redistricting and pass ethics laws to curb the corruption in Albany.  None of that happened in the last session of the legislature.

Lobbyists and special interests still buy and own our politicians.   Many times it’s not the most informed candidates who win an election.  It’s also not the most well-intentioned candidates who win elections.  Instead, most of the time it’s the candidate who is best at selling his or her soul to the monied lobbyists and special interests who get elected.  Once these rascals get to Albany, instead of writing and passing legislation for the betterment of their communities and our state, they push legislation and push contracts that support their financial backers.

Regarding independent redistricting, while in 2010 nearly every candidate signed Mayor Koch’s pledge to pass an independent redistricting law, once they got to Albany the same folks forgot their pledge and saddled our state with hideous, politically motivated districts for the next ten years. Instead of having an independent commission draw district lines that are concise and compact and keep communities together, we once again have politically motivated districts that snake through and divide communities in order to protect the incumbent representative’s re-election prospects.

The worst act of insult was the legislatures passage of a joke of an ethics law.  The law did nothing to stop the corruptive influence of dirty money in Albany.  No one cared to pass campaign finance laws to stop the corruption.  No one cared to close the loopholes that monied interests use to by-pass the current campaign finance laws.  No one passed any laws to stop the revolving door between government officials and the lobbyists.

My suggestion to the winners of the 2012 state elections is to go to Albany and actually do something!  I suggest you start with three important pieces of legislation.

1.     It’s time to pass real campaign finance reform that eliminates the strangle hold that lobbyists and special interests have on our politicians. Arizona, Maine and Connecticut each have enacted public financing of elections laws that have worked.   It is time to create such a program for New York.  It’s time that politicians answer to the people that vote for them and not the people who finance their political campaigns.

2.   While it won’t help for until the next decade, Albany must pass an independent redistricting law now so that we don’t have to deal with the political shenanigans that we witnessed this year.

…. For the full article visit the site.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/behar-says-albany-is-still-a-mess-reform-is-dead/

Jun 06 2012

Something To Look Forward To Each Day!

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qchron.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/57603b2e-49dd-5da3-b650-9913e668ac59/4e1f482a316fd.preview-300.jpg

Tim Furey (above). When is the last time anyone with red hair won an election? Hold on a sec, Dan Halloran has red hair.

An Irish street brawl is about to erupt on Bell Boulevard.

Tim Furey, a republican, will take a shot at Ed Braunstein for the 26th Assembly District.

Furey, who ran against Mark Weprin and lost, has been relatively quiet about his intentions. Suspicions were confirmed after he appeared on the petition sheets of Senate hopeful Joe Concannon.

Rumor has it the GOP reached out to Furey after Ralph Cefalo declined the party’s nomination.

Furey, like a linebacker from Nortre Dame’s Fighting Irish, will storm into the district and attempt to sack Braunstein.

Both Braunstein and Furey are of Irish decent and have large families with a history of community service. Predictions? It is likely that Matt Silverstein gets caught up in Irish Street Brawl, forced to take sides. In the midst of the chaos, Joe Concannon body slams Matt Silverstein, hosts victory party at Sullivans.

Will Furey be able to chase the snakes out of Bayside? The challenge will likely force Ed and the Democrats to come out in full force against Halloran, Concannon, and the entire GOP in a no-holds-barred battle of the Boulevard.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/braunstein-to-face-furey-of-tim-furey-luck-of-the-irish/

Jun 01 2012

GOP hopeful declines to run against Braunstein

For want of a nail the kingdom was lost.

Recently the Queens GOP tapped Ralph Cefalo, a resident of Malba, to run against freshman Assembly member Ed Braunstein, but it’s not going to happen.

“It was all about timing…just look how late in the game the redistricting is,” said Cefalo who refused to be a ‘sacrificial lamb’ just to be the token resistance to another term for Braunstein.

Cefalo cites the lengthy redistricting process and the exclusion of his voting base as the key factor in his decision.  “The areas where I would have been strongest – including Malba and Malba Gardens – are no longer in the district.”

Cefalo also believes there was not enough time to mount an effective campaign time before the lines were finalized.

In the meantime he will be helping Councilman Dan Halloran’s congressional campaign in areas where Halloran is not so strong including Glendale, Middle Village, and Forest Hills.

“I’ll be helping Dan to see what I can do for him,” said Cefalo.

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Ralph Cefalo’s letter:

My Fellow Republicans, after much reflection and discussion with both family and close advisors, I have chosen not to seek election in the 26th Assembly District.   There are a number of reasons for this decision.   Among the reasons is the fact that due to the recently redrawn district lines, come next January my family and I will no longer reside in the 26th Assembly District.   Additionally, the assembly position is not the seat that I initially sought to run for and I feel that at this time it is too late to begin a campaign for the assembly. 

I will continue to support Republican candidates and work with them to achieve success in November.  I firmly believe in the ideals and values of the Republican Party and have been a staunch supporter for the past thirty-five [35] years.  I thank the leadership of the Queens GOP for asking me to run for the assembly.   Most importantly, I thank all those who have faith and confidence in me.   Rest assured that as I have in the past, moving forward I will continue to work for our community.

 

Thank You and May God Bless America

 

Ralph M. Cefalo 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/gop-hopeful-declines-to-run-against-braunstein-in-ad-26/

Feb 08 2012

Revenge Of The Siths

They got me! Ok, ok but let's move forward.

Just when you think the Senate lines were gerrymandered, take a look at the funky Assembly lines and you’ll see another baby alien popping out of a stomach.

Vince Tabone, the Executive Vice Chair of The Queens County Republican Party ran for Assembly against Ed Braunstein in 2010 and lost, but the defeat wasn’t enough for the Democrats in charge of the Assembly LATFOR process. Vince Tabone has become a victim of political gerrymandering.

Tabone, a Bayside resident, lives with his family in a quaint home on 215th St, a sleepy tree-lined road with longtime residents.  If the new lines become official, one side of 216th St. will be in the 26th A.D, where, coincidentally, Tabone ran for Assembly, and the other side will be designated in Rory Lancman’s 25th A.D.

 

Tabone's house pictured here with current Assembly lines in District 26.

Guess which side of the street Tabone’s residence could be located?  It just so happens that his house is proposed for inclusion in the 25th A.D.

Tabone was not shocked at the proposed redistricting. “I looked at it and I wished I could say I was surprised, but after being in politics awhile you get a little cynical,” he said.

Tabone was redistricted from the ED’s where he did extremely well, but instead of crying foul he looks at the results of LATFOR as more of a wakeup call for civic-minded citizens. “It’s disappointing the people don’t have as much of a choice as they think they do,” said Tabone, adding, “The [Assembly] lines look as contorted as it did before, there’s only a minor change and in my case they cut me out of the district.”

This is Tabone's home under the proposed lines. His side of the street is in the 25th A.D.

Tabone was asked what was the lesson learned and he replied rhetorically, ”The people, they don’t realize how things are done. But what are you going to do? What’s my recourse to sue or appeal to Shelly Silver?”

Technically Tabone could rent an apartment in the 26th A.D and still run (to avoid carpet bagging charges), stay put and run this cycle, or if Rory Lancman takes out Turner there is a possibility to field a viable Republican candidate for the 25th A.D. But another run for Tabone seems unlikely. The road to Albany is cold and lonely and generally not an ideal job for a family man, especially for Tabone who hopes to continue his mission of supporting and developing the Queens County Republican Club.

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Maps are from CUNY: The Center for Urban Research

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/02/revenge-of-the-siths/

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Pols Unite To Save Jobs In Queens

Councilman James Gennaro joins (l. to r.) Councilman Dan Halloran, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, Assemblyman William Scarborough and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.

The facility, which employs more than 1,000 workers, may be shut down as the Postal Service struggles with a major budget crisis.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/pols-unite-to-save-jobs-in-queens/

Nov 29 2011

In The Halls Of Justice, The Only Justice Is In The Halls

Loyalty?

How does the Democratic party perpetuate its own power? Through manipulating the court system, according to the NY Times.

The Queens county surrogate court is a bastion of power hungry party loyalists. They are the batteries that makes the machine function.

Operatives and future candidates stay in the loop by towing the party line.

Luckily,  a few brave souls that are not afraid to speak out against a good ol’ boy system where loyalty is measured by submission.

Read the scathing NY Times article for the full scoop.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/in-the-halls-of-justice-the-only-justice-is-in-the-halls/

Nov 14 2011

Steve Behar, Leader of Progressive Politics

Steve is motivated by his heart, and a passion for good government. This is what sets him apart from the other guys.

Sometimes the good guy doesn’t win.

For those of you who don’t know, Steve Behar ran in the democratic primary for Assembly District 26. He didn’t win, but now Steve is having a more positive and influential effect on national and state policy making than many sitting incumbents.

What’s he been up to since an unsuccessful bid for State Assembly? Plenty, and he’s worth keeping your eye on.

Steve has been very active with the 99% movement at Zucotti park. He’s a member of The Alternative Banking Working Group, a committee that is part of Occupy Wall Street.

The ABWG is a voluntary organization. Its members are a very impressive group of Ivy League finance professors, attorneys, former investment bankers, and members from the financial press, even diplomats.

Steve and I agree that traditional media has a tendency to portray the 99% demonstrators as pot-smoking hippies.  This is not accurate. It’s a stereotype and you’ll sound like a fool for proliferating it.

The group, which meets every week, is exploring options  like encouraging people to transfer their money to other institutions whether mutually owned or for profit community banks and credit unions.

“We are creating new alternative financial institutions that better serve the community, and we are currently working on a regulatory regime that will be more stable to avoid future financial crisis,” said Behar.

Out of all of these candidates for Assembly, Steve Behar is the only one who was extremely knowledgable about public policy making. His former opponents have also admitted this to me, ex post facto of course.

I campaigned against Steve in the Democratic Primary for AD 26. We called him the one-man army. Little did I know that Steve is extremely knowledgeable and well spoken about public policy.

After getting to know him in the past few months (we went down to Occupy together a number of times and I’ve interviewed him for a few different outlets) I have come to realize in hindsight that Steve knew more about the issues than any other candidate.  He is an expert policy professional and I regret that he is not representing us in the Assembly right now.

Behar is well qualified to advocate for increased transparency in government. He has earned a Bachelors degree in Economics and Political Science from Albany University, an MBA in Finance and Management from Tulane University, a J.D from Tulane and an LLM in Securities and Financial regulation from Georgetown University.

Steve has traveled the country with the New York Democratic Lawyers Council making sure that everyone gets a chance to vote and that there are no irregularities at the polls. Steve was the lead election protection lawyer for Hillary Clinton in northern New Hampshire, as well as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s run for Congress in Dutchess County. Steve was also influential in the Howard Dean campaign of 2004.

During the 2011 election, Steve was an aide to Queens-born Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages who ousted a 16-year incumbent. His expertise in ballot security operations came in handy when the Republican party handed lists of voters to poll workers at every poll site that were meant to be challenged.

“Republicans said that they sent mail to those names on the lists because that they didn’t  believe they lived in the district anymore,” said Behar.

Was it coincidence that every voter on the list was a person of color?  No one knows for sure.

I asked him, “That’s not normal procedure, is it Steve?” and he replied, “In Nassau County it is!”

For more information see GOP Thug Uses Nasty Intimidation Tactics In Nassau County Race.

Steve is not planning to run for office anytime soon. While his advocacy for good government is well known throughout national politics, Steve is a local voice with strong community roots in Bayside where he is also a member of Community Board 11, the place he calls home.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/steve-behar/

Oct 02 2011

Batter Up: Who Will Challenge Avella In ’12?

Go ahead, take a swing, says incumbent State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

Four possible candidates show the ambition it takes to make a run for Tony Avella’s 11th Senate District in northeast Queens. Who are they?

While no candidate from the GOP has come forward and declared an official run, the 2012 election is right around the corner, and members of the Queens Republican Party have already been asking themselves, am I ready for a face- off with Democrat Tony Avella for the 11th Senatorial District?

Here are a few bets (a primary notwithstanding) for those GOP’ers circling the wagons:

 

1. City Council Member Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone)

Odds of running against Avella = 3 to 1

Dan has excellent name recognition in the community. He’s at all the meetings, almost omnipotent. Beside being the #1 target of the Queens Democratic Machine, Dan is a good representative. His experience with city government plus the professional networks he’s created will help push him over the hill. Dan is also very popular around the neighborhood, even though Dems enjoy a significant enrollment in terms of party registration (93,820 Dems vs. 32,018 GOP). If recent events have taught us anything, party solidarity is beginning to mean less as time goes on, but I digress…

Average folk tend to look past his Libertarian leanings, and his office staff is excellent, fast, and responsive. Dan is young and he has the energy to travel back and forth to Albany. It’s a lot of stress for us down-state folk. Dan’s odds: 3 to1.

2. Vince Tabone, Executive Director of the Queens County GOP.

Odds of running against Avella = 10 to 1.

Vince Tabone is one of those ‘operatives’ turned candidates. Vince pals around with Chairman Phil Ragusa from the Queens County GOP and he has mulled around the thought of taking the chair position from Ragusa for quite some time. Plenty of ambition over at the party HQ. Interesting story about Tabone, when I was working a special election in South Queens, Vince cornered me at the Reception House on Northern Blvd during a local GOP convention and promised to deliver me boots on the ground (code phrase for pro-volunteers) to South Queens. With the election a few days away, and no help from the Queens GOP in sight (we won that election by ourselves) I said, “Vince, you have no boots on the ground, and you can’t deliver what you don’t have.” I patted him on the back and I walked away. Later on he would run a failing bid for State Assembly against now incumbent Ed Braunstein, who I campaigned for.

Overall, Vince was a lackluster candidate who paid volunteers to sit around and eat. It’s true, my people saw his people on Election day hanging out at Gyro World. They were paid volunteers and they came from Long Island. But that’s not the point. The Senatorial electorate doesn’t want another hard-nosed conservative (the anti-gay sort), but that may not stop him from running. Vince is a great fundraiser plus he has an acerbic tongue that puts fear into the hearts of his opponents. Even with the North Shore Towers (a Democratic stronghold with dependable voters) working against him, Vince gave the Democratic County Machine a run for its money.  Vince’s odds: 10 to 1

3. Elio Forcina, Former State Assembly Candidate, Attorney.

Odds of running against Avella = 99 to 1

Elio Forcina is thought to be highly regarded amongst Conservatives as well as the Queens GOP. Elio ran for State Assembly District 26 in a Democratic primary as a Conservative Dem, and won nearly every single ED in Whitestone, (a stronghold of sometimes conservative leaning voters). During his grassroots campaign, Elio stuck to his Conservative roots and ran a platform of fiscal responsibility and increasing transparency in Albany. Wilson Pakula? Elio is also a neighborhood fixture in Clearview Gardens and his campaign banner is still up at the 7-11 parking lot in Whitestone, and probably will be forever.

I see Elio at many meetings, or at least see him in touch with current events on Facebook. I also campaigned for Elio because I thought he’d make for a great Assembly Member. Despite our contrasting views on the role of government, Elio would have been amiable enough to center himself and bring home the bacon to AD 26, he is after all, a neighborhood guy. Elio’s odds = 99 to 1

4. Marco DeSena

Odds of running against Avella = 20 to 1

Marco is somewhat of a mystery. Marco filed to run for Assembly in AD27 and got himself enough signatures to get on the ballot, and that’s where I believe his campaign ended. Marco spent 36 dollars in the election and gave Democrat Mike Simanowitz the edge. If Simanowitz had just three volunteers (he had an army of supporters, including yours truly) that would have been three more volunteers than DeSena had .

I ran into DeSena for the first time at a rally before the election, he came up and introduced himself. The Professor from Baruch College did not give off a candidate’s vibe, and the rally where we met wasn’t in his district. Although the Queens GOP did endorse him, someone over there must either like him, or they couldn’t find anyone else to step up to the plate. So, I don’t know. Something’s going on. DeSena is a variable, and now with an “Assembly run” behind him, at least he got his foot in the door. Marco’s odds = 20 to 1

5. ?

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* Many more may enter or never declare, and there’s no residency requirement for running. Also redistricting is a big issue, so we don’t actually know where Senate 11 will be located. Lastly, Senator Tony Avella is an excellent legislator and an experienced campaigner. He knows the people and the district better than any of the candidates above.

Continue visiting Queens-Politics.com for up-to-date information

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/circling-the-wagons-who-will-run-against-senator-avella-batter-up/

Sep 30 2011

Elusive Perp Behind Shocking Twitter Feed Baffles Local Pols. A Complete Mystery.

Someone really has some sour grapes for State Assembly Member Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside).

During his bid for State Assembly, Ed harnessed the power of social media. He used Facebook and Twitter to campaign directly to the community, and it was a success. But it wasn’t long before his antithesis, NotEdBraunstein began to blitz his social media presence and steal his thunder. Take a look at these examples:

The real Ed Braunstein followers: 131. His updates are mundane, typically bland with the tone of a 20 year incumbent, a novice Tweeter, probably a young staffer:

    • “I posted 4 photos on Facebook in the album “JHS 194 Bus Rally”
    • “Please check out my brochure about important news and changes to long term health insurance.”
    • “Here is my brochure which includes some useful safety tips for seniors.”

NotEdBraunstein  followers: 369.

    • “Don’t tell anyone I faked being Jewish to get elected in a Jewish district. I’m not as dumb as people think”.
    • “They call me the Forest Gump of the New York State Assembly.  I don’t understand why?
    • “Though I’m not very good at math I hope my Super Lobbyist Uncle Brian Meara will make a lot of $$ from the State.”
    • “I wonder if I can get all that Anthony Weiner publicity if I show my weiner?”

My Favorite line:

    • “If you want to see talk to me I’ll be the stupid drunk guy on Bell Blvd tonite.”

I don’t know the culprit behind the Twitter feed. I have been asked once or twice if it was really me, but for the record it’s not. I even campaigned for Ed. It is however, funny as hell.

Make sure you follow!

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/09/elusive-perp-behind-shocking-twitter-feed-baffles-local-pols-plenty-of-lols/


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