Stavisky, Addabbo Face Close Races Nov. 6th
Last Thursday’s party primary elections, although few in number (nine) had several interesting outcomes, including two in Democratic contests, and two others where the results indicate the November 6 contests they set up could be very close.
And with the primaries behind us, we can devote our attention over the next days to the presidential clash between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney; the state senate pairings which will play a part in which party will control the upper chamber next January, and several interesting Queens state senate races.
Analyzing last Thursday’s result, the victories by state Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and Councilmember James Sanders were expected on the Democratic side, as were the Assembly races won by Democrats Ron Kim, and Assemblymember Mike Miller.
Councilmember Eric Ulrich won a rare Republican primary, where the turnout was a total of only 48 votes, of which Ulrich garnered about 70 percent of them.
The major surprise of the day was the defeat of longtime Democratic community and political leader Jerry Iannece who lost the 25th AD nomination to newcomer Nily Rozic. One explanation of the outcome is that the newly-drawn district is split between Bayside (Iannece’s home area), and Fresh Meadows, where Rozic resides, so that Iannece lost some potential voting strength in the contest.
•Stavisky running for the first time in the Republican-drawn district, which is very heavily Asian-populated, won by 58 to 42 percent against the same opponent, John Messer, whom she swamped in the primary two years ago. One factor in the result this time, Messer’s wife, who is of East Asian descent, campaigned with her husband throughout the campaign.
Looking ahead to the general election, Stavisky is opposed by J.D. Kim, an attorney endorsed by the Queens Republican organization who is a leader in the Korean community, teaches Sunday school and is otherwise active in the church, and arranged the first-ever congressional level debate to focus on the Korean community when he managed the campaign of the Republican candidate in
The Ulrich-Reyes turnout indicates to us that, since both Ulrich and Addabbo won races in virtually similar districts in the past, they will now go to the same voters with Addabbo perhaps having a slight edge, so the outcome of their election contest on
Nov. 6 should be rated “hard to separate”. Flushing two years ago. Kim, 39, also highlighted the fact that he was “the first Korean American to qualify for the election ballot in history”.
Stavisky will bring the experience to her campaign against Kim that she gained running in the primary, as well as her record of representing a Queens district for several terms and being a leader of her party in the senate.
•Sanders, who has served three terms in the City Council defeated incumbent Shirley Huntley in the 10th state senate Democratic primary. Huntley’s indictment was announced during the campaign, hurting her chances. Sanders is well known in the heavily black district, and will run unopposed in the general election.
•Ulrich will be opposed by incumbent state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. in the 15th district in South Queens. Ulrich, from Ozone Park, succeeded Addabbo in winning the election to a city council seat, so he and the senate incumbent have basically run successfully over the same terrain. However, the district has been changed under the latest reapportionment done by the Republicancontrolled senate in Albany. The major change in the boundaries is that the district was altered by adding territory north of Ozone Park, including parts of Forest Hills and Rego Park.
The only fact that makes that information noteworthy is that the Republican district leader there is Jack Haggerty, who is awaiting sentencing on a charge that he misused about $1 million of Mayor Bloomberg’s money dating back to the 2009 mayoral election. Haggerty heads an insurgent Republican group in Queens and Ulrich is reportedly part of that group. Recently, Ulrich refused an invitation to meet with the regular GOP group to consider being endorsed by them in this year’s elections.
(We previously had reported that the Queens GOP had refused to endorse Ulrich, but as we now have learned from Vince Tabone, the vice chairman of the organization, Ulrich refused to meet with them.).
Another interesting note in Ulrich’s 15th senate district primary, only 48 voters turned out to cast ballots and those broke down: Ulrich 34, Juan Reyes 14. We know Queens Democrats generally heavily outnumber Republicans by huge amounts in any district in the borough, but the Ulrich-Reyes turnout indicates to us that, since both Ulrich and Addabbo won races in virtually similar districts in the past, they will now go to the same voters with Addabbo perhaps having a slight edge, so the outcome of their election contest on Nov. 6 should be rated “hard to separate”.
CANDIDATE LINEUPS FOR NOVEMBER: President Barack Obama will carry the Democratic banner as he seeks re-election against Mitt Romney, the Republican standard bearer.
Closest below them will be U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand seeking a full six-year term for the Senate opposed by Wendy Long, the Republican-Conservative candidate.
We were expecting to have the Republican list of candidates for Congress, the state senate and Assembly yesterday, but it didn’t arrive. At this point, we’re sure that Grace Meng, the Democrat, is the 6th CD candidate in Queens, opposed by Dan Halloran on the Republican-Conservative lines. Seeking re-election from Queens districts are Congressmembers Joseph Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx), Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) and Gregory Meeks (D–Southeast Queens). However, we don’t know at this time if any of these three are being challenged in this year’s election. We expect to have that information next week.
We do have partial lists for state senate races in Queens. They are:
James Sanders, Democrat, 10th district, Southeast Queens, unopposed; Senator Tony Avella, Democrat, opposed by Joseph Concannon, Republican, 11th district, Northeast Queens; Senator Michael Gianaris, Democrat, opposed by Tony Arcabascio, Republican, 12th district, Western Queens; Senator Joseph Addabbo, Democrat, opposed by Eric Ulrich, Republican, 15th district, Southern Queens; and Toby Ann Stavisky, Democrat, 16th district, opposed by J.D. Kim, Republican, Central Queens.
Senator Malcolm Smith, 14th district (Jamaica) and Senator Jose Peralta, Democrat, (Jackson Heights)–opponents unknown.
As for Assembly races, the only pairings we have confirmed are: 25th AD (Bayside/Fresh Meadows), Nily Rozic, Democrat, opposed by William Garifal, Republican and Abe Fuchs, Conservative; 26th AD (Bayside), Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, Democrat, opposed by Ralph Cefalo (Republican); 40th AD (Flushing) Ron Kim, Democrat, opposed by Phil Gim (Republican).
HALLORAN ‘SEES LOOPHOLES’ IN SODA BAN: Councilmember Dan Halloran, continued his opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban, which was approved last week by the Board of Health. The regulation, which bans sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, takes effect next March 12. It applies only to establishments that get inspection grades from the Health Department, including movie theaters and stadium concession stands. Convenience stores are exempt, along with vending machines and some newsstands, but establishments with self-service drinking stands would not be allowed to offer stock cups larger than 16 ounces.
Halloran (R–C–Whitestone) said, “Now that the Board of Health has rubber stamped Mayor Bloomberg’s arbitrary and capricious soda ban, New Yorkers are expected to dutifully ignore the glaring loopholes and be content with their soda ration.”
But the lawmaker added that “we still have choices”, which appear to be tongue-in-cheek ones, such as: bypassing corner mom and pop stores and using supermarkets and franchise convenience stores; or buy a second 12-ounce can rather than a single 20-ounce bottle.
Halloran closed by saying, “You are not fit to take care of yourself. Government has to take care of you. This kind of arrogance is bad for the health of our democracy.”
The mayor’s newest edict is aimed at sky-high obesity rates, especially among youths, and it’s getting strong opposition from the soft drink industry.
MAYOR’S LATEST ROUND OF BUDGET CUTS: Thrown a curve in his plan to raise about $700 million this year from the sale of taxi medallions under his plan to expand taxi service to the boroughs outside Manhattan, Bloomberg last week announced plans to reduce the city’s payroll by laying off city personnel. He expects to raise about $700 million by the cuts to uniformed personnel, education and other agencies.
But a day later, the mayor also announced that 48 members of his City Hall staff would get pay raises, partly because there had been staff reductions and the lucky 48 were getting more because they’re doing a little more. Labor union leaders voiced complaints because their members have gone without raises and in some cases without contracts.
CROWLEY LAUDS ACTIONS OF SIKH AMERICANS: Responding to the tragic shooting of a Sikh-American in Wisconsin in August, one of the latest attacks against the group, Congressmember Joseph Crowley, joined by about 90 colleagues, introduced a resolution in support of the beleaguered group.
Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) stated, “This resolution recognizes that America is proud of the Sikh American community, their hundred-year history in this country and their countless achievements and contributions to this nation. Tragically, the brutal attack in Oak Creek, and attacks over the previous year shed light on the ongoing threats faced by the Sikh Americans in the United States. Unfortunately, this was not a one-time event and what’s clear is that there is a disturbing and violent trend that must be confronted and brought to an end.
“While there is much more that must be done, this measure sends a strong signal that Congress stands behind the Sikh American community and that we must take greater strides in working to prevent crimes against Sikhs. That includes documenting hate crimes against Sikhs, something which has not happened in the past.”
Crowley said Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world with over 25 million followers and 500,000 followers in the United States alone. He explained that they are often the targets of crime because of their distinct attire and the misbelief that they are terrorists. Over the past year, Crowley said, Sikh Americans and their religious institutions have been threatened or attacked in highly publicized incidents in New York, Michigan, Virginia and California.
VALLONE BILL CREATES ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY: In an effort to keep animals out of the hands of abusers, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. has introduced a bill to create a registry listing anyone who has been convicted of animal abuse or cruelty. All persons listed on the registry would be prohibited from owning an animal, Vallone added.
“We want to keep defenseless animals out of the hands of known abusers,” Vallone (D–Astoria) explained. “Right here in Astoria, we had a punk who threw his dog out of a window and right now there’s nothing stopping him from going to an animal shelter and adopting a puppy.”
Vallone said that under his bill, crimes that would result in inclusion in the registry are animal fighting, abandonment, aggravated cruelty and failure to provide proper sustenance, among others. The registry would be made available in electronic form to all enforcement agencies, district attorneys, humane societies, Societies For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, dog or cat protective associations, animal control officers, pet shops and animal shelters, he said.
Under the bill’s terms, animal shelters would have to consult the registry to determine if a person is listed, and would be prohibited from transferring or exchanging animals with someone included in the registry. (The city council is preempted by the state from regulating pet shops, Vallone noted).
Those convicted of abuse would remain on the registry for five years following their first offense and 10 years for any subsequent convictions, Vallone explained. Anyone convicted of animal abuse who fails to report to the registry, or who owns an animal while listed in the registry faces punishment of up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
In other action, Vallone, chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee also introduced legislation declaring September 19 “Don’t Text and Drive Day” in hopes of raising awareness of the increasingly dangerous issue.
A third bill he introduced would require the city Department of Environmental Protection to include a warning on its water bills for infants consuming baby formula reconstituted with fluoridated water.