Tag Archive: Paul Vallone

Feb 14 2014

Paul Vallone: Ready To Serve At A Moment’s Notice

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

It’s been little over a month since the new class of City Councilmembers were sworn in and while they’ve had just a short time to acclimate to their new responsibilities and duties, sometimes it’s not so easy getting a fully functioning office up and running ready to serve the community without delay, but newly elected Councilman Paul Vallone has done just that, and he’s ready to serve.

Located on a busy intersection off Bell Blvd. Councilman Vallone’s office held their first open house a few weeks ago inviting the entire community inside to see the progress. Once a dark and aging outcrop, Vallone relied on donations and volunteers, particularly Marsha Khan, Vice-President of the Clinton Democratic Club who helped design an ergonomic office by utilizing every inch of space. It’s truly impressive, yet what’s even more impressive is the work that goes on in here.

Beginning with a trained staff, Vallone hired brilliant advocates from the community that know the people and neighborhoods they are their to serve. Utilizing talent from his brother’s office, Jonathan Szott, now Chief of Staff helped ensure a smooth transition of Vallone’s neighborhood activism into a full service Council office. He’s even appointed local cultural and community liaison to get ears on the ground into every corner of the neighborhood.

In the meantime, while some candidates – even elects – disappear after an election (like his opponent Dennis Saffran who has not been seen since his loss), Vallone has been at every major event in northeast Queens, especially at the commitments he’s made before seeking election. It’s inspiring and hopefully will rub off on his colleagues in City Hall and all candidates to come in the future. Some people say he’s continuing a legacy, but we like to think he’s beginning his own.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/paul-vallone-ready-to-serve/

Nov 04 2013

Bill de Blasio In Queens Supporting Paul Vallone

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 3.08.24 PMAt a local GOTV rally, NYC Democratic Mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio was racking up last-minute votes by shaking hands and kissing babies while encouraging the crowd to vote Paul Vallone for CIty Council.

The crowd grew enormous as voters across the district made their way down to show their support and hopefully snag a picture. The event never had a moment of silence as cars passing by tooted their horns in solidarity.

De Blasio’s support was hard-won in this part of town. The one-time Lhota leaning voters became energized the morning after the local GOP candidate, Dennis Saffran, tried to falsely indicate Rudy Guiliani’s endorsement in his literature, and was promptly called out by a rarely made personal robocall by the well-respected former mayor.

The misleading literature quickly backfired, and by many accounts is turning away Saffran’s base vote to his opponent, Paul Vallone, who has always been known for his bipartisan support anyway.

The Mayoral frontrunner spent considerable time in the precious hours leading up to the election chatting with voters at the local Waldbaums in Bay Terrace, energizing the crowd to get out and vote — not just for himself — but for Vallone.

His efforts seemed to have paid off — bolstered by the political naiveté of the local GOP candidate. However, becoming the frontrunner wasn’t easy in this traditional swing district. Eventually, partly due to recent revelations, de Blasio won over the majority of the voting public, which includes Republicans, Independents, and Conservative Democrats with his call for unity. This was clearly evident in the turnout at the GOTV event, yet it remains to be seen until after the polls close and the final results are in.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/bill-de-blasio-in-queens-supporting-paul-vallone-for-council/

Nov 04 2013

GOP Leaders Say Goodbye To Dennis Saffran After Guiliani Embarrassment

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In this part of Queens, Rudy Guiliani is a hero and he just told everyone Dennis Saffran is a liar.

Over the weekend, Rudy Guiliani made a robocall denouncing Republican Dennis Saffran’s misleading literature, but what you may not know is that for many Republican voters in the district, this was the final straw.

In an office somewhere in Whitestone Village, a secret meeting was called by Republican vote-getters to discuss Saffran’s misuse of the Guiliani name. “Saffran’s finished!” claimed a top GOP operative slamming his fist down and spilling his cappuccino over a stack of important looking papers. Composing himself, the operative stood up and blotted the sticky mess. “My people won’t vote for Republicans this year,” he said after a brief pause and a sigh of regret. The room fell silent, then suddenly heads began to nod. Without hearing another word, they knew what needed to be done. And then the texts began. 

The message spread quickly, after all there’s not as many Republicans as Democrats (still, a lot compared to most districts), and the low number makes it manageable to reach them all, at least voters guaranteed to show up and, well, vote. Attempting to avoid a political embarrassment and save face, the Party would not make an official declaration, rather using other “unofficial” channels to get the word out including texts, social media, and old-fashioned telephone calls — which proved quite effective in Dan Halloran’s election. Anyway, in seconds, Republicans in northeast Queens would be voting for Paul Vallone, or at least not for Dennis Saffran.

Three strikes and you’re out.

Before the Guiliani call, at least in secret, republicans were withholding help from Saffran under the guise of limited resources. But now the message had clearly changed: Vote for the Democrat. Tensions began to strain between the Party and Saffran soon after he publicly switched his endorsement from Cats to Joe Lhota mid primary. Perhaps there was no better way to stick a needle in the eye of the local Party which were adamantly supporting Cats. To make matters worse, Saffran was meeting with Councilman Ulrich, whom the Party had been busy with fending off his attempts at a leadership coup. Promises were obviously made, and soon Saffran found himself alone and abandoned by the local Party, which despite its limited resources (they got Dan Halloran elected), could have given him an actual shot in this race.

The protest vote.

Still this wasn’t the final straw. Prior to the Guiliani tape, the republican sentiment was to abstain from voting for a new councilmember. Their reasoning was accompanied by a sense of general disgust and outrage with the national GOP (which will certainly play a role in other citywide elections, but that’s not the point here), as well as Dan Halloran’s recent arrest. Some Republicans would naturally cross party lines, but it was never mentioned or encouraged until now.

As if Dennis Saffran’s bid for Council wasn’t already in troubled waters, the little bit of help he could have received from the Party with GOTV will now be spending their waning hours telling their people to vote for Democrat Paul Vallone. Ouch.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/gopleader-say-goodbye-to-dennis-saffran-after-guiliani-embarrassment-encourages-voters-to-do-the-same/

Nov 02 2013

Vallone Outshines Saffran With Over 50 Endorsements

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Paul Vallone’s Endorsements: 

  1. Queens County Democratic Party
  2. Independence Party of New York
  3. Governor Andrew Cuomo
  4. NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
  5. United States Senator Chuck Schumer
  6. Congressman Joseph Crowley
  7. Congresswoman Grace Meng
  8. Congressman Steve Israel
  9. Former Congressman Gary Ackerman
  10. NYC Comptroller John C. Liu
  11. Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall
  12. Manhattan Borough President, Scott M. Stringer
  13. State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
  14. Assemblymember Ron Kim
  15. State Senator Michael Gianaris
  16. Assemblymember Aravella Simotas
  17. Assemblymember Edward Braunstein,
  18. Assemblymember Nily Rozic,
  19. Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz,
  20. AssemblymemberDavid Weprin
  21. Councilmember Mark Weprin
  22. Councilmember Peter Koo
  23. Councilmember Karen Koslowitz
  24. Councilmember Daniel Garodnick
  25. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association
  26. Sergeants’ Benevolent Association
  27. NYC Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association
  28. Captains’ Endowment Association
  29. Detectives’ Endowment Association
  30. Lieutenants’ Benevolent Association
  31. Uniformed Fire Officers Association
  32. Fire Marshals Benevolent Association
  33. United Federation of Teachers
  34. Council of School Supervisors & Administrators
  35. District Council 37
  36. UFCW Local 1500
  37. The New York Hotel Trades Council
  38. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 30
  39. Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831
  40. 1199 SEIU
  41. 32BJ SEIU
  42. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 3
  43. NYCLASS
  44. Doctors Council SEIU
  45. Small Business Coalition
  46. Italian American Political Action Committee
  47. Melinda Katz, Democratic Nominee for Queens Borough President
  48. Kevin Kim, Former Nominee for the 19th Council District
  49. John Duane, Former Assemblyman & Former Democratic Candidate for the 19th Council District
  50. Warren Schreiber, Bay Terrace Civic Leader & Presidents Co-op & Condo Council, Co-President
  51. Devon O’Connor, Civic President
  52. Jerry Iannece, Former Candidate for the 19th Council District
  53. Carol Gresser, District Leader
  54. Mary Ann Dorsa, District Leader
  55. Presidents Co-Op & Condo Council
  56. Korean American Business Council
  57. Flushing Chinese Business Association
  58. Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY)
  59. Murray Hill Merchants Association
  60. Queens-Politics.com

…. and more keep coming in.

 

Dennis Saffran’s Endorsements:

1. Land use lobbyist Paul Graziano

2. What’s left of the Republican Party

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/paul-vallone-bests-saffran-with-over-50-endorsements/

Nov 01 2013

Guiliani Says Saffran Deceived Voters

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

This evening former Mayor Rudy Guiliani launched a robocall informing Republican and undecided voters in District 19 that he did not endorse Dennis Saffran, a GOP candidate for City Council, despite misleading literature from the campaign.

In the call, Guiliani said Saffran is actively deceiving voters by using his quotes and pictures to fake an endorsement.

“It has come to my attention that the Republican candidate has been using my name and image as part of his campaign. I’m calling to set the record straight. This is deceptive,” declared Guiliani.

The call targeted both Republican and undecided voters in the swing district, Queens-Politics has learned.

The former Mayor, who has worked alongside generations of the Vallone family, ended the call with reminding voters “that having the Vallone family in City Council is good for the City of New York”.

Below is a transcript from the robocall:

Hi, this is Rudy Guiliani I’m calling about important information about the race for City Council in your district 19. It has come to my attention that the Republican candidate has been using my name and image as part of his campaign. I’m calling to set the record straight. This is deceptive. I have not endorsed the Republican candidate in this race in 2013 for City Council District 19. He’s running against Paul Vallone and I go way back with the Vallone family. Having worked with Paul’s father for eight years improving our quality of life and seeing Paul’s brother continue his father’s commitment to a safe and prosperous city, I can say with confidence that having the Vallone family in City Council is good for the City of New York. Thank you for your time and I hope you will consider my comments when casting your vote.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/rudy-guiliani-says-dennis-saffran-deceived-voters/

Nov 01 2013

Paul Vallone To Trounce Dennis Saffran On Election Day

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Senator Chuck Schumer endorses Paul Vallone for the 19th City Council District.

In a heated race to replace City Councilman Dan Halloran, all signs point to an all out Vallone victory on November 5th.

Just cruise down any street in Northeast Queens and you’ll catch a neighbor proudly displaying the “We Support Paul Vallone” sign on their front lawn. Look up and down busy commercial strips, you’ll see businesses too, proudly supporting Paul Vallone. Open any newspaper and you’ll catch a glimpse of a campaign run by a true community leader. Not convinced? Peak inside the office and there’s an army of volunteers working on GOTV. Not only that, but local civic and political leaders are standing by him. And by now, chances are he’s already knocked on your door.

Despite the attention received, this race was characterized by animosity on the part of Republican extremist, Dennis Saffran. Some say “going negative” is just part of a strategy, however it seems like that’s all Dennis Saffran did throughout his entire campaign. You’ve got to ask, how could we vote for such a hypocrite? On one hand he complains about negative campaigning not linked to Vallone but reality check: he’s doing it himself.

While it is still unclear what exactly Saffran has done for this community in the past 10 years, it was easy to see this race getting ugly quick as he already had a reputation for bad mouthing everyone behind their back. Could the negativity have been a strategy for Saffran to try and divert attention from his lack of community service and roots in the district with lie after lie? Aside from that, the leadership in Saffran’s campaign seems amateurish and disorganized. Word on the street is that the campaign is skeletal; starving for volunteers so much so they’ve begun to recruit Tea Party extremists from Nassau and Suffolk to help out in District 19.

And what about endorsements? Vallone has earned every critical endorsement in town from the PBA to the Democratic Party. Saffran was endorsed by a lobbyist and what’s left of the GOP, which is giving him no help at all.

Whatever the case may be, Vallone’s commitment to Northeast Queens has shined through all of Dennis Saffran’s negativity. And the entire community is standing behind him to be our next Councilman.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/11/paul-vallone-to-trounce-saffran/

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Vallone’s GOTV Rally Draws Huge Crowd

DSC_0868Members from all over the community came out to support Paul Vallone, a candidate for District 19, at a Get-out-the-vote rally in the final days leading up to the election.

 

“It is an honor to have the unanimous support of our elected officials along with so many of our community associations and neighbors. Our GOTV efforts will be the final push that takes us to City Hall. I will work tirelessly to see that Northeast Queens receives what they rightfully deserve, including the proper funding to ensure our school districts remain the best in the City, protecting our quality of life and that the public safety needs of our community are fully served,” said Vallone.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/paul-vallone-gotv-rally-draws-huge-crowd/

Oct 16 2013

The Truth Behind Democrat Paul Graziano’s Latest GOP Endorsement

Paul-Graziano

When he’s not bankrolling looney Republican campaigns, Paul Graziano is out bashing his fellow dems with lies and mistruths leading us to wonder why would this guy even run as a Democrat to begin with?

Hell hath no fury like a ponytailed politician.

Democrat Paul Graziano campaigned to represent democratic constituents and be their nominee for the City Council with the hope of joining the democratic conference, but he betrayed those folks with a recent endorsement of a conservative republican based on his own personal vendetta, not what’s best for the community.

After matching funds were dispersed for the primary, all four candidates had a fair shot. Democrat Paul Graziano with his silly haircut and a record of no community service nor business experience, and whose sole claim to fame was being Tony Avella’s lap dog and pandering to the biggest weirdos in the civic world, lost the primary fair and square by coming in third place to victor Paul Vallone, Austin Shafran, and a near loss to John Duane.

The results of this primary show us that a majority of democratic voters knew they couldn’t trust Graziano to represent the community and that his latest endorsement of conservative republican Dennis Saffran, by his own admission, was clearly made out of personal bitterness with a PAC (that despite being unconnected to Paul Vallone) sent out mailers questioning Graziano’s checkered past which infuriated him is living proof that those voters were correct. But the truth, however, didn’t matter to Graziano, he blamed Vallone for the mailers even though he had nothing to do with the matter.

So what does Graziano do after his pitiful loss? Forget any semblance of democratic unity or any chance of attacking the actual PAC that sent out the mailers, instead he openly blamed Paul Vallone out of sour grapes. And spitefully, with his pony tail flapping in the air, he turned his back on all democrats by endorsing the conservative republican nominee, Dennis Saffran, a Tea Party fanatic that does not represent the interests of this community. Thankfully for the constituents of CD 19 this endorsement is as meaningless as a Tony Avella press conference.

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Hypocrisy? Graziano complained about lobbyists in the community saying they would sell-out the community for their own self-interests when here, Graziano clearly made this endorsement out of his very own self-interest: To satisfy his blood lust with a petty act of revenge, not what’s best for the people. So far, while the major papers ran the story as if his endorsement really mattered, they failed to ask if it was personally motivated.

On another note, while Graziano decried the flyers in one breath, in another he promotes free speech and supports vigorous debate. Looks like he’s trying to burn the candle at both ends. New York Times best-selling political novelist, Brad Thor once said, “I live in America. I have the right to write whatever I want. And it’s equaled by another right just as powerful: the right not to read it. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people,” but tell that to this hypocrite.

The message is clear to those who look beyond the headlines. Graziano’s latest campaign gimmick places his own personal bitterness over the best choice for the constituents he wished to serve with nothing more than a disgraceful and petty act of revenge. His political partnership with Tea Party fanatic Dennis Saffran is meant to mislead people and betrays democrats and republicans alike. Just imagine what these two would do to the community if we let them get elected. Shame on you Paul.

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A reader sent us this comment,

As Paul led all his opponents in pre-Primary polls, they each targeted him for attack, slinging mud at him for the support he received from an organization he legally could not control.

Paul indeed was the only candidate who DID NOT sling mud at his opponents, running by-far the cleanest and most positive campaign of all. -Anonymous

To have your comments posted, email info@queens-politics.com with your real name, age, city, occupation, and highest level of education attained. Comments can be published anonymously if you request. We just want to know who we’re talking to. Sorry, no trolls.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/paul-grazianos-endorsement-is-an-act-of-revenge/

Status update

As a lifelong resident of District 19, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know and observing all the candidates running for this office. One candidate stands above the rest. Democrat Paul Vallone is the best choice for our neighborhood. Please vote for him today.

For more information: Paul Vallone is the best choice for City Council

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/vote-paul-vallone-for-city-council/

Sep 06 2013

Final Thoughts: GOTV Weekend Edition

Once more unto the breach, dear friends… -Henry V

AdamLombardiBilldeBlasio

Me and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

It’s certainly been an adventure so far in this electoral season to say the least. As the candidates gear up for one last push to consolidate their voting blocs, Queens-Politics continues to ponder the possibilities that Tuesday’s Primary results will present us with.

So without further adieu, here are my suggestions to help guide you through this process. 

Hailing from North Queens, I’ve kept a watchful eye on the developments in Council District 19 because it’s important to me, it’s home. The real race comes down between two candidates: community activist Paul Vallone, whom I fully support, and a trained operative and spin doctor named Austin Shafran. This weekend, Shafran will be making his final push to concentrate the Jewish voting bloc by emphasizing his Jewish heritage – sort of ironic for a man who graduated St. Francis Prep and was married in a Catholic church, but I digress. Did I mention Shafran received money from special interests yet held a press conference to denounce such contributions and outside spending?

He’s really worried Vallone is going to win this thing, and I can’t blame him. Despite the misleading blog headlines, Vallone ran a completely positive campaign. Sure, this statement will certainly raise eyebrows on the blogs (which have apparently aligned themselves against Vallone and for lobbyist Paul Graziano) but the whole Jobs For NY issue was NOT connected to his campaign, after all that’s illegal. The powers that be behind the real estate backed PAC independently sent mailers which offended the delicate sensibilities of candidates who obviously could not handle the heat in the kitchen to face the truth about themselves: you can’t have a seedy past and expect to come up smelling like roses. Ignoring these issues is a disservice to the electorate. In politics your record will be challenged and sometimes it’s just not pretty. I believe it’s all part of the vetting process and definitely not for the feint of heart. I’ve faced it myself despite not running for public office and I took it all in stride. If I can do it, so can they. But never in my life have I witnessed such two-faced bigotry from questionable candidates who have fallen to the wayside and become desperate for a headline.  And it got even worse on TV. On the NY1 debate, to which everyone of Vallone’s opponents united against him in attack mode, all I saw was a bunch of insecure politicians that ganged up on the frontrunner and showed the public one thing: Paul Vallone will be the very best candidate for the 19th City Council district. 

As for Queens Borough President, it’s well known that I’m supporting Peter Vallone Jr. and as of now – despite not having the County’s endorsement – it looks like he could win, that is, if enough votes are pulled out. Name recognition credit goes to Vallone, as well as his unwavering support of public safety issues. Queens will be a safer place with Peter Vallone as Borough President. Did we mention the NY POST just endorsed him as well as the PBA?

Comptroller? I’m going to go with Eliot Spitzer, and I’ll even go as far as to say he will win Queens just based on name recognition. After all, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has never come around to these parts. No one here has ever heard of him and that’s got to mean something.

Public Advocate? We’ve endorsed Cathy Guerriero. Cathy has also been endorsed by practically every law enforcement union in the city, and for good reason. The office of Public Advocate is not meant to be held by a career politician. The Public Advocate is the city’s chief ombudsman – and we need someone in there who’s outside the scope of politics and unafraid to call people out, cut the red tape and do the job well. Hailing from the outer boroughs, Cathy knows the issues important to Queens. That’s why I chose Cathy and I hope you do too.

AdamBillThompsonPeterVallone

Borough President candidate Peter Vallone Jr. and Bill Thompson.

Now I’ve helped out on elections across NYC and I’ve become quite familiar with poll site politics. Poll workers are political hires. They have allegiance to their District Leaders, whom in turn have their allegiance to the County organization (not all but most). In recent elections, there were instances when newly registered voters were told by poll workers they “accidentally” showed up at the wrong poll site and were redirected (sometimes across town). Upon arriving at the new site, they were told yet again they’re in the wrong place and they simply gave up at that point. And who could blame them? Some of these voters were even mailed the wrong poll site location from the BOE. It certainly has the makings of a conspiracy theory.

In NY politics, voters are easily disenfranchised especially if your recognized as supporting another candidate running against a County candidate at the polls; they just don’t want your vote to count and it’s hard to prove. As voters, our only defense is to be armed with knowledge and insist on an Affidavit ballot to protect our vote and mitigate any political factors that may have come into play at the polling site.

AdamandJohnLiu

Me and Comptroller John Liu.

I can’t honestly go on and accurately predict results because this season there’s too many factors and variables to take into consideration which change minute to minute. My only hope is that people like you will take my suggestions on candidates who have proven themselves to be strong advocates for Queens and cast your ballots accordingly. Now, it may be unscientific, but it’s what’s best for our borough (and yet still more scientific than some of the polls I’ve read), which is my guiding philosophy. Ultimately, neither official polls nor unofficial ones can truly say what will happen with certainty this year. However, the unpredictable nature of this primary election has not stopped a seemingly endless array of pundits, wonks, and psychics from bombarding the airwaves with their half-witted predictions. So who will be the predictive champion? Time will tell.

Yes, our posting schedule is quite random but Queens-Politics is here to stay. So check back often for the unfiltered commentary and if you have a tip email info@queens-politics.com. Again, no matter whom you choose, it’s time to get out the vote.

Polls are open from 6 AM – 9 PM.

To find your poll site click here: http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/Search.aspx

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/final-thoughts-primary-election-edition/

Aug 27 2013

Paul Vallone Is The Best Choice For City Council District 19

 

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Paul stands out from the rest. Vote Paul Vallone on Sept. 10th.

The people of northeast Queens will be best served by Paul Vallone as our next City Councilman. That’s why we’re proud to endorse him in his run for City Hall.

Paul has a long history of service to this community in a plethora of leadership roles from civic activism to parish volunteerism. His law office on Francis Lewis Blvd. is more like a community center. People in this community already know they are welcome in a place that will try it’s hardest to be your advocate and to lend a helping hand.

An attorney by trade, Vallone is soft-spoken, intelligent and humble — qualities not always on display in the City Council chambers at 260 Broadway. He’s smart, confident, and ready to lead.

Building better communities where all people — from grandparents to kids — can safely live, work and play requires elected officials who champion integrity and responsibility to the community first and foremost. Vallone, with his undeniable history of community service and commitment to neighborhood safety issues best exemplifies these qualities which were recently recognized by endorsements from the City’s top law enforcement unions including: The Patrolmen Benevolent Association, The Sergeants, The Corrections, The Captains, The Lieutenants, The Detectives, and The Fire Marshals Benevolent Associations – just to name a few.

Civic leaders from across the district have also recognized Paul Vallone as an asset to the community. Neighborhood organization presidents like Warren Schreiber and Devon O’ Connor including CB11 Chair Jerry Iannece, as well as every elected official from Congresswoman Grace Meng to District Leader Mary Ann Dorsa (including the entire Queens County Democratic Organization) have all endorsed Paul Vallone as the best choice for District 19.

Small businesses makeup the core of the economic engine in District 19. Small businesses provide jobs, and CD19 is the perfect place to incubate these businesses and help them grow. In these tough economic times we can’t afford punitive fees that hit those that can least afford them. That’s why we need a candidate with the experience of a small businesses owner to represent the interests of small businessmen in City Hall. Paul’s commitment to small businesses has already earned him the nod from The Murray Hill Business Association and The Flushing Chinese Business Association, including The Presidents Co-Op & Condo Council– just to name a few organizations that have recognized Vallone through their respective endorsements as the best of six candidates in this competitive primary election.

In less than two weeks, we have a real opportunity to influence what happens in our community, to have a say in the direction our future will collectively take. It does not get any more representative than this. Do not waste this chance because the chance becomes only more and more distant as time goes on. We hope you vote. We hope you participate. We hope you make your voice heard in your community to elect an independent voice into City Hall that will always be accountable to the people. Most importantly, we hope you make your choice based on this notion: This is not a choice between Democrats, this is a choice between bringing our community into the future or lagging behind.

On September 10th Vote Paul Vallone For City Council. Happy voting, everyone.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/paul-vallone-is-the-best-choice-for-council-district-19/

Aug 13 2013

Who’s Winning the Money Race?

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Saffran even took a shot at the seat twelve years ago, losing by a scant 400 votes to Tony Avella.

While the Democratic candidates are busy campaigning against each other, Republican hopeful Dennis Saffran finds the time to raise funds unhindered by the looming primary.

In most parts of this City the results of the primary election almost always decide the result of the general election.  Few districts remain competitive after their respective primaries but there are a few exceptions like in the 19th CD in Northeast Queens, which is the home turf of the Queens Republican Party and the stomping grounds of Councilman Dan Halloran who was arrested on corruption charges in April and not seeking reelection.

Enter Dennis Saffran, an attorney and member of the Douglaston Civic Association, who has thrown his hat into the ring with the full weight of the Queens GOP backing up the play for the 19th. But could he win?

In retrospect, the Queens GOP historically held down parts of the northeast from the days of Frank Padavan –the blue and white collar mixed community of co-ops, one and two family homes, always had a viable GOP presence which gives some red candidates a fighting chance.

According to the latest filing, Saffran raised $40,907.99, nearly three times as much any of his Democratic opponents and topping out with $56,258, but he’s still not in first place. Austin Shaffran leads the pack with $101,797 followed by Paul Vallone and John Duane with just over $80,000 a piece. Former Halloran staffer Chrissy Voskerichian and urban lobbyist Paul Graziano are also running but lag behind in fundraising.

Still, his reporting should not go unnoticed. Touting the latest filing, Saffran stated that his gains are a sign of how people are fed up with politics as usual and are looking to his candidacy as the independent choice. “That our campaign has raised nearly three times as much as any of our opponents in the last three months shows the incredible momentum that this campaign has picked up in only a short time,  and is a testament to what the people of Northeast Queens want in an elected official: an independent, reform-minded leader who is not beholden to any lobbyists or special interests.”

Regardless of their reasons, Saffran will have to work hard to rebuild his name recognition if he wants to remain competitive in the general election. In the meantime, the campaign will take place in the backyard of the Queens GOP, which has to count for something –  especially considering they are spending a ton of cash energizing the base to come out for the Primary so hopefully they won’t forget by November when Saffran will need them.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/08/who-is-winning-the-money-race/

Jun 25 2013

Senator Gianaris & Assemblywoman Simotas Endorse Paul Vallone For Council

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Paul Vallone is recognized for his commitment to seniors, schools, and public safety.

A bevy of Queens community leaders and elected officials have recognized Paul Vallone, candidate for District 19, as their pick for City Council in the northeast section of Queens.

Senator Gianaris recognized the commitment  Vallone has demonstrated to his community which includes Whitestone, College Point, Bayside Auburndale, parts of Flushing, Little Neck, and Douglaston.

“I have known Paul Vallone for many years and am confident he is the right person to serve in the City Council. Paul has represented the people of Queens as a lawyer and as a community organizer for his entire life. His dedication to community service makes him a fantastic choice for City Council and I am proud to support him,” said the Senator.

Assemblywoman Simotas also spoke highly of the candidate, “I am proud to endorse Paul Vallone for City Council. His proven track record as a community advocate will be critical in serving the needs of Northeast Queens. Paul is committed to making our schools strong and our streets safe, and under his leadership families can be assured that their voice will be represented at City Hall.”

The endorsement of Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and Senator Mike Gianaris follows Congresswoman Grace Meng and State Assemblyman Ron Kim who also gave Vallone the nod.

Don’t be surprised to see more notable leaders rise to the occasion.

gianaris, vallone, simotas pic

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/06/assemblywoman-simotas-sen-gianaris-endorse-paul-vallone-for-council/

Apr 18 2013

Democratic Frontrunner Has Crossover Appeal

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 4.50.59 PM

Paul Vallone could go on vacation for the entire summer and he’d still be the best candidate in CD19.

After Dan’s fall from grace, candidates are circling the wagons in the 19th Council District leaving some to wonder, who will run on the Republican line?

Let’s start by saying Paul Vallone is the only frontrunner for the 19th. We can argue this, sure, but let’s remember that out of all the wannabes and Johnny come lately’s, Vallone is the only democratic candidate that has been persistently volunteering and aiding the community in a variety of capacities long before this campaign even started.

You’ll see a lot of press releases flaunt: oh, this candidate did this, and oh this candidate did that, you’ll even see candidates pressing the flesh and suddenly appearing at civic meetings – most of them for the first time, except for Vallone. It’s definitely time to lay it on real thick. So it’s not surprising when even Republican leaders mention Paul’s name, mind you, to take up the line.

Before the Halloran disaster, the predominant theory was that Paul would have the best shot at defeating Halloran, if not the only democrat capable of defeating him. Plenty of people realized it long before the headlines, but now that Halloran is (potentially) gone, a few Republicans were rumored to be interested, but I don’t think any of them will pan out, especially when inside sources say they will be more than happy to welcome Vallone to take the red line.

Meanwhile as all of the other candidates struggle to play catch-up to build name recognition and a portfolio of community service, Paul Vallone has it all – even if his detractors never admit it.

Will Paul run on the Republican line? No, not likely. Rumors of Guiliani’s cousin and Alfredo Centola have also been flouted, but we don’t know anything for sure right now other than Paul Vallone still has the best shot at winning the seat, no matter who he runs against.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/will-paul-vallone-run-on-the-gop-line/

Mar 14 2013

Dem Endorsement of Shafran Could Hand Election To Halloran

Democratic Donkey

Shafran’s lack of any community service within CD19 notwithstanding, the only candidate with enough name recognition and campaign experience to beat him is Vallone.

The Barkan Report mentioned it this week that Paul Vallone and Austin Shafran are frontrunners for CD 19 and I agree, this is an absolute truth, but whispers in the air still hold that County will shy away from endorsing Paul Vallone. To do so will come with a little egg in the face.

If Shafran should face off with incumbent Dan Halloran in a general election, he’ll lose. Dan is too strong for Shafran, whom despite adequate fundraising, still needs to work on basic name recognition.

While it’s still a little too early to tell, one thing seems to go unnoticed: the organization will do what’s best for the organization and long-term planning cannot ignore the dismal prospect for democrats in a Shafran vs. Halloran general election.

Hopefully they won’t lose sight of this when it comes time to make their pick.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/03/dems-endorsement-of-shafran-could-hand-election-to-halloran/

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