Tag Archive: Senate

Feb 27 2014

Does Your Senator Ever Embarrass You?

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Can anyone name a key piece of legislation that has affected the lives of residents in his district? Or a capital project? The answer is no as Tony Avella continues to campaign for a better salary.

Ladies and gents let’s look at the distinguished history of the candidate that runs for anything, anyhow, anytime.

Within a four year period, Tony Avella ran for mayor, senator, and borough president, so is it to anyones surprise that he sold out his constituency in order to become a member of a separate caucus?

Why is he selling out? Is it because he’ll make more money and get more staff – all to run for another office because thats what political prostitutes do? They don’t care about the people; they only care about their own interests and self-preservation.

When Avella was running for Beep he was with Senator Gianaris, and you’d see him with Senator Huntley and other indicted politicians. So what ended up happening? Avella dropped out mid-race to avoid a political disaster. It proves he’s only had one interest: to take a paycheck from government. Tony Avella has been on the public dime his entire life.

Avella has no political values or core beliefs. Now we don’t mind when elects stand up for what they believe in, but Avella is all about what will bring him to the next political step.

But wait a minute. Is this the same IDC that opened the door and accepted the likes of Malcolm Smith? Is it the same cabal of coo coos that supported Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada as they ripped off the government and empowered themselves politically? There’s nothing independent about this move; it’s all about self preservation and political advancement.

Let’s face it folks, Tony Avella is nothing more than a cheap politician that has only represented himself. Why else would he take donations from convicted felon Richard Lipsky or fill the College Point Little League grounds with toxic waste? When all is said and done, Tony Avella is all about himself. Government is no longer of the people, government is for special interests, and Tony Avella is the perfect example.

If you want to see the worst example of politician, you'll find Tony Avella: self-promoter extraordinaire.

If you want to see the worst example of politician, you’ll find Tony Avella: self-promoter extraordinaire.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/does-your-senator-ever-embarrass-you-mine-does-its-tony-avella/

Feb 14 2014

Losing a leader; Iannece’s term ends as CB chair

IanneceJerry Iannece, chairman of CB 11 and former candidate for City Council and State Assembly, will be giving up his volunteer post due to mandated term limits.

It’s rather unfortunate that we have term limits on the local level particularly in this case when good people whom actually do a great job in this volunteer role and yet there are no term limits on the state level where incompetent  legislators can collect a public salary and run again and again.

When anyone is in power for a long time, they get comfortable and complacent. We need new ideas and fresh perspectives, but Iannece was an exception to this rule and has overseen many successful projects including the remediation of Oakland Lake. He was always on call and knowledgable about local issues and he wasn’t on the public dime.

It’s not likely he’ll step too far away from this, after all activism and a desire to serve never really go away but it’s still sad to see an effective leader have to step down when state legislators can run again and again. Surely it’s comparing apples and oranges – bringing into question a whole bunch of upstate vs. downstate organizational procedure, but if a great volunteer community board chairman like Jerry Iannece has to step down then so should our Assemblymembers and Senators, good or bad.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2014/02/ianneces-term-ends-as-cb-chair/

Nov 08 2012

A message from Senator Michael Gianaris on his re-election

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue representing the people of western Queens and thank them for their votes. This year’s general election was historic with the reelection of our president and the State Senate Democrats retaking the majority, reflecting citizens’ call for their government to uphold our progressive values. There is still a lot of work to do, and I look forward to continuing our work together to improve our community and ensure our voices are heard  in Albany.” – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-12)

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/a-message-from-senator-michael-gianaris-on-his-re-election/

Oct 30 2012

With Ulrich territory underwater, could Sandy have tipped the balance in Addabbo’s favor?

Breezy Point is absolutely devastated after Hurricane Sandy.

In Albany, state senate dems and republicans are in disarray because the dynamics of South Queens may have been changed due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Rockaways, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach – these are the neighborhoods that helped elect Councilman Erich Ulrich but with these neighborhoods devastated and partially submerged, insiders are predicting the destruction may physically stop Ulrich’s base from voting on Election day.

Everyone is worried - what’s not on fire is underwater. Questions are being raised by both camps. Who will come back by Tuesday, and if they do will they vote? How will we perform a pull operation? By boat?

The stakes are extremely high and all eyes are on this race because this seat will decide control of the Senate and that’s why so much money has been poured into Ulrich’s and Addabbo’s campaign war chest.

If the battle shifts the fight to the northern section of the district including the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village. Glendale and Forest Hills, Ulrich could be at a major disadvantage as the conservative leaning neighborhoods that support Ulrich are unlikely to be concerned about voting when their homes have been destroyed, according to a source familiar with the situation.

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Update 12:34PM: Crain’s New York Confirms that the homes of Rep. Bob Turner and Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long have burned down.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/10/with-ulrich-territory-underwater-could-sandy-have-tipped-balance-in-addabbos-favor/

Jul 31 2012

J.D Kim Campaign Documents Appear to Encourage Illegal Petitions

Queens Politics is calling on the Attorney General to investigate the matter.

Recently obtained documents from the Jung Dong Kim campaign for Senate District 16 indicate unlawful activity regarding the collecting of Designating Petitions.

According to the Board of Elections, the first day to circulate Designating Petitions was Tuesday, June 5th. However, the campaign document instructs petition collectors to begin BEFORE the legally required starting date and extend petition collecting past the last day to file, July 12th.

If this is any indication as to how that campaign is being run, I’m wondering what other type of unlawful and unethical practices have been occurring here.

More on this to follow.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/07/j-d-kim-documents-encourage-illegal-petitions-july12/

May 10 2012

Gianaris to Face Challenger in SD12

GOP taps an Independent candidate to run for DSCC Charman’s Astoria Senate seat.

From The Queens Gazette: Last Saturday, Queens Republicans selected their candidate to oppose Gianaris and their choice was Tony Arcabascio, formerly of Astoria but now living in Jackson Heights. Arcabascio is not a Republican officially, he’s a registered Independent, as far as party affiliation is concerned.

But the important thing is that he will have the Republican line on the ballot, and hopefully, the Conservative Party line also in November opposite Gianaris.

 Queens Republican Chairman Phil Ragusa said he was pleased with the choice because Arcabascio “has the independence and commitment to represent this Northwestern Queens district with integrity and intelligence.”

Queens GOP Law Chairman Vince Tabone, Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa, Anthony Arcabascio and family, following Queens County Republican Party screening interview and unanimous recommendation for endorsement. Arcabascio stated after receiving the organization’s support and designation:

“As an Independent I am really honored that the Republican Party will support me for state senate and agrees with my focus on jump starting the economy, creating jobs, improving schools and health care and reforming government to make it more transparent and accountable. I agree with Chairman Ragusa that Queens residents are tired of the relentless partisanship of my opponent and will be looking for practical solutions to the challenges we face.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/gianaris-arcabascio-battle-for-astoria/

May 09 2012

Candidate supports Koo’s recognition of history

John Messer speaks up for Peter Koo’s noble endeavor.

Earlier this afternoon Councilman Koo came under heavy fire from Japanese citizens that need a history lesson.

Messer, who is running for New York’s 16th senate district, announced his advocacy for Councilman Peter Koo’s memorial in Flushing to the “Comfort Women” of World War II, according to an official statement.

As an American and a resident of Queens, I am proud to support Councilman Peter Koo in his efforts to remember the more than 200,000 Asian women against whom atrocities were committed by the Japanese during WWII,

According to the New York Post, “Koo and his City Council colleagues have received a flood of angry emails and letters from Japanese citizens who said the so-called “comfort women” were willing prostitutes and should not be the subject of a memorial in his Flushing, Queens, district.”

But the angry callers are wrong and don’t have their facts straight.

‘Comfort Women’  (also known as ianfu, a term coined by Imperialist Japan) were kidnapped by the Japanese military during World War II. These women suffered what can only be described as a horrific wartime atrocity: they were enslaved – sometimes as children –  at ‘comfort stations,’ where they were raped and brutalized by the occupying Japanese military sometimes for years.

Peter Koo should turn a deaf ear to these vapid complaints because his initiative is a righteous endeavor to honor history.  We should never forget what has happened here. And Peter, don’t worry looks like your next State Senator has your back.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/messer-endorses-koos-recognition-of-comfort-women-help-is-on-the-way/

Jan 06 2012

Senate Plans Include A New GOP District

  • Senate officials proclaim a new plan to create a Republican Congressional Seat.
  • QP predicts that the new district will be somewhere in northeast Queens.

Celeste Katz: State Senate Republicans have decided that bigger is better: Senate officials, in a memo posted on the Legislature’s redistricting website late Friday afternoon, confirmed plans to add another seat to the 62-member chamber, arguing the state Constitution mandates such a move.

Our Glenn Blain reports:

“The memo speaks for itself,” said Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County).

The memo was written by Senate GOP lawyer Michael Carvin and argued that the methodology used uring the 2002 reapportionment, when applied to he current population, calls for the addition of a new seat.

“I continue to believe that this methodology is the most faithful to the Constitution,” Carvin wrote. “I note that if the 2002 methodology is again employed, the size of the New York State Senate will be increased to 63 senators.”

Reif said no decisions have been made about the location of a new district. Final maps for new Senate districts will be available by the end of the month, he added.

The Daily News first reported in September that Senate Republicans were mulling the addition of a new seat. At the time, Reif dismissed the report as “pure speculation.”

Democrats and good government groups have slammed the Republicans, saying there’s no legal justification for adding a new seat and the move was likely fueled by politics.

“As the calculations have been done for us, any way we look at it, it comes to 62,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause, N.Y. “They don’t get to just decide to have 63.”

The Senate’s move is all-but certain to spark a court battle and could draw fire from Gov. Cuomo, who in his State of the State address Wednesday promised to veto any lines not created through “an independent redistricting process.”

Insiders note that adding a 63rd seat in the state Senate could make it easier for the GOP to retain their razor-thin majority in the upcoming elections and avoid any legislative chaos by ensuring one party would be in the majority – as opposed to now, with an even number of seats.

State lawmakers are redrawing their districts – and congressional districts – as part of a census-mandated rejiggering.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/senate-plans-include-a-new-gop-district/

Dec 08 2011

Egalitarian Bill Moving Forward In Albany, Queens Set For Job Growth

 

New legislation that passed both houses in Albany is being hailed as an early Christmas present for the stagnant state economy.

The new plan includes something to appease everyone from Long Island Republicans to inner city Democrats. Parts of Queens are set to benefit. Below is a statement from the Governor on the initiative even though the actual language of the bill is still under consideration:

”The agreement includes support for a comprehensive New York Works Agenda that will create thousands of jobs with new investments in New York’s infrastructure; passing a fair tax reform plan that achieves the first major restructuring of the tax code in decades, resulting in a tax cut for 4.4 million middle-class New York taxpayers; approving $50 million in additional relief for areas devastated by recent floods; and reducing the MTA payroll tax to provide relief for small businesses.” 

The plan was backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which the state Senate passed 55-0 Wednesday night and the Assembly approved 130-8 early Thursday.

The new tax breaks will go to most households with annual earnings of $40,000 to $300,000, or single filers making $20,000 to $150,000 a year.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/jobs-bill-reached-in-albany/

Oct 02 2011

Batter Up: Who Will Challenge Avella In ’12?

Go ahead, take a swing, says incumbent State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

Four possible candidates show the ambition it takes to make a run for Tony Avella’s 11th Senate District in northeast Queens. Who are they?

While no candidate from the GOP has come forward and declared an official run, the 2012 election is right around the corner, and members of the Queens Republican Party have already been asking themselves, am I ready for a face- off with Democrat Tony Avella for the 11th Senatorial District?

Here are a few bets (a primary notwithstanding) for those GOP’ers circling the wagons:

 

1. City Council Member Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone)

Odds of running against Avella = 3 to 1

Dan has excellent name recognition in the community. He’s at all the meetings, almost omnipotent. Beside being the #1 target of the Queens Democratic Machine, Dan is a good representative. His experience with city government plus the professional networks he’s created will help push him over the hill. Dan is also very popular around the neighborhood, even though Dems enjoy a significant enrollment in terms of party registration (93,820 Dems vs. 32,018 GOP). If recent events have taught us anything, party solidarity is beginning to mean less as time goes on, but I digress…

Average folk tend to look past his Libertarian leanings, and his office staff is excellent, fast, and responsive. Dan is young and he has the energy to travel back and forth to Albany. It’s a lot of stress for us down-state folk. Dan’s odds: 3 to1.

2. Vince Tabone, Executive Director of the Queens County GOP.

Odds of running against Avella = 10 to 1.

Vince Tabone is one of those ‘operatives’ turned candidates. Vince pals around with Chairman Phil Ragusa from the Queens County GOP and he has mulled around the thought of taking the chair position from Ragusa for quite some time. Plenty of ambition over at the party HQ. Interesting story about Tabone, when I was working a special election in South Queens, Vince cornered me at the Reception House on Northern Blvd during a local GOP convention and promised to deliver me boots on the ground (code phrase for pro-volunteers) to South Queens. With the election a few days away, and no help from the Queens GOP in sight (we won that election by ourselves) I said, “Vince, you have no boots on the ground, and you can’t deliver what you don’t have.” I patted him on the back and I walked away. Later on he would run a failing bid for State Assembly against now incumbent Ed Braunstein, who I campaigned for.

Overall, Vince was a lackluster candidate who paid volunteers to sit around and eat. It’s true, my people saw his people on Election day hanging out at Gyro World. They were paid volunteers and they came from Long Island. But that’s not the point. The Senatorial electorate doesn’t want another hard-nosed conservative (the anti-gay sort), but that may not stop him from running. Vince is a great fundraiser plus he has an acerbic tongue that puts fear into the hearts of his opponents. Even with the North Shore Towers (a Democratic stronghold with dependable voters) working against him, Vince gave the Democratic County Machine a run for its money.  Vince’s odds: 10 to 1

3. Elio Forcina, Former State Assembly Candidate, Attorney.

Odds of running against Avella = 99 to 1

Elio Forcina is thought to be highly regarded amongst Conservatives as well as the Queens GOP. Elio ran for State Assembly District 26 in a Democratic primary as a Conservative Dem, and won nearly every single ED in Whitestone, (a stronghold of sometimes conservative leaning voters). During his grassroots campaign, Elio stuck to his Conservative roots and ran a platform of fiscal responsibility and increasing transparency in Albany. Wilson Pakula? Elio is also a neighborhood fixture in Clearview Gardens and his campaign banner is still up at the 7-11 parking lot in Whitestone, and probably will be forever.

I see Elio at many meetings, or at least see him in touch with current events on Facebook. I also campaigned for Elio because I thought he’d make for a great Assembly Member. Despite our contrasting views on the role of government, Elio would have been amiable enough to center himself and bring home the bacon to AD 26, he is after all, a neighborhood guy. Elio’s odds = 99 to 1

4. Marco DeSena

Odds of running against Avella = 20 to 1

Marco is somewhat of a mystery. Marco filed to run for Assembly in AD27 and got himself enough signatures to get on the ballot, and that’s where I believe his campaign ended. Marco spent 36 dollars in the election and gave Democrat Mike Simanowitz the edge. If Simanowitz had just three volunteers (he had an army of supporters, including yours truly) that would have been three more volunteers than DeSena had .

I ran into DeSena for the first time at a rally before the election, he came up and introduced himself. The Professor from Baruch College did not give off a candidate’s vibe, and the rally where we met wasn’t in his district. Although the Queens GOP did endorse him, someone over there must either like him, or they couldn’t find anyone else to step up to the plate. So, I don’t know. Something’s going on. DeSena is a variable, and now with an “Assembly run” behind him, at least he got his foot in the door. Marco’s odds = 20 to 1

5. ?

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* Many more may enter or never declare, and there’s no residency requirement for running. Also redistricting is a big issue, so we don’t actually know where Senate 11 will be located. Lastly, Senator Tony Avella is an excellent legislator and an experienced campaigner. He knows the people and the district better than any of the candidates above.

Continue visiting Queens-Politics.com for up-to-date information

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/circling-the-wagons-who-will-run-against-senator-avella-batter-up/

Oct 01 2011

Senator Avella Feels Comfortable Being Called Senator

In an interview with Howard Koplowitz, Senator Tony Avella sits down to explain the progress he’s made since leaving City Council for his seat in the state capitol.

Avella laments that it’s still mostly “The fix my pothole problem,” but he discusses a few tough as nails state-wide issues he’s tackled including fighting for a Millionare’s Tax.

The article doesn’t mention Tony’s advocacy to ban hydro-fracking, a dangerous method of extracting energy by pumping chemicals into the depths of the Earth. My gut tells me that this bill may prove to be the most important bill for the future of the environment.   Early in March 2011, Tony introduced Bill S4220-2011 which bans all future hydro-fracking in the state of New York.

Tony received a crash course in intergovernmental affairs and admittedthat as Senator he has noticed much more power to see through his agenda for the District. Of course Tony!  This is a great thing for the neighborhood. Unfortunatly everyone thinks you’re still the City Council Member and they swamp your office with calls to fix street lights and potholes.

I’ve even heard some very obtuse people call you a quack for taking up hydro-fracking. ”What’s this got to do with me?” They ask. Everything, I tell them. I’m glad you are looking at the bigger picture for the future of New York and what you can do for us in the Senate. Keep it up, especially with your plans for campaign finance reform.

Read: Avella says Albany suits him

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/senator-avella-feels-comfortable-being-called-senator/


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