2010-03-10 / Political Page

Paul Vallone Gets Comfortable In N. Flushing

Paul Vallone, who made an unsuccessful bid for a Northeast Queens city council seat last November, has settled more firmly, politically and professionally, into the North Flushing community.

Vallone, who has resided in the neighborhood for some time, recently became the president of an expanded Clinton Democratic Club and plans on opening a new Vallone and Vallone law office soon. That law firm, which is comprised of Peter Vallone Sr., former city council speaker, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., and Paul Vallone, is a well established firm with offices in Astoria, at 22-45 31st St., and also at 233 Broadway in Manhattan, near City Hall.

The new Flushing office will be at 25- 59 Francis Lewis Blvd., Paul Vallone’s campaign headquarters last November. He said the space will also be used as the meeting room for the expanded Clinton Club.

Vallone will continue his relationship with Mary Ann and John Dorsa, the husband and wife Democratic district leaders, under the new arrangement. They were two of his strongest supporters in his council campaign last fall. Vallone was defeated in a hard-fought primary won by Kevin Kim with Vallone and Jerry Iannece in a virtual dead heat for second. Kim then lost the general election to Dan Halloran, the first Republican in history to hold the Bayside/North Flushing council seat.

HALLORAN, VETS RALLY: Halloran R–Whitestone) is supporting a bill that requires New York City to fly a flag commemorating the 9/11 attacks at City Hall for at least 30 days beginning on September 11 each year. Halloran said the United States Citizens Alliance created the MIAOON (Missing In Attack On Our Nation) to honor 9/11 victims and victims of terror worldwide. Halloran feels that flying the flag at City Hall, so close to Ground Zero, would be a tribute to those who perished on 9/11. HALLORAN, VETS RALLY: Halloran R–Whitestone) is supporting a bill that requires New York City to fly a flag commemorating the 9/11 attacks at City Hall for at least 30 days beginning on September 11 each year. Halloran said the United States Citizens Alliance created the MIAOON (Missing In Attack On Our Nation) to honor 9/11 victims and victims of terror worldwide. Halloran feels that flying the flag at City Hall, so close to Ground Zero, would be a tribute to those who perished on 9/11. Vallone said in an interview that he, the Dorsas and an energetic band of young Vallone campaign supporters were all of one mind after the election—they were proud of the showing Vallone made in the primary and wanted to continue their political group there.

“Myself and about 60 of my supporters decided to join the Dorsas in the Clinton Club because we didn’t know where else to go, and we felt we could give this area a boost, too,” Vallone explained.

Vallone said his first meeting as president, with the Dorsas in attendance, was also noteworthy because all present were treated to a medley of patriotic songs by a newly formed Clinton Club group of children singers.

Also introduced at the meeting was the newly formed Clinton Young Democratic Club, in association with the main club.

The two guest speakers at the inaugural were Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria) and former Bayside Councilmember Tony Avella. The club, founded as the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club, in honor of the ex-U.S. President, was founded by ex- Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin.

Paul Vallone didn’t go into any future political plans, but it isn’t difficult to figure what they could be. That area of the borough is a hot bed of political activity and it’s also very civically active. Right now, the area’s Assemblymember Ann Margaret Carrozza, is in a fight for her seat with Republican challenger Vince Tabone, who’s vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, under Chairman Phil Ragusa. Ragusa and Tabone engineered two Republican upsets in last fall’s council elections. In addition to Halloran, Peter Koo, owner of a chain of pharmacies, also won a council seat in Flushing that had been held by now city Comptroller John Liu, a Democrat.

While Republican Tabone is plotting to unseat Carrozza, the Democrats further east of Flushing are surely making plans to renew their war with Queens Republican elder statesman state Senator Frank Padavan who had a very close call against Councilmember James Gennaro two years ago.

This week’s edition of Crain’s New York Business, looking over the Queens landscape for this year’s state legislative races, reports the “most vulnerable senators” are Padavan and a pair from Long Island. All three are viewed as aging by Democratic political consult and Doug Forand.

There’s no denying Padavan is well on in years as he has been in office for close to four decades. But he fought like a tiger to repel Gennaro, who put up a great fight himself. Surely it would come as no surprise if Queens Democratic master political planner Michael Reich was hatching a return match for Gennaro against Padavan.

SIMOTAS CALLS FOR NEW HOSPITAL IN ASTORIA: In her first appearance since announcing her candidacy for the 36th Assembly District seat, in Astoria, Aravella Simotas called for a new and expanded Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in Astoria.

“This is a growing community and we need updated and expanded medical facilities. It is unacceptable that our residents have to cross the river just to see a specialist,” Simotas told the Powhatan and Pocahontas Regular Democratic Club members.

Simotas added that Mount Sinai Hospital “is doing an amazing job, but they need more resources”.

Simotas, who has been involved in Western Queens community activities in recent years, also talked about the importance of public service and involvement in community matters. She cited the recent closing of “the horrible” Poletti power plant in Astoria as an example of what community activism can do.

Local legislators led the 10-year fight to close down Poletti because it was the dirtiest power provider in the area.

“This all started because the community was involved and stayed active and kept the pressure on these power companies,” she said.

Simotas, an attorney and Astoria resident, recently became a candidate to replace Assemblymember Michael Gianaris as the 36th AD representative in Albany. Gianaris has announced he will seek to replace state Senator George Onorato who will retire at the end of this year. Gianaris will run for the senate seat in November.

Simotas has strong backing from local Democratic leaders and has been endorsed by Gianaris, Onorato, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., the powerful Taminent Democratic Club and other community leaders and organizations.

NOLAN APPLAUDS NEW CREDIT UNION: Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood) recently welcomed the East River Development Alliance (ERDA) opening of a credit union in Long Island City.

“Bishop Mitchell Taylor, president of ERDA, has worked hard to make sure that the residents of Queensbridge Houses and beyond have access to all the services that credit unions offer,” stated Nolan. “I hope the residents of Queensbridge take advantage of this opportunity to join the credit union.”

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