2011-07-27 / Political Page

Koch Endorses Turner

Citing businessman Bob Turner’s unwavering support for Israel and his political independence, lifelong Democrat and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has crossed party lines to endorse Turner, the Republican/Conservative candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat against the Democratic choice, Assemblymember David Weprin, in the special election to be held on September 13.

Weprin’s reaction to Koch’s announcement was brief. He stated: “Extremist Republican Bob Turner’s radical plan to slash federal spending by 35 percent will destroy Medicare, Social Security and our ability to provide aid to allies like Israel. Voters won’t endorse that.”

The seat was previously held by Anthony Weiner, who resigned the post after he admitted sending sexually explicit online messages to at least six women. Weiner had defeated Turner in last year’s election for the 9th CD seat, which covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn.

Citing businessman Bob Turner’s unwavering support for Israel and his political independence, lifelong Democrat and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has crossed party lines to endorse Turner, the Republican/Conservative candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat against the Democratic choice, Assemblymember David Weprin, in the special election to be held on September 13. Citing businessman Bob Turner’s unwavering support for Israel and his political independence, lifelong Democrat and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch has crossed party lines to endorse Turner, the Republican/Conservative candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat against the Democratic choice, Assemblymember David Weprin, in the special election to be held on September 13. Turner, who had a 40-year career in the television industry, specializing in forming programming partnerships, ran surprisingly well against Weiner, getting 40 percent of the vote in what was his first try for political office. For that reason, the staunch conservative must be considered a threat to Weprin in a race whose outcome will disclose how the electorate may be leaning looking ahead to next year’s congressional elections.

Koch, still active in politics at age 86, came out surprisingly earlier this month revealing he had met with Turner and offered him his support if he opposed President Barack Obama’s pro- Palestinian anti-Israel policy.

As such, Koch’s move would appear to be designed to swing Jewish votes away from Weprin, an Orthodox Jew, as a way of punishing Democrats in Congress for supporting Obama on the Israel vs. Palestine issue.

However, Koch also told Turner that if he wanted Koch’s endorsement against Weprin, he would also have to oppose Republican plans to privatize Medicare and Social Security and turn Medicaid into a block-grant program.

In his endorsement announcement, Koch cited Turner’s unwavering support for Israel and his political independance, as key reasons for backing his candidacy.

“I believe,” Koch declared, “that this campaign will send a message to Washington that will affect the position of President Obama on Israel and the position of the Republican Party on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

The former three-time mayor stated: “My involvement is directed at protecting the people of the United States from changes in these entitlement programs which the Republican leadership wants to privatize, or turn into block grants in the case of Medicaid. President Obama, I believe, has changed the relationship between the United States and Israel, endangering Israel’s security. I have every confidence that as a Congressmemember, Turner will serve as a staunch ally to Israel and as a firm voice in his party for preserving our precious entitlement programs.”

Koch made no mention of Weprin, no criticism of his abilities nor criticism against his policy positions, not about Israel or other issues.

Responding, Turner stated, “I cannot win this race without the added support of Democrats and Independents, so the mayor’s recognition of my independence and support for Israel is particularly meaningful to my campaign, both practically and symbolically.”

The 70-year-old candidate noted, “I am not a career politician. I am a businessman and an ordinary citizen seeking to represent my neighbors in a deadlocked and unresponsive Congress.”

Alluding to Weprin, he said he had always “towed the party line in office; there is no reason to believe he will do anything different in Washington. I will stand up for what I believe regardless of what party leaders tell me, and today that means defending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid against privatization and ill-conceived cuts.” Turner, of Rockaway Point, thus not only accepted Koch’s terms for support of his candidacy, but also appealed to Jewish Democratic voters and Democrats of all stripes who support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, meaning particularly mostly seniors, and didn’t appear to be aiming his candidacy at Republicans or Conservatives.

So it looks like both Turner and Weprin will be appealing mainly for the Democratic vote in their campaigns.

BROWN TO RUN FOR SIXTH TERM: District Attorney Richard A. Brown has been the District Attorney of Queens County for the past 25 years— “the longest serving DA in the county’s history”, he reminded us during a recent interview. Come November, he’ll be seeking election to a sixth term.

Following the pattern of Brown’s last four reelection attempts, he has the endorsements of the Democratic, Republican and Conservative Parties and it appears he will have no opposition and will win his sixth term in the November election.

Brown was opposed for election only once, in 1991, the first time he ran for district attorney in Queens. He had been appointed by then Governor Mario Cuomo to fill the vacancy created when John Santucci resigned on June 1, 1991.

Brown’s lifestyle hasn’t changed much over the years. At 79, he still gets to his Kew Gardens office at 6:30 a.m., puts in a regular day and “still gets to see a lot of crime scenes”, following a practice adopted when he first took office. His main recreation is still playing tennis, and you’ll find him on the court with his favorite opponent, former Mayor David Dinkins.

MARSHALL TO HONOR QUEENS COP WHO SAVED WOMAN’S LIFE: Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, so impressed by Queens Detective Charles Lo Presti’s dogged determination to locate a woman in Queens after her mother had frantically called 911 from Honolulu to report that her daughter might be dying from an attempted suicide—will honor Lo Presti on September 20 at Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.

“As a borough president and a parent, I am so proud of Detective Charles Lo Presti for responding to a mother’s call for help from Honolulu to help her daughter, who lives in Kew Gardens,” Marshall said. “He expanded the boundaries of his Queens precinct by thousands of miles and, according to police, saved a woman’s life after breaking down a door to find her.”

Marshall learned of Lo Presti’s successful search for Averie Kenery, 32, a flight attendant, when she read the story about her near death in the Thursday, July 21 issue of the N.Y. Daily News.

According to the story, Lo Presti was at his desk in the Jamaica station house on Sunday, July 17 when he received a telephone call from Beth Walz from Honolulu. Walz recounted that she had just finished talking to her daughter, Averie Kenery in Kew Gardens, who told her she had swallowed a bottle of pills. Kenery then lost consciousness suddenly and dropped the phone next to her body, but the phone connection was still alive.

Walz, 50, then called 911 in New York City, but the operator couldn’t help her because she did not have Kenery’s address, just the cross streets.

Walz and other family members then started to dial police precincts in Queens, which is how she came into contact with Lo Presti. She recalled later on: “For some reason, he entertained my call. Here we are thousands and thousands of miles away, but he listened to us. All we had was the cross streets. It wasn’t even his jurisdiction.”

Lo Presti, who’s been a cop for 22 years, told Walz he would follow up on the call and try to locate Kenery, so he headed for Hillside Avenue near Lefferts Boulevard acting on the information Walz gave him.

When Lo Presti arrived at the scene, he started randomly ringing door bells without success when he spotted another flight attendant enter a nearby building.

Lo Presti went into the building and started knocking on doors, but this got him nowhere. But then another detective at the precinct phoned him. Walz, who was still listening to her daughter’s phone, heard the detective mention her name in his conversation with Lo Presti through the open line. Walz then realized Lo Presti was in the right place.

Lo Presti then knocked down the door of the apartment where he thought Kenery might be, but still could not find anyone in the apartment. Walz then had her son call Kenery’s number, and Lo Presti followed the sound and finally found Kenery covered under a sheet, wedged between the bed and a wall. She was removed to Jamaica Hospital and came out of a coma the following day and is expected to make a full recovery.

“I’m so amazed,” said Walz afterwards. “I highly commend them. We were thousands of miles away and they had the heart to care. They will forever be angels to us.”

Those appear to be Marshall’s sentiments too.

PA. REPORT ON NATURAL GAS GOOD NEWS FOR NYS, TOO: A report released July 21 on the economic bonanza that natural gas production has brought to

Pennsylvania drew an optimistic reaction from the Cuomo administration that it can also happen in New York state.

The industry-sponsored study conducted by Penn State University covered the activity that has been going on in recent years in the huge Marcellus Shale natural gas field on the Pennsylvania side of the border that the state shares with New York state, which has equally rich deposits of natural gas.

The study showed that in recent years, Pennsylvania has benefited greatly through the use of the controversial mining technique called hydrofracking, showing major increases across the board in gas production, job creation, increased tax revenues and industry investment.

Commenting on these findings, a spokesperson for the Cuomo administration stated in a New York Post story: “Assuming it can be done safely and is properly regulated, the economic reports from Pennsylvania show the potential financial and economic rewards from developing this industry.”

Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo looked favorably on a report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) which concluded that broad scale hydrofracking could be done in most of the state’s Adirondack region if safeguards are enforced around New York City’s watershed areas.

Following the issuance of the DEC report, Cuomo appointed a 13-member advisory group to help guide the state in the drafting of gas-drilling regulations.

The state’s poor economy and high unemployment in upstate areas could use the economic jolt that extensive natural gas production could provide. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss, but the goernor also wants the move to be safe environmentally.

PARKS O.K. FOR VALLONE’S BID TO EXTEND POOL HOURS: At the height of last week’s heat wave, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) once again proposed that all New York City operated pools remain open an extra hour from 7 to 8 p.m.

A couple of days later, the Department of Parks and Recreation agreed, for the second year in a row, that would be a great idea and extended by one hour all pools’ operating day. In a thank you note, Vallone said, “There is no better way to cool off in this extreme heat than to take a dip in one of our pools. They are not only free, but energy efficient as well.”

RUDY HOSTS ‘MOB WEEK’ MOVIE MARATHON: Recalling former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s days as a gang busting U.S. attorney, AMC picked him as host of its inaugural “Mob Week” movie marathon which will hit the airwaves beginning August 1.

Giuliani, who served as U.S. attorney in Manhattan battling organized crime for six years, will give 60-second reviews to seven of the offerings. He will also do 30-second clips on four others, giving recollections of some of the high points of his service as a U.S. attorney.

An admitted fan of the gangster film genre, his favorite is the Godfather series, which he considers the most realistic movies.

Giuliani said his appearance has nothing to do with any political aspirations he might have.

MILLER SPONSORS FOOD DRIVE: Assemblymember Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) has joined with the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council and several other youth and Glendale area organizations for a food drive that will end August 4 and benefit the Ridgewood Older Adult Center.

Miller said children from the Youth Council’s summer camp as well as Boy Scout Troop 427 will be participating in the project. Children from these organizations, along with the Glendale Kiwanis Club, P.S. 113 and the Sacred Heart School have been maintaining the Glendale Kiwanis Garden for several months and will be harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers that will all go into the food drive, Miller said.

“This food drive will be a good opportunity for us to obtain food for the center which serves so many people in the community. Furthermore, we will use the opportunity to shed light on the collective work of so many organizations on the garden and finally, it gives the elderly a chance to interact with the children from these organizations,” said Miller.

All non-perishable food items are welcome and can be dropped off at the following locations, Miller said: the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, at 64-02 Myrtle Ave., Glendale; P.S. 239 at Weirfield St., Ridgewood; and at Miller’s district office at 83-91 Woodhaven Blvd. in Woodhaven. For more information, call 718-805-0950.

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