Tag Archive: Republican

Feb 24 2014

Congressional Candidate Confronted About FEC Fines [video]


Grant Lally certainly didn’t want to answer any questions as you will see in the video and he definitely did not like being filmed in a public forum. Not exactly the makings of a Congressman, or is it? Full transcript below.

Why does the FEC penalize candidates? Because that’s what they do, at least according to Grant Lally, a Congressional candidate who is very familiar with illegal campaign contributions.

According to the legend of Achilles, as a baby Achilles was dipped into the river Styx in order to make him invulnerable by his mother Thetis. It was a smart move; it made Achilles strong, seemingly invincible to his enemies who cowered at the mere mention of his name, however his heel wasn’t covered by the magical water and thus the supposedly invulnerable Achilles – despite his strength and prowess in battle – had one fatal weakness: his heel. And as fate would have it, he was shot and killed by an arrow straight through his Achilles’ heel.

Grant Lally, like Achilles, has a fatal weakness: he paid off the government when the Federal Elections Commission fined him $280,000 for accepting illegal campaign contributions from his parents, and then lied about it. And now, seeking public office yet again, he won’t talk about it, but he’ll be sure to accuse you of being a Democrat if you ask.

It’s all about character and integrity in this race, and so it will be a recurring question in the campaign because it’s like a downright admission of his guilt. After all, why would Lally pay the fines (one of the largest fines ever in FEC history) if he didn’t do anything wrong? What would stop him from doing it again? This is really serious. But that’s not what this post is about. Rather, it’s about a potential federal elected official unwilling to answer questions at a public forum. So how can voters trust him? Will he dodge ALL questions about the matter? Nevertheless, in the video Queens-Politics contributor, Jack Oneil was one of the few brave citizens to actually speak up at a civic forum in Forest Hills where he questioned Lally directly about the fines, his payoff, and why exactly he didn’t fight them. Lally, in return, stonewalled.



GL: (regarding exposure of his FEC fines)  ….This is what they do.
JO: Where I’m coming from is as a very successful, high-profile attorney who has political ambitions and political experience and all the rest, a $280K fine, or $250K, or $300K whatever it was, a settlement, I mean I think if it was me and the FEC was suing me and I had a big successful political law firm….
GL: You’re not filming me right now are you?
JO: Yes
GL: (Looks at the officials and rolls his eyes)
JO: I were I were a big..
GL: Who are you?
JO: Jack Oneil
GL: Could you not film me? I’d prefer not to be filmed..
JO: Thinks (Then why are you running for congress you Jackass?)
JO: Well this is a public forum.
JO: Again if I were being sued and I were a high profile attorney with all the resources that you have, I wouldn’t have settled
GL: Are you a Democrat? Who are you with ?
JO: I’m not with anybody , I’m an independent.  With such a large fine, I wouldn’t have settled, I would have fought it tooth and nail.
GL: This is not, this is not…..


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/grant-lally-folds-under-questioning/

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
  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


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

Oct 25 2013

Rising Star In Queens Council Race: Daniel Peterson

For more information or to make a contribution to Peterson 2013, kindly visit www.peterson2013.com.

For more information or to make a contribution to Peterson 2013, kindly visit www.peterson2013.com.

Noteworthy candidates are rising to the occasion and stepping up to the plate for a chance to bring fairness and independent thinking to the council chambers.

by: Raquel Okyay


As popular Queens’ Democrat councilman is term limited out of office, the Republican candidate, Daniel P. Peterson said he would add a much-needed pragmatic voice into a city government that needs constraint.

“Our city legislature needs common-sense conservatives who know how to balance a checkbook,” said Peterson, a real estate lease administrator who is the Republican Party candidate for New York City Council, District 22 which represents Astoria and parts of East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

Democrat Peter F. Vallone Jr. has been the district’s councilman since 2002.  There are five individuals on the ballot in the general election.  Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The city legislature primarily votes on budget matters and requests for discretionary spending,
said Peterson.  “With nearly 95% of the council advocating liberal policies, the tax payers are being fleeced.”

Being a council representative is not just about “bringing home the bacon” for district improvements, he said. “We can encourage businesses and citizens to work together to invest in Astoria.”

“As councilman, I will work with all non-profit organizations with fundraising when there are no discretionary funds available; and I will propose legislation offering tax relief to small businesses that provide financial assistance to after-school programs, events and community improvements,” he said.

The New York City council currently has just 4 Republicans and 47 Democrats, he said. “Unfortunately, the Republican Party continues its failure to communicate in an effective way causing frustration with conservative voters.”

The New York State Republican Party flounders without presenting core values, said Peterson, who has been employed in the private sector for over 25 years.  “The GOP fails to have a cohesive message that brings in new voters.”

“I pre-registered to vote when I was 17 years-old so I would be able to vote for mayor in 1989,” he said. “I have consistently voted in 3 out of every 4 year election cycles since.”

It was his disapproval of Michael Bloomberg’s actions, as mayor that sparked his interest in local politics, he said.   “The mayor increased property taxes by 18.5% and he began rolling out his anti-liberty, nanny-state policies.”

However, the worst move Bloomberg could make was to refinance the city’s debt from the 1970s, he said.  “The city was scheduled to pay off its debt in 2008, yet instead of spending cuts and shrinking government, Bloomberg struck a deal to continue making debt payments into the 2030s.”

The ability to make tough decisions in order to balance the budget is what we expect from city government, said Peterson.   “The Democrats want to raise taxes to expand the size of government even more.  I would call for an audit of all city agencies to see which ones we can consolidate and which ones we can fold.”

“As city councilman, I would advocate we sell city-owned land we do not need so we can cut property taxes,” he said.  “I would move to pass legislation that provides tax relief to small businesses that invest in the communities they operate in.”

Astoria is seeing new development over the past few years that demands careful accounting, he said.  “Some of these developers have donated to my Democrat opponent’s campaign.”

If elected to the city council, the Queens native said he would keep a scornful eye on quid-pro-quodeals.  “Tax payer funded projects sometimes fuel special-interest groups who expect payback in return.”

Developers continue to build without regard to congestion and safety precautions, said Peterson. “We need responsible development that does not overpopulate our town or create hazards. Improving traffic patterns, expanding bus service and proposing ferry service along the waterfront are ways to help relieve congestion.”

Providing English classes to immigrants struggling to integrate into society is a task he is willing to take-on, he said.  “Adult education is an extremely important avenue for finding employment.”

“Astoria is an immigrant community with many different languages spoken in the home,” he said.   “I would look to open more English language centers, so our newest New Yorkers can communicate with their neighbors and assist their children with homework.”

Keeping the community involved is key to operating a city as diverse as New York, said the Queens Borough Community College graduate.  “I would hold town hall meetings throughout the district discussing topics from education to jobs to home ownership.”

Peterson said liberal policies have been hurting New Yorkers and that is something he would like to see change.  “I can provide new ideas and solutions to a struggling community.”

“Astoria is a unique place to live,” he said.  “We have street fairs and block parties every summer; these events bring business, non-profits and the community together.”


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/10/rising-star-in-queens-race-daniel-peterson/

Apr 18 2013

Democratic Frontrunner Has Crossover Appeal

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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.


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

Apr 17 2013

Hey Press, Leave Mapes Alone

Queens Politics

Would any of this even matter if there weren’t a case against Councilman Halloran?

I met her in grad school when she was the leader of a Republican Renaissance.

They are calling it a sex scandal but it’s really not. In the bizarre circumstances surrounding Councilman Dan Halloran’s charges, there is a tremendous amount of collateral damage being done to a young aspiring law student.

Mapes was always interested in politics. I had first heard of her while I was in grad school at St. John’s studying – you guessed it – government and politics. But first a little background. During my undergrad years at St. John’s University, I spent my time building up the Government and Politics Society as an advocacy organization with a watchdog function to oversee the organization in charge of all student clubs, known as SGI (student government incorporated). I advocated for increased transparency in budgetary procedure and an audit of what I believed to be the misappropriation of University allocated funding.

To make a long story short, there was a clear disparity in funding for certain organizations and I felt it needed to be addressed, if not corrected. I sought resolution with the powers that be, but after being stonewalled by the Treasurer of the Executive Board, (he claimed the funding formula was part of an age old process which he couldn’t reveal, but basically meant it was above all forms of scrutiny or improvement) I had enough, so I began a grassroots movement to organize students at first by seeking out the leaders of student run clubs and then by taking to the airwaves.

Soon, the Government and Politics Society began to push forward progressive ideals all over campus, but first and foremost, it’s primary focus was to open up the books of SGI. As the Government and Politics Society’s most outspoken President, I stated my case to student congress time after time after time, but even after my objections were heard, they fell on deaf ears with enough lip service to make you sick. It wasn’t long before we began to circulate flyers all around campus that questions were finally being raised such as, who is this young man that dares to speak up? Maybe he has a valid point? Sadly, by the time the movement had gained enough traction my time as an undergrad was up, but my work was far from finished (even though by the end of my senior year, all student club leaders were being encouraged to attend the budget procedure – a small victory). After being accepted into grad school, I came on board to aid the Government and Politics Society, as well as many other student-run clubs as an informal advisor to keep the momentum going. It was around that time when I began to witness freshmen students take up a leadership role in university politics. Meaghan Mapes was one of them, in fact she was the only one. Her work with the College Republicans was different from that of her predecessors. Mapes was an activist and she quickly figured out basic organizational psychology. She worked tirelessly to rebuild the organization and to bridge the growing disconnect between university politics and the local political scene. She put a new face on an old idea and helped cut the red tape that harmed student organizations. Soon every student became conscious (or at least semi-conscious) of the Mapes-led republican movement at SJU.

Even though I leaned Democrat, her work was notable across the aisle because it engaged students in an otherwise apathetic campus.

It’s not surprising that she had become the Deputy Chief of Staff to one of New York City’s most prolific Council members. She’s smart, articulate and driven – something the Republican Party really needs. But I think we tend to overlook how often love happens in the workplace. Senator Chuck Schumer would know; he’s been playing matchmaker with former staffers and colleagues for over a decade (some have even resulted in marriage). While some media outlets are calling it a sex scandal, I think we need to reevaluate this claim because it is absolutely sexist to assume she was promoted from campaign volunteer to Deputy Chief of Staff just because she is a young single female or just because a jealous former staffer said so, anonymously mind you. I believe we need to leave this young aspiring law student to her own destiny, which doesn’t seem to include Councilman Halloran or any wrongdoing on her part for that matter.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/04/hey-press-leave-meaghan-mapes-alone/

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.


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

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“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.”


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

Oct 08 2012

Gutsy Opponent Hammers On Tony’s Tenure

Concannon blasted away in last night's press release.

If there ever was a case to replace Tony Avella as Senator for the 11th District in Queens, Republican Joe Concannon, a retired NYPD Captain and former security advisor to Mayor Giuliani, has put it altogether in a press release issued shortly after midnight.

There are two parts including quotes from the opening of his new campaign office located in Bay Terrace (near the Post office), and the second half (below) that is like an indictment of Tony’s political career. Highlights include calling attention to Tony’s record, accusations of ‘class warfare rhetoric’, and being ‘bored’ in City Council, plus other insults such as “Tony can’t play well with others,” and “Business leaders know Tony sees them only as a cash register.”

Concannon also promises to become the next Frank Padavan even adapting Padavan’s well-known campaign slogan to “Nobody cares like Joe. ” Also includes the word begrudge in the last paragraph.

Press Release:

  • “Rather than work with people – he bangs the drum and calls people names and resorts to histrionics. Like so many other small business owners these caring retailers have been on the wrong end of the stick with my opponent who is constantly looking for another community news story at someone else’s expense. Constantly, attacking another employer or property owner or coming up with another fee or tax or regulation to impose making it harder to make ends meet, survive or grow is not the answer.
  • That was his record in the Council and it has been his short record as a junior Senator. The short of it is making noise is not delivering for the community.  Another rally or protest that doesn’t address the issue, doesn’t improve our quality of life …. is not the answer. Another job-killing regulation or tax does not create a job or help our economy or even balance our budget. Civic leaders know they have been shortchanged by Tony’s promises and were better off with Frank. Business leaders know Tony sees them only as a cash register with Tony now echoing Obama’s anti-business class warfare rhetoric – but guess what Tony – our community’s small business owners and executives did build it!…. and they are doing their fair share! What’s more we are paying out more in our community than any other community in Queens and getting less in return because Tony can’t play well with others. Well that is just not good enough.
  • The long and the short of it is that if the good people of Northeast Queens elect me… Joe Concannon I will work steadfastly on their behalf and I will be a full time Senator, like Frank was, focused only on our community’s interest. Frank was known for his slogan “Nobody Cares Like Frank” – well we now know Frank had big shoes and that the slogan fit and that Tony can’t fill either the shoes or the slogan and that our community has suffered because of it.
  • You can bank on this – after one term our community will know that “Nobody Cares Like Joe.” I will work harder and I pledge to work with anyone I have to – to get the job done!
  • Here is one last thing I want to leave you with. Tony has been a long career in public service and good for him. Some would call him a career politician and perhaps it would have done him some good to work in the private sector for a while but no matter. He jumped from being a Dinkin’s staffer to being a Stavisky staffer to being a Council Member. Bored with his duties in the Council and unable to deliver for the community he made a quixotic run for Mayor. That did not work out so well and now having served less than a full term in the Senate and unable to work with his fellow Senators he has failed to deliver for our community again shortchanging our civics and our not-for-profits and our schools and senior centers and community institutions and now he is playing with running for Borough President…..? Perhaps he should do so.
  • However I make this final pledge. Not only will I be a full time Senator fighting for our community day and night I also pledge to serve out my term and not using it as a stepping stone for higher office.
  • I begrudge no one for seeking higher office and think it is a particularly good idea for Tony to do so since he has failed to accomplish anything of note in his short term in the Senate except voting for a scandal laden majority leader like Sampson after promising to be a reformer.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/concannon-pounds-on-tonys-tenure/

Sep 28 2012

Addabbo gets UFT Endorsement

Senator Addabbo stands with a cadre of elected officials and members of the UFT at a school named after his late father, State Senator Joseph Addabbo.

Who’s having a good week? On Tuesday State Senator Joseph Addabbo received an enormous boost to his campaign against Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

A UFT endorsement carries a lot of weight and can tip the balance of an election considering the large volume of boots they can put on the ground for a candidate, not to mention an enormous sphere of influence and expansive networking prowess.

Read the full press release below.

Press Release: Queens, NY- The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) have endorsed State Sen. Joseph Addabbo for a third term representing New York’s 15th Senate District.

“Senator Addabbo has proven time and again that he is a tireless advocate on behalf of students,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

The unions endorsed the Queens Democrat in front of the Joseph P. Addabbo School in Ozone Park, named after the senator’s late father, 13-term U.S. Congressman Joseph Addabbo.

“I am incredibly honored to have the endorsement of the UFT and NYSUT,” Addabbo said. “Education has always been and always will be one of my first priorities, and because of the support of organizations like the UFT and NYSUT, I have been successful in my fight for quality education for every child.”

Senator Addabbo fought to restore much-needed yellow bus services for over 4,000 7th and 8th graders in New York City, and has worked to decrease class sizes. He also supported a law in which schools have to make detailed plans to address cyberbullying, and backed the 2010 law to combat bullying and discrimination in schools among students with different backgrounds.

With two children in New York schools, Addabbo said he knows how important education is.

“Education is the key to building a better future, and ensuring the success of the next generation,” said Addabbo, a graduate of St. John’s University and Touro Law School. “All children should have the opportunity to learn and reach their full potential.”

Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee, this year helped secure an extra $292 million for city schools, in addition to providing more than $31 million for community colleges, and $28 million for New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/addabbo-has-a-good-week-uft/

Sep 03 2012

Labor Union Endorses Senate GOP Candidate

(l to r) Aurelio “Tony” Arcabasio and CWA Local 1104 President George Bloom

The Republican candidate for New York’s 12th Senate District, Tony Arcabascio, received an endorsement by CWA Local 1104.

Like many of us, if you grew up in Queens chances are you know at least one person in a union (and you might know a few more people who wish they could get into a union). Unions tend to endorse Democrats, but every once in a while an exemplary candidate stands out above the rest and gets the nod. Union President George Bloom was impressed with Tony’s position on bringing back jobs to America. Specific legislative initiatives or executive orders are not mentioned.

Press Release: Republican Candidate Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio, running for New York State Senate in the 12th District Senate proudly accepted the endorsement of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), Local 1104. The union, Local 1104, was impressed with Tony’s position on job creation and re-shoring (bringing) jobs back to the United States.  After a recent meeting with Tony, CWA 1104 President, George Bloom and the other union members were pleased to grant Tony their endorsement. President Bloom stated that,

“CWA 1104 believes that Tony will serve the residents of the 12th Senate District well, simple because he has lifelong roots in the District and experience working with our members, Tony can relate to the challenges and experiences of past generations.  He is a man of integrity who believes in and supports Americans. We feel confident that he will stand by his word and go to Albany with the best of intentions to do what’s right for the 12th Senate District residents and our CWA members throughout the state of New York.”

Tony shared his personal story with the union of how he grew up with working class parents who were both AFL/CIO union members and over his 30 years of working experience, he’s had the opportunity and pleasure of working with CWA union contractors and members. He shared his position on major issues – job creation, education and healthcare; and he told the CWA members that, “The well-being of my constituents is a top priority.  As New York State Senator, I will work hard to bring jobs back to the United States.  As far as I’m concerned, I answer to the residents of this district.”  He is looking forward to taking his no-nonsense approach to Albany and improving the quality of life for all his constituents.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/09/union-endorses-gop-candidate-senate/

Jan 19 2012

Koo To Defect From GOP

Crowley sent a chopper to pick me up, Ragusa sent a Ford. What did you think I was going to do?

Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) announced he will be switching parties, according to the New York Times.

It’s not as shocking as one might think.

In a heavily Democratic district, one can only wonder what was offered to him behind the scenes. Who courted Mr. Koo, a millionaire pharmacist from Flushing?

In 2009, Koo ran against Yen Chou, a Democrat who owns a daycare facility. The primary was vicious, and Koo emerged the victor after the Dems tore each other apart. Many insiders considered it a fluke.

The switch could have been totally unexpected, and the Queens County GOP may not have known it was coming. But it still hasn’t officially happened yet.

Food for thought:

Rumors of a gerrymandered ‘Asian Majority’ district for a Senate seat could have motivated him.  Is it a numbers game? Is Mr. Koo questioning the worth of being a Republican? The area is heavily Democratic and Koo could have feared a well-funded and supported Democratic challenger for Council or for the Senate seat, should he decide to run.

Koo, long considered a centrist has taken many positions favorable to Democratic kingpins like Christine Quinn that could ease the transition.

Is he angry with the local GOP party for a lack of support and constant infighting?

Keep in mind Koo is a millionaire and can self-finance his own run.  After all he was originally registered as a Democrat. Just speculating, if Mark Weprin becomes speaker, Koo could be Finance chair, that’s if he’s a Democrat. If he’s a Republican, then he might be on the lowly housing committee (Republicans cannot chair committees).

Being a successful small businessman might help Koo ease through the transition.

What do you think?


FYI, during Mr. Koo’s run for City Council in 2009, Dennis Gallagher  worked on his campaign setting up stanchions that were emblazoned with ‘property of Mike Riccatto’ in downtown Flushing.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/koo-to-defect-from-gop/

Dec 01 2011

Who Wears The Crown In Whitestone?

"We're going to get people back to work," said Dan who hit the nail on the head. Many of the attendees felt the crush of a shrinking economy.

A political fundraiser gives an insider’s view of things to come.

Councilman Dan Halloran’s fundraiser at Verdi’s of Whitestone is noteworthy not because of the money raised, but because of the people that came to show support.

Fundraisers are not usually covered by Queens-Politics, but because Dan is my Councilmember and he works on behalf of my friends and neighbors, I felt it was important to inform our readers of what was said here especially if you couldn’t make it.

At the fundraiser I saw many Queens luminaries particularly from our corner of the borough. I had the chance to reconnect with old campaign buddies as well as the owner of Verdi’s who happens to be a good friend of the family. I spoke with Dan’s staff, whom I find to be terrific and professional. A constituent can call up with an issue and they are on it the next day (if not that very hour).

No waiting, no politicking, none of that stuff.

When you need something accomplished for the community, Dan’s office is unmatched. Not everyone may agree, but if you ask me I’ll tell you about the time Dan fast-tracked the installation of a no standing sign in front of my Uncle’s house because motorists were blocking the driveway (he did this almost overnight), or how he’s working on making the city plant a tree in a brown site on my street after my request was lost in bureaucratic red tape.

The most striking moment was when Dan took to the podium. He addressed his detractors, particularly the mainstream media that may not have found his reaming of a business which terrorized local residents appropriate for an elected official. QP thinks otherwise.

Dan chats with Pete Zucarello and a constituent.

Many reporters are new additions to the neighborhood and – more often than not –  have lived west of the Hudson most of their life.  If that’s the case, it’s an uphill battle to get a bead on what’s going on behind the scenes. But that didn’t matter to Dan. He embraced it, even calling attention to his Youtube video that went viral.  “For 10 years my predecessor did nothing,” Dan said and described a two-year period of negotiation with the owner and management of Star Nissan that seemed to go in one ear and out the other.

The people are joyous that someone cares enough to do what it takes even if that means rocking the boat a little.

Dan asked the audience rhetorically, “how do you maintain decorum with what goes on in government?” Everyone seemed to nod in agreement.“We’re all here because it is our hope,” he said and hinted at a run for Assembly or Congress, or a reelection to City Council pending on how the district lines are redrawn.

Elio Forcina was the MC for the evening and he helped organize the event with Mario D’Elia, Philip ZerilloPete Zuccarello, and Dennis Ring. Don Capalbi, President of the Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association was in attendance and so was Dee Richard. Serphin Maltese gave a pep talk, and members of the Bacrarella family were also on hand to show their support.

Frank Padavan was there too. He said Dan would make an excellent Senator. Was it an endorsement? I don’t know.

The audience was a mixture of folks from all political stripes including Democrats, Republicans, and some notable Independents and union members. “It’s not a Democratic or Republican district, it’s a community,” said Dan who was elected on the Republican, Libertarian, Conservative and Independent tickets for which he credits his victory in 2009. A lot of folks tend to overlook that fact.

Vince Tabone, the Executive Director of the Queens Country Republican Party gleamed around the room. He didn’t say hello. I wonder why? Tabone ran against Democrat Ed Braunstein in 2009 for an Assembly seat and lost although I’m not so sure he realized I was the guy with the bullhorn at his poll site. Moving on, Eric Ulrich and Tom Ognibene, who tried to break up the Queens GOP this year were missing in action. That’s a no brainer.

In his closing remarks Mario D’Elia said, “Whitestone has awakened.”

Expect the members of this community to play a significant role when election season heats up.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/halloranwhitestone/

Nov 28 2011

The Low Down On Shelly Silver

 Sheldon Silver (D-Manhatten) pictured here with Governor Andrew Cuomo

Shelly says I cook the fish around here pal.

An ex-staffer believes Shelly Silver is happy as a clam with a Republican majority in the Senate.

After Thanksgiving weekend, QP had a chance to meet up with an old friend, a former state Senate staffer from the GOP. She had some interesting viewpoints on Shelly Silver and how he maintains absolute political authority with the GOP majority in the senate.

Some critics think the state legislature is dysfunctional because the assembly speaker has a lot of power, others believe the legislature is not exactly dysfunctional but could use some tweaking, however Capital staffers have their own unique perspective.

According to the source,  the conditions are perfect for Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) to nurture his political gravitas.

The source  believes that Shelly, who has been Speaker since 1994, has flowered with the Republican controlled Senate because when things go awry Shelly needs someone to blame.

“With Joe Bruno and Malcolm Smith out of the picture Shelly’s power inflated because if the unions, the lobbyists and the special interests need something done, they go to Shelly and no one else – they don’t have to seek out the GOP leadership – they only need to see Shelly, and as a Republican in New York, you need Shelly Silver if you plan on seeing anything, and I mean anything through.”

The source believes Dean Skelos, who is currently serving his first term as Majority Leader of the Senate  is the legislative colleague of a lifetime.

“When things get hairy Shelly can demonize the GOP, but behind the scenes it works out because the GOP always asks for a lot less then their Democratic colleagues and Shelly really likes that.”

It used to be three men in a Smokey room but now the old cliché could be a thing of the past.

“Shelly was sick and tired with the Democrats because they all want more than the state is able to give,” according to the source.

She said Republicans are easier to work with alleging that at some point Shelly was so fed up with his party he even threatened to retire.

You mean the coup of 2009?

She shakes her head and raises her hands to her cheeks, as if she made her case in point. “The biggest freak show is the democrats, and everyone realized it.  John Samson and Malcolm Smith they couldn’t get the conference organized and Monseratte – he went to the other side,” she said, referring to the 2009 turmoil when Democratic Senators Hiram Monseratte and Pedro Espada  flipped handing power to the Republicans and bringing state government to a grinding halt for five weeks.

Monseratte, who lost an Assembly race to Franscisco Moya and his old Senate Seat to Jose Peralta, may have been a seedy character (he allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend with a broken glass), but he flipped for a good reason.

“If you would have lined up the Democrats, even Shelly would have voted Republican,” adding, “That’s how bad it was, it was total chaos in Albany and the Chamber rebuked Hiram to cover their ass.”

According to the source, Shelly didn’t fare any better working with former Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith, who is a Democrat – even though he was reported to be running power rings around Malcolm. Because senate democrats like Malcolm “wanted too much from the state coffers,” she said they couldn’t cooperate with each other.

Under the present political climate, the former staffer believes Shelly Silver is now the “kingpin of government” more so than he ever would have been with Democrats in control of the Senate chamber.

“With Republicans back in power things are running a lot smoother, and Shelly, he couldn’t be happier.”


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/shelly-says-republicans-not-so-bad-after-all/

Nov 09 2011

Election Results 2011

On Tuesday there was an election in Queens. Candidates for the Supreme Court were up for grabs, so was the office of Queens District Attorney.

  • Incumbent D.A Richard Brown  ran on the Democrat, Republican, and Conservative lines and won his sixth term. We heard it was a landslide. No surprise there.
  • The exciting races were in Nassau and Suffolk county. Queens-Politics was proud to endorse Carrie Solages for Nassau County Legislator, third district. Carrie was born in Jamaica, Queens and ran against a 16 year incumbent who hired klansmen to work on his campaign. Carrie won by over 1,200 votes. A big congratulations to him and his elite campaign team.
  • Staten Island D.A Dan Donovan, a Republican will have a third term in office.
  • Democrat Steve Ballone is the new Suffolk County Executor, which is like the Mayor of Suffolk County.
  • Republican James Milano, once known for a failed attempt to oust Congressman Gary Ackerman here in Queens, ran in Nassau County’s 16th District. It sort of went under the radar. Milano was one of those cut medicare and social safety net candidates. He ran on the Conservative and Republican ticket and lost by a wide margin. Milano is an E.R doctor, and he had a high school notion about government and public policy making.
  • We haven’t received the election results of Supreme Court Justices yet. Stay tuned.

D.A Richard Brown and I. He is soft spoken in public, but when he speaks, people listen.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/election-results-2011/

Nov 08 2011

How Christine Quinn Could Lose the Chance to Be Mayor of NYC

Bring it on. From Evidentlyblog.blogspot.com

"With a crowded primary I have a mean left hook."

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.


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/how-christine-quinn-could-lose-the-democratic-primary-for-mayor/

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