Tag Archive: Ulrich

Nov 02 2011

Judge Says Haggerty’s Caused ‘Confusion’

Ragusa TKO to South Queens Insurgents

I win.

From Heard Around Town City Hall News: The Queens Republican Party’s civil war is over – at least for now. A Queens Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that the rightful Queens Republican Party chairman was Phil Ragusa, rendering former Council Minority Leader Tom Ognibene‘s bid to replace Ragusa unsuccessful. A month ago, Ognibene’s insurgent faction of the party – led by Bart Haggerty and the now-convicted John Haggerty – tried to hold a separate meeting from Ragusa’s to elect Ognibene as chair, a move the judge wrote was meant to “create confusion” and to “disrupt the internal affairs of the Queens County Republican Party.” With the battle over, the question now is whether the Republicans can form any sort of detente that will allow them to defend several Council seats against in the next city election, take on State Sens. Tony Avella and Joe Addabbo in 2012, and defend Bob Turner‘s congressional seat.

James McClelland, a Queens Republican operative who works for Peter Koo, said he doubted the ruling would bring any sort of peace, and suggested instead that the Ragusa faction take over everything north of the Long Island Expressway, and the Haggerty faction take everything to the south.

“They’re going to have to do it like North and South Korea, where nobody crosses the 38th parallel,” McClelland said. “Ragusa can stand there with his pencil on one side, and Bart Haggerty can hold his pencil on the other side.”

I thought McClelland was Peter Koo’s chief of staff.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/ognibene-ragusa-haggerty/

Oct 21 2011

State Chairman Ed Cox Doesn’t Know What To Make Of Queens GOP

Who will head the Queens GOP?

If you didn’t know, there’s a power struggle going on across New York. What’s at stake? A leadership post for the Queens Republican party, now in complete disarray. Read for an update.

We have two hopeful chairmen of the Queens County GOP. Thomas Ognibene from south Queens who bears a striking resemblance to Colonel Sanders of KFC, vs. Phil Ragussa from North Queens.

Ognibene had filed court papers that he was Chairman with the Board of Elections right after an insurgent election that was held at Villa Russo, a restaurant known for it’s connections to sectarian Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Rockaways), another chauvinist GOP defector.

Ragusa, whom I recognize as Chairman plenipotentiary, was unanimously reelected Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party at the Reception House in Flushing, except of course for the districts in South Queens who didn’t show and were presumably muscled to vote for Ognibene.

Subsequently, Ragussa, the rightful chair, filed an order to show cause which is legal speak for a petition to invalidate Ognibene’s certification. In the civil case, Judge Krug has not rendered a decision yet.

Where’s the state party to come in and mediate the dispute?

Rumor has it that Ed Cox, state chair of the GOP is staying neutral. He just doesn’t know what to make of Queens.

There’s a lot of power at stake especially at the state level, the GOP has a lot of patronage clout.

Stay tuned to Queens-Politics.com for the latest on the power struggle.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/ed-cox/

Oct 03 2011

Chairman Or Chairmen? Robert Hornak On The Power Grab For Control Of The Queens GOP

Queens GOP Spokesman Robert Hornak interviews with Queens-Politics.

The Queens GOP is locking horns with what I call, the Southern Insurrection. It’s all over the news and political insiders are getting giddy. While the the criminal trial of political operative John Haggerty is underway, a renewed battle is now being fought again for control of a party once thought to be insolvent.

In an exclusive  interview with Robert Hornak, spokesman for the Queens GOP, Queens-Politics got the inside scoop of what’s going to go down in the next few days. Here’s the interview:

Q. Robert, why is Tom Ognibene attempting to usurp the GOP party?

Robert gives some background and presents Ognibene’s motive(s):

A. That’s a really good question, Adam. Ognibene has been in political limbo since he was term-limited out of the City Council and named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a 2001, case involving bribe-taking and building-code inspectors.

“Ognibene wanted to be a judge, but considering the nature of his case, it wasn’t going to happen”

Then he [Ognibene] ran for Mayor, said Hornak, and he was subsequently knocked off the ballot by the Haggertys. Hornak chuckles…

“The GOP went with Bloomberg and Tom got very angry,” said Hornak, adding “Ognibene once called the Hagggertys ‘poison in the well’, now he [Ognibene] is anti-Ragusa.” According to Hornak, the reasons for this alliance are not confirmed. “No one can explain why,” he said.

Q. So, What makes Ragusa the better choice for the Queens GOP?

A. “Where do I start?” asked Hornak, rhetorically. “Ragusa energized the party, and continues to do so. he recruited young people with skill sets to run with the ball,” said Hornak and he [Ragusa] is open to new ideas like harnessing digital communication technology to bring the party up-to-date with new voters.

Q. Sounds packaged, tell the readers of Queens-Politics more about  him.

“He reinvigorated the party,” referring to Ragusa. After he said that, I probed a little further:

Hornak claimed Ragusa has been growing the party and reaching out to immigrant communities.

“We’ve found a lot of new immigrant communities that lean conservative and we’ve reached out to them with success.“Phil has worked tirelessly on this,” said Hornak.

In terms of political success, Ragusa was instrumental in electing Halloran, Koo, fund-raising, and now he’s working on judgeships, according to Hornak.

Q. So, You guys were instrumental in electing City Council Member Eric Ulrich, why is Eric going off the reservation with his endorsement for Tom Ognibene?

A. “He’s off the reservation completely…Eric is somewhat immature and short-sighted for an elected official. It’s probably to feed his ego and personal aspirations.” Hornak added that while Ulrich interjected himself  into party politics, he has neglected the community he was elected to serve.

Q. What is your prediction regarding the judge’s decision?

 “My prediction is that we’ll see clearly from evidence than Tom Ognibene was never Chairman.”

Even if he is elected, a far fetched scenario he laments,

 “Ognibene is [still] a puppet put up by the Haggertys, John Haggerty would be the new Chairman even if Ognibene succeeds in court.”

Q. I know similar events happened two years ago, are we to expect this every time the County Chair is up for grabs?

A. “I think this is their last hurrah, John Haggerty will be in a state-house [prison] and Tom Ognibene… he’ll find something else to do.”

Q. What message would you like to send to the Haggerty brothers, Tom Ognibene, and Eric Ulrich?

“Come to the table and work with us.”

Hornak said their have been a multitude of instances to extend an olive-branch and come to the table for negotiation with the Southern faction for the sake of party unity. “Every attempt at outreach has been rebuffed or ignored,” said Hornak. “The Haggertys are into nothing less than full control.”

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/qp-exclusive-interview-with-robert-hornak-director-of-communications-for-the-queens-county-republican-party/


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