Full election results are available here, just scroll down to your district:
Sep 10 2014
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/all-primary-election-results/
Sep 02 2014
Queens stand up and vote Tim Wu for Lt. Governor!
It’s always good to have someone in office that hails from the same part of town as you do, it’s even better because they tend to have the same values. These aren’t values formed on the political trail, but rather from their environment, their background, and upbringing. In all these cases, one immutable fact emerges: that we, as residents of NYC, will better represented by Tim Wu as our Lieutenant Governor rather than Kathy Hochul.
Wu is a Columbia law professor, an academic, a pragmatic liberal which are few and far between in such high office. Let’s be clear: Wu is a bit different from his opponent, in fact he’s very different. His work in the world of academia is far-reaching into cyberspace exploring the fine points of net neutrality and telecommunications protocol and yet, despite the high-minded rhetoric of academia, you’re constantly assailed by the notion that Wu is writing down what you have always known, except that you’ve never thought of it. Let’s call him the benevolent professor.
And this is what makes Wu a natural pragmatist– he’ll reject unpractical ideas and accept good ones, if it works satisfactorily.
No, we’ve never met Wu, but anyone of us could have easily run into him at a Starbucks, heard him at a lecture, missed the same train, spoke with him at a networking event, or just passed him on the L.I.E, either way– Kathy Hochul, is at best a gun nut “Democrat” from upstate. She’s not NYC– Tim Wu is, and that’s why he needs our vote.
Is Wu’s campaign a long shot? Perhaps. But Wu is full of surprises. Just last week, he won the endorsement of The New York Times as well as other left-of-center groups as they criticized Hochul’s past opposition to state aid for illegal aliens and her 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association, according to the New York Post.
Naturally, Wu has an outsider’s edge in the race, but his real appeal is the chance to bring a public advocate into the hallowed halls of Albany, especially if his running mate, Zephyr Teachout doesn’t win. Now we all know today’s reformer is tomorrow’s hack, Brooklyn boss Meade Esposito used to say, so we know there must be compromise in order to get anything done, but who better for reaching compromise and a middle ground than a benevolent professor? That is why we endorse Tim Wu for Lt. Governor.
Vote Tim Wu on Primary Day.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/09/queens-politics-endorses-tim-wu-for-lieutenant-governor-ny/
Jun 09 2014
We have confirmation, the primary for SD16 will be a one-way race: Toby Stavisky vs. S.J Jung.
Defying speculation, in a press release sent this evening, attorney John Messer officially declared he will sit this one out for good.
“Renewable energies, like solar and wind power, have been important to me because they reduce our carbon footprint and help to protect our communities.”
Messer explained that his company, Invictus Energy Solutions, has been on the front lines reducing dependence on foreign oil and carbon-based fuels — a commitment he would to like to see through to its completion.
“In an effort to improve our air quality, my company is in the process of implementing a significant project to replace these carbon based diesel generators with solar-powered alternatives which will run off the sun’s pure renewable energy. Queens shouldn’t be getting a failing grade for air pollution when every hour the sun beams enough energy onto our planet to satisfy our global energy needs for an entire year. Over the next several years, I want to work with you to bring renewable energies to our community, improve the quality of our air, our failing grade, and the overall health of our community.”
Meanwhile racial politics will still be in play, and in all likelihood Toby Stavisky will still be the victor. After all, she’s the most visible; a staple in the Flushing community and she has the proven ability to trounce her opponents, but like many districts, only a small percentage of the electorate actually show up for critical primaries – and those that do have proven over and over that they favor Toby Stavisky. So with Messer out, the “primary vote” will be safe for Senator Stavisky putting S.J in a perpetual uphill climb: registering new voters and pulling them out on election day, which is not as easy as it sounds epecially when voters doubt a challenger’s ability to trounce an incumbent of this magnitude. Furthermore, Stavisky also has enough clout in many sections of the Asian community to bridge the tribal nature of local politics, a bridge that may prove too long for S.J, even if he has some IDC help along the way.
No word on an endorsement yet.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/06/john-messer-steps-aside-focuses-on-renewable-energy/
Mar 19 2014
The future is unwritten, or is it?
Since his recent betrayal of the Democratic Party left him alone in the woods, everyone is wondering who will rise to the occasion and primary “maverick” state Sen. Tony Avella?
With all the hypotheses circulating around town we’ve all managed to miss one little thing: With every possible candidate in north Queens comfortable and safe in their seats, there’s only one viable candidate that has enough political clout and name recognition to battle the 800 pound gorilla that is Tony Avella.
That candidate is none other than John Liu, the only candidate with nothing to lose.
With Liu’s recent endorsement of Grace Meng, Congress was out of the question and Peter Koo easily won reelection, so a Council run won’t happen, at least not for another four years. And since no incumbent in their right mind wants to risk losing their seat to take on Tony, what’s left? Where will Liu run? Everyone knows Liu is a natural leader destined to run again, so how about where he lives in SD 11?
Could it happen? While whites are a majority in the district, Liu’s name recognition could overcome the tribal nature of politics in Queens; where people tend to vote according to race. But this is not a general election, and Joe voter on the street (who love Tony unabashedly) won’t be showing up for a primary, county supporters will. If it comes to pass, the low turnout primary will be a bare knuckle, door-to-door marathon not an endorsement and fundraising sprint. Tony will have to get enough boots on the ground and run the ultimate pull operation to have a fighting chance against a strong County-backed candidate like John Liu.
Reality will soon set in when Avella’s traditional support network will not be there for him. This matchup could split labor forces as well, further diminishing Tony’s chances. In this scenario, Liu could win. And While the hunt to replace Avella may end with John Liu (the only candidate that could beat him) it’s also Liu’s best option right now.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/03/race-to-replace-avella-gets-more-interesting-everyday/
Oct 16 2013
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.
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.
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
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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/paul-grazianos-endorsement-is-an-act-of-revenge/
Sep 11 2013
Bad news for Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.
Congratulations to all of the candidates, whether you won or lost. It was a long hard summer for everyone, and some of you really deserve a pat on the back. I especially want to give a shout out to all of the campaign workers, volunteers, and behind the scenes folks that really made this possible. Above all else, a thank you to all of the voters.
As a Democratic town, there were resounding victories all over Queens. I don’t want to rehash what you already heard, so let’s briefly go over some results:
Bill de Blasio defeated all of his opponents and put an end to Christine Quinn’s reign in city government. A runoff election is still up in the air and is set for Oct. 1st after a recount where Bill will need to garner 40% of the vote to avoid a runoff. And runoff or not, it’s not over for Bill. In November he will still have to face off with Republican Joe Lhota, who won the Republican nomination against John Catsimatidis. A democrat has not won the mayor’s seat since David Dinkins did in 1989.
Melinda Katz defeated Peter Vallone Jr. for Queens Borough President. The machine came out strong for Katz who will still have to face Republican Aurelio Arcabascio in November. Peter ran an excellent campaign, he stood up when others sat down. I’m sure he’ll be back soon. Congratulations are in order for Melinda.
Comptroller? Scott Stringer took the cake soundly defeating former governor Eliot Spitzer.
Cathy Guerreiro did not win the Public Advocate seat. I still believe she would have been an excellent P.A, her voice and thoughts on public policy were refreshing, however with the foundation planted for a solid campaign, she can make a run next time with better odds. It’s not often you win on your first try. Still too close to call, Letitia James, a City Council member from Brooklyn, will face Brooklyn Senator Daniel L. Squadron in a runoff.
Phil Ragusa defeated Sal Baccarella as the Republican State Committeeman for the 26th AD. A lot was at stake in this election and it looks like Ragusa will maintain his post and keep the power in northeast Queens. Dozens of other republican leadership races took place across town. As results come in, we’ll keep posting them.
In the 19th City Council District, Paul Vallone declared victory last night. It was a long hard battle, but Vallone won with 31%, or 2,723 votes to Austin Shafran’s 2,579 votes. A total of 98% of precincts reported leaving one precinct in College Point which did not report for some odd reason. Certainly Tony Avella must not be having a good morning, his handpicked candidate did not win. In November, Vallone will face off against Republican Dennis Saffran. It’s still a race to watch, but the first hurdle has been cleared.
In the 22nd City Council District, Costa Constantinides defeated Gus Prentzas and John Ciafone (Gus lost by one vote to Ciafone coming in third place). Congratulations to Costa and his campaign team.
Rory Lanceman also declared victory in the 24th Council District as did Ruben Wills in the 28th, Lew Simon in the 32nd, and Donovan Richards in the 31st.
Lastly, Vito Lopez is no more. Antonio Reynoso took the 34th Council District, which is mostly in Brooklyn, but includes a part of Ridgewood so it’s worth mentioning.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/to-the-victor-go-the-spoils-queens-primary-results/
Tuesday September 10, 2013 — 8:00 AM
Peter Vallone Jr. is the best choice for Queens Borough President. Please vote for him today.
For more information: Peter Vallone is the best choice for Borough President
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/vote-peter-vallone-jr-for-queens-borough-president/
Sep 06 2013
Once more unto the breach, dear friends… -Henry V
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/09/final-thoughts-primary-election-edition/
Nov 21 2012
As the race for Borough President heats up with more prospective candidates testing the waters, one stellar civic leader anxiously awaits an opening to represent New York’s 11th Senate District should the right pieces fall into place.
It is widely rumored incumbent Senator Tony Avella will be throwing his hat in the ring for Borough President. Should Avella become the next Beep, a special election will be held where community advocate Steve Behar will have a chance to take his place in Albany.
Behar, a progressive reformer who ran unsuccessfully for City Council and State Assembly, has been quietly building a coalition of community and civic leaders, which are already expressing encouragement.
Alfredo Centola, President of the Malba Gardens Civic Association agrees Behar would be the right choice for the district. “Steve would be phenomenally excellent and he would take into account all the needs of the community and he would listen to all the different parts of the community and work with everyone” said Centola. “He’s straightforward and he’s genuine, which is rare.”
Democratic District Leader Martha Flores Vazquez also expressed support. “Steve appears to be a gentleman with an open mind; his law experience may benefit the community in the state legislature.”
In what will be a hotly contested race pitting Avella against other campaign heavyweights like City Councilman Peter Vallone and Leroy Comrie, Lobbyist Melinda Katz, and Senator Jose Peralta, despite the strong opposition Avella is said to be mulling a chance to stand out from the crowd to gain a foothold in boro-wide politics for another shot at Mayor in 2017.
in the meantime, Behar, a member of Community Board 11, has been busy honing his campaign skills delivering victory after victory for the Democratic Party. Recently he served as field director for Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, campaign manager for Senator-elect James Sanders, as well as spearheading the legal team for Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng.
Should the pieces fall into place, a special election will likely take place in February to fill the vacancy. The County organization will have the choice to endorse Behar in the special or risk losing his large base (who will likely stay home in protest) and give rise to Senator Halloran – a frightening prospect for the Democratic County organization considering Republican Senator Frank Padavan represented the district for over 30 years.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/steve-behar-to-succeed-avella/
Aug 29 2012
A new hope for good government.
Reyes is calling on Governor Cuomo for ethics reform and points out the impropriety of his opponent Eric Ulrich.
PRESS RELEASE: Citing the growing number of cases of political corruption and abuse of power in the State Capitol, Republican State Senate candidate Juan Reyes of Queens today called for decisive action by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Juan Reyes said “New Yorkers are tired of the never ending scandals coming out of Albany: Brian Mclaughlin, stealing money from little leagues, Malcolm Smith, Hiram Monserrete – misuse of funds and violence, Carl Kruger – bribery, Vito Lopez – sexual harassment, Shirley Huntley – arrested for funneling money, Naomi Rivera probed for misuse of state funds.
“My own opponent, Eric Ulrich, used convicted felon Richard Hartman to collect many of his nominating petitions, and had another convicted felon, John Haggerty, file those petitions with the Board of Elections. It is as if Ulrich wants to get a head start on Albany by using experienced criminals.”
‘”Ulrich’s former chief of staff was also reportedly terminated from a Catholic institution for unknown circumstances. Last year his Chief of Staff was admonished by a Queens Supreme Court Judge for having intentionally deceived Republican voters in what many thought might constitute mail fraud. At least one of his close friends whom he worked with was likewise alleged to have been terminated from a Catholic institution under a cloud.”
Reyes, a former appointee of Mayor Giuliani, continued,
“The Governor has taken some steps to clean up Albany, but we need to go farther. I support the termination of state pension payments for anyone convicted of a felony in relation to his or her official state responsibilities.”
“We also need to put some strict limits on the activities of state legislators,” Reyes added, “starting with a moratorium on any legislative pay raise, and adding term limits for all state constitutional officers, members of the legislature, committee chairmen and legislative floor leaders, including the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker.”
Reyes noted that “Until a career in the state legislature is seen as a public service, instead of a license to steal, we will continue to be plagued by political corruption.”
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/reyes-to-cuomo-we-need-to-clean-house/
Aug 08 2012
Seems kind of odd to see a felon and an elected official arriving together on an night meant to foster positive relationships between the community and the police department, just ask Juan Reyes who witnessed it first hand.
Reyes, who is running against Eric Ulrich in a Republican Primary, noticed something very peculiar about Ulrich’s visit to National Night Out Against Crime, he had a criminal in tow.
In a press statement, Reyes points out the strange relationship between Ulrich and Haggerty which became clear as day when Haggerty accompanied Ulrich at National Night Out Against Crime.
“My Republican Primary opponent, Eric Ulrich, continues to use a convicted felon, John Haggerty, as his top political advisor. His campaign sounds like a Night Out With Crime,” he said.
And Reyes may not be that far off from the truth. Haggerty was convicted for stealing campaign funds from the Mayor and has been seen by Ulrich’s side for the entire Senate campaign – even down at the Board of Elections (and in the court room) in an official capacity for Ulrich’s campaign.
Hard to imagine that Haggerty has turned a new leaf of reform. Rich, politically connected white males hardly see any justice. So has John done his Penance? No, he’s been invited back into the same element that gave him access to commit high crimes against the voters of NYC, and the Mayor, courtesy of Councilman Eric Ulrich.
If this election is about character and integrity of our elected officials, Reyes wins.
Someone should make a call to the Attorney General or Haggerty’s parole judge.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/a-night-out-with-crime-featuring-john-haggerty-eric-ulrich-oh-happy-day-gop-crime/
Apr 17 2012
Reports are coming in for the 6th CD petition deadline in Queens and Robert Mittman took Gottlieb to task with an estimated 1,800 signatures.
Robert Mittman: 311 pages.
Jeff Gottlieb: 260 pages.
While the official tally is not in yet, each page can have a maximum of 20 signatures, but that rarely happens.
Colin Cambell reported earlier today these numbers:
Each candidate needed a minimum of 938 signatures.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/04/mittman-gottlieb-meng-lancman-crowle/
Mar 29 2012
Mike Scala, a Democratic candidate for NY’s 5th CD discusses primary elections; makes numerous sports analogies.
By Mike Scala: When you watch the news, you probably get the sense that all that matters when it comes to a congressional seat is whether it is occupied by a Democrat or a Republican. It’s not surprising: the balance of power in this country is largely determined by which party holds more seats. Additionally, it’s an easy sell to present politics as a sporting event. Right now, the red team leads the blue team 242 to 192. A primary election doesn’t change the score, so the media doesn’t find it sexy. The problem, however, with reducing democracy to a numbers game is that it disregards the players. Congressional approval is at an all-time low because people aren’t satisfied with the individuals who represent us. Instead of focusing solely on Ds and Rs, let’s start looking at who the actual candidates are.
To continue the sports analogy, a primary determines whom each team puts in the game. While a coaching decision may not be as exciting as a slam dunk, it absolutely impacts the result. Jeremy Lin couldn’t have led the Knicks to seven straight wins if he were kept on the bench. The Republicans have more seats in Congress because the Democrats continue to nominate weak candidates who refuse to fight for the people’s needs. It’s astonishing how many times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t agree with the Republicans on most issues, but at least they have a spine.” There are potential all-stars in the Democratic Party, but first we need to be given the ball.
A primary also keeps candidates honest. Most obviously prefer to forego the primary process because it’s one less election they have to win. More than that, though, no primary means they get to ride the party wave with no personal accountability. Many districts are not swing districts. People have their ideologies, and come Election Day they’re going to vote along party lines. A primary forces the candidates to take a stand. It’s easy to regurgitate party talking points, but multiple candidates vying for the same party’s nomination compels nuanced discussion. It makes incumbents defend their records and challengers explain what they’d do differently than others in their party. Without it, there really is no meaning behind who belongs to what party anyway. Candidates could claim the popular party and govern as if they belonged to the other. And that essentially renders the scoreboard meaningless.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/candidate-for-congress-explains-why-primaries-are-important/
Nov 08 2011
Could there already be an organized movement to defeat undeclared mayoral candidate Christine Quinn? A man who’s work saved over 45,000 unborn children from certain death says he plans to deliver many times that number to vote against her.
The Founder of Expectant Mother Care is a kingpin of religious Catholics in New York. Accusing Quinn of “Gestapo-like tactics,” he’s galvanizing the Pro-Life movement for a voting bloc against a Quinn term—and some analysts say it could cause Quinn to stumble.
Chris Slattery is well known in churches of all denominations and founded the nonprofit group, Expectant Mother Care to encourage expectant moms to choose motherhood, and either marriage, adoption, or self-sufficiency, instead of abortion, according to the website.
Traditionally, social conservatives were considered a swing demographic, hard to predict, often marginalized, but never to be underestimated because of their large numbers says William Ferraro, a political consultant from the Pendulum Network.
Social conservatives were historically and traditionally Democrats, but the political climate has changed. Social conservatives support socially conservative ideology, which means that their votes could potentially go to a candidate with little concern for party enrollment.
For example, during the Presidential Election of 2000, a study found that 40 percent of the total vote for George Bush came from Christian Evangelicals, making it the largest single voting bloc in the Republican Party. However, Black Protestant voters, majorities of whom are Evangelical, voted 96 percent for Pro-Choice Democrat Al Gore and only 4 percent for George Bush, the Pro-Life candidate.
There are recent trends that indicate a change from the unpredictability of a socially conservative voting bloc. Single-issue positions like being Pro-Life or Pro-Choice seem to trump any party loyalty, even religious affiliation. This trend was a key factor in the election of Republican Congressman Bob Turner.
When Turner a Pro-Life Catholic businessman ran against an orthodox Pro-Choice Jewish Democrat David Weprin, Turner’s campaign launched a series of ads aimed squarely at the orthodox Jewish vote in the Ninth Congressional District, where Democrats enjoy a significant enrollment advantage. This demographic group rallied behind Turner because Weprin had voted in the state legislature for the same-sex marriage bill.
Republican campaign operative Steven Stites anticipates a problem for Quinn if the debate is framed by a stance on Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, which hasn’t happened yet. “If the issue is framed by her position on Pro-Life centers, there could be a problem during the general, but during a primary, social conservatives are under-represented,” according to Stites.
“Slattery is correct to be upset, but attacks from the right during a primary aren’t necessarily a bad thing for Quinn,” Stites added.
Is the axe coming down on Speaker Quinn as opposed to any of the other Democratic candidates? Could they swing votes away from Quinn and toward John Liu, Bill de Blasio, Scott Stringer, Tony Avella, or any other candidates? Yes, it could, if Slattery has anything to do with it. He wants Quinn’s policy maneuvering against crisis pregnancy centers to define her candidacy.
While the other potential candidates are also Pro-Choice, according to insiders in Slattery’s group no other candidate has the viciousness demonstrated by Quinn toward religious free speech.
Quinn and Bloomberg signed Local Law 17, which required crisis pregnancy centers, like Expectant Mother Care, to disclose more information about what services they perform and whom they will be provided by. Critics say the measure would force crisis pregnancy centers to advertise services they do not offer. The City Council approved the bill that would have placed strict limits on the advertising crisis pregnancy centers may use and required them to post signs designed to discourage women from seeking their abortion alternatives services.
Quinn called the matter a protection of consumer rights.
However Pro-Life advocates like Slattery say the bill put harsh restrictions on alternatives to abortions, such as adoption and counseling.
The law Quinn signed was challenged in Federal Court. Slattery’s group, EMC was one of the plaintiffs. A stay was issued, and according to legal experts it will probably be overturned. Judge William Pauley said the bill was “unconstitutionally vague”, although he conceded the harm that can be caused to pregnant, at-risk women by unlicensed ultrasound technicians “operating in pseudo-medical settings”.
Slattery hailed the decision as a victory for the First Amendment.
“The legislation was [Quinn’s] baby and [City Councilwoman] Jessica Lapin’s baby, we warned them it was unconstitutional to shut down our life saving operation” said Slattery. “But they went ahead anyway.”
Slattery alleges that Planned Parenthood and Naral New York may have been influencing Quinn’s active pursuit of bill 371 .
Naral Pro-Choice NY, then led then by Kellie Conlin, who was forced out in January from her post after pleading guilty to stealing $75,000 worth of donations from the organization said in a press release, “Unfortunately, when a woman enters a Crisis Pregnancy Center, she loses all expectation of accurate, unbiased information and any assurance of privacy. Instead, she is faced with biased counseling, anti-abortion propaganda, deliberate deception, and emotional manipulation.”
Slattery responded to Naral’s accusations,
“The woman [Kellie Conlin] who was forced out – that called us frauds – while she’s committing fraud” exclaimed Slattery who called it a “repugnant characterization” of his group “that was intended to be offensive.”
The dispute put Quinn in the crosshairs of social conservative voters who tend to support the use of government to reinforce traditional social relations, according to a Pew research report. So is it enough to galvanize a Pro-Life voting bloc, the same bloc vote once thought to be too unpredictable to be considered an effective movement in city elections?
Slattery’s movement is gaining traction.
Chris Slattery is more than an outspoken Quinn critic, he is well known by key members of all denominations that connect him to thousands of parishioners in all five boroughs.
In January, 2010 Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, a Pro-Life activist and a leader of the black community held a Pro-Life rally in Manhattan side-by-side with Chris Slattery of Expectant Mother Care where she encouraged opposition to Bill 371.
City Council Member Fernando Cabrera (D-Bronx), also the only Reverend in the City Council is a staunch advocate of Slattery’s movement.
Cabrera, who for the last four years, has co-chaired the Hispanic-Jewish Relations Task Force for the Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, began a church called New Life Outreach International, a congregation that has swelled to over 400 members. He is also well known in a network of Evangelical churches that are spreading like wildfire throughout the five boroughs, according to inside sources.
Will they come out on election day?
“It’s a set of core values that unites us,” said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) who spoke at a Save The Life Center rally. Council District 19 is the most ethnically and religiously diverse in the City. Protestant groups, Baptists, Lutherans, Hindus, Catholics, and a large Jewish demographic of conservative, orthodox, and reform Jews can be found in the northeast section of Queens. “We all coexist because we respect the values of our community, said Halloran, adding “We will not back down and we will continue to advocate for you.”
Critics fear that Quinn has awoken a sleeping giant. With six or seven possible candidates running, if her campaign thinks she will win with the social conservative base actively campaigning against her, she could be gravely mistaken.
There could be 5,000 parishes, temples, and synagogues turning against her. Will the residents be so upset that they vote for another candidate or is it just a case of saber rattling?
“It was a use of raw political power in a complete disregard for the first amendment and the rights of Christians and almost all Catholic and Christian Pro Lifers” said Slattery.
“I am in fear and trepidation in her run for mayor, she will put the jackboot to Christians in the city and stomp on our necks for us to cry uncle and to shutdown millennial old moral underpinnings and traditions,” he added.
Slattery said the Pro-Life movement would not support candidates that are Pro-Choice. But Quinn took it a step further with her bill that would have crippled Expectant Mother Care and other crisis pregnancy centers that Pro-Lifers like Slattery have embraced.
Slattery believed the bill was a direct challenge to his organization’s mission, but so far, the other candidates have not been as active as Quinn with the intent of shutting down the life centers.
“Bloomberg and Quinn use the schools as an experiment in birth and population control, they have completely disregarded the astounding abortion rates and ratios in New York,” Slattery said. “They think the only way to prevent pregnancy is to flood the city with more condoms.”
Slattery agreed that while“they [public schools] haven’t had overtly bad sex education, its covertly and without former curriculum: tie-ins and programs to escort school children to planned parenthood, it’s been happening for 40 years.”
“Reading writing arithmetic, mapping out roots to the abortion — this man is crazy. Quinn is even more radical than Bloomberg.”
Socially conservative groups like Slattery’s could be the deciding factor in the Democratic primary, much in the same way the socially conservative religious voting bloc came out in force for the election of Congressman Bob Turner in Queens and Brooklyn.
Quinn’s decision to support Local Law 17 was influenced by her campaign contributors Slattery alleged.
“Its all about who she’s getting her campaign funds from: Naral Pro-choice, Planned Parenthood, the abortionists. The Catholic press is softball, they won’t name names and they don’t really call these politicians to account, they decry the whole body. Pastors don’t play enough hardball. They’ve been emasculated by there fear of politicians. I don’t understand them, the people in the pews will be making the decisions.”
If Quinn loses these voters, as Slattery believes she will, it is likely that these votes will go to John Liu, a Queens native, according to a Democratic official. Lots of people are already behind John Liu, and it is widely rumored that Quinn threw him under the bus with a recent ruling regarding campaign signs and a probe of questionable campaign contributions.
Queens Democratic Party Boss Joe Crowley, who is Pro-Life, and was raised in the cradle of old school conservatives of Irish decent would be caught in the middle. “Because of Joe Crowley’s prominence in the Irish-Catholic community – he would understand better than most people what’s coming” said Elio Forcina, a Republican, and former Assembly candidate who also helped organize a fundraiser for Expectant Mother Care in May 2011 for an ultra sound machine that is currently being used in Brooklyn.
“If the Catholic parishes, the evangelicals, and the synagogues all unite, they could ultimately derail Quinn’s campaign,” according to Forcina. “May the fruits that grow out of this movement ultimately be Christine Quinn’s redemption,” he said.
Religious convictions appear to trump party loyalty. Many Americans continue to say their religious beliefs have been influential in shaping their views about social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage, according to Pew research, but it doesn’t always translate into votes. It’s how a liberal and a conservative like Fernando Cabrera and Dan Halloran and a civil rights leader like Dr. Aveda King can find some common ground.
The potential galvanization of socially conservative church-going voters against Christine Quinn as the Democratic nominee for Mayor should not go unnoticed. Bill 371 has been the rallying cry. Past elections can illustrate the voting bloc as fickle and unreliable. How likely is it that the bloc would vote for a Lesbian Democrat from the West Side of Manhattan, anyway? Not very likely, but there are recent examples that may prove the observation as not entirely accurate. Quinn may have inadvertently energized Pro-Life voters against her campaign at the same time a massive mobilization of Pro-Lifers appears to be underway unlike anything New York City has seen before.
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