Maltese Launches Series Of Cable TV Campaign Ads
Maltese (R- C, Middle Village) said the ad highlights his opposition to former Governor Eliot Spitzer's 2007 budget, including Spitzer's attempts to cut health care and shortchange education aid to Queens.
Maltese recalled, "We fought these cuts and won" when Spitzer was "attempting to cut $300 million in healthcare aid for seniors, middle class families and nursing homes.
At that time, Maltese recalled, "Spitzer was recruiting a candidate to run against me, but now that support is detrimental and we see candidates backing away from him." All this occurred when Spitzer left public office following revelations that he patronized prostitutes.
With Spitzer out of the picture, however, Queens Democrats are planning to run Joseph Addabbo Jr., currently representing Ozone Park in the City Council, against Maltese. But Addabbo may face a primary challenge from Albert Baldeo, an attorney who was defeated by Maltese in 2006 in a close race.
Meanwhile, Maltese in the commercial is highlighting the work he did to restore or add $440 million in education aid to the 2007- 08 budget. He says in last year's budget he was also able to secure funding for Wycoff Heights, Jamaica and Parkway Hospitals, among other Queens-based projects and institutions.
Maltese is planning other commercials that will review his career as a crime fighter, beginning with his years as an assistant district attorney in Queens and continuing during almost 20 years in the state senate.
An aide said the TV ads will have a heavy cable television schedule throughout Maltese's 15th district, which includes Middle Village, Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park and Howard Beach.
On Monday, Governor David Paterson signed into law Maltese's bill which provides stronger penalties for attacks on senior citizens. He introduced the legislation last year following an attack on a 101-year-old Jamaica Estates resident.
Meanwhile, Addabbo announced a two-year pilot program of ferry service from the Rockaways to Manhattan which eventually may be part of a network of ferries connecting New York City's five boroughs.
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY ENDORSES CROWLEY: Citing Elizabeth Crowley as "a leader in the fight to keep living wage jobs", the Working Families Party (WFP) has endorsed her in the special election for the 30th district city council seat on June 3.
Crowley already has the Queens Democratic Party endorsement in the election to choose a replacement for Dennis Gallagher who resigned the post.
The WFP endorsed Crowley in her 2001 bid against Gallagher and delivered five percent of her vote total in that contest. The affiliated unions and community organizations have over 300 members and the party has several hundred members in the district. In 2004, the party cast more than 1,000 votes for U.S. Senator Charles Schumer in Council District 30.
Crowley won the vote of a WFP screening committee which then recommended her for the party's endorsement based on her strong support on labor issues, improving public schools and preserving and creating affordable housing.
Another announcement, received from the Forest Park Republican Club, reports that this organization has endorsed former Councilmember Thomas Ognibene in the special city council election on June 3.
The club was founded by John F. Haggerty, the son of Jack Haggerty, who once served as Queens Republican Party leader, and Matthew D. Hunter, the club's president.
In the past, the club ran candidates against state Senator Serphin Maltese when he was Queens GOP leader. When Ognibene announced his candidacy in the special election, he complained that he hadn't been given a chance to be considered for the county organization's endorsement, which went to Anthony Como, who's counsel to Maltese.
Ognibene, who used to be Maltese's closest political associate, has aligned himself with Maltese's political rivals in his attempt to defeat Maltese and the Queens GOP candidate in the special council election.
Another interesting point: Haggerty Jr. and Hunter were supported in their rivalry against Maltese by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a time when he was trying to bump Maltese out of the senate because he wasn't supporting the mayor's effort to get more education dollars from the state legislature.
Other candidates in the election who will have no party affiliation alongside their name on the ballot, are Anthony Como, who even so has the Queens Republican Party's endorsement; Ognibene, a former city councilmember, and Joseph Suraci, who are both Republican Party members. All are Middle Village residents.
Two other candidates are Charles Ober, a Democrat from Ridgewood, and Michael Mascetti of Middle Village.
Como, Ober, Ognibene and Suraci have applied to receive campaign funding from the Campaign Finance Board.
BABY BOY FOR MELINDA: Mazel tov to Councilmember Melinda Katz who has given birth to a baby boy conceived through invitro fertilization. The 42-year-old Forest Hills lawmaker delivered her 4-pound, 8-ounce child on Saturday, about a month premature.
Katz, an announced candidate for city comptroller in 2009, got out a release late last week to clear her desk in preparation for the important personal activity ahead.
In it she and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) called upon the city Department of Education (DOE) to meet state-mandated class size reduction goals, as promised. Katz noted that the DOE had received $152.7 million from the state to make the reductions, but had not delivered.
The lawmaker said during her career in the state Assembly and now the council, reducing class sizes has been one of her prime goals, but DOE has made no progress toward achieving it. She said the DOE should formulate a plan to cut class sizes and take immediate action to meet the goal.
MALONEY BACKS NEW G.I. BILL OF RIGHTS: Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, who has always supported veterans' issues, came out last week strongly in support of legislation to establish the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.
The bill would provide veterans of three years of active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan with benefits to cover the costs of a four-year public college education, along with a stipend for housing, books and other expenses.
Current veterans' education benefits cover only about 60 percent of the cost of a four-year degree, she said.
"Veterans who have given their all for our country should have all of their college costs covered when they return home," Maloney (D- Queens/Manhattan), said. "The new Congress has made it a priority to honor veterans, not just with words but with help. This new G.I. Bill is the right way to thank 21st century veterans for their service to our country."
The original G.I. Bill enacted after World War II provided a year of college for every year of service, plus books and room and board. Some 15 million vets took advantage of it. By 1956, Maloney said, about 9 million additional vets had taken advantage of the program's benefits.
BOROUGH HALL MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE: Queens Borough President Helen Marshall will hold a Memorial Day ceremony to salute the county's veterans of all wars and conflicts on Thursday, May 15 at 11 a.m. in the Veterans Memorial Garden, located behind Queens Borough Hall.
Veterans groups and the public are invited to attend. Borough Hall is located at 120-55 Queens Blvd., Kew Gardens and is accessible via the Union Turnpike station of the E and F subway lines and various buses which stop at Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike.