2000-11-29 / Political Page

Poll On Mayor 2001 Puts Green In Lead; Tabone ‘No’ To Council Race Should we be surprised that a recent poll on next year’s mayoral race showed Public Advocate Mark Green leading three Democratic opponents?

Poll On Mayor 2001 Puts Green In Lead; Tabone ‘No’ To Council Race
Should we be surprised that a recent poll on next year’s mayoral race showed Public Advocate Mark Green leading three Democratic opponents?

The answer might be "yes," except that "undecided" received the same 25 percent that Green did.

Trailing Green were Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer (18 percent) and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone and Comptroller Alan Hevesi, the two Queens entrants, with 14 percent each.

Interestingly, all four prospective candidates were very close in ratings based on "favorable opinion." Green was at 48 percent, Vallone at 40 percent, Hevesi at 41 percent and Ferrer at 37 percent.

Moneywise, Hevesi leads the pack with $4.7 million in his campaign war chest. Green is next at $3.3 million, Ferrer follows at $2.9 million and Vallone at $2.8 million. These figures are the July totals issued by the city Campaign Finance Board.

In the poll done by Quinnipiac College between Nov. 13th and 19th, only one Republican was offered, Michael Bloomberg, publisher of a financial news daily newspaper. Of those polled, 76 percent said they didn’t know him. Surprisingly the poll didn’t list Council Minority Leader Thomas Ognibene (R–Middle Village) as a possible candidate, nor Republican Assemblymember John Ravitz of Manhattan.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Al Sharpton said last week there’s "a very likely chance" that he would be in the Democratic primary field. That would increase the likelihood of a runoff since a bulky four-or five-candidate field would make it difficult for any single candidate to win by 40 percent or more. Sharpton, if he runs, would probably hurt Green most. The Public Advocate was favored by 59 percent of African–Americans polled.

TABONE NOT RUNNING FOR COUNCIL: Astoria Republican leader Vince Tabone told the Gazette last week that, despite reports to the contrary, he is not–repeat–not–interested in running for the 22nd Council District seat being vacated at the end of next year by Council Speaker Peter Vallone.

A report in another newspaper had Tabone ready to run against the Speaker’s son, attorney Peter Vallone Jr., to which Tabone responded: "Reports of my interest in the Vallone council seat are greatly exaggerated—in fact, they are nonexistent." Also interested in running is Democrat Mike Zapiti, an auto school owner.

Tabone says he’s "enjoying playing catch up" with his wife and two daughters following his recent defeat by Michael Gianaris in the 36th Assembly District race, and resuming his duties with the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Other than that, as Astoria Republican leader he’s willing to interview "anyone who shares our Republican ideals" who is interested in seeking the Vallone seat next year, "but after Christmas, please."

Meanwhile, Tabone’s attention is focused on the Bush–Gore shenanigans in Florida and, closer to home, Queens Republican leader state Senator Serphin Maltese’s birthday on Dec. 8th and the Kenna Republican Club’s holiday party at Riccardo’s on Dec. 13th at $35 per ticket.

OTHER 2001 RACES: The race for the Queens borough president seat got another contender last week when Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer announced she was running for it. The Rockaway lawmaker joins three other women aspirants—city Councilmembers Helen Marshall (D–East Elmhurst) and Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills/Rego Park), and Carol Gresser, former Board of Education president—and one male, Councilmember Sheldon Leffler (D–Queens Village) in a crowded field which could get more so as the race gets more serious.

Pheffer, 59, said she expects to formally enter the race shortly and hopes to get the county Democratic organization’s endorsement for the post, which all other candidates are also eyeing. It may develop that the county organization headed by Thomas Manton will not endorse anyone in the September primary if the field remains large.

CORRECTING WARTIME WRONG TO I–As: Saying "its never too late to set the record straight," Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D-Astoria) last week hailed President Bill Clinton’s signing of the Wartime Violations of Italian–American Civil Liberties Act into law.

Vallone had called for passage of the law in 1997. It provides for a comprehensive report by the Justice Department about W.W. II injustices to Italian–Americans and a formal acknowledgement of those injustices by the president on behalf of the United States government.

Among the injustices Vallone complained of was the internment of thousands of Italian–Americans and the classification of 600,000 Italian immigrants as "enemy aliens."

Meanwhile, Vallone noted, "Hundreds of thousands of Italian–Americans honorably served the United States in World War II and thousands died defending our nation."

SCHEMAN NOW POVMAN’S CO–LEADER: In a rare reestablishment of a political power base, former Jamaica female Democratic leader Charlotte Scheman recently elected to that same position in the Kew Gardens Hills/Briarwood area, is joining 27th AD Part B leader Councilmember Morton Povman as co-leader.

After joining the Jamaica Regular Democratic Club in 1964, Scheman rose in the clubs ranks and became the female district leader in 1974. She held that post until 1992 and then gave it up to become a Democratic state committeewoman for eight years. In the meantime, she had joined Povman’s home club, the John F. Kennedy Regular Democratic Club. When former female leader Elaine Weinstein resigned the post, Scheman ran for it and won.

Besides her political career, Scheman has been active in cancer care and other civic endeavors. She holds a master’s degrees in education and schools administration, and has served as a teacher and Board of Education official. She is a widow and with her son, Andrew, runs a family hardware business.

INDY PARTY COMPLAINTS: Queens Independence Party Chairmen Gerald R. Everett of Woodside has lodged a complaint with New York City Transit over alleged discrimination by a subway worker during the recent election campaigns.

In a letter to Joseph Hoffman, senior vice president, Department of Subways, Everett alleges he was told by Harriet Zucker, a friend of his and a Republican, that on Election Day a conductor on a Queens bound ‘R’ train announced, "Please remember to vote, and vote for Hillary. She needs our help."

Zucker said, according to Everett, that no other United States Senate candidate was mentioned, including his party’s candidate, Jeff Graham.

Everett said all of Mrs. Clinton’s opponents should have been mentioned and he attributed Mrs. Clinton’s exclusive citation to "doing a favor for Democrats because they were the only party gullible enough to support the Transportation Bond Issue." The Bond Issue lost.

Everett closed his letter to Hoffman: "I insist that as an employee of a public agency, you, Mr. Hoffman, should not let your personal political view interfere with the performance of your duties. You are obligated to treat all the parties equally when it comes to promoting party political interest on public property, using public employees."

ANOTHER INDY COMPLAINT: Rummaging through some releases from the recent campaigns, we came across an interesting one from Michael Niebauer of Whitestone, the past Queens Independence Party chairman and still a party district leader.

In the release, Niebauer announced a protest demonstration against state Senator Roy Goodman, the Manhattan Republican who also ran with the Manhattan Independence Party’s endorsement.

Niebauer charged Goodman with "giving aid and support to the anti-Semitic Marxist New Alliance Party’s faction of the Manhattan Independence Party under the leadership of Fred Newman, Leonora Fullani and Kathy Stewart." Niebauer added that Goodman took "the IP line for his shortsighted and unprincipled political reasons, that is, he needs a few extra votes in his present election."

Niebauer called it right on the button as Goodman fell about 34 votes short and lost to Liz Krueger, a Democrat. A recount of the votes is gong on now. Goodman had held the seat for about 30 years.

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