Giuliani Endorses Turner For U.S. Senate, GOP Targets Avella
•Congressmember Bob Turner (R–C–Queens/Brooklyn), who’s in a primary which will decide who will be the candidate to face U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November, was endorsed by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
•The Queens Republican organization endorsed Joseph Concannon, a 25-year police officer with some impressive looking credentials, to challenge state Senator Tony Avella for the senate post in Northeast Queens.
Meanwhile, the borough’s Democratic organization designated long time Astoria and Bayside pol and civic activist Jerry Iannece as their candidate in the election to succeed Assemblymember Rory Lancman, who opted to run for Congress rather than re-election this year. Iannece should have little difficulty winning the seat.
Getting back to the Republican candidates referred to above, Turner is in a three-way GOP primary fight with George Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller, and newcomer Wendy Long, a Manhattan lawyer who has picked up the valuable Conservative Party ballot line.
Maragos has some name recognition, having won election as comptroller in 2009; and Long won the most support of GOP leaders at the party’s recent state convention.
Turner, however, has the advantage of having won election to Congress in impressive fashion, scoring an upset over his Democratic opponent and the Democratic machines in Queens and Brooklyn.
In a recent Siena College poll, 67 percent of Republican voters approached by the pollsters said they didn’t know enough about any candidate to declare a favorite. But of the 33 percent who voted, Turner got 15 percent, Long 12 percent, and Maragos six percent. This makes Turner the sort of favorite in the race, which is obviously very close at this point, so he should benefit from Giuliani’s endorsement.
If Turner takes the primary, we would think his chances against Gillibrand would be “a possibility”, at best, but she wouldn’t be a sure thing, although some poll results we’ve seen make her chances very bright. She also has an advantage in moneys raised as she runs for a full six-year term.
In the Avella-Concannon race for the 11th District seat, reports have said the majority Republicans in the senate made changes in district lines to favor a Republican, but we haven’t seen the maps, nor have we seen reports of the changes. But the senate GOP is fighting like mad to retain control of the chamber, so we’ll assume they took advantage to benefit from the new lines.
Speaking of Concannon’s endorsement, Party Chairman Phil Ragusa said he was “extremely pleased”, by the choice. He also panned Avella’s performance as senator since succeeding Frank Padavan in that office.
Ragusa declared Avella “has simply failed the community” and “has not lived up to his campaign promises and has not filled Frank’s shoes”.
As for Concannon, the party’s law chairman, Vince Tabone, praised Concannon as having “the right stuff to serve us well in Albany…” He added, “As an officer who rose through the ranks in the NYPD, he is a ‘brass tacks’ kind of guy with the common sense and the intelligence to fight for our community and make a difference in Albany.”
According to the bio put out by the organization, Concannon, in his 25-year career with the NYPD, was responsible for developing the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and coordinating the response to all large-scale emergencies within the City of New York.”
In addition, the statement said Concannon was “the senior analyst in the mayor’s office for all public safety agencies” within the city. Concannon, it said, “has both internal and external investigative experiences with NYPD and the mayor’s office and during his career has “been the recipient of over 17 NYPD awards and commendations”.
The FBI has recognized Concannon “locally in NYC as well as nationally for his commitment to national security and excellence as a leader in the security industry”.
Concannon holds a Masters in Public Administration and a BA in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He resides in Northeast Queens with his wife and three children.
(The press release did not state what was the highest rank Concannon holds or held and did not make clear whether he is still serving as a cop or whether he’s retired).
GOP ENDORSES CEFALO FOR ASSEMBLY IN NE QUEENS: In another action, Queens Republicans endorsed Ralph Cefalo for the 26th AD seat in Bayside. Cefalo has had a long tenure with the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance Corps and an overall 35-year involvement in community affairs. He has also been active with the Order of Sons of Italy. He is married, the father of two children with whom he resides in Malba.
GIANARIS FIGHTS CANCERCAUSING ADDITIVE IN CHICKEN FEED: State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) has introduced legislation to prohibit the use of roxarsone, an arsenic compound, and other drugs containing arsenic, from being added to poultry feed in New York state.
Gianaris, joined by health and animal rights advocates, is fighting to ban the potentially toxic drug from being used in chicken feed, which is harmful to farm animals and humans alike, he said.
Gianaris explained in a news release, “Roxarsone is proven to promote the growth of blood vessels in chicken, making the meat appear pinker and more attractive in its packaging. When consumed by humans, the additive does the same in our cells, fueling a growth process known as angiogenisis, a critical first step in many diseases such as cancer.”
But, he argued, “Using a drug with only aesthetic value is unnecessary, particularly when studies reveal it to have life-threatening consequences. As we continue a campaign to promote healthier eating and lifestyle choices, it is vital that our foods are produced safely and free from potential poisons like roxarsone.
“While voluntary discontinuance by the manufacturer is a good start, we should not be relying on the benevolence of a private company, however responsible that entity might be, when an issue of such great importance to public health is involved.”
Gianaris also sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting a complete nationwide ban of roxarsone and other arsenic-based drugs from being used in chicken feed.
In 2011, he recalled, the FDA found higher levels of inorganic arsenic in the livers of chickens treated with the drug than in the livers of untreated chickens. This was the first study to demonstrate that raising chickens with roxarsone leads to the accumulation of inorganic arsenic in poultry tissues, rendering them toxic, Gianaris said.
Recent studies, the lawmaker added, show that most Americans are routinely exposed to between three and 11 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended safety limit of the additive.
Gianaris also explained that in response to the FDA’s study last year, sales of roxarsone were voluntarily suspended by the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer. Gianaris, however, believes a self-imposed moratorium does not do enough to ensure we are not exposed to such dangerous levels of arsenic.
GOLDFEDER: RAISE GAMBLING AGE FROM 18 TO 21: Pointing out the possibility that there may be more opportunities to engage in casino gambling in New York state in the future, and that youths aged 18 would be subjected “to a higher likelihood of problems with gambling later in life,” Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder (D–Rockaway) has introduced legislation to increase the legal age for gambling in New York state from 18 to 21.
Goldfeder said his bill has already been introduced in the state senate by Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. Both lawmakers have the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in their respective districts.
Goldfeder said his legislation is in response to “a possible constitutional amendment to allow enhanced gaming in casinos” in New York state. The amendment was introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Goldfeder also cited a study done by an organization called Youth Gambling International which found that “compared to adults, young people are two to three times more likely to develop a gambling problem”.
He also cited the National Institutes of Health as saying, that gambling activity during adolescence “is related to a higher likelihood of problems with gambling later in life”.
Pointing to the Addabbo-Goldfeder bill, he says, “This bill would mitigate the potential negative effects gambling can have on our youth and decrease exposure to alcohol for those younger than 21. Making casinos 21 and older makes sense.”
HARDHATS ENDORSE ELIZABETH CROWLEY FOR CONGRESS: Citing Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley’s call for creation of more construction industry jobs, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York endorsed Crowley’s election as the Congressmember of the 6th CD in Northern Queens.
“No one has been a better advocate for our unions and our workers than Elizabeth, and we’re proud to support her candidacy for Congress.”
Also seeking the Democratic Party nomination in the primary election on June 26 are Assemblymembers Grace Meng, of Flushing, and Assemblymember Rory Lancman, of Fresh Meadows.
Councilmember Dan Halloran, of Whitestone, is the Republican candidate for the post.
KOSLOWITZ HOSTS ANNUAL ASIAN-AMERICAN EVENT: On May 17, Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D–Forest Hills) hosted her second Asian American and Pacific Highlander Heritage Month, during which Councilmember Peter Koo (R–C–Flushing) was honored as “Person of the Year”.
Also honored were the following:
•Lynne Wang, a 10-year-old competitive swimmer recognized for her outstanding athleticism.
•Peter Park, president of the Korean- American Chamber of Commerce, recognized for his achievement and contributions to business.
•Sally Li Young, Assistant Principal of Forest Hills H.S., recognized for her contribution to education.
•Latchman Budhai, longtime member of the 102nd Police Precinct and Community Board 9, recognized for his tireless and dedicated work as a community activist.