Tag Archive: Phil Ragusa

Sep 28 2013

Phil Ragusa Emerges Victor At Queens GOP Reorg Meeting

Queens County GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa

Newly reelected Queens County GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa

Tensions flared yesterday afternoon as the Queens GOP called a meeting to elect leadership at the Reception House in Flushing.

Results were predictable. Contested Chairman Phil Ragusa won re-election with 417 votes to 174 against former Rep. Bob Turner, who was backed by Bart Haggerty and the Southern faction, and will maintain his leadership post within the Queens Republican Party, according to unofficial reports.

Republicans from both North and South Queens alliances were present at the meeting.

“The weighted vote was I think 10 points apart. Lots of proxies were disqualified so that should make for fun in court,” said a source familiar with the results.

The controversial meeting was set for 12:30PM on a Friday drawing the ire of many disenfranchised republicans who cried foul at the workday scheduled meeting claiming party officials with jobs would be unable to attend.

Events leading up to the reorganization meeting were also disputed in the press. Immediately preceding Friday’s meeting, south Queens loyalists, and supposed Party reformers, cried foul to the press over a last-minute decision to schedule the meeting not only on a workday but during a Jewish holiday.

“The source said some of the notices were mailed out during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and Jewish GOP committee members did not receive the notices and will not be able to make the meeting. Others, the source said, will not able to take off from work on short notice”, according to an article published Thursday evening in the Queens Chronicle.

Earlier this month, newly re-elected Chairman Ragusa also won his re-election as District Leader against local businessman Sal Bacarella in a highly watched race. Both victories appear to reaffirm Ragusa’s control over the party.

Will this put an end to the thirty year hostilities between northern and southern Queens Republicans? Only time will tell.

As more details emerge, check back with Queens-Politics for the latest updates.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/ragusa-hold-on-to-party-chair-fends-off-turner/

Sep 27 2013

What is Bob Turner’s Role In The Reorg?

turnerThis afternoon the reorg meeting was held by the Queens County GOP at Reception House in Flushing. Below is an article from Politicker discussing the potential role of Bob Turner in the party’s evolution.

The results of the meeting should be coming out around now. Expect an update soon.

From the Politicker: Former Congressman Bob Turner is running to become chair of the Queens Republican Party today, setting up a bitter clash with chairman Phil Ragusa, sources say.

Mr. Turner is mounting a vigorous challenge against Mr. Ragusa and may have the votes to become the new chairman, according to two sources close to the party, A leadership vote, bringing together all the district leaders in the borough, is set for 12:30 p.m. in Whitestone.

“It’s going to be a bloodbath,” predicted one Republican source neutral in the dispute. “Ragusa is not backing down.”

Read the full article here: http://politicker.com/2013/09/bob-turner-moves-to-take-over-queens-gop/

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/what-is-bob-turners-role-in-the-reorg/

Jul 18 2013

Ragusa, Haggerty Facing Challenges

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The ol’ North vs. South alliances are being tested yet again.

Lots at stake in Party politics.

Nearly every Republican State Committee Member is facing objections in latest round of petition challenges including Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.

Far flung from the powerful world of council members and other higher elects, the low-level state committee members are unpaid, volunteer party positions elected for a two-year term to the New York State Republican Committee or their Democratic counterparts, but despite their low-level on the totem pole, it hasn’t stopped a frenzy of challenges evident in the latest record of objections released by the Board.

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa is facing a challenge to the state committee spot in the 26th Assembly District (also the location of the official Party HQ) by his opponent, Salvatore Bacarella, a member of the North East Queens Republican Club. Meanwhile, Bart Haggerty, once named an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving bribery, and brother to convicted felon John Haggerty, is challenging the likes of Juan Reyes (as well as his wife), who ran a County-backed primary against Bart Haggerty’s longtime friend and ally, Councilman Eric Ulrich for State Committee. Haggerty himself is also running for reelection.

Marie Lynch, as well as Rolaine Antoine, and Catherine James – all recently let go from their positions at the Board of Elections, are also facing multiple challenges to their elected positions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Examining the objectors, some trends emerge. Often the result of a political maneuver, these party positions are highly coveted as evident by the veracity to which they are being challenged, particularly in comparison to their democratic counterparts.

While the objector can be any registered voter, it’s usually a strategic decision made by higher-ups who will take the next step once specs need to be filed.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/07/ragusa-haggerty-facing-challenges-objections/

May 02 2013

Republicans Zero In On 19th CD Race

 

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 4.04.39 AMRepublican Council hopeful Dennis Saffran unveiled a star-studded list of endorsements including former Senator Frank Padavan and Chairman Phil Ragusa earlier this week.

Distinguished former Senator Frank Padavan spoke of his longtime relationship with Saffran whom he had supported in the past when Safrran ran but narrowly lost to then-City Councilman Tony Avella, now Senator Avella.

“I’ve known Dennis and his family for many years and strongly support his nomination and election.  He is passionately committed to preserving the quality of life in our city and in the neighborhoods of Northeast Queens, and will relentlessly fight for these neighborhoods in the City Council in the same way I did in Albany.”

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa also had some encouraging words. “Dennis Saffran has been a great advocate for the policies that have made this city a better, safer place to live during the Giuliani and Bloomberg years, and he’ll be a leader in the Council in the fight to keep these policies in place.”

Robert Hornak, Communications Director For the Queens GOP had this to say, “Dennis and his wife have been extremely active in the decade since then, while raising two great children. We’re confident that his community ties, his background in public policy and his close race from 2001 make him the strongest Republican candidate this year.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/05/republicans-zero-in-on-19-cd-race/

Apr 05 2013

Party Boss Unconnected With Corruption Scandal

Queens County GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa

Queens County GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa

He wasn’t even named in the criminal complaint.

It seems the political discourse has boiled down to guilt by association, so how does a certain council member escape any scrutiny in a statewide corruption sting?

Phil Ragusa is the official Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party. He is a man that has faithfully served government and politics for over thirty years. In his professional life he owns an accounting business and has volunteered his time and service to the Republican Party. His reputation has never been marred; he has been nothing but a good and decent citizen to the community. Maybe he didn’t give 100% of his time to rebuilding the party so he entrusted others with the responsibility to do just that. This trust may have been compromised, but for any political figure to call for his resignation at this point is ridiculous.

Ragusa wasn’t even named in the criminal complaint, but the Councilman didn’t care. Instead this loudmouthed Republican with misplaced priorities should be calling for Christine Quinn to resign not his own party’s leader.

Sensing a golden opportunity, the Republican Councilmember openly chastised his own Party Chairman and called for his resignation, even suggesting a replacement. Kind of ironic considering for his entire career in the halls of government where this Councilman serves has been the subject of one investigation after another. Yet not once has he stood up and pointed the finger at Christine Quinn – even at a time when the public trust for her leadership is nonexistent. Now after he’s kept quiet all these years, he tells us he wants his own bagman to take over? But why? Is it so he can have his own brand of control? His lingo is the jittery patter of a would-be Republican aristocracy, utterly incapable of introspection and yet, at least according to the Councilman, better than the rest of them in every way.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.  It’s very easy to beat someone when they’re down. And maybe they deserve it. But the courts will have to decide this, not the pundits and certainly not Jay Leno. It’s never easy to standup to fraud and mismanagement; you don’t win a lot of friends this way, trust me. But it is hypocritical for the GOP councilman to take the moral high ground when his chief political operative was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case involving bribery and another advisor wearing an orange jumpsuit as we speak.

The rhetoric he uses is meant to define and defend his mutiny, to distinguish between the exalted them and the vast divergent world of not-them. Reporters turn the other cheek as if this never occurred, but it did: these criminals are the pillars of corruption for which his tenure was built upon. And if the Councilman wants to judge someone, he needs to take a good look at his former staff: a convicted felon and a man with a tainted reputation involving graft and bribery. If I am wrong, I ask this GOP councilman to stop grandstanding and hold a press conference to repudiate the speaker who has failed to maintain control of the legislative body. Her own scandals notwithstanding, it’s time to speak up Councilman.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/party-boss-nothing-to-do-with-charges/

Feb 16 2013

A conversation with Eric Mingott on the GOP Proxy War

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 9.47.09 PM

“If you don’t like the leader you challenge them in an election – you don’t sabotage them.”

Eric Mingott is a proud Republican. He’s a former Marine and presently works as a tax accountant, but his heart is – and forever shall be – in service to the public. Mingott was a hopeful for the 35th Assembly District until his dreams were crushed after John Haggerty knocked him off the ballot, but now (as he’s eying another run for office) he’s looking to the future to rebuild a fractured Republican party.

During his campaign in 2012, Mingott had taken the time to register friends and family with the Republican Party so that they could serve as witnesses to his petitions. “Family, friends, they registered republican because of me — and we’re glad and proud — but the BOE didn’t process them in time,” he said.  Mingott said he collected 260 signatures out of the 185. “We received enough but at the end of the day, but we failed because of the witnesses.”

Then John Haggerty showed up at court.  He was one of the “perps whose hands were in it and exposed themselves to knocking me off the ballot,” said Mingott.  Haggerty, a convicted felon that specialized in the nuances of election law, challenged Mingott’s petitions. But Mingott didn’t have his own election lawyer fearing it would cost too much money and reasoned with himself that, after all, it was a Hispanic coalition and the Future Majority Project (an advocacy organization which helps Hispanics and women win public office) that had put their faith in him and propped up his grassroots campaign. However, he said for the sake of the Party, and for solidarity, he backed off when Haggerty attacked.   “We’d have been in court until after the primary,” he joked at his decision which he regrets everyday. “I am a Marine and Marines never give up.”

His experience is one small battle of a war that has been going on for 30 years. Most recently, insiders consider the illegal appointee just part of a ‘proxy war’ waged by southern Queens rebels Tom Ognibene and Eric Ulrich. However, Mingott does not believe that the ends justify the means.

“If you don’t like the leader you challenge them in an election – you don’t sabotage them,” said Mingott.

But Mingott, who considers himself part of the old school of gentleman politics, believes if “they said they mailed it, then they must have mailed it” and that the public humiliation of either side is ungentlemanly.

“Why would someone in that position lie,” he asked while insisting the matter be handled in-house. “Within the party, our infighting should not be public, which is the best way to go.”

It looks as if it will be a tough battle looming ahead as the Judge’s decision is appealed in court. Although Mingott doesn’t know Michael Michel, he knows Judith Stupp and said she ran the BOE to the best of her abilities. “These are pure party positions where we need good citizens because at the end of the day the American people are the ones that will be hurting. New Yorkers in general getting hurt, the voters are getting hurt — it’s not about sneaking things in at the last minute” he relented.

Mingott believes the proxy war is doing irreparable harm to the Party’s image. “We’re hoping we can move the party into a better position; it’s not about leadership, the party leadership is there…but more and more everyday people don’t want to be republicans because of the mass-media  looking at us as anti-everything. It’s not about leadership it’s about resources.”

In the 35th AD in the East Elmhurst \ Corona section of Queens with incumbent Jeffrion Aubry, the GOP are outnumbered 10 to 1 and trying to get a Republican movement in his district would be a tough undertaking. Despite the odds, Mingott seems undaunted. “People don’t want to hear us because of what the national level republicans are preaching.” Again, Mingott insisted it’s not for lack of leadership. “Our leadership is there we need younger people and fresh faces.  It’s time to focus on elections and reelecting our candidates and finding new ones. The infighting serves no purpose.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/02/a-conversation-with-eric-mingott-on-the-gop-proxy-war/

Sep 27 2012

Queens GOP Chairman Can Count On Solidarity

Queens County GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa

The New York Post reported Congressman Bob Turner, whose district was chopped up during reapportionment, is interested in becoming the Queens County Republican Leader, however the one-term Congressman neglected to mention it won’t be a cake walk.

Bob Turner will have to convince leaders in 18 Assembly Districts that he’s the right man for the job, which will prove to be an uphill battle considering Queens County Republican leaders are already confident that incumbent Chairman Phil Ragusa has the bulk of support.

“Phil Ragusa will be re-elected to another term because the vast majority of leaders in the 18 Assembly District appreciate his integrity and hard work these past five years,” according to Queens County Republican Executive Vice Chairman Vince Tabone.

Republican candidates have found it difficult to gain a foothold in some parts of Queens, but the GOP remains dedicated to providing an alternative to Queens County Democratic candidates and have since stepped up efforts with youth outreach, voter registration drives, and dedicating full support for Councilman Dan Halloran’s bid for Congress.

Even with GOP endorsed candidates, like Juan Reyes, losing this election cycle the official party leadership remains confident.

“Is Chairman Crowley seeking reelection since several County endorsed candidates lost?,” asked Tabone.

Meanwhile another battle for control of the Party seems to be looming overhead, but one fact remains clear: the Queens County GOP can count on solidarity when it comes to reelecting Chairman Ragusa.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/gop-chairman-can-count-on-solidarity-ragusa/

Jun 29 2012

Queens GOP to Obama: You Lied!

Queens County Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate:

“While the Queens Republican Party’s Executive Committee appreciates Chief Justice Robert’s rebuff of the Obama administration’s tortured attempt to use the Commerce Clause to justify an individual mandate as well as the Court’s decision not to allow the Obama administration to punish states that do not comply with Obamacare dictates by withholding critical Medicaid dollars it is obviously disappointing that this economy killing law survives in any form. Obama’s policy prescription was always worse than the disease.

That the court upheld it as TAX to be collected by the IRS from those unable to afford private insurance unmasks the Obama administration’s hypocrisy.
Obama swore time and again it wasn’t a tax but then instructed government lawyers to argue it was a tax. This President has once again lied to the American people and levied the largest tax on the people while overseeing the largest expansion of government ever – - deepening our recession and causing more pain on the middle class and small businesses – and just to make a name for himself

Mitt Romney said it best when he said Obamacare was always “a liberal pipedream…a 2,700 page, multi-trillion-dollar Federal Government takeover of our health care system.”

We need to elect Romney for President, Wendy Long for U.S. Senate and Dan Halloran for Congress so we can repeal this monstrosity and get America back to work again.
Americans want pragmatic problem solving from their government not more taxes that only kill jobs and opportunity and trample on our freedoms.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/06/queens-gop-to-obama-you-lied/

Feb 12 2012

A Chief of Staff Loses His Appeal

Photo From NYPOST

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa vindicated in the court room after the Chief of Staff for Eric Ulrich, Bart Haggerty loses his appeal.

Courts squash Ognibene rebels.

A court decision lifts any lingering doubt to the authority of Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.

Last October, former. Councilman Tom Ognibene and Bart Haggerty, the Chief of Staff for Councilman Eric Ulrich had filed a petition in NY State Supreme Court to invalidate the Republican County Chairman Certificate, which authorized Phil Ragusa as the legitimate Chairman pursuant to election law.

The case was dismissed on procedural aspects because it was untimely. Simply stated, the case was not filed in time. But that wasn’t enough to squash the party’s infighting.

In response to the lower court’s ruling, Bart Haggerty filed an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that was subsequently struck down on February 7th 2012.

In the Matter of Bart J. Haggerty, appellant, v Queens County Republican Committee, et al., respondents-respondents, et al., respondent.

The petitioner failed to comply with the service provisions of the order to show cause dated October 7, 2011, as modified by a Justice of this Court on October 8, 2011, particularly with respect to the time by which service upon the respondents was to be effectuated. Accordingly, since strict compliance with the service provisions of the order to show cause is jurisdictional in nature, the proceeding was properly dismissed as untimely

The higher court affirmed the Judge’s decision, saying in essence, no way Bart, the lower Judge is correct.

The Chairmanship of Phil Ragusa for the Queens County Republican Party has ultimately been vindicated and lifted above suspicion, for now.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/02/a-chief-of-staff-loses-his-appeal/

Jan 26 2012

Hey You, Run For Office As An Urban Republican

Bayside Patch Blog: Have you ever wanted to run for public office, but didn’t know where to begin?

The Queens County Republican Party is reaching out to a new generation of elected officials by holding a ‘Candidates School’ at the Adria Hotel in Bayside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Running for office is never easy and we have some of the most experienced campaign operatives in the state to help guide these recruits, most of who are novices,” said Chairman Phil Ragusa on the QGOP website.

The half day program will feature seminars on raising money, message development, social media outreach, and CFB compliance.

Many notable Republican luminaries will be presenting as well as taking questions.

  • City Councilman Dan Halloran
  • Former U.S. Senate candidate Jay Townsend
  • State GOP Finance Director Jason Weingartner
  • Urban Elephants blogger Daniel Peterson

 

Anyone interested in running for office anywhere in Queens, or looking to network with other urban Republicans are all encouraged to attend.

You can find more details at www.QGOP.org. To reserve a seat, please contact the Queens GOP at (718) 690-3737 or by email at queensgop@gmail.com.

This notice is brought to you by the activist Democrats at Queens-Politics.com to help foster competitive elections throughout our borough.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/hey-you-run-for-office-as-an-urban-republican/

Jan 25 2012

The Man in the Hathaway Shirt

The five chairs of the NYC GOP unite for a moment to condemn Mayor Bloomberg's recent mumbo jumbo.

In a joint statement, the five County Chairmen of the NYC Republican party bite back at Mayor Bloomberg for asserting that the next Mayor of New York City will be a Democrat.

The letter vows to provide voters with a ‘Republican alternative’ in 2013.

The following chairmen issued the searing statement:

  •  Philip Ragusa of Queens County
  • Joseph J. Savino of Bronx County  
  • Craig Eaton of Kings County  
  • Daniel Issacs of New York County 
  • Robert Scamardella of Richmond County

 

“Mayor Bloomberg indicated that the City will have a Democratic Mayor come 2013.  Our Mayor is evidently unaware that we are committed to providing New Yorkers with a Republican alternative. In fact, we will field a strong winning candidate for Mayor in 2013.

We believe that New York City’s voters will select a Republican candidate as they have done since 1993.  City voters will not want to return New York to the pre-1993 dark days of rampant crime, corruption, incompetence and special interest politics. 

New Yorkers recognize the need for fiscal responsibility in the Mayor’s Office. The Republican Party’s leadership and membership throughout the five boroughs is committed to providing New Yorkers with a candidate who will be responsive to the issues affecting the middle class, homeowners, small businesses, those on fixed incomes and the unemployed.

New Yorkers remember Mayor Rudy Giuliani establishing that Republican management works and they appreciate that Republican endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg has continued that legacy. City voters want to keep New York going and going strong and that is going to take Republican leadership.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/gop-swings-back-at-bloomberg-ragusa-take-all-karate-chop/

Dec 24 2011

Humpty Dumpty Republicans

Mr. Romney, Mario D'Elia will make sure that you take Malba.

Vince Tabone makes promises he can’t keep.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Queens GOP Vince Tabone met with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on December 14 and discussed the possibility of local organizational support for the governor’s presidential bid, according to a press release.

Support? That’s a funny word coming from Vince Tabone. If by support he means recruiting Rob Sperenza (who still thinks John McCain is running) and Elio Forcina (who is a religious fanatic and thinks Rick Santorum was sent by God) lounging in a campaign office eating donuts as Mario D’Elia, (a Democrat who was known to stand in the streets in the 80′s screaming vote for Reagan!) then Vince is totally correct about having the support to offer.

However, after observing Tabone’s failed campaigns and broken promises, I’m asking this question; is the man so disillusioned about this so-called support that be would blatantly lie to the presidential candidate? Yes indeed. There is no support, and a shoutout from Dee Richard isn’t going to cut the mustard. The party has become a small bunch of old fogeys and talking heads like William Lewis, Kimon Thermos, and Bob Bishop. There isn’t anybody to get excited about, let alone anyone worth their salt to brag about to a Presidential candidate. Not even the riches of John Catsimatidis can reinvigorate the party even though there are more Republicans in Queens than in any other county. No voter in their right mind would answer the door if these guys came knocking – let alone if they could climb the flight of stairs to get there.

The biggest joke of politics this year was when Vince, Ragusa, Ognibene and company destroyed the party. We have Ulrich down in south Queens freelancing with Mitt Romney  while Robert Hornak has an old fart man crush on Newt Gingrich. Everyone seems to be jockying for  photo op with Congressman Bob Turner (who was Ulrich’s creation by the way).  What about the Haggertys? They aren’t old. Nah, they’ll settle for whomever throws the most money at them. You can expect the Haggertys to support Donald Trump after they sell him the Independence line.

With Frank Padavan in semi-retirement, not even he can put the party together again.

All of these guys have forgot what being a Republican is all about.  They’ve been chipping away at the local GOP for a decade, and you know who suffers? I’ll tell you, it’s young people because they are excluded from the party and democracy takes a slam when there is not a single local Republican voice to counter the heavily weighted Democratic opinion. Has anyone seen a viable young Republican club? Candidates have to poach and hire from the Suffolk and Nassau clubs for bodies. During Tabone’s failed bid for assembly, his volunteers came from Long Island, not the neighborhood. It boils down to logistics. They have none. Has anyone seen the Republican party perform any community service lately? Of course not, it just doesn’t happen. Thank God for Dan Halloran because without him, the GOP would be nothing, even with his colorful antics. In summation, they have failed to adapt. I blame the leadership. Meetings are stocked with the elderly and infirm. God Bless them, but I bet their grandkids are Democrats!

Of course the seniors tend to vote, but real campaign support for Romney, like boots on the ground? I think not.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/republicans-tabone-romney/

Nov 16 2011

Battleground: Forest Hills

"Eric told me to do it," says Congressman Bob Turner who looks pleased while Bart Harggety and Phil Ragusa fight for the credit for anointing him. GOP State Chairman Ed Cox stares down in disgust.

Forest Hills may be the new epicenter of Republican party politics.

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa chartered a new political club in a location that a south Queens Republican operative isn’t too chipper about it.

The new American Eagle Republican Club hosted its first meeting Tuesday night at the Forest Hills Jewish Center

“After the [Bob] Turner victory, Forest Hills jumped to the top of the list,” said Robert Hornak, a spokesman for the Queens GOP in an interview with the Daily News.

Forest Hills is interesting. It is long known to be the forward operating base of the rival Haggerty clan who bear an ancient grudge against Chairman Phil Ragusa and associates.

Ragusa is hoping to keep the momentum going that energized voters for Congressman Bob Turner’s big win in the 9th District.

While the 19th and 20th Council Districts are held by two Republicans, Dan Halloran and Peter Koo, the local political clubs are small in number and are often a heaven’s waiting room of senior citizens jockeying for a free cup of coffee and stale Entenmann’s crumb cake.  So why would there be a move to Forest Hills, especially at a time when GOP political muscle in northeast Queens has atrophied?

At Queens-Politics we believe it’s throwing a little salt in the ol’ wound.

City Councilman Eric Ulrich and his Chief of Staff, Bart Haggerty (also a District Leader)  attempted to usurp the leadership at the Queens GOP by electing Thomas Ognibene as Chairman. What people may overlook is that these are the same operatives that groomed Bob Turner from start to finish (legend has it they found him playing Canasta at a senior club).

Councilman Ulrich bestows pearls of wisdom upon Bob Turner who was quoted as calling him his “26 year old mentor.”

Insiders say Phil Ragusa tried to steal credit even boasting about it on the party website. Now, Ragusa has started a political club in what some call the territory of the south Queens GOP – whom are not recognized by State GOP Party Chairman Ed Cox or the courts.

Instead of concentrating outreach efforts in northeast Queens (a region long known for convoluted party politics) where it’s needed,  Ragusa is moving the big show into Forest Hills where he believes he may have better luck recruiting a viable political club.

Rival Bart Haggerty is not welcoming the newcomers. He says Forest Hills already has a clubhouse, the Forest Park Republican Club and that Ragusa’s front man, Juan Reyes, a Forest Hills-raised lawyer has been missing in community action for ten years.

Robert Hornak told me in a prior interview that Ragusa has championed outreach efforts for new immigrant communities that tend to lean conservative on social issues.

While this is  true, the location of Forest Hills is sure to be a thorn in the side to the radical triumvirate, the Haggerty-Ulrich-Ognibene faction of the Queens GOP.

It is likely a sign of more tensions to come.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/battleground-forest-hills/

Nov 08 2011

Peter Koo, RINO

 From City Hall news: Are the rumors of Councilman Peter Koo’s anger at the Queens Republican Party overblown? In recent days, about 15,000 Chinese residents in Queens have received 40-second robocalls from Koo, telling them in Mandarin to vote for Robert Beltrani, who is running for Queens Supreme Court justice with the backing of Queens GOP chairman Phil Ragusa. Koo crossed party lines and endorsed Democrat David Weprin in his congressional race this summer, and is said to have a few qualms with party leadership, but this act of pure party loyalty may tamp down some of the speculation about Koo switching affiliations.

I got the same robocall in English from Dan Halloran. Also, I sensed some tension between James McClelland, Koo’s chief of staff and Phil Ragusa based on some comments he made here. Rumor has it he keeps Koo distant from the factions in the local Republican party.

What’s really going on behind these headlines?

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/peter-koo/


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