By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
REALITY CHECK: We can’t figure him out. Jeff Gottlieb bailed out of last year’s
race in the 24th Council District when he claimed Dem County Leader Tom Manton told him
that Dan Hevesi wasn’t going to rerun for his State Senate this year and
it would be Gottlieb’s, while Barry Grodenchik was Manton’s choice for
Well, Grodenchik lost to Jim Gennaro who
just plain outworked him. That might not have been the case with the
driven Gottlieb who at times has difficulty grasping reality, as was the
case in buying into the alleged Manton scenario. Hevesi we believe would
be rerunning except, as a result of redistricting, no longer has a seat of
Gottlieb presently struggles to keep
himself in check as he serves as a staffer for Council Finance Chair David
Now, it seems, Gottlieb may need another
big reality check. Reports have the political operative who was cast out
by the Hevesi organization holding secret meetings to put together an
Assembly challenge against the ever-popular Nettie Mayerson (is there
really an “h” in her name?).
When asked if he plans to run, Gottlieb
offered “no comment.”
Hevesi, Hiram Monserrate, Archie Spigner, Brian McLaughlin, Joyce Shepard, John
Nettie and her Stevenson Dem Club did
demonstrate vulnerability in the Grodenchik Council flop but would
Nettie lose in a district with Pomonok and Electchester as its
heart? You gotta be kidding. All Gottlieb is accomplishing is increasing
his rather large list of enemies.
Nettie is here to stay or until she
tries to hand the seat over to her co-leader Grodenchik who, by the way
depending on final lines, may have to move back into the newly drawn
district if he wants to be eligible for his leadership role or to ever try
to replace Nettie in the Assembly. Now that Barry has demonstrated
campaign vulnerability, look to Nettie and the Dem organization to try to
hand him the seat in a Special Election — probably sometime in the next
several years. In a Special, the District Leaders pick the party
candidates. While, in a “real election,” there is a Primary where all
enrolled party voters would elect the Democratic candidate. Party insiders
would be afraid that an “outsider” might come along and take it away
from Grodenchik again.
However, that’s down the road a piece
and what do I know anyway?
ATTENDANCE COUNTS! And is that why Lois Marbach was removed as a member of the Community
Board 11? You bet it is.
To those involved in the whisper
campaign suggesting that her left-of-center leaning or handling of
non-organization candidates had something to do with it, both Borough Hall
and Marbach disagree.
Beep Marshall didn’t reappoint Marbach
because of attendance. Lois missed nine out of 10 meetings of the
Community Board last year (15 out of the last 20 over two years) and
should have had her head cut off because of it. Hey Lois, you should have
resigned. Running political campaigns is not an excuse for not showing up.
But to Marbach’s credit, when asked about her removal she said she did
not want to make an issue out of it and told us, “My attendance was bad,
so I was not reappointed. There’s really not much else to say about
Deputy Beep Karen Koslowitz told us,
“Lois was absolutely not the only one [removed because of attendance].
There were others, but I don’t know [who] off hand.” Koslowitz
promised to get us names. We’re waiting.
So to those suggesting otherwise,
lighten up. Borough President Helen Marshall has done the right thing by
removing from the Community Board someone who didn’t do the job. Just
because Claire Shulman didn’t enforce attendance standards it doesn’t
mean they should continue to be ignored. And if you can show us others who
are still on Boards but not showing up without legitimate reasons, we’ll
print their names and send them to the Beep.
PAYBACK IS A BITCH: In spite of his claims to the contrary, everyone in the know is
whispering loudly at the fate of State Senator Dan Hevesi at the hands of
the Republican Senate majority redistricting mappers.
Hevesi, to the very end is yelling he
could have won the seat from Democratic colleague Toby Stavisky but has
decided not to rerun.
The son of the former City Comptroller
was originally remapped by the G.O.P. into a district with Democrat
Stavisky. While Toby and company solidified her position, built on
coalitions for the potential face off with Hevesi, she and her skilled
political consultant son Evan – creative force of the up and coming
Parkside Group, insiders say – also tried to woo those folks on the
other side of the aisle (Republican Senate Hoohahs).
Hevesi Junior, on the other hand
postured he could win the face off, the Republican move was outrageous and
he’d prevail in court. The GOP Senate leadership, we are told, was fed
up with the “kid’s arrogance” and let him have it. Bang!
From the newly mapped district shared
with Stavisky, they removed 11,000 people from Forest Hills who would
likely be in the Hevesi camp and replaced them with folks responsive to
the Stavisky coalition.
With the pro-Stavisky modification,
published reports had Hevesi exploring the possibility of running in the
10th Senate district which is composed of a majority of minority residents
but is an all-Queens district drawn for less than gentle Brooklyn Senator
However, in a year where Dan’s father
needs all the friends he can get as he tries to save a political career
with a run for State Comptroller, the younger Hevesi, even though he
denies it, took the easy way out.
The Senate G.O.P. clearly targeted and
got him while Albany insiders tell us he brought it on himself.
We know Dan was as unhappy working with
the Republican majority as they were with him. Perhaps it’s all for the
We wish him well.
OUTSIDE THE INNER CIRCLE? Speaking about Hevesi, one astute longtime Hevesi backer recently sat
with us and poured over the program of the Inner Circle political spoof
fundraiser put on by the City press corps. Carefully reading which
reporter played which character, the Hevesi backer for some four decades
shook his head and said, “They have Green, Vallone, Ferrer, but no
Hevesi. The press doesn’t think he’s important enough to have fun
with, and the guy is supposed to be the frontrunner for Comptroller.
He’s doing it again. He’s listening to the same people who guided him
wrong last time. He spends his time raising money while Bill Mulrow is out
there eating his lunch.”
Last year, Alan Hevesi moved from
perceived frontrunner to last place in the four-way Mayoral race. He
entered the State Comptroller race with pundits saying it was his to lose.
Well, Westchester’s Bill Mulrow is doing his best to help Alan achieve
Last week, Forest Hills first lady Gerry
Ferraro, former friend of Hevesi and original co-anchor of Alan’s home
political club, endorsed Mulrow who seems to be picking off more folks
than you’d expect in Alan’s backyard.
Friends of the elder Hevesi are worried
that his present campaign seems sadly bogged down with the same “all you
gotta do is raise money,” attitude that saw him drop in last year’s
By the way, this office regularly is
contacted by the Mulrow campaign while we haven’t heard from our old
friend Alan since the Mayoral campaign.
Is it déjà vu all over again for
IS IT SHEER MADNESS? Talk about crazy; hold on to your hats!
Is it just another wolf in sheep’s
clothing? Erratic community activist Joyce Shepard is trying to build a
bigger mosquito swatter.
Word has it that the former Catskills
performer, former council candidate, social working, malathion-fighting,
wrong-righting, on- (or maybe over-) the-edge community radical is laying
the groundwork for a new publication called “Queens Alternative.”
We’re told she’s exploring a northeast Queens and Great Neck vehicle
to spread her word. Not only that, we hear that the aspiring
newspaperwoman is also toying with a Russian paper in Forest Hills.
One journalist contacted by Shepard told
us that she apparently came into some money and this is how she plans to
spend it. Rather than taking Shepard up on an offer to join her new
venture, he decided to get the flock out of here.
Since writng this item, a published
report has confirmed much of our speculation. It also informs us that
Shepard’s paper will be salmon in color.
Nothing fishy about that? Hmmm!
Good luck, Joyce.
ARCHIE IS NO JUGHEAD: We said we’d tell you where they landed if we heard of the big money
firms attracting those who were term limited out of office. Here’s one.
Archie Spigner who has already landed a
part-time “advisory and consulting” gig with Carlysle Towery’s
Greater Jamaica Development Corp. has joined the law firm of Sheldon Lobel.
Archie is not an attorney.
Lobel is a big time zoning and variance
lawyer who represents many of the wealthy developers in getting their
projects approved by the City. He is said to be one of the guys to hire
when you have a touchy development project that is opposed by the
Community Board but want City Planning Commission approval. Shelly Lobel
is a top-notch land use lobbyist-attorney.
Archie, former deputy majority leader of
the City Council as well as its former chair of the Committee of Housing
and Buildings, is in a perfect position to add to Lobel’s influence.
He’s going to be doing what many former elected officials do: using
connections and years of experience gained while serving the public to
make money on the other side, influencing the process.
There’s nothing wrong with it here in
the City; it’s all legal.
POWER STRUGGLE? Is there a backroom deal brewing between Queens Council Latino dynamo
Hiram Monserrate and Queens Assemblyman and Labor powerbroker Brian
Monserrate has handpicked Julissa
Ferreras, his 20-something female campaign manager, to stake her claim on
the new Assembly seat drawn as a Jackson Heights-Latino seat. Jose
Peralta, the man who heads up Central Labor Council’s immigration desk,
has the blessing of McLaughlin.
With a newly-drawn Senate seat and four
district leaderships also up for grabs in the area, can Hiram and Brian
come to an accommodation to avoid a head-on collision?
Insiders tell us they are talking about
EENIE MEENIE, IT’S JOHN SABINI! While Hiram and Brian may be negotiating away the newly-drawn 13th
Senatorial district — supposedly drawn for a Latino — who will really
wind up being the voters’ choice?
John Sabini who was term limited out of
his Jackson Heights Council seat, is staking his claim as frontrunner. The
likeable, long-time political pro has methodically and quietly claimed the
seat building on his years first as a political operative — I remember
him with Congressman Jim Scheuer — then as a party and elected official.
Gee, when you write “long-time” and
make Sabini sound old, what are you saying about yourself? I remember John
Sabini back in the days . . .
Well, it looks like the young
multi-cultural old-timer might be headed for Albany claiming the newly
drawn Latino Senate seat.
contributor: Angela Montefinise
by Dom Nunziato