DioGuardi’s Race Against Gillibrand Shows Improvement
Former Congressmember Joseph DioGuardi has been telling everyone he has a chance to beat U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the November 2 election, but not many people have taken him seriously. Things may be different since a poll came out backing up the Westchester accountant’s claim.
One indication that DioGuardi is being considered a serious threat to Gillibrand is that influential members of his own party started paying attention to him. Last week it was reported that he was invited to a Republican fundraiser at the home of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, where a good number of major contributors are to be on hand to offer financial support. As well as a major vote of confidence from party members, there was a good chance he might go home with a pocket full of checks to give his campaign a real boost.
The poll that’s changing perceptions of DioGuardi, who defeated a pair of challengers in the recent primary, was taken by Rasmussen Reports. The results had Gillibrand on top by a 49–39 count, only a 10-point lead. Before the primary, Gillibrand held a 20-point lead over her challenger.
DioGuardi last week put out a release on his favorite topic, the ever increasing national debt.
“One of the most significant problems facing our economy is the fact that people like Gillibrand are hiding the true debt from the American people,” he declared.
“Gillibrand wants you to believe that she supports transparency in Washington, but in reality she is one of the most active participants in the deficit spending and debt-hiding scheme of the Obama administration.”
Gillibrand was in New York last week to announce an $18.5 million federal grant for radiation detectors which would become part of the city’s anti-terror defense. City representatives in Washington had to fight the president’s resistance to allocating the funds.
In announcing the grant, Gillibrand stated, “In the 21st century, one of the greatest threats to our community, our society, to our country, is the threat of a dirty bomb.”
GIANARIS WILL HAVE ELECTION FOE: We wrote last week that Assemblymember Michael Gianaris would not have an opponent as he runs for the 12th district state senate seat being vacated by George Onorato as Onorato retires. Gianaris had no opponent in the Democratic primary. Gazette reader Klea Theoharis of Astoria points out that Jerome Patrick Tina, a Republican–Conservative, is running against Gianaris for that position.
Also state Senator Shirley Huntley secured the Democratic nomination for the 10th senate district.
MALONEY, NADLER WELCOME VOTE ON 9/11 HEALTH BILL: Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) and Jerrold Nadler (D–Manhattan), co-authors of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, applauded an announcement that the long-overdue legislation would be voted on again next week.
Thanking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for scheduling the vote, Maloney and Nadler said in a joint statement: “The suffering of first responders and survivors is an emergency call that has gone unanswered for far too long. Next week, we hope to finally answer that call by passing the Zadroga bill and ensuring that Americans who are sick because of 9/11 have the care they need and deserve. We hope that our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us in voting for this patriotic and long overdue legislation.”
COMPTROLLER LIU ENDORSES SCHNEIDERMAN: City Comptroller John Liu endorsed state Senator Eric Schneiderman, the Democratic candidate for state attorney general, last week, citing his record of standing up to “powerful forces”.
Liu stated, “Eric will be an attorney general for all New Yorkers, protecting them regardless of who they are, or who they know. As attorney general, Eric will continue Andrew Cuomo’s aggressive but fair tradition of standing up to powerful interests so that everyone in New York state has equal justice and protection from their government.”
Schneiderman is opposed by Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
AVELLA’S TORNADO RESPONSE SCORECARD: The Fire Department got an A, Verizon got a B, but the city Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and other city agencies and private companies got only C and F, according to former Councilmember Tony Avella’s rating on how the agencies performed during the Sept. 16 tornado.
Avella, from Bayside, is familiar with other nearby areas of Northeast Queens. He reports “The grades reflect an overall mismanagement by the Office of Emergency Management. On the night of the storm, Fire Department personnel were immediately seen racing to assist in emergency situations and continued working tirelessly throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, the Police [Department] reaction was far less visible. Dangerous roadways that should have been closed were left open and many fallen trees and downed power lines were left unmarked and unattended.”
Avella, who’s running for the Northeast Queens 11th state senate district seat against incumbent Senator Frank Padavan (R–C), said the “most disgraceful mismanagement” title goes to Traffic Enforcement Agents, who were checking parking meters on Bell Boulevard in Bayside on Saturday while power was out and trees were still blocking streets and on homes and cars only a block away.”
On Avella’s scorecard, the NYPD and Time Warner Cable were rated F, and the Parks Department and Con Edison got a C.
The Gazette reported in last week’s issue that Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D–Queens/Brooklyn) and some dozen other Queens lawmakers called on the federal government to declare Queens a disaster area because of the extensive storm damage in several neighborhoods. BLASPATERSON VETO OF
SUNY/CUNY LEGISLATION: State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Rory Lancman are peeved at Governor David Paterson for vetoing their bill which would ensure objectivity of SUNY and CUNY trustees by limiting the appointments of these officials, which are made by governors and mayors, to those who do not work directly for those making the appointments.
The bill had passed both houses with strong support and was hailed as a move toward good government. In his veto message, the legislators said, the governor stated as his reason for vetoing the measure: “The legislature has the means to adequately vet the governor’s nominees. Its power lies with the senate, in its advice and consent role [which] is a sufficient limitation on the Executive.
The Stavisky–Lancman legislation, according to their news release, would have permitted appointment of classified civil service employees, but not those in exempt positions under the supervision of a governor or mayor.
Lancman (D–Hillcrest) pointed out, “Too often governors and mayors have appointed their senior staff to the boards of SUNY and CUNY as a means of controlling a block of votes on those boards— preferring toadies to trustees of higher education in the highest sense of the word. It’s a pity that the governor’s veto will extend this distorted practice.”
Stavisky (D–Flushing) commented: “When the bill passed both houses of the legislature, I believed it heralded an end to trustees who felt they owed their jobs to the politician who appointed them, and a beginning of an era in which they saw they were to be accountable to the students of New York and their educational goals.
“Instead, the governor has chosen to exercise his authority to maintain a system wherein his appointees could be influenced to carry out his policies and not necessarily those that benefit our public university system.”
ULRICH CHAIRS TAUB’S CAMPAIGN: Asher Taub, the Republican nominee for the 6th Congressional District (Jamaica), opposing incumbent Gregory Meeks, has announced that City Councilmember Erich Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) will serve as his Honorary Campaign Chairman. Rosemarie Culina-Frisone, president of the Ronald Reagan Republican Club in Howard Beach, will serve as day-to-day campaign chair. Taub noted that the Ronald Reagan Republican Club is one of the largest Republican clubs in New York City and many of its members are former Democrats, “who want to see change in the direction that this great country of ours has taken”.
COUNCILMEMBER-FOR-A-DAY ESSAY CONTEST: Councilmember Mark Weprin (D–Oakland Gardens) has initiated a “Councilmember-For-A-Day” essay contest for students in grades 5 through 8. The winner, accompanied by a parent or guardian, will travel to City Hall and meet with other councilmembers, be interviewed by a reporter, and review constituent concerns.
To participate, a student must write an essay of no more than 500 words describing in detail a day in his or her life if he or she were the mayor of New York City.
Entries must be submitted by October 22 to Councilmember Mark S. Weprin, 73-03 Bell Blvd., Oakland Gardens, New York 11364 or to MWeprin@Council.NYC.gov. Include full name, address, telephone number, school, grade and class.