Tag Archive: Senator Avella

Dec 31 2012

Avella Accepted Money From Companies Dumping in Whitestone Development

Values for sale?

Last week the Times Ledger reported that Barone Management made an unauthorized dumping in a large residential development in Northeast Queens, but what you may not know is that Senator Tony Avella, who denounced the dumping, has quietly accepted thousands of dollars of campaign contributions, according to CFB reports from the imprudent company as well as other entities which took part in the dumping.

Questions remain. Was the material toxic by any means? The Times Ledger reported that an investigation by DEC found that along with clean soil, the companies dumped unapproved material from other construction sites around the city onto the property where 52 single family homes and a water front park are to be constructed.

But so far, the material has not been identified leaving residents concerned and asking where is Tony to speak up about the dumping?

Did Barone Management or the “Secret Investors” or the 151-45 Sixth Road Whitestone Partners Group buy influence through their contributions to Tony Avella? Could this be hush money? Perhaps Tony was too busy seeking higher political offices or had to deliver a speech somewhere when he’s needed the most. We may never know with any degree of certainty. What we do know is that the outspoken Anti-Fracking activist has been very quiet about the ‘incident,’ and is presently sending out letters to the DEC while awaiting the results of a study before he takes action, but so far this hasn’t stopped him from cashing any of their checks.

Typical. In the meantime, many Whitestone residents are beginning to see his hypocrisy. How can he accept money from companies that treat the neighborhood like a garbage dump?

Therefore, and for the sake of the environment and in the name of honest government, we are calling on Senator Tony Avella to return any contributions (both past and present) from Barone Management, the Barone Family and the Sixth Road Whitestone Partners Group immediately.

Any insider will say, you can’t blame Tony for not taking the time to roast the company and bring them to justice when he needs the cash to win the Borough Presidency. But this time, he just can’t afford to walk off the stage. As a career politician looking to advance himself, he’s screwing the people of northeast Queens and leaving an environmental disaster in his wake.

Does money buy political influence? Sure it does. Tony Avella is bad choice for Queens and the environment.

Maybe it’s time we put career politicians like Tony out to pasture.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/12/avella-accepted-money-from-companies-dumping-in-whitestone-development/

Jan 20 2012

Political Highlights: Avella, Genarro, Cox, Vallone

 

  • Governer Cuomo delivered an address at Queens College. Councilman Jim Genarro issued a gleaming statement on the event below,

“I applaud Gov. Cuomo’s visionary address delivered at Queens College today. His proposals on education, casino gambling and the construction of the country’s largest convention center in Queens are a bold departure from the uninspired and timid governance that has been stifling New York for the last decade. And his proposal to make massive investments in decaying critical State infrastructure and to build an “energy highway” provide a dynamic blueprint for job creation and economic revitalization. I thank Governor Cuomo for making New Yorkers believe that we are once again the Empire State. Excelsior!”

  • Senator Avella is moving on up. This afternoon, Tony is appointed by Senate Minority Leader John L. Sampson to begin serving on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.  The appointment marks Avella’s sixth committee and provides him with more influence over issues of banking legislation at a time when the public has lost its faith in the banking industry, according to a press release. Avella had this to say,

“It is an honor to be appointed to a sixth committee and I am excited at the opportunity to have a more hands-on role in legislation that directly impact our banking industry at such a crucial economic time.  At the same time I look forward to have additional influence that may ease the path to addressing my constituents’ specific concerns involving mortgage rates, loan modifications and interest rates.”

  • Peter Koo did not announce the change of his party yet, however just the thought has sent a chill up the spine of state Chairman Ed Cox who is calling all sides of the fractal Queens GOP for a sit down tomorrow, according to City and State. Queens Politics wonders if tweeting these stories directly to him had anything to do with it. The far more interesting question is where will the meeting be?

 

  • Protecting energy ratepayers, Senator  Gianaris and Council Member Peter F. Vallone, Jr. are pushing a federal judge to reject the proposed settlement for an illegal price-fixing case involving Morgan Stanley and two western Queens power plants that caused ratepayers to lose nearly $300 million in two years, according to a press release.

Vallone said,

“Who came up with this deal – Bernie Madoff? How could the Justice Department and the court allow Morgan Stanley to conspire with Astoria Generating Company and KeySpan to artificially raise rates and make millions of dollars without returning one cent to the ratepayers?”

Gianaris said,

“Allowing a deep-pocketed investment bank to get away with just a slap on the wrist would be treated as the cost of doing business and would continue to permit the bank to reap the benefits of its illicit profits. The settlement proposal is an insult to ratepayers during a difficult economic time, and I encourage Judge Pauley to protect the public by rejecting this proposal

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/01/thursdays-quick-political-news-avella-genarro/

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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