Estelle Cooper - the soon to be ex-Assistant Commissioner of Queens Parks - will be opening a political consulting firm for grassroots candidates in Queens.
Sic Semper Tyrannus! It was the battle hymn heard around the neighborhood as the trumpet summoned the beginning of Parkside’s inevitable showdown with a new eco-infused political consulting firm.
It was noon, high noon, and the Bayside Diner was packed with the hustle and bustle of street life. Families milled about, seniors were chatting away while a baby cried in the background, and the wait staff were going about their routine clinking glasses and setting napkins – all completely unaware that under their nose, democracy is under siege.
Out from the corner, I spotted a young man sitting eagerly with a cup of coffee and a chicken Parmesan hero to go. He was anxiously awaiting my arrival. I was a tad late and the milk had already run out. “Hey how are ya pal?” I asked him as he strummed his fingers patiently. He responded with a rough handshake and a deep sigh, “Ah, you know, the world could be a better place.” I could see a fire grow in his belly. The conversation opened up like a bouquet of roses.
The meeting was called to tell the world about the formation of a new political consulting firm repulsed by the unethical conduct permitted under the present system.
Cooper and Company, as it will be called, will attempt to bridge the gap between hyper-partisan factions with a particular emphasize on recruiting candidates focused on constituent services.
The firm’s president will be Estelle Cooper, who presently works as the Assistant Commissioner for Queens Parks – where she makes over 100k a year and is said to be finally retiring sometime next week.
Cooper is the mother of Ilene Balsamo, who had an encounter with Fox 5 this past year regarding a payroll dispute involving teenagers, click here to read it. The contentious incident seems to be swept under the rug as the new firm looks for bigger fish to fry in the name of good government.
“We’re looking to field candidates not in the pocket of any party,” according to Mike Balsamo, who said he will be a partner in the new firm.
The firm will seek a counter-balance with Parkside’s heavy handed manipulation of Queens legislators. “The Parkside Group refuses to take candidates that don’t fit their model, and we’re not looking for a bunch of yes men [and women], we want integrity in our candidates, and we’ll work hard to find these people,” said Balsamo.
While most firms are located across the street from City Hall, Cooper and Company will be located in Whitestone or Glendale to increase visibility, maintain an unprecedented accessibility and keep the doors wide open to community input.
Dazzling legends of insurrectionist firms and one-man shows vying for a face-off with Parkside is not breaking news and the rumors have been spread over time surreptitiously. Are the claims high but short on proofs? Balsamo is one of the first to come out in public about Parkside which would lead you to believe they know something that we don’t.
Is Cooper and Company just another Johnny-come-lately insurgent firm with a fairy tale army? Perhaps. But as Michael alluded – this firm has a little more sand than one would expect and they plan to use it in City Council District 19.
Estelle Cooper is a Republican and is also a co-leader to GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.
“She is probably the only person that can bridge the gap between the parties,” according to Balsamo who described Estelle with the qualities of leadership to carve out a niche in the political market.
A staff is already lined up including attorneys specializing in election law, seasoned campaigners, and a media savvy pressman or woman, said Balsamo. He would not disclose who they were yet, but wholeheartedly vouched for the level of expertise banging down the door to get a piece of the Parkside Group that control many of the politicians in Queens.
There’s an old adage that says today’s reformer is tomorrow’s party hack. With that in mind, I remind Mike that Parkside isn’t the only problem in town. What they do is permissible under law. They lobbied the law to be shot down by the Conflict of Interest Board. There’s not much to stop them, or you and your firm for that matter, and until laws are enshrined that prohibit the misconduct of lobbyist and consulting firm combo’s, we me might as well call it a day and lease your apartment to Michael Sais so he can use it as a launching pad for political office.
In the meantime, we wish you luck. We hope that the group will choose candidates wisely, advise them with principals of good government and take a solemn, public oath to never accept money from any lobbyist if you perform political consulting for politicians. Also, supporting candidates who advocate for a cut in overly generous Park’s employee patronage posts wouldn’t be a bad start now would it?