2000-02-23 / Political Page

Local Political Orgs. Give Major Edge To Bush, Gore In Mar. 7th Primary

Even at a glance, it’s easy to see the candidates committed to Texas Governor George W. Bush in the Mar. 7th Republican primary here in Queens (and around the rest of the state) should bring him a great victory over United States Senator John McCain (Arizona), who had the wind knocked out of his sails last Saturday in South Carolina.

Bush just has too many established Republicans with highly recognizable names and the organization to get the rank and file to the polls 13 days hence to vote for them.

The same situation prevails in the Democratic primary locally, owing to the endorsement of Vice President Al Gore by the Queens Democratic Organization and county leader Thomas Manton. Actually, Gore’s opponent, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, has only a handful of candidates pledged to him.

A look at the Republican delegate situation in several Congressional districts which partially cover Queens illustrates Bush’s superiority. Here’s the picture:

7th CD (Queens/Bronx): Republican county chairman state Senator Serphin Maltese (Elmhurst) heads the delegation and he’s joined by Edward Coyne, longtime Woodside district leader. Rounding out the three-delegate slate is Bronx powerhouse Guy Velella. Alternates are Philip Ragusa, Whitestone leader, and Stephen Weiner of Sunnyside.

In McCain’s corner are Kathleen Ashton, a nurse from Woodside who headed McCain’s petitioning effort in the borough, and Steve Havemann and Rolando Infante, both of Woodside. Running as alternates are Thomas Ashton, Woodside, and Kevin Thomas Carroll of Sunnyside.

9th CD (Brooklyn/Queens): City Council Minority leader Thomas Ognibene of Middle Village and veteran Glendale leader Marguerite (Marge) Adams. Alternates are Dennis Gallagher, Middle Village, part of the county organization leadership, and Lauren Cacioppo of Elmhurst. On McCain’s side is only John Macron, of Belle Harbor.

In the other districts shared by Queens (the 5th CD Bayside/L.I.), 14th CD (Astoria/Manhattan), and 18th CD (mostly Westchester), delegates from the non-Queens portions dominate the lists.

Assemblymember Brian M. McLaughlin (D-I, Flushing) delivered $4,000 in funding from the 1999 state budget to the St. Ann’s Athletic Association, located in Flushing at 142-30 58th Ave. With McLaughlin (rear, l.) are Gary Conroy director, Rose Conroy, Linda Viviano, Maureen Mohr and the children of St. Ann’s Athletic Association.


For the Democrats, Gore’s candidates on the five delegate states are:

7th CD: City Councilmember Helen Marshall (East Elmhurst); Helen Greene, Jackson Heights; Thomas Wong, Maspeth; Helen Sears, Jackson Heights district leader, and Assemblymember Jeffrion Auby (East Elmhurst), alternate.

Bradley’s delegate candidates from the 7th CD are Alice Cardona, Woodside, and James van Bramer, also Woodside.

9th CD: Assemblymember Michael Cohen; Randi Weingarten, UFT president; Juan Basile, Howard Beach; James Lisa, Corona Dem leader, and Melinda Katz, Director of Community Boards at Borough Hall, alternate.

14th CD: Gloria De Marco Aloise, Astoria Democratic leader, and James Butler, a municipal labor leader who resides in Astoria.

Bradley’s other Queens delegates are Sheryl Rencher, of Kew Gardens in the 9th CD, and George Galitses, of Astoria, in the 14th CD.

The Gazette will list other candidate delegates in next week’s issue.


City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, state Senator George Onorato and Assemblymember Denis Butler, three western Queens Democratic stalwarts, discussed how Pataki’s proposed budget for 2000–2001 would impact on Queens when they met at a local function recently.


Councilmember Walter McCaffrey (D–Woodside) presented the "Man of the Year" award to John Ciafone, member of Community School Board 30 (and a former board president) at the recent Aldos Democratic Organization dinner-dance.


President Corey Bearak of the Queens County Line Democratic Organization at the eastern end of the borough, sends along this schedule of future meetings: Mar. 16th, debate between Rory Lancman and Morshed Alam, Democratic primary hopefuls for state Senate; Apr. 13th, talk by New York Civil Liberties Union Director Norman Siegel; May 18th, talk by Bronx Borough President (and mayoral aspirant) Fernando Ferrer, and June 15th, talk by Councilmember Helen Marshall.


Invitations for a fundraiser on Thursday, Mar. 2nd for Assemblymember Margaret (Marge) Markey (Maspeth) went out under the name of Democratic County Leader Thomas Manton, assuring a better-than-normal turnout for the event. It will be held at Cranberries, 82-02 Grand Ave., Maspeth, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Spurred by two recent deaths "attributed to the use of unregulated diet supplements," Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills) has filed legislation to restrict sales of some dietary products. Koslowitz bills would also require warnings to be pooled and call on Congress to restore regulatory powers to the federal Food and Drug Administration in this area.

Koslowitz, chairperson of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs, said Congress should restore to the FDA power to approve all dietary supplements before sale, powers which were taken away by Congress several years ago.

The FDA still has the authority to stop sales when there’s evidence that a product is dangerous, Koslowitz noted. But she said "when the federal standards were weakened and the agency charged with enforcement is restricted, there are going to be those people in business that would take advantage of the weakened regulatory environment."


Legislation to strengthen the law against employing a minor in sexually explicit performances and viewing or owning child pornography introduced by state Senator Serphin Maltese (R–C–Middle Village), has passed in the Senate and was sent to the Assembly where Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio (D-C, Ozone Park) is the sponsor.

Commenting after passage of the bill, Maltese stated, "With the profiferation of child pornography and the universal condemnation of it, we are working to prevent these obscene, indecent and outrageous performances by closing all the loopholes (its makers) might be slithering through."

The bill provides that "any play, motion picture, dance or other exhibition" is prohibited if it involves a minor under 16 engaged in sexual conduct. The legislation also makes it illegal to possess or view material containing obscene depictions of a nude child or sexual performance by a child.


Loopholes that prevent women from accessing the state’s Mammography Screening Law would be eliminated under a bill passed recently under Assemblymember Dennis Butler’s sponsorship. The Astoria/Long Island City/Jackson Heights Democratic lawmaker said that in 1989, a law was passed requiring many hospitals, and surgical and medical insurance policies to cover annual mammography screenings for women aged 35 and over. It also applied to women 35 and under when recommended by a physician.

But the law, Butler explained, exempted policies not delivered in New York, or that covered persons in more than one state or were the subject of collective bargaining.

"By eliminating these loopholes," Butler said, "my bill aims to improve a woman’s access to annual mammography screenings as well as reinforce the importance of such screening"


St. Ann’s Athletic Association in Flushing recently received a check for $4,000 from Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin (D–Flushing) which the lawmaker had secured in the 1999 budget. The funds will be used to purchase uniforms, secure proper facilities and furnish sports equipment for the youths in the church program.

McLaughlin stated, "Studies have shown that when kids play sports they are less likely to use drugs and get in trouble, and they are more likely to stay in school."


Congressmember Joseph Crowley (D–Elmhurst) is seeking a $3 million Community Block Grant from the federal government to be used in the revitalization of the College Point Sports Complex. Crowley said the funds would be added to $5 billion secured by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the budget and complete the funding required for the renovation’s first phase.

The 22-acre complex of Little League baseball, soccer and football fields ran into tough times several years ago when it was used as an illegal landfill dump. The material is now being removed and city agencies have designed a plan to build new sports fields.

"The park is one of the few open recreational spaces for kids in Queens," Crowley said, "playing host to thousands of children engaging in after-school and weekend activities such as Little League, football, soccer and roller hockey. The park serves as both an economic development initiative for the city as well as an urban oasis for the neighborhoods surrounding College Point."


State Senator Frank Padavan (R–C, Bellerose), will host a public meeting today on school bus safety beginning at 10 a.m. at Martin Van Buren H.S. in Queens Village. Among those who will participate in the public meeting is Kevin Gill, executive director of Food Services and Transportation, Board of Education. Among the topics to be discussed are mandatory use of seat belts on school buses and school bus driver training.

Padavan, a member of the senate’s task force on school bus safety said that "in the past few years, bus accidents seem to be continuing unabated, while there have been rising accounts of such incidents as children being abandoned on buses."

The hearing, one of a series being held throughout the state by the task force, will also look into mandated bus inspections by drivers at the end of each run, uniform standards for all drivers regardless of vehicle type and size and mandating the revocation of a driver’s license when he or she fails a random drug test.


Paralleling efforts on the federal level to do away with the so-called "marriage tax," state Senator Daniel Hevesi (D–Forest Hills) has signed an E–petition on the Internet calling for the abolition of the levy. The tax penalizes couples who file joint tax returns. The E–petition is designed to back a Democratic proposal to raise the standard deduction for married joint filers from the current $13,000 to $15,000, the deduction enjoyed by two single filers, Hevesi said. He said the change would generate a savings of $137 per couple with a $60,000-a-year income. Last year, Hevesi said, the Republicans voted to defeat a similar Democratic proposal.


Hevesi has recently been singing the praises of his Director of Constituent Services, George Paralemos, who has been elected president of the Pan–Icarian Brotherhood of New York, which is affiliated with the Pan–Icarian Brotherhood of America. At age 23, Paralemos is the youngest person in the chapter’s history to be elected president.

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