Meng Wins, Faces Halloran; Turner Loses Senate Bid
The 36-year-old Assemblymember will face Councilmember Dan Halloran, the Republican/Conservative nominee in the November election.
In winning the primary over Assemblymember Rory Lancman and Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, Meng gobbled up about 50 percent of the incomplete returns. In the process, she also scored an eventful victory for Queens Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Crowley, who strongly supported Meng’s candidacy.
The winner was the beneficiary of a well managed pull-out operation on primary day, supervised by the party’s executive secretary, Mike Reich. The primary campaign had a bitter tone because of the two challengers to Meng, but it ended on a cordial note following her victory.
Commenting on her winning sprint and her chance to be the first congressmember of her East Asian group, Meng told a reporter that she had enjoyed serving on a state level, but “on a federal level there are so many more opportunities. I’m so excited to accomplish more”.
Political observers also acknowledged that Meng, in winning a congressional nomination and taking the favorite’s role in the national balloting, had scored an impressive breakthrough for Asian American people.
In comments made to the New York Times following Meng’s primary victory, Don T. Nakanishi, professor emeritus of Asian American Studies Center at U.C.L.A., expressed surprise that this “tremendous demographic increase in New York City has begun to translate into political representation”.
From a local viewpoint, a Meng victory in November would surely propel her to the top of the huge East Asian population in the Flushing area, a distinction presently held by City Comptroller John Liu.
In a statement following the primary election, Liu said of Meng’s victory:
“The voters have spoken: Ascending to the halls of Congress is Grace, a strong advocate for New Yorkers, including the families, immigrants and small businesses of Main Street.”
Liu acknowledged he had supported Meng in the primary “because I knew she was the best candidate to represent the vibrant, diverse constituents of the 6th CD. We are content Grace will be a voice needed in Washington on jobs, health care and education.
“She ran a campaign energized especially by the foresight of Democratic leaders and the tireless hearts of young volun- teers, eager for this From page 15 long-awaited and hard-fought milestone in history.”
Incumbents Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) and Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) were not challenged for nominations and appear to have excellent chances to win new terms, even if challenged. Thus the Queens delegation in the 2014 Congress it appears will be all Democratic.
HALLORAN GREETS ‘CANDIDATE’ MENG: Opening up the dialogue between himself and opponent Grace Meng, Dan Halloran declared:
“I look forward to discussing our unique visions for Queens.”
Halloran said Meng “wants to raise taxes and increase spending—I want to lower taxes and fees and spend responsibly.” The Whitestone lawmaker, continuing what he expects will be the outlines of the campaign against Meng, added:
“Meng wants another failed government stimulus, bailing out corporations and failed fiscal policies—I want to help the private sector create working class union jobs and grow our economy.”
Finally, Halloran alleges, “Meng wants to cut New York City’s share of antiterror funding from Washington to punish the NYPD. I want to protect those dollars and keep our city and its police officers and firefighters safe.”
Let’s watch and see whether Halloran has the right read on Meng’s platform.
TURNER LOSES U.S. SENATE QUEST: In the only other national legislative primary last Tuesday, Congressmember Bob Turner, of Rockaway Park, was defeated in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. The winner in that race was Wendy Long, a Manhattan attorney, who will be the Republican/Conservative candidate to face incumbent U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat.
Turner’s term as the Congress’ representative of the Queens/Brooklyn district formerly held by Anthony Weiner will expire in just six months.
GIANARIS SEEKS CHANGES TO SUNSCREEN RESTRICTION: Working to better protect children from excessive sun exposure that can lead to sun poisoning and cancer, state Senator Michael Gianaris has introduced legislation to change impractical state regulations regarding the application of sunscreen by children.
Gianaris is targeting existing state education department and federal FDA overthe counter drugs. Presently, their guidelines state, he said, that schools should require a doctor’s note and parental consent for a child to use over-the-counter medicines like sunscreen during school hours or at summer camp.
However, noting the importance for children to be able to apply sunscreen as necessary, Gianaris’ bill would require only a note from a parent and erase the need for a doctor’s note in order for children to put on sunscreen while in school or at camp.
Gianaris explains, “At a time when we are trying to increase cancer prevention, it is senseless for schools to make it more difficult for children to use sunscreen. It should not be necessary to pass legislation to realize this common sense solution, however, that is exactly what we will do if regulations are not changed.”
DA BROWN APPLAUDS NOLAN’S ANTI-FRAUD BILL: Prompted by a case where an elderly constituent was scammed out of thousands of dollars, Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood) has introduced legislation requiring banks to alert their customers to the dangers of consumer fraud. Nolan said, “It would help people think twice and help them make better decisions before things go terribly wrong.”
The lawmaker added: “Fraud hurts everyone regardless of age. We all should be interested in protecting consumers and I thank Speaker [Sheldon] Silver and my Assembly colleagues for bringing this bill up for a vote.”
The fraud which prompted Nolan to act involved a constituent who was told she won a lottery but must transfer bank funds to claim it, but it turns out there was no winning lottery.
DA Richard Brown expressed his support for the bill which deals with bank electronic transfers and warns consumers of possible fraudulent schemes.
“If enacted into law, this legislation would prevent much heartache and keep consumers, especially elderly individuals from making irreversible and life-changing mistakes,” Brown said.
Nolan’s bill is being sponsored in the state senate by Senator Michael Gianaris.
RALLY OPPOSES WASTE TRANSFERS BY TRAIN: Lawmakers and civic associations rallied on Monday at the waste transfer station at 38-22 Review Ave., in Long Island City in opposition to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s approval of plans to modify the plant and increase waste transfer by train out of the Fresh Pond Junction rail depot in the Glendale-Maspeth area.
Included at the rally were state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Assemblymember Mike Miller, state Senator Michael Gianaris, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley and Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) and members of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
The opponents of the DEC approved expansion argued it would increase the number of rail cars currently handled at Fresh Pond Junction, resulting in longer trains and the incremental change in noise and air impacts produced by the proposal. Their statement concluded, “The increased amount of locomotive activity and subsequent increases in noise and air pollution are the main concerns of the area residents.”