Dems Plan Manton, Hillary Fetes; Rudy’s Lib Bid Stirs Things Up
Queens Democrats are coming into spring with a bang, pitching a salute to their county leader,Thomas Manton, and featuring their United States Senate candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as guest of honor at their annual spring dinner–dance.
Manton’s honors will be initiated by his home club of many years, the Anoroc Democratic Club, in Sunnyside, where he still serves as district leader with Marie Konecke.The event will be held at Riccardo’s inAstoria on Saturday,Apr. 29th; cocktails at 7 p.m. and dinner to follow.
The First Lady’s night follows about four weeks later, on Thursday evening,May 18th, at 6 p.m. at Antun’s inQueens Village, where the Dems have dined for the past 30 years. Tickets are $300 per person and there should be a standing-room-only crowd to fill the county organization’s treasury and help fuel Mrs. Clinton’s battle against her Republican opponent, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.It should be quite an evening.
Manton has had a distinguished career—a United States Marine,New YorkCity cop, law degree fromSt. John’s University, City Councilmember, United States Congressmember and county leader for about a dozen years.He and his wife, Diane, have four children and as many grandchildren and he’s back practicing law since retiring fromCongress about 16 months ago.
The ticket prices and arrangements bear mentioning. In the "Host" category, $1,000 will buy you eight banquet tickets ($125 each); as "Patron,"you get four tickets for $500 (again, $125 each). With each you’ll have your name printed in the souvenir program, you get the opportunity to present a one-minute salute to the honoree and get a videotape of the salutes. For other categories, tickets are still $125 each, or $75 at the door.
As with Hillary’s night, there should be a huge crowd at Riccardo’s for Manton’s well-deserved tribute. The soft-spoken, friendly pol has always worked diligently at his legislative jobs, serving his constituents well.For 30 years it has been our pleasure to know him and have a reporter’s working relationship with him, he’s always been a stand-up guy and a gentleman. He’s living proof that nice guys don’t always finish last, even in a tough business like politics.
Nolan Guests:Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, (c.), recently participated as a guest speaker at a child care conference organized jointly by the AFL-CIO and the Cornell Institute for Women &Work. With Nolan are from left to right: Elizabeth Lubetkin Lipton, president of the Women’s City Club; Ida Ines Torres, treasurer of the New York City Central Labor Council; Karen Nussbaum, director of the Working Women’s Department of the AFL-CIO, and Francine Moccio, director of the Institute of Women &Work.
MAYOR’S MOVE:While the Dems were planning all these party moves, the mayor was making a third party move, announcing he would seek the Liberal Party nomination in his Senate race.That would effectively end any alliance with the Conservative Party, whose state leader, Mike Long, immediately warned it would hurt other Republican candidates in November.
Obviously, the mayor is sticking with a tried and true formula—once again embracing the Liberals, on whose line he ran when he won two consecutive mayoral contests. Only this time it would offer a bonus of sorts, since the Democrats presidential candidate, Al Gore, might also be on the Liberal line, raising the prospect of even more Dems swinging to the mayor.
This scenario wasn’t lost on Clinton’s strategists. One commented after the mayor’s announcement:"It’s clearly a source of concern."
This now raises the question:"Where do the Conservatives go?"Right now, it looks like they’re at a dead end. They’ve been courting Long Island Congressmember Rick Lazio, a Republican, as a possible candidate, but it’s unlikely Lazio would put himself in a lose–lose situation, with no chance of winning and possibly playing the spoiler in a Republican’s effort to win a Senate seat.It makes no sense also because of Governor George Pataki’s strong efforts to keep Lazio out of a primary against the mayor.So it’s unlikely he would take the Conservative line.
It looks now like the mayor has positioned himself advantageously with a possible alliance with the Liberals, which can really be considered a fait accompli, given his close relationship with state Liberal leader Harding.
WIN SOME, LOSE SOME:The mayor’s possible political gains were somewhat overshadowed by an apparent defeat at the hands of Comptroller AlanHevesi in the welfare contract imbroglio.
A state Supreme Court judge issued a ruling last Thursday upholding Hevesi’s contention that millions of dollars worth of welfare-to-work contracts which the mayor had issued, were invalid.
The mayor derided the decision and predicted it would be overturned on appeal.For Hevesi, who’s eyeing the mayoral race next year, it was a significant victory.
APPOINTMENTS:Assemblymembers Denis Butler (Astoria/Long Island city) and Ivan Lafayette (Jackson Heights) were busy working on a budget matters last week after they were appointed by Democratic Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver to budget conference committees.
Butler was involved in the Subcommittee on Higher Education’s deliberations; Lafayette in the Mentalhealth and Hygiene panel’s doings.Both have served in similar capacities in the past.Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood) also had a budget conference assignment.
INSTALLATIONS:City CouncilMinority Leader Thomas Ognibene (R–C, Middle Village) installed officers of the Middle Village Republican Club on Monday evening, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Sworn in were Joseph Surace, president; Fred Erdman, vice president; Marilyn Adamo, SarahKlaus, Edward Borst, Katherine Weinter, Olga Finneran and Dorothy Schwarz.
COMPLAINT:Katina Kiourkenidas, the 36th Assembly District (Astoria/Long Island City) Republican leader complained in a recent letter to Congressmember Carolyn Maloney that the "lion’s share" of federal funds secured by Maloney for her congressional district goes to the Manhattan portion, rather than the Queens side, which includes parts of Astoria,Long Island City, Sunnyside and Maspeth.
Out of 123 funded priorities, Kiourkenidas noted, "only 10 are in northwest Queens."The Manhattan list includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art and similar institutions.
Kiourkenidas, who shares the36th Assembly District leadership with Vince Tabone, said that because of the divergent and competing interests between the Manhattan and Queens portions of the 14th Congressional District, she hoped that in the next reapportionment Manhattan would get its own district and the Queens communities would be joined together with similar neighboring ones on this side of the East River.
Responding, Maloney pointed to some of the major projects she had funded in Queens, such as the subway tunnel connector on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, which will provide relief for overcrowded transit lines; the School District 30 magnet program and efforts to stop the spread of the tree-devouring Asian longhorned beetle.
But, she added, "Much of the work I do for Queens is not reflected in the annual report—in some instances because the available data is always two years behind, and in others because the work relates to policy rather than funding."
Maloney also cited her efforts on behalf of Greek causes, securing a full census count and keeping the skies over LaGuardia Airport quiet and safe.
The eight-year congressmember invited Kiourkenidas to recommend any community organization she knew of that wanted to apply for federal funding and she would assist it in applying for such aid.
MARKEY FIGHTS FOR DA FUNDS:Citing the need "to maintain the level of excellence" provided in the past by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office, Assemblymember Margaret Markey (D–Maspeth) said she is making an effort to assure the office receives adequate funding in the 2000–01 state budget.
Markey singled out funding for the John F. KennedyInternationalAirport security effort, anti-school violence and child advocacy programs, and the continuing anti-drug fight.
PARTY DOINGS:Assembly Republican Minority leader JohnFaso will address the Queens Conservative party meeting next Thursday evening at 8 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 107-15 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, chairman Tom Long announced…Mike Niebauer of Whitestone had the welcome mat out for Independence Party members when United States Senate candidate Abe Hirschfeld brought his mobile campaign wagon to Bayside…The Queens Libertarian Party holds its convention onSaturday, May 13th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bohemian Hall, 29-19 24th Ave., Astoria.