The Presidential Primary, Political Life Goes On
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
One thing is over; another begins.
As we watched the results of Super Tuesday, not only were we all
cheering for our favorites - not quite as intently as we cheered
for the Giants on Sunday - the '08 local candidates were solidifying
their efforts and imagining the impact the Presidential race will
have on their elections.
In Queens, with 25 State legislative seats up for election, we anticipate
contests in only three. The 18 incumbent Democratic Assembly members
will receive only nominal challenges at best, from a weak Queens
State Senate in '08
State Senator John Sabini can expect another vigorous challenge
from City Councilman Hiram Monserrate in what will be the best Queens
primary to watch in September.
In another primary, look for Dem Albert Baldeo, who ran effectively
against State Senator Serf Maltese two years ago, attempting to
stave off the popular onslaught of City Councilman Joe Addabbo,
Jr, the organizational choice to capture the Maltese Senate seat
for the Dems. The November election for the New York State Senate
will only be slightly behind the presidential election in import
with the Dems looking for the top-of-the-ticket boost to help them
capture two seats from the Republicans and take control of the Senate
for the first time in just about anyone's memory. This seat is the
top of the list "A" contests.
Republican State Senator Frank Padavan will also receive a challenge
for a sitting councilmen, but Jim Gennaro is not given as much a
chance of unseating the popular senator in spite of an anticipated
overwhelming Democratic turnout as a result of the presidential
race. Call this a "B" contest at best.
The real multiple action is in the Queens struggle for the 13 Council
seats which will be vacant in 2009 due to term limits.
Initial perusal shows us some races to watch and other quietly,
rising stars for the 2009 election where all Queens seats (except
Tom White's) will be vacant because of term limits.
RACES TO WATCH
The 19th Council District (presently Tony Avella's seat), will pit
Paul Vallone, of the powerful and popular Vallone clan, against
the community board's Jerry Iannece. Paul is a resident of this
east Queens District and chose to run at home as opposed to continuing
the long-standing family tradition of an Astoria councilmember named
Vallone. Others mentioned include Debbie Markel, John Franks, and
In the 24th CD, watch three mighty political clubs compete to replace
Jim Gennaro. Mike Simanowitz will run with the support of his co-leader
Assemblywoman Nettie Mayoerson out of the Stevenson Democratic Club,
Martha Taylor co-leader of Councilman David Weprin out of the Weprin
Club and longtime Dem operative Jeff Gottlieb out of former Councilman
Morty Povman's JFK Club will likely square off in a maxed-out contest
of regular Dems.
In the 29th CD (Melinda Katz's seat), former Councilwoman and Deputy
Beep Karen Koslowitz will be the favorite but expect former Assemblyman
Mike Cohen with the rumored support of Melinda Katz's club to be
in the fray. Lynn Shulman who ran previously has also thrown her
hat into the ring.
In the 23rd CD, Dale Nussbaum is about to announce her candidacy.
With a background working as a community liaison in education, government
and labor, as well as an impressive personal network (disclosure:
her husband is associate publisher of this paper), Dale will quickly
rise to the top of the field which includes co-op leader Bob Friedrich
and Dave Kerpin.
Longtime gay activist and now Democratic regular, District Leader
Danny Dromm leads the field as the likely heir to the seat held
by Helen Sears in the 25th. With Bryan PuFolkes and Alfonso Quiroz
both mentioned as possible candidates, it seems it may take a return
from the State Senate by John Sabini to cause the Dromm train from
Watch Brian Simon in the 27th to take Leroy Comrie's seat. He's
off, running and looks like he's in control.
Likewise Elizabeth Crowley, cousin to County Leader Joe, is off
to an impressive fundraising start as the likely Democratic candidate
to this Republican seat held by Dennis Gallagher in the 30th.
Watch the 22nd Council District seat held by Peter Vallone Jr. where
we expect Assemblyman Mike Gianaris to leave the dismal Albany existence
and look to take part in a governmental body which really works.
The highly regarded fundraiser is rumored to be looking for a shot
at becoming speaker of the council but that's likely a stretch for
a newcomer from a Borough who likes to play for committee chairs
for all of its members.
There are a more seats and many more candidates and as the clock
continues to tick towards the big citywide election of 2009, we
will keep you informed as people throw their hats into the ring
and maneuver in the game.
Candidates are invited to put us on their mail and/or email list.
Just because the presidential primary in New York is over, it doesn't
mean the political junkies have nothing to talk about.
Maltese Loses Key Ally In Seminerio
Stadium Memorabilia Selling Fast
Fugitive Convicted In 2001 Murder
Rally Howls For Affordable Housing
Sikhs and Arab Still Suffer Since 9/11
Queens’ Latin Jazz Coalition Finds Rhythm
Going From Here to There — Got Ideas?
Protest To Keep School Bus Routes
Rival Term Limits Bills Approach Council Floor
Stolen Torahs Returned
Seminerio Arrested For Mail Fraud
Teen Pleads Guilty To 2006 Park Murder
Mayor Endorses Maltese In Senate Battle
Huge Turnout Gives Huntley Win In Jamaica
Memories of Shea
On 9/11, Some Wounds Still Unhealed
Women’s Hospital Breaks Ground
Citi Field To Be Year-Round Attraction
Stolen Torahs Recovered By Police
Meng Beats Young in Primary for Flushing Seat
Term-Limits Reversal Is Lukewarm
Will the Presidential Race Affect State Senate?:Can
Sophomore Spitzer Recover?
start of the month is a good time to look around, review
what happened last month and what is likely to happen
in the next four weeks.
America in general, and the political community in particular,
are preoccupied with the national election. Every four
years they change the rules, and the innovation in 2008
is an early Super Tuesday, coming just two days after
the Super Bowl. We go in for superlatives, in sports and
politics as well as in business and life.
Dozens of pundits and prophets describe the action each
day, and it would be superfluous for us to join them.
Day One - Everything changes
Day 397 - Pretty much the same
Governor Spitzer delivered his State of the State message
on Jan. 9, and his proposed executive budget for fiscal
2009 on Jan. 22. The budget increase of 5.3 percent was
more modest than last year's 7.8 percent, but is likely
to be increased by the legislature, particularly for their
member items (the equivalent of Congressional earmarks)
which direct goodies to individual districts. Member items
are not intrinsically evil, but the way they are handed
out by legislative leaders on the basis of party membership
and obedience is distasteful. It is an outrage when a
company that receives a member item employs a legislator
(or his girlfriend) who secured the item for them, but
it is alleged that such a practice is not unknown at the
capitol. Senator Efrain Gonzales (D-Bx) has been indicted
on related charges.
The governor's influence has been sharply reduced as the
result of an unfortunate first year marked by intemperate
statements, the botched attempt on Senator Bruno's career,
and errors in judgment. The governor's new staff will
minimize such blunders this year. Spitzer has most likely
been chastened by his sharp decline in the polls. He attributes
that to his standing up for principle. If he really believes
that, he is in trouble.
The national elections will divert a lot of attention
from state issues this year. Hopefully it will be a year
of healing. Unfortunately, healing usually means consolidating
the victory of the status quo over any reformist notions
the governor had before he came to grief. As usual, we
wish him all the best. We also defend him from the kangaroo
court of Senate Republicans. Even if he did what he was
accused of, their ethical standards are lower than his,
at least so far.
The possibility is increasing (as of this writing) of
a presidential campaign between Senator McCain and Senator
Clinton, although Senator Obama, whose fortunes have been
rising, cannot be counted out. Despite the fact that New
York is a blue state, and our home Senator is likely to
carry it, McCain should run well enough, particularly
upstate, so that a turnover of the State Senate cannot
Hillary has been called a New Yorker out of opportunity,
rather than birth, but that is unfair.
She was born and raised in Illinois, attended college
in Massachusetts (Wellesley), went to law school in Connecticut
(Yale), worked in the District of Columbia, lived for
years in Arkansas, where she practiced law, moved back
to the District of Columbia for eight years when she was
First Lady, and then moved to New York, settling in Chappaqua.
That's one of the great things about our country, you
can go to different states for different reasons.
Pat Moynihan, for example, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
and was a professor at Harvard University in Massachusetts.
After serving in Washington, D.C., he came to New York,
where he was defeated in the Democratic primary for city
council president in 1965.
Bobby Kennedy was from Massachusetts, lived in Virginia
for many years, and came to New York State just in time
to run for the Senate in 1964.
Richard Nixon, having been defeated in his race for Governnor
of California, moved to New York City in 1963 and ran
for the presidency from 810 Fifth Avenue here.
If you are looking for political pedigrees, you will find
them in the Adams, Bush, Harrison and Roosevelt families.
They all had two Presidents. It's not that much of a new
The late Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill (D-Mass) is
credited with the saying, "All politics is local." Under
that rule, New Yorkers have two concerns: 1) Will the
Democrats take over the State Senate, and 2) If Hillary
is elected, who will Governor Spitzer appoint to the Senate?
Not4Publication.com by Dom Nunziato