Gioia Endorses Feerick Over Van Bramer
Gioia cited Feerick's lifelong residence in Woodside as one of the main reasons for his endorsement. In fact, that's his theme in his first television ad campaign in his race for Public Advocate.
Other candidates in the race are Brent M. O'Leary of Long Island City; David J. Rosasco of Woodside and Kwame S. Smalls of Astoria.
Feerick already has the endorsement of Queens Democratic Party chairman Congressmember Joseph Crowley in the heated contest for the seat, which covers Long Island City, Woodside, Sunnyside Hunters Point, Dutch Kills and parts of Astoria and Maspeth.
Feerick is also the designee of the powerful county Democratic organization and has also been endorsed by Borough President Helen Marshall, former Councilmember Walter McCaffrey, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and several other labor unions.
Van Bramer, of Long Island City, is already assured a ballot line in the November general election as the Working Families Party (WFP) candidate. He has also lined up local support as well as endorsements from major labor organizations such as DC 37, the city's largest municipal workers' union; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Locals 1199 and 32 BJ and the New York League of Conservation voters. He is a longtime employee of the Queens Borough Public Library.
In endorsing Feerick, a legislative director of the city council, as his successor, Gioia said Feerick "stands out because of her compassion, commitment, and experience. No one will work harder". Besides her support of affordable housing, Gioia also cited her backing of youth and jobs development programs.
Feerick, in accepting Gioia's backing, stated, "Like Eric, I was born here [Woodside] and raised here and live in this district. I am committed to representing the needs of its neighborhoods as diligently as did Eric." She added, "His support is a huge boost because he is respected by voters who value a leader who gets results that matter."
In a recent endorsement from the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), one of the largest municipal employees unions in New York state, Van Bramer, "the son of two union members", was hailed as being rooted in the values that working families share.
That Gioia would take sides in such a contentious race comes as a surprise. Gioia is running in the Democratic primary for Public Advocate and his main source of votes is the district he has represented for almost eight years. By endorsing Feerick, he will alienate Van Bramer supporters.
GIOIA ADS HIT AIRWAVES: City Councilmember Eric Gioia, who leads all Democratic candidates for Public Advocate in money raising with more than $2 million in the bank, is now also first to launch a television advertising campaign as of last week.The spunky Woodsideborn and raised lawmaker
is in a tough
fight for the
against former PA Mark
Green, fellow Councilmember
Bill de Blasio and civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel. Gioia opted for an early start to try to build name recognition in the citywide contest.
Gioia's theme, "Been There", is designed to tell voters that, like most of them, he attended public schools and held night shift jobs while working his way through college and law school.
In his two terms in the council, Gioia has emphasized common man themes such as advising consumers where to find low-price drugs, making Food Stamps available to more low- and middle-income consumers and opening more banks where those consumers live. He is continuing to appeal to those groups to get his campaign moving.
Green leads the pack at this point in most polls, followed by de Blasio, of Brooklyn. De Blasio is backed by the Working Families Party (WFP), which he helped to create.
LIU'S CAMPAIGN VIDEO ON INTERNET: Councilmember John Liu (D- Flushing), running for the Democratic Party nomination for city comptroller, launched a five-minute long biographical video on Monday on the Internet site www.liunewyork.com. A 30-second version of the video will begin airing next week on television through the September 15 primary.
Playing the immigrant card in the introductory video, Liu speaks at length about his experience as an Asian-American who came to the U.S. as a child with his parents.
In the video, Liu states: "I know what discrimination feels like—I don't want anyone else to feel it. This city makes a promise with us: it doesn't matter where you or your parents came from. What matters is how far you want to go."
In the campaign, where Liu is opposed by fellow Councilmembers Melinda Katz and David Weprin, both of Queens, and David Yassky of Brooklyn, Liu has launched "Latinos for Liu", headed by Congressmembers Jose Serrano and Nydia Velazquez.
REPORT: DC 37 TO ENDORSE THOMPSON: Comptroller William Thompson's campaign against Mayor Michael Bloomberg would get a major boost if, as reported, he will be endorsed by District Council 37 (DC 37), the largest municipal union in the city.
The 125,000-member organization, which also has 50,000 retirees, generally backs up its endorsements in major races by supplying large numbers of campaign workers to operate phone banks and distribute literature and then gets its members and others out to vote on election day.
If the endorsement materializes for the underfunded comptroller, it would be a big disappointment for the mayor. Four years ago, the union went for Bloomberg, who after his re-election, gave the labor organization a very favorable contract.
More recently, however, the mayor has raised the threat of layoffs of city workers. The threat still exists as the recession continues to swell the city's budget deficits. The mayor also recently opposed one of the union's major issues, lifting residency requirements for city workers.
Another plus for Thompson would be that an official endorsement from the predominantly black DC 37 members would help solidify the black vote for him on election day in November.
Meanwhile, Thompson's campaign suffered a financial setback last week as it failed to qualify for the first round of public matching funds. To qualify for the $1.5 million in public matching funds, Thompson would have had to receive $250,000 or less in contributions of $175 or less. The Campaign Finance Board ruled last week that he actually received $251,836.
MALONEY QUITS SENATE CHASE: Last week Congressmember Carolyn Maloney took herself out of next year's race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kirsten Gillibrand (D- New York).
Maloney said in a statement she had decided it was more important for her to continue her work in Congress, so she would run for re-election to the Queens/Manhattan seat she has held for about a decade.
However, Democratic leaders from President Barack Obama down, wanted no opposition to Gillibrand in next year's primary, so when Maloney raised the possibility of a challenge, she found raising funds for a Senate campaign, and building a campaign staff difficult.
Now Democrats face a real possibility that New York Republicans will take aim at Gillibrand, who has served only a short while in Washington, and put up a "big name" opponent next November, possibly former Governor George Pataki, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or even a blockbuster statewide ticket of Giuliani for governor and Pataki for U.S. Senator.
Gillibrand was serving in Congress early this year when Governor David Paterson unexpectedly selected the upstate Dem to replace Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now she still faces a possible primary challenge from Jonathan Tasini, a Manhattan-based labor organizer who lost to Clinton in the 2006 primary. Another potential primary challenger is Suffolk legislator Jon Cooper.
CAMPAIGN STUFF: Congressmember Gary Ackerman (D), whose district includes Bayside and part of Long Island, on Monday announced his endorsement of Kevin Kim of Bayside in the 19th City Council District Democratic Party primary. Others in that race include Jerry Iannece, Paul Vallone, Debra Markell, Sean Behar and Thomas Cooke. The district includes Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Whitestone and College Point.
Community leaders from several of Flushing's diverse cultures hosted a fundraiser for John Choe, a candidate in the 20th City Council District, which includes Flushing and parts of several adjacent communities. Supporters from African American, Latino, Asian and other ethnic groups attended. Other candidates in the contest include Yen S. Chou, S.J. Jung, Constantine E. Kavadas, Isaac Sasson and James Wu.