Weiner Wants Action By Election Finance Agency; Praises Lieberman
Congressmember Anthony Weiner (Brooklyn/Queens) has called upon the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to announce a decision in the penalty phase of its investigation into City Councilmember Noach Dear’s alleged "illegal 1998 fundraising practices."
Dear (Brooklyn), who was one of several opponents defeated by Weiner in the 1998 primary for the 7th Congressional District Democratic nomination, is again opposing Weiner in this year’s primary and general election.
Weiner said in a recent release that the FEC, which administers the federal campaign finance law, on Jan. 13th confirmed an audit report which "found Councilman Dear guilty of a number of violations of federal campaign law."
Jeff Hoschander, a Dear spokesman, asked to comment on Weiner’s appeal to the FEC, said Dear "has already paid a lot back" but didn’t say how much. He also stated, "We can’t tell the FEC what to do as far as imposing penalties."
Weiner said that among the FEC violations of which Dear was found guilty were: accepting 511 illegal and excessive campaign contributions totaling $563,000, failing to disclose more than $905,356 in campaign spending on wire transfers, media, mail and phone banking and refusing to comply with federal disclosure laws by withholding information about fundraising and disbursements between Oct. 1, 1998 and Dec. 31, 1998.
Weiner said, "The FEC can now refer the case to the U. S. Attorney or impose stiff civil penalties, yet to date has made no announcement since passage of the audit, despite the fact that Councilman Dear continues to raise and spend campaign funds and has yet to return more than $150,000 in illegal campaign funds."
Weiner officially launched his reelection campaign last Tuesday with visits to Park Slope and Sheepshead Bay in the Brooklyn portion of his district and the Rockaway and Forest Hills areas in Queens that are in his district.
In Forest Hills, he was endorsed by former Assemblymember Melinda Katz, who ran second to Weiner in the 1998 primary. Katz is now Community Board Coordinator in the Queens Borough President’s office.
NOLAN HAS RAVENSWOOD POWER PLANT PROPOSAL: Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) announced last week that she has a copy of the proposed new power generating plant in Ravenswood available for viewing.
The plant, on the site where Con Ed formerly operated the Big Allis generator, is proposed by Keyspan Energy, the one-time Brooklyn Union Gas Company. Keyspan purchased and still operates Big Allis.
The proposed Keyspan plant is one of several which power companies want to build in Astoria. They have raised a storm of controversy because of environmental and pollution concerns in an area with already high asthma rates.
Opponents of the new plants, led by City Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D–Astoria) want existing plants, which emit high degrees of pollution, to be phased out before new, cleaner-energy-producing plants are built.
Nolan said she recently introduced legislation "that would link reduced emissions from existing plants to the approval process for building new plants."
Nolan urged constituents to come in to check out the Keyspan report, noting that "this is the first formal step to siting" the power plant.
The Keyspan plans can be reviewed at Nolan’s office in Woodside at 45-25 47th St., (718) 784-3194, or at the Queensbridge and Ravenswood branch libraries.
REPORT ON GOP CONVENTION: Astoria Republican leader Vince Tabone, back from the Republican convention in Philadelphia which formally nominated George W. Bush as the party’s presidential candidate, said Bush’s acceptance speech left the delegates "invigorated and enthused." Tabone described the speech as an "energetic message of optimism, inclusion, restoration, idealism and purposeful governing."
Tabone, who is running for Assemblyman in the 36th AD (Astoria/Long Island City/Jackson Heights) said Bush’s views "echo my concern for our seniors, for middle class families and all working men and women." He said he stands ready to work" with people of good will, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, to make the government we all pay for work for us."
2001 FUNDRAISING: Former Board of Education President Carol Gresser of Douglaston reports she "has raised more than $150,000" for her bid for Queens Borough President next year, and adds her filing with the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) makes her the leading candidate in fundraising among all who have announced or are considering running for that post.
Among other BP hopefuls, announced or unannounced, Councilmember Sheldon Leffler of Queens Village has $104,116, according to the July 17th filing with the CFB; former Assemblymember Melinda Katz, Forest Hills, $63,312; and Councilmember Helen Marshall, East Elmhurst, $37,015. All four are Democrats. Among Republicans, Councilmember Alfonso Stabile (Howard Beach) has raised $51,165 and Councilmember Mike Abel (Bayside) has $12,537.
Among others mentioned as possible candidates, Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (Forest Hills) has reported no funds raised. Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio (Ozone Park), an announced candidate, in not listed in the CFB listings.
Friends of Helen Marshall held a fundraiser for her recently in Sag Harbor on eastern Long Island at the home of Dr. Oliver and Mrs. Juanita Holder. Among Queens friends who trekked out for the event were Assemblymember Jeff Aubry, George Lopez, Dr. Chester Redhead, Dr. Gerald Deas and Pat Thomas of AT&T.
Meanwhile, Dr. Marvin J. Bentley, one-time president and member of School District 30, has formally announced he will seek to succeed Marshall as 21st Council District representative next year.
LAFAYETTE REPORTS: Assemblymember Ivan Lafayette (D-Jackson Heights) earlier this month attended the annual Eastern Regional Conference of the Council of State Governments in Providence, Rhode Island and reports he gained new insight on common problems such as schools and education, health care and the environment.
"There’s a lot to gain by learning what has worked in other states and applying those lessons to our efforts here in New York," he said.
The conference also took up some federal issues such as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, creation of a Northeast Heating Oil Reserve and increased spending for farmers.
The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only regionally based state organization serving all three branches of government.
GOLFERS FEED CHILDREN: Councilmember Michael Abel (D–Bayside) was on hand last Thursday in Mineola when a tractor-trailer filled with enough food to feed 800 needy families each for a week was to be delivered to Feed the Children.
The funds to purchase the food were raised by a golf outing/clambake at the Clearview Golf Course in June where business organizations and individuals donated prizes and advertising. In all, enough money was raised to purchase 880 boxes of food.