Bloomberg Makes Attacks On Frontrunner Green
Bloomberg Makes Attacks
On Frontrunner Green
While the Board of Elections recount was still going on, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer for the second time conceded the victory in the Democratic Party runoff primary to rival Mark Green last week with just 17 days remaining until the November 6 election.
Ferrer’s move came as the recount-in-progress indicated Green would eventually turn out to be the winner anyway. But as Ferrer and his supporters backed off on their charges that Green had been divisive in the closing days of the runoff campaign, Republican candidate Michael Bloomberg uncharacteristically took up the cudgels and began blasting Green’s questionable tactics.
Green and Ferrer blasted back, enlivening the campaign which now has only 13 days to run.
Bloomberg, a decided underdog in Democrat-heavy New York City, must be credited with developing an effective campaign, considering he was a total political novice only several months ago. Using his ample funds wisely, he’s managed to attract some respectable figures in the polls with his aggressive attacks on frontrunner Green.
Although Green has characterized Bloomberg as a novice, the billionaire financial media mogul feels his unique experiences and skills building a successful business from scratch are the right match for the enormous drive that lies ahead.
Bloomberg’s late rush has won him some surprise endorsements, such as one from state Senator Olga Mendez, a Bronx Democrat, the Hispanic Society of the Department of Correction, the Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the 800-member New Era Democrats. Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also got on the Bloomberg campaign band wagon.
Green, meanwhile, has had to fight on two fronts—continuing his campaign against Bloomberg and mending fences with Ferrer and his supporters. Green is still considered a comfortable frontrunner, but he won’t be able to coast, as he did at one point against Ferrer with nearly disastrous results. It should be an exciting campaign right down to the wire on November 6.
GRAY TO SHARPTON: ‘DON’T CALL ME...:’ Adding a light note to the mayoral campaign while blasting Democrat Mark Green and Repbulican Michael Bloomberg "for selling their souls in pursuit of (Al) Sharpton’s support," Conservative candidate Terry Gray said he "will not seek, and if offered, will not accept the endorsement of Al Sharpton" in his race for mayor.
"I’ve left my phone off the hook ever since the primary," quipped Gray, a 54-year-old attorney from Little Neck." I’ve never spoken with Al Sharpton and I don’t want to jeopardize that perfect record now."
Gray has called on federal officials to "fundamentally reconsider the way we view immigration in the United States." He proposed eliminating student and work visas for people who come from countries that support terrorism and cracking down on non-aliens who cheat the system.
Gray asked, "How can we protect ourselves when we cannot keep track of thousands of undocumented persons of unknown origin already on U.S. soil? Sleeper terrorist agents pretending to be students or working people can be anywhere. These people must be tracked down, arrested and deported."
TABONE NEW GOP V.P.: Our column last week reporting that Vincent Tabone, the Astoria Republican leader, had been elected a vice chairman of the county organization succeeding Thomas Ognibene was incorrect. Ognibene remains the organization’s executive director.
Tabone joins several other colleagues among party hierarchy. State Senator Serphin Maltese of Middle Village remains as chairman, followed by Marge Adams of Glendale as executive vice chairman. Edward Coyne of Woodside is first vice chairman, followed by the following vice chairpersons: Morris R. Lee, St. Albans; Philip Ragusa, Whitestone; Meilin Tan, Flushing; Tabone, Astoria, and Stephen H. Weiner, Long Island City. Weiner is also a member of the Board of Elections.
SAFFRAN PROMOTES PATRIOTISM IN SCHOOLS: Dennis Saffran, the Republican Conservative candidate in the 19th City Council District (Bayside/Whitestone) strongly urged the Board of Education at a recent hearing to require all schools to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance every day and to require that the American flag be flown on all public school buildings.
Referring to the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Saffran said that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance "and discussing the values it represents, is a logical starting point for teachers to help their students understand what’s going on. At a time like this, our kids need to know more than ever that what America stands for is just and right."
Saffran, whose two children attend P.S. 98 in Douglaston, has based his campaign primarily on crime reduction, quality of life improvements and education reform. His Democratic opponent is Tony Avella. Also in the race are Jerry Iannece (Liberal) and Arthur Cheliotes (Working Families Party).
SUPPORT FOR SEARS, MARSHALL: There was a goodly turnout for a fundraiser for Helen Sears, the Democratic candidate in the 25th Council District (Jackson Heights/Corona) in the November 6 election, last Sunday at Dazie’s Restaurant in Long Island City.
Among the attendees were County Chairman Thomas Manton, Assemblymembers Ivan Lafayette and Margaret Markey and Councilmembers John Sabini and Karen Koslowitz.
Manton is also expecting a large attendence for the county organization’s Annual Election Cocktail Party, the traditional pre-election rally, tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at Antun’s of Queens Village. The honorees are Claire Shulman, outgoing borough president, and Helen Marshall, who hopes to be her successor.