Tag Archive: Party politics

Dec 06 2011

New York Poet Reflects on Public Policy

Steven Leonardo Clifford is a fresh poetic voice from New York with more melancholy than one human can handle. He’s been featured in the webzines Calliope Nerve and Eviscerator Heaven, studies English Literature at Suffolk County Community College, and is currently masterminding an absurdist novel. He’s awesome and definitely didn’t write this bio.

Considering the corruption, nepotism and sleaze I’ve witnessed in politics, I asked Steve to write something reflective of the present state of self-serving party politics that maligns public policy making. It’s yours to interpret.


The pulse is muted

The town squirms to the speechless phenomenon,

everyone grieving independently, viewable if you

squint your mind’s eye. A kitten twitches. In a missable corner, a typical house stands:

a victim of the nation’s drought.


And jobs thrash an ultimatum: slave here or the street’s your blanket.

We then begrudge our post for eternality. A cat cries voicelessly. This house harbors rejects, chemically whitewashing affliction

daily. Passions prune here.

The cat limps. Kids perform apostasies on their dreams.

With the innards of their hopes, they animate


sustainable abominations.

A stranger approaches a beckoning cat, scurrying off. These kids

core harsh facts

and inject zombielike peace.


Their blood free-falls.


The cat reemerges with a new cyst.

They whistle before decrepitude’s massive eye. Many dread the

crumble, while they leap to the aftermath. The cat sniffles her gory nose, and seems


fine as she plays.


Society regards this curable gash as an ignorable scar,

like mangy cats marooned to a junky backyard. These creatures

share a

freakish bond, as comrades of



They embrace one another in blizzards,

run pass each other passively, hostility obsolete by the winter,

and they rub against one another intimately.


They live the sinful silence together.

One loud roadkill.

The clamorous news knows life’s rawness as an



Uninterruptible noise provokes a perplexing fever,

as poverty avalanches blindly. Her death glimpses the sheer sinkhole,

and mutilated culture replaces that void.


Now, homey warmth means doping up after work.


Troublesome, fantasy seeming media afar

creep up on the interior of ordinary life. Ugly subtleties form a horde patiently.

Dedicated to- Danielle Marie La Barbera. R.I.P.  


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2011/12/new-york-poet-reflects-on-public-policy/

Nov 16 2011

Battleground: Forest Hills

"Eric told me to do it," says Congressman Bob Turner who looks pleased while Bart Harggety and Phil Ragusa fight for the credit for anointing him. GOP State Chairman Ed Cox stares down in disgust.

Forest Hills may be the new epicenter of Republican party politics.

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa chartered a new political club in a location that a south Queens Republican operative isn’t too chipper about it.

The new American Eagle Republican Club hosted its first meeting Tuesday night at the Forest Hills Jewish Center

“After the [Bob] Turner victory, Forest Hills jumped to the top of the list,” said Robert Hornak, a spokesman for the Queens GOP in an interview with the Daily News.

Forest Hills is interesting. It is long known to be the forward operating base of the rival Haggerty clan who bear an ancient grudge against Chairman Phil Ragusa and associates.

Ragusa is hoping to keep the momentum going that energized voters for Congressman Bob Turner’s big win in the 9th District.

While the 19th and 20th Council Districts are held by two Republicans, Dan Halloran and Peter Koo, the local political clubs are small in number and are often a heaven’s waiting room of senior citizens jockeying for a free cup of coffee and stale Entenmann’s crumb cake.  So why would there be a move to Forest Hills, especially at a time when GOP political muscle in northeast Queens has atrophied?

At Queens-Politics we believe it’s throwing a little salt in the ol’ wound.

City Councilman Eric Ulrich and his Chief of Staff, Bart Haggerty (also a District Leader)  attempted to usurp the leadership at the Queens GOP by electing Thomas Ognibene as Chairman. What people may overlook is that these are the same operatives that groomed Bob Turner from start to finish (legend has it they found him playing Canasta at a senior club).

Councilman Ulrich bestows pearls of wisdom upon Bob Turner who was quoted as calling him his “26 year old mentor.”

Insiders say Phil Ragusa tried to steal credit even boasting about it on the party website. Now, Ragusa has started a political club in what some call the territory of the south Queens GOP – whom are not recognized by State GOP Party Chairman Ed Cox or the courts.

Instead of concentrating outreach efforts in northeast Queens (a region long known for convoluted party politics) where it’s needed,  Ragusa is moving the big show into Forest Hills where he believes he may have better luck recruiting a viable political club.

Rival Bart Haggerty is not welcoming the newcomers. He says Forest Hills already has a clubhouse, the Forest Park Republican Club and that Ragusa’s front man, Juan Reyes, a Forest Hills-raised lawyer has been missing in community action for ten years.

Robert Hornak told me in a prior interview that Ragusa has championed outreach efforts for new immigrant communities that tend to lean conservative on social issues.

While this is  true, the location of Forest Hills is sure to be a thorn in the side to the radical triumvirate, the Haggerty-Ulrich-Ognibene faction of the Queens GOP.

It is likely a sign of more tensions to come.


Permanent link to this article: https://queens-politics.com/2011/11/battleground-forest-hills/

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