“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)
Tag Archive: Senate
Nov 08 2012
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/a-message-from-senator-michael-gianaris-on-his-re-election/
Oct 30 2012
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.
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/
Aug 30 2012
Queens Tribune: On two occasions over the past several months, I took the Stavisky campaign to task for “being ugly.”
First, when the incumbent Senator turned her back on a couple she had known for years because he was my friend and colleague and I wrote the Senator could lose her reelection race.
Next, when a Stavisky campaign spokesperson attacked her opponent John Messer’s campaign worker, falsely calling him a convicted rapist and attempting to deflect the issue at hand and smear her opponent, resorting to false ugly guilt by association accusation.
Well, now we have Toby Stavisky ugly strike three . . . lying about an endorsement.
There it was on Toby Stavisky’s reelection website under the words “Proudly endorsed by:” on the seventh line . . . “Congressman Gary Ackerman”.
Now I don’t speak for my old friend Gary, nor do I know who he endorses or when, but the Congressman endorsing Toby really surprised me, even though she was the choice of the county organization, as all incumbents are.
So I asked: “Gary, Did you really endorse Toby?”
He responded: “No I did not.”
He continued: “She never asked me, and I’ve not made an endorsement in this race.”
I’m not going to talk about the relationship between Toby and Gary, but as a longtime observer, there is no way she could have assumed Gary would be with her.
Her campaign just blatantly lied.
No surprise, they’ve been pretty ugly so far.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/08/toby-lied-about-her-supporters-ackerman-strike3/
Jul 31 2012
Queens Politics is calling on the Attorney General to investigate the matter.
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.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/07/j-d-kim-documents-encourage-illegal-petitions-july12/
May 10 2012
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.”
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/gianaris-arcabascio-battle-for-astoria/
May 09 2012
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 officials proclaim a new plan to create a Republican Congressional Seat.
- QP predicts that the new district will be somewhere in northeast Queens.
- Dan Halloran smiles.
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.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/senate-plans-include-a-new-gop-district/
Dec 08 2011
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.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/jobs-bill-reached-in-albany/
Oct 02 2011
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
* 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
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.
Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/senator-avella-feels-comfortable-being-called-senator/