Tag Archive: Dennis Saffran

Feb 14 2014

Paul Vallone: Ready To Serve At A Moment’s Notice

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

Newly elected City Councilman Paul Vallone D-19.

It’s been little over a month since the new class of City Councilmembers were sworn in and while they’ve had just a short time to acclimate to their new responsibilities and duties, sometimes it’s not so easy getting a fully functioning office up and running ready to serve the community without delay, but newly elected Councilman Paul Vallone has done just that, and he’s ready to serve.

Located on a busy intersection off Bell Blvd. Councilman Vallone’s office held their first open house a few weeks ago inviting the entire community inside to see the progress. Once a dark and aging outcrop, Vallone relied on donations and volunteers, particularly Marsha Khan, Vice-President of the Clinton Democratic Club who helped design an ergonomic office by utilizing every inch of space. It’s truly impressive, yet what’s even more impressive is the work that goes on in here.

Beginning with a trained staff, Vallone hired brilliant advocates from the community that know the people and neighborhoods they are their to serve. Utilizing talent from his brother’s office, Jonathan Szott, now Chief of Staff helped ensure a smooth transition of Vallone’s neighborhood activism into a full service Council office. He’s even appointed local cultural and community liaison to get ears on the ground into every corner of the neighborhood.

In the meantime, while some candidates – even elects – disappear after an election (like his opponent Dennis Saffran who has not been seen since his loss), Vallone has been at every major event in northeast Queens, especially at the commitments he’s made before seeking election. It’s inspiring and hopefully will rub off on his colleagues in City Hall and all candidates to come in the future. Some people say he’s continuing a legacy, but we like to think he’s beginning his own.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2014/02/paul-vallone-ready-to-serve/

Nov 04 2013

Bill de Blasio In Queens Supporting Paul Vallone

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 3.08.24 PMAt a local GOTV rally, NYC Democratic Mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio was racking up last-minute votes by shaking hands and kissing babies while encouraging the crowd to vote Paul Vallone for CIty Council.

The crowd grew enormous as voters across the district made their way down to show their support and hopefully snag a picture. The event never had a moment of silence as cars passing by tooted their horns in solidarity.

De Blasio’s support was hard-won in this part of town. The one-time Lhota leaning voters became energized the morning after the local GOP candidate, Dennis Saffran, tried to falsely indicate Rudy Guiliani’s endorsement in his literature, and was promptly called out by a rarely made personal robocall by the well-respected former mayor.

The misleading literature quickly backfired, and by many accounts is turning away Saffran’s base vote to his opponent, Paul Vallone, who has always been known for his bipartisan support anyway.

The Mayoral frontrunner spent considerable time in the precious hours leading up to the election chatting with voters at the local Waldbaums in Bay Terrace, energizing the crowd to get out and vote — not just for himself — but for Vallone.

His efforts seemed to have paid off — bolstered by the political naiveté of the local GOP candidate. However, becoming the frontrunner wasn’t easy in this traditional swing district. Eventually, partly due to recent revelations, de Blasio won over the majority of the voting public, which includes Republicans, Independents, and Conservative Democrats with his call for unity. This was clearly evident in the turnout at the GOTV event, yet it remains to be seen until after the polls close and the final results are in.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/11/bill-de-blasio-in-queens-supporting-paul-vallone-for-council/

Nov 04 2013

GOP Leaders Say Goodbye To Dennis Saffran After Guiliani Embarrassment

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 5.17.40 AM

In this part of Queens, Rudy Guiliani is a hero and he just told everyone Dennis Saffran is a liar.

Over the weekend, Rudy Guiliani made a robocall denouncing Republican Dennis Saffran’s misleading literature, but what you may not know is that for many Republican voters in the district, this was the final straw.

In an office somewhere in Whitestone Village, a secret meeting was called by Republican vote-getters to discuss Saffran’s misuse of the Guiliani name. “Saffran’s finished!” claimed a top GOP operative slamming his fist down and spilling his cappuccino over a stack of important looking papers. Composing himself, the operative stood up and blotted the sticky mess. “My people won’t vote for Republicans this year,” he said after a brief pause and a sigh of regret. The room fell silent, then suddenly heads began to nod. Without hearing another word, they knew what needed to be done. And then the texts began. 

The message spread quickly, after all there’s not as many Republicans as Democrats (still, a lot compared to most districts), and the low number makes it manageable to reach them all, at least voters guaranteed to show up and, well, vote. Attempting to avoid a political embarrassment and save face, the Party would not make an official declaration, rather using other “unofficial” channels to get the word out including texts, social media, and old-fashioned telephone calls — which proved quite effective in Dan Halloran’s election. Anyway, in seconds, Republicans in northeast Queens would be voting for Paul Vallone, or at least not for Dennis Saffran.

Three strikes and you’re out.

Before the Guiliani call, at least in secret, republicans were withholding help from Saffran under the guise of limited resources. But now the message had clearly changed: Vote for the Democrat. Tensions began to strain between the Party and Saffran soon after he publicly switched his endorsement from Cats to Joe Lhota mid primary. Perhaps there was no better way to stick a needle in the eye of the local Party which were adamantly supporting Cats. To make matters worse, Saffran was meeting with Councilman Ulrich, whom the Party had been busy with fending off his attempts at a leadership coup. Promises were obviously made, and soon Saffran found himself alone and abandoned by the local Party, which despite its limited resources (they got Dan Halloran elected), could have given him an actual shot in this race.

The protest vote.

Still this wasn’t the final straw. Prior to the Guiliani tape, the republican sentiment was to abstain from voting for a new councilmember. Their reasoning was accompanied by a sense of general disgust and outrage with the national GOP (which will certainly play a role in other citywide elections, but that’s not the point here), as well as Dan Halloran’s recent arrest. Some Republicans would naturally cross party lines, but it was never mentioned or encouraged until now.

As if Dennis Saffran’s bid for Council wasn’t already in troubled waters, the little bit of help he could have received from the Party with GOTV will now be spending their waning hours telling their people to vote for Democrat Paul Vallone. Ouch.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/11/gopleader-say-goodbye-to-dennis-saffran-after-guiliani-embarrassment-encourages-voters-to-do-the-same/

Nov 02 2013

Vallone Outshines Saffran With Over 50 Endorsements

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 4.48.00 PM

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: https://queens-politics.com/2013/11/paul-vallone-bests-saffran-with-over-50-endorsements/

Nov 01 2013

Guiliani Says Saffran Deceived Voters

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

This evening former Mayor Rudy Guiliani launched a robocall informing Republican and undecided voters in District 19 that he did not endorse Dennis Saffran, a GOP candidate for City Council, despite misleading literature from the campaign.

In the call, Guiliani said Saffran is actively deceiving voters by using his quotes and pictures to fake an endorsement.

“It has come to my attention that the Republican candidate has been using my name and image as part of his campaign. I’m calling to set the record straight. This is deceptive,” declared Guiliani.

The call targeted both Republican and undecided voters in the swing district, Queens-Politics has learned.

The former Mayor, who has worked alongside generations of the Vallone family, ended the call with reminding voters “that having the Vallone family in City Council is good for the City of New York”.

Below is a transcript from the robocall:

Hi, this is Rudy Guiliani I’m calling about important information about the race for City Council in your district 19. It has come to my attention that the Republican candidate has been using my name and image as part of his campaign. I’m calling to set the record straight. This is deceptive. I have not endorsed the Republican candidate in this race in 2013 for City Council District 19. He’s running against Paul Vallone and I go way back with the Vallone family. Having worked with Paul’s father for eight years improving our quality of life and seeing Paul’s brother continue his father’s commitment to a safe and prosperous city, I can say with confidence that having the Vallone family in City Council is good for the City of New York. Thank you for your time and I hope you will consider my comments when casting your vote.

Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/11/rudy-guiliani-says-dennis-saffran-deceived-voters/

Nov 01 2013

Paul Vallone To Trounce Dennis Saffran On Election Day


Senator Chuck Schumer endorses Paul Vallone for the 19th City Council District.

In a heated race to replace City Councilman Dan Halloran, all signs point to an all out Vallone victory on November 5th.

Just cruise down any street in Northeast Queens and you’ll catch a neighbor proudly displaying the “We Support Paul Vallone” sign on their front lawn. Look up and down busy commercial strips, you’ll see businesses too, proudly supporting Paul Vallone. Open any newspaper and you’ll catch a glimpse of a campaign run by a true community leader. Not convinced? Peak inside the office and there’s an army of volunteers working on GOTV. Not only that, but local civic and political leaders are standing by him. And by now, chances are he’s already knocked on your door.

Despite the attention received, this race was characterized by animosity on the part of Republican extremist, Dennis Saffran. Some say “going negative” is just part of a strategy, however it seems like that’s all Dennis Saffran did throughout his entire campaign. You’ve got to ask, how could we vote for such a hypocrite? On one hand he complains about negative campaigning not linked to Vallone but reality check: he’s doing it himself.

While it is still unclear what exactly Saffran has done for this community in the past 10 years, it was easy to see this race getting ugly quick as he already had a reputation for bad mouthing everyone behind their back. Could the negativity have been a strategy for Saffran to try and divert attention from his lack of community service and roots in the district with lie after lie? Aside from that, the leadership in Saffran’s campaign seems amateurish and disorganized. Word on the street is that the campaign is skeletal; starving for volunteers so much so they’ve begun to recruit Tea Party extremists from Nassau and Suffolk to help out in District 19.

And what about endorsements? Vallone has earned every critical endorsement in town from the PBA to the Democratic Party. Saffran was endorsed by a lobbyist and what’s left of the GOP, which is giving him no help at all.

Whatever the case may be, Vallone’s commitment to Northeast Queens has shined through all of Dennis Saffran’s negativity. And the entire community is standing behind him to be our next Councilman.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/11/paul-vallone-to-trounce-saffran/

Oct 28 2013

Saffran Sinks His Campaign With Secret Ulrich Alliance


As if Dennis Saffran didn’t have enough problems  trying to get from Douglaston to Whitestone without a GPS, he’s lost all local GOP “muscle” for his bid to replace Dan Halloran in CD19.

By aligning with a paper tiger, Dennis Saffran might as well throw in the towel and avoid the embarrassment on Election Day.

According to a North Queens GOP insider, word on the street is that Dennis Saffran is getting no support from the Queens Republican County organization and relying on a skeletal campaign staff from Nassau county.

There was a time when Dennis Saffran was seen as a rising star, but those days are over. The rift allegedly began when Saffran publicly switched his support mid-primary from John Catsimatidis, who was supported by the Queens GOP, to Joe Lhota and thus aligning himself with whom many insiders call one of the biggest pompous and delusional politicos in Queens county, none other than power-hungry boy wonder Eric Ulrich.

Digging a little deeper, a “friendship” was quickly born. Rumor has it Saffran and Councilman Ulrich became best friends, at least that’s what Saffran was lead to believe — Mr. Saffran has been overheard taking multiple calls from Ulrich under the auspices of Ulrich offering this seldom-seen opportunist his amateurish “advice,” which Saffran bought hook, line, and sinker. As a matter of fact, Ulrich has been seen in this northeast Queens district more times than Saffran who has been missing in action for the past 10 years, but that’s not the point here. Saffran’s switch was a political embarrassment — and now when the time has come when he needs help on the ground and volunteers, he’s not getting anything, resorting to second-rate campaign staff from Nassau and Suffolk county that don’t even know the district, but that’s still not the point. In the final days leading up to the election, his campaign has certainly atrophied in desperate need of the limited resources he could have gotten from the Queens GOP, but they’re not coming.

Eric Ulrich Daily News PhotoQuestions remain. Did Saffran really think aligning himself with Eric Ulrich would help him in the North? Considering the storied history of Ulrich and his cronies resorting to a barrage of endless legal tricks and political maneuvering to steal control of the Queens GOP, lining himself up with Ulrich would have severe political consequences and it wouldn’t be that hard to foresee this would be a huge mistake to come back and cost him — especially considering the GOP is headquartered in CD 19 — but obviously he didn’t get the message. And let’s not forget the Southern GOP rebels are going to have enough trouble with Democrat Lew Simon, he may win so how exactly are they going to help Saffran? As it turns out, no one is. And Saffran can only thank his own imbecility.

Meanwhile, and here’s the ironic part, Ulrich made his disdain of Saffran crystal clear to political insiders. Still, questions remain like aren’t there potholes on Cross Bay Blvd to worry about? How can you serve constituents while you’re busy pretending to be a party boss and meddling in elections on the other side of town?

Ulrich has zero influence in this part of Queens, but no one told Saffran and now he’s screwed on all sides.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/10/dennis-saffran-sinks-campaign-w-ulrich-alliance/

Aug 13 2013

Who’s Winning the Money Race?


Saffran even took a shot at the seat twelve years ago, losing by a scant 400 votes to Tony Avella.

While the Democratic candidates are busy campaigning against each other, Republican hopeful Dennis Saffran finds the time to raise funds unhindered by the looming primary.

In most parts of this City the results of the primary election almost always decide the result of the general election.  Few districts remain competitive after their respective primaries but there are a few exceptions like in the 19th CD in Northeast Queens, which is the home turf of the Queens Republican Party and the stomping grounds of Councilman Dan Halloran who was arrested on corruption charges in April and not seeking reelection.

Enter Dennis Saffran, an attorney and member of the Douglaston Civic Association, who has thrown his hat into the ring with the full weight of the Queens GOP backing up the play for the 19th. But could he win?

In retrospect, the Queens GOP historically held down parts of the northeast from the days of Frank Padavan –the blue and white collar mixed community of co-ops, one and two family homes, always had a viable GOP presence which gives some red candidates a fighting chance.

According to the latest filing, Saffran raised $40,907.99, nearly three times as much any of his Democratic opponents and topping out with $56,258, but he’s still not in first place. Austin Shaffran leads the pack with $101,797 followed by Paul Vallone and John Duane with just over $80,000 a piece. Former Halloran staffer Chrissy Voskerichian and urban lobbyist Paul Graziano are also running but lag behind in fundraising.

Still, his reporting should not go unnoticed. Touting the latest filing, Saffran stated that his gains are a sign of how people are fed up with politics as usual and are looking to his candidacy as the independent choice. “That our campaign has raised nearly three times as much as any of our opponents in the last three months shows the incredible momentum that this campaign has picked up in only a short time,  and is a testament to what the people of Northeast Queens want in an elected official: an independent, reform-minded leader who is not beholden to any lobbyists or special interests.”

Regardless of their reasons, Saffran will have to work hard to rebuild his name recognition if he wants to remain competitive in the general election. In the meantime, the campaign will take place in the backyard of the Queens GOP, which has to count for something –  especially considering they are spending a ton of cash energizing the base to come out for the Primary so hopefully they won’t forget by November when Saffran will need them.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/08/who-is-winning-the-money-race/

May 02 2013

Republicans Zero In On 19th CD Race


Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 4.04.39 AMRepublican Council hopeful Dennis Saffran unveiled a star-studded list of endorsements including former Senator Frank Padavan and Chairman Phil Ragusa earlier this week.

Distinguished former Senator Frank Padavan spoke of his longtime relationship with Saffran whom he had supported in the past when Safrran ran but narrowly lost to then-City Councilman Tony Avella, now Senator Avella.

“I’ve known Dennis and his family for many years and strongly support his nomination and election.  He is passionately committed to preserving the quality of life in our city and in the neighborhoods of Northeast Queens, and will relentlessly fight for these neighborhoods in the City Council in the same way I did in Albany.”

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa also had some encouraging words. “Dennis Saffran has been a great advocate for the policies that have made this city a better, safer place to live during the Giuliani and Bloomberg years, and he’ll be a leader in the Council in the fight to keep these policies in place.”

Robert Hornak, Communications Director For the Queens GOP had this to say, “Dennis and his wife have been extremely active in the decade since then, while raising two great children. We’re confident that his community ties, his background in public policy and his close race from 2001 make him the strongest Republican candidate this year.”


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/05/republicans-zero-in-on-19-cd-race/

Apr 22 2013

Saffran Joins Race For Halloran Seat


Republican candidate Dennis Saffran pictured with former Mayor Rudy Guiliani will file to run for the 19th City Council District this week.

Republican attorney Dennis Saffran announced his intention to run for the 19th City Council District in Queens currently held by Dan Halloran who will be arraigned later this week on federal corruption charges.

In an open letter to the Queens Young Republican Club Saffran wrote, “I’m running again this year for two reasons. First, of course, to restore our communities and to the Republican Party in our area, the tradition of integrity and honesty in government set for many years by Senator Frank Padavan and former Councilman Mike Abel.”

He ran for the same seat in 2001 but lost to Tony Avella by 200 votes with 35,000 ballots cast.

Saffran, 57, is a self-described neo-conservative and former head of the Center For Community Interest – a public interest group that worked to carry out the policies of Rudy Guiliani which focused on quality of life issues and crime prevention including the crackdown on squeegee men and the closure of adult entertainment shops.

During the campaign in 2001, Saffran advocated for Mayoral control of schools as well as dismantling the Board of Education. This year he intends to focus on restoring ethics in the political process as well as public safety issues such as advocating for public safety surveillance cameras despite criticism from the NYCLU “and other far left opponents.”

“Of course it was cameras liked these that allowed the Boston police to track fown the Marathon bomber in four days, and without which they would almost certainly still be at large,” wrote Saffran.

So far Saffran is the only Republican candidate to declare his intentions. A campaign committee will be filed later this week.


See the full missive below:

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 4.44.38 AM


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2013/04/dennis-saffran-joins-race-for-halloran-seat/

Hit Counter provided by brochure holders