Pres. Obama Endorses Maloney For Re-Election
Foreshadowing his expected direct involvement in this year’s congressional elections, President Barack Obama has endorsed veteran Congressmember Carolyn Maloney for re-election to a 10th term in the November elections.
With polls showing the Democrats’ House majority hold may be threatened by a promised all-out fight by Republicans, the president can be expected to reach out, even for incumbents such as Maloney who’s facing a primary challenge for the first time in many years.
Reshma Saujani a highly respected fundraiser in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign two years ago, reportedly is set to challenge Maloney for the nomination. If she can use her fundraising prowess in her own cause she may be able to mount an interesting campaign.
Generally, Republican opponents have been no threat to Maloney in past campaigns.
In announcing his endorsement for the Queens/Manhattan lawmaker last week, the president said he was “proud...to have her working with me for the change America needs” and added, “New Yorkers are extremely lucky to have her fighting for them in Congress.”
Maloney, the first woman lawmaker to chair the important Joint Economic Committee, “has not only delivered again and again” for her constituents, the president said, but has also authored ground breaking legislation “making a lasting difference in the lives of millions of Americans”.
Describing Maloney as “tenacious, energetic, and reform-minded, someone with good ideas and the know-how to get them done,” the president touched on several issue areas where Maloney had a direct roll in achieving a successful outcome. These included passage of historic healthcare legislation; the enormously important, consumer-oriented credit card reform act and restructuring of the nation’s intelligence system.”
Maloney has also been a key figure in winning approval of many women’s rights initiatives, including laws aimed directly at rapists. She cofounded the House 9/11 Commission Caucus and helped author and pass legislation to implement all the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for improving intelligence gathering.
Maloney has also been in the forefront of efforts to secure medical coverage for thousands of volunteers and city workers who cleaned up Ground Zero following the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
She made a direct reference to the president’s support when addressing Ground Zero workers in thanking him for his endorsement and said she had been honored to work with him on the healthcare legislation.
Maloney also acknowledged the president’s support of her efforts to complete construction of the Second Avenue subway line and the East Side Access project.
Maloney was first elected to represent the Queens/Manhattan district in 1992, directly following her five terms as a City Councilmember. Her Congressional district includes the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Astoria and Long Island City in Queens.
GOOD TURNOUT FOR TABONE FUNDRAISER: The top echelon of the Republican Party at the state and local levels turned out for 26th AD (Bayside) candidate Vince Tabone, who described the event last Thursday as a “tremendous political and financial success”.
State GOP Chairman Edward Cox, state Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos, businessman and philanthropist John Catsimatidis and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos were among those attending the fundraising event.
Tabone said the full amount of contributions made that evening were not in, but he expected they would bring his campaign treasury “up around the $70,000 level”. Among the contributions made on Thursday evening was a $500 personal offering from Skelos.
Tabone is running for the 26th Assembly District seat covering Bayside and adjoining areas in Northeast Queens.
The incumbent, Ann Margaret Carrozza, announced her withdrawal from the race and her retirement at the end of the year soon after Tabone announced his candidacy.
Addressing his guests, who also included some small business and labor union representatives, Tabone stated: “I am grateful to all Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are here today supporting my candidacy because there is an appreciation that we need to restore fiscal sanity and restraint in Albany and we need representatives who will fight for our community and respect our community’s values.”
In brief remarks, Cox said he saw the possibility of taking back control of the state senate and adding 15 to 20 Assembly seats, including a Tabone victory, in the November elections. He hailed Tabone, a Bayside resident, for his community involvement and work in government and the private sector as favorable assets to his campaign.
ANOTHER ‘FIRST’ FOR STAVISKY: Another woman pol, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D–Flushing), added another line to her career resume last week when she became the first woman elected official to preside over a senate session. Stavisky previously had the distinction of being the first woman from Queens to be elected to the senate.
AVELLA ENDORSED BY DAVE WEPRIN: Former City Councilmember Tony Avella, who’s running against veteran Republican senator Frank Padavan (R–C, Bellerose), has been endorsed by Assemblymember David Weprin (D–Hollis). Weprin and Avella both served in the city council for two terms.
In endorsing Avella, Weprin cited his independence as a councilmember. “Tony was guided by principle and did what he thought was right for his constituents and New York City,” Weprin declared. Weprin added that Avella, who represented the Bayside/College Point area, “has the experience and integrity to bring real change to Albany”.
Weprin will be able to bring direct help to Avella’s campaign effort because Weprin’s Assembly district encompasses much of the 11th senate district where Avella is running.
In accepting Weprin’s endorsement, Avella stated, “David understands that Albany is in dire need of change [and] together we’ll get Albany working for New Yorkers again and start delivering real results for Queens families.”
PADAVAN HOLDS CELLPHONE RECYCLING DRIVE AGAIN: State Senator Frank Padavan is holding his annual cellphone recycling drive, which benefits victims of domestic abuse, through the end of April. Old cellphones and accessories (batteries and chargers) may be dropped off at Padavan’s district office, 89-39 Gettysburg St., Bellerose, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The devices are then passed along to Verizon Wireless for recycling through its Hopeline Program.
Padavan said the donated cellphones are refurbished and recycled or sold with the proceeds donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or are used to purchase wireless phones and services for domestic violence victims and survivors. Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
GENNARO OFFERS EXPERT OPINION: Councilmember James Gennaro (D–Fresh Meadows) recently appeared on the “Dan Rather Reports” television show to discuss the dangers of using a new process of drilling, called hydraulic fracturing, in the New York watershed area in the Catskills, where 90 percent of the city’s water comes from.
Over the past several years, the hydraulic fracturing method has become a controversial issue as gas companies and state officials have pursued plans to allow that method to be used. Gennaro, a leading environmentalist, has opposed use of the new drilling method because it has contaminated water in many states and if accidents occur, there could be dire consequences for New York City’s water supply.
Last November, a Gennaro resolution calling on Albany leaders to ban hydraulic fracturing within the watershed area was approved by the council.
Subsequently, the Bloomberg mayoral administration released a technical report which concluded the drilling “presents an unacceptable risk to the city’s water supply”, thus reinforcing Gennaro’s council resolution.
New York state officials are still reviewing the question as to whether or not the controversial drilling method should be used.
‘RACINO’ CONTROVERSY CONTINUES: Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa and his organization recently slammed state senate Democratic leaders for obstructing the state’s investigation into the selection of an operator to run the proposed casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in Ozone Park.
Ragusa focused on the Dems for refusing to cooperate with the investigation by refusing to submit documents and records involving Governor David Paterson’s selection of the Aqueduct Entertainment Group to be the operator of the “racino”. The offer was subsequently withdrawn.
Ragusa in a statement charged the Democratic senate leaders with “continuously evading the investigation and said it shows just how phony their constant calls for reform and transparency are. “That’s exactly the type of behavior that needs to be removed from public service in this state,” Ragusa said.
Meanwhile, the governor has proposed having the state’s Lottery Division select the operator and leaving the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader out of the process.
DROMM SEEKS MORE OPEN SPACE: There’s always a need for more open space in many areas throughout the city, and Jackson Heights is one of them, says the area’s councilmember, Daniel Dromm (D). In a recent discussion at a town hall meeting, where the topic was improvements to Travers Park, Dromm cited a proposal he supported to turn an empty portion of 78th Street next to Travers into a play street in July and August by blocking the street off to traffic.
Previously the proposed two month play street served the same purpose, but only on Sundays between June and October. One possible objection to turning it into a play street during the summer is that local motorists find use for it as parking space.
CAMPAIGN FUNDS FOR LAZIO: Some Republican leaders weren’t too enthused with Rick Lazio earlier in his campaign because he wasn’t showing too much campaign fundraising. But that seems to be changing. Newsday recently reported Lazio now has about $1 million in his campaign treasury, about half of which was donated by former Wall Street associates dating back to Lazio’s days there about a decade ago.
Lazio’s also looking good in polls compared to Democrat-turned-Republican Steve Levy, Suffolk County executive.
The most recent Quinnipiac University Poll found Lazio leading Levy by 23 points, 34 to 11 percent, with Buffalo’s Carl Paladino taking 11 percent and 40 percent voting undecided.