1999-08-25 / Political Page

Markey Meets Hillary; Rudy’s Courting Conservatives; ‘Draft Trump’ Move

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Assemblymember Margaret Markey recently met Hillary Rodham-Clinton during the First Lady’s visit to Queens and, after expressing to the First Lady her concerns about the future of the American family, invited her to join in a Family Workshop she’s planning in Maspeth.

Markey (D-Maspeth) didn’t get an immediate answer from Mrs. Clinton, but she did come away from the meeting "impressed with her sincere concern on these matters."

Like Mrs. Clinton, Markey said, she too wants to find ways to help families faced with the need for both parents to hold jobs, thus leaving children in daycare or supervised after-school programs. It is for this reason that Markey invited Mrs. Clinton to Maspeth, "so she can listen to and help address some of the major issues concerning the young families of the 30th Assembly District" (Markey’s district).

Hillary Rodham-Clinton and Assemblymember Marge Markey.

Summarizing the meeting with Mrs. Clinton, Markey stated, "It was truly a pleasure to meet and speak with her."

RUDY IN A BIND:

While Mrs. Clinton has been crisis-crossing the state meeting with Democrats, she’s been getting a good reception as she tries to erase the "carpet bagger" label Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has pinned on her.

Giuliani, meanwhile, has run into some rough waters concerning the state Conservative Party, whose endorsement the mayor will want and need when he formally announces he’ll seek the United States Senate seat next year.

Conservative Party chairman Michael Long, known for his independence and outspoken manner, voiced strong objections a couple of weeks ago when Governor George Pataki endorsed the mayor, greasing the skids under Congressmember Rick Lazio (R-Long Island). Prior to embracing the mayor, the governor had been encouraging Lazio behind-the-scenes to pursue party support for a possible primary challenge to the mayor.

Although the governor’s objective was to solidify support behind the GOP’s strongest candidate and head off a debilitating primary, it certainly didn’t have the desired effect where Long was concerned. Long and his party have never been that chummy with the mayor, in fact they never endorsed him in his mayoral races, principally because the mayor had gotten into bed with the Liberal Party so under no circumstances would the Conservatives endorse him.

Councilmember Karen Koslowitz and Vice President Al Gore.

The mayor’s past coziness with the Liberals probably still bothers Long, but the mayor’s pro-abortion position really rankles him. So, at this point, meetings are pending between the mayor and Long to talk things out. Chances are they’ll come to some accommodation. Remember, the mayor and Long have a lot in common on most Conservative issues; the Liberal Party thing will no doubt be a non-issue between them since it seems like a natural for the Liberal Party to back the likely Democratic candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But there’s a very strong practical reason why the mayor will do his utmost to get Long on his side—no Republican has won statewide office without Conservative Party endorsement. You can bet the mayor won’t want to experiment on running against Mrs. Clinton without the Conservative line. It would be too risky.

KOSLOWITZ GREETS GORE:

Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who doubles as a Democratic district leader, had some very laudatory comments about Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore recently when she was among a large welcoming party which greeted the Vice President at LaGuardia Airport.

"I’m very happy to greet Vice President Gore as he prepares to run for the Presidency," Koslowitz declared. "To ensure these prosperous times continue for our city and country, we must see to it that Al Gore is successful in his run for the White House."

Gore’s strongest challenge for his party’s nomination next year is coming from former United States Senator Bill Bradley, who’s also a former New York Knicks star forward.

TRUMP DRAFT:

Master builder Donald Trump is far better known for escorting fabulous beauties around town rather than for being escorted to a podium for a campaign speech. But Queens Independence Party Chairman Michael Niebauer of Bayside wants to change that somewhat by drafting the real estate magnate to run for president next year.

Although Trump hasn’t given any indication about how he views the draft attempt, Niebauer issued Trump’s positions on issues which endeared him to the fledgling party. Quoting from various Trump interviews, Niebauer indicates The Donald is right on target, as far as he and his party are concerned: on Term Limits (in favor), on NAFTA (opposed because it takes away American "sovereignty and jobs") and campaign finance reform (in favor of a "complete overhaul" of the present system).

Niebauer said that during the National Reform Party Convention last month, the Detroit Free Press conducted a poll among the delegates (including the Queens Independence Party contingent) as to possible nominees for president and in it, Trump ran second to Ross Perot.

Michael Niebauer and William Struhs, chairman of the Queens Independence Party and deputy chairman respectively.

Based in Whitestone, the Independence Party was started in Queens by Niebauer.

VALLONE HITS ILLEGAL LOTTERY TICKET SALES:

Acting under the supervision of adult City Council investigators, minors aged 10 to 16 were able to purchase scratch-off tickets in 71 percent of the state-licensed lottery sales stores they visited as part of an investigation into illegal lottery sales. State law mandates tickets can only be sold to persons 18 years or older.

In releasing the investigation findings last Wednesday, Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D-Astoria) said the state should "developed a stronger enforcement program and revoke licenses of merchants who repeatedly violate the law." He also pointed out that "an estimated 57,000 to 90,000 minors between the ages of 13 and 17 are considered ‘at risk and problem gamblers’" in New York City.

NEW TRASH CONTAINERS:

Those newly-designed, shiny dark green garbage cans adorning the street corners near the 37th Avenue Post Office building in Jackson Heights were secured by Councilmember John Sabini (D), the area’s representative.

"These new containers not only help to keep the area outside the Post Office clean, their handsome design is also a fine addition to the style of the [Jackson Heights] historic district," Sabini ex-plained. The lawmaker also secured $2 million in the new budget for additional street basket collections in problem areas of the city, including the Jackson Heights commercial district.

ON PICKET LINE:

Alarmed at "union busting" tactics and demands by management that would "create unacceptable working conditions," Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D-Elmhurst) recently joined sugar refinery workers striking against the Domino Sugar Company in Brooklyn.

Crowley stated that the company’s demand for a no-strike clause, elimination of guaranteed hours, an end to seniority and mandated holiday work are "unacceptable."

REACHING OUT:

Going to the people, Assemblymember Michael Cohen (D-Forest Hills) will go into the Middle Village portion of his 28th Assembly district to give his constituents the chance to meet with him face-to-face and discuss any problems they might have. The meeting place is St. Margaret’s Church, 66-05 79th Pl., on Tuesday, Aug. 31st from 3 to 6 p.m. and the following day, Wednesday, Sept. 1st from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone wishing to make an appointment to meet with Cohen should call his district office at (718) 263-5595.

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