2016-05-11 / Political Page

Trump Eyes Rudy For Top Job

EYE ON POLITICS
BY JOHN TOSCANO

Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump has got a major job on his hands filling hundreds of jobs, big and small, but according to one news source, Trump will name former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani as his Homeland Security chief in his first cabinet of top level officials.

In last Friday’s Confidential page in the Daily News, we quote: “‘A secret deal has been struck by Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani would be head of homeland security,’ according to a GOP insider.”

Giuliani would be a good fit for the job, having served as the federal prosecutor in the New York area before becoming mayor from 1994 to 2001, when the World Trade Center attack took place.

During his siege as mayor he was always known as a “tough guy on crime” and that reputation preceded him when he was the federal prosecutor also.

Confidential’s source told them that Trump and Rudy had “talked directly” and there had been “serious talks on both sides.” It was also pointed out that although Giuliani has not formally endorsed Trump, the former Mayor had told the New York Times while the Indiana primary was still going on:

“…He’s my friend, and I think of the candidates, of the choices that I have, he’s the best choice for president.” As for Trump, he told Confidential that he hadn’t made any decisions on appointments yet, but felt that Giuliani would be a “wise” choice for the job.

Confidential quoted Giuliani’s spokesman, Tony Carbonetti as saying, regarding the report: “He’s a friend of Donald’s for 20-plus years and is focusing on uniting the party behind Donald and defeating Hillary Clinton.”

TRUMP-RYAN CLASH: After Trump was suddenly pushed to the top of the Republican Party heap following his victory in the Indiana primary, the first public statement made by Republican Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, (arguably the GOP’s national leader right now), was that he was “not ready to support Trump yet.”

Trump’s equally jarring response came quickly, “within an hour,” the N.Y. Times said Trump retorted he was: ‘not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda’.

Two days later, it was Ryan’s turn, but it came after Trump “refused to rule out blocking Ryan from serving as the (national) convention chairman.” Somewhere is between those verbal jabs, Ryan had backtracked on his “not ready to support” statement and had set up a meeting with Trump for Thursday, (which is tomorrow). Trump had already accepted the Thursday meeting offer, but we won’t know for sure whether Trump and Ryan will sit down and talk about anything until it happens.

Meanwhile, there is lots of conjecture flying around about the possibilities that the convention in Cleveland in July might turn into a free-for-all with possible challenges to Trump. If there are challenges made to Ryan remaining as convention chairman, that certainly can possibly lead to Trump being challenged as the candidate in November.

HILLARY-BERNIE CONTINUED: The last time we looked, Bernie Sanders trailed Hillary Clinton by about 800 delegates in the race to become the Democratic presidential candidate. Sanders was also figured to be unable to catch Clinton because there weren’t enough delegates to win by June 7, which is the last day for several remaining Democratic primaries. The June 7 line up for Dems includes California (476 delegates) and New Jersey (126 delegates).

Clinton feels and acts like the presumed Democratic primary winner, while Sanders is still chasing primary delegates, refusing to concede or trying to build up a large enough portfolio to take with him to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, where he’ll try to influence the party’s issues program as much as he can.

So let’s wait until everything jells and Clinton is declared the candidate and Sanders announces what his post-primaries position is.

ADDABBO JOINS SENATE TO PASS VETERANS’ BILLS: State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. has joined with his Senate colleagues in recent weeks to approve a variety of proposals aimed at cutting taxes and transportation costs for New York’s former servicemen and women, improving their health care options and ensuring that all veterans – including those of the four-legged variety – are afforded the respect and dignity their military service deserves.

“Throughout the years, and over the course of many conflicts around the globe, our servicemen and women have given of themselves and have frequently put their own lives on hold, and on the line to protect and preserve our way of life,” said Addabbo, who serves as the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “Whether they saw combat, served in medical or technological capacities, provided mechanical expertise or otherwise helped in any variety of ways to keep our military strong and our country safe, we owe our veterans a tremendous debt of gratitude every single day.”

A package of legislation approved by the Senate with Addabbo’s support in recent weeks seeks to provide disabled veterans with tax breaks, offers former servicemen and women breaks on transit costs and helps to ensure that veterans are able to access and receive effective health care. The bills also propose to honor canine military members, ensure that unclaimed cremated remains of veterans are treated with dignity and punish those who impersonate members of the military for personal gain.

Specifically, the bills are as follows:

S.3549, co-sponsored by Addabbo (D–Howard Beach), would enable veterans’ organizations to receive, bury and otherwise respectfully dispose of the cremated remains of former servicemen and women that have not been claimed by their families. In some cases, these remains may be abandoned for decades in funeral homes, crematoriums, prisons, hospitals and other facilities without a final resting place.

S.5201 would create the crime of stolen valor, punishable by a $250 fine, to be imposed upon persons who, for purposes of personal monetary gain or benefits, impersonate members of the armed forces or reserves through their dress and insignia, or claim to be acting upon the authority and approval of the military. The fees would be directed to New York State’s veterans’ remembrance and cemetery maintenance and operation fund.

S.3826 would designate March 13th of every year as K9 Veterans Day in honor of dogs who have served in the military and have at times given their own lives as four-legged members of the armed forces – patrolling borders, protecting soldiers, aiding the Secret Service and otherwise contributing to national and international security. The official K9 Corps was created on March 13, 1942 by Joseph J. White, a retired military working dog handler.

S.3137 would require the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs to provide information on its website about veterans’ integrated service networks and otherwise offer a health care fact sheet for former members of the armed forces to help them better access medical services. The bill would also require hospitals to ask patients about their veteran status and provide health care fact sheets to those identified as having served in the United States military.

S.877 would establish a Veterans’ Gerontological Advisory Committee in the New York State Office for the Aging to better care for the needs of elderly former members of the military. The 19-member panel must have 10 members who are veterans, and at least 60 percent of the membership must be 60 years of age or older. Appointments to the Committee would be made by the governor, Legislature, and Office for the Aging.

S.5545 would create a half-fare rate program for veterans in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide transportation savings to honorably discharged former members of the military who live in New York State. Veterans taking advantage of the reduced fares would be required to display an authorized veteran identification card.

S.4627 would revise the existing alternative property tax exemption program for veterans to provide a 100 percent exemption to veterans who are 100 percent disabled as a result of their military service and their unmarried surviving spouses. Eligible veterans would need to have served in a combat theatre or zone of operations and received certain United States campaign ribbons, service medals and expeditionary medals.

All of these proposals, now that they have been approved by the State Senate, are under review by several different committees in the State Assembly, Addabbo said.

VAN BRAMER BILLS PUNISH BUSINESSES THAT PARK CARS ON SIDEWALK: City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer introduced two bills cracking down on businesses that park cars on sidewalks. Councilmember Rafael Espinal, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs, is a co-prime sponsor.

Throughout the city, Van Bramer (D–Sunnyside) declared that car dealerships, car washes, parking lots, and tow companies use sidewalks as showrooms or workspaces, creating a hazard for pedestrians who are forced to walk on the road. Sidewalk parking by business is not only particularly dangerous for people with disabilities or parents with young children; it causes structural damage to sidewalks, which are not designed to hold the weight of parked cars, he added.

While it is currently illegal to park on a city sidewalk, he added, the law is under-enforced, and for many businesses, the $115 ticket is not a deterrent. Majority Leader Van Bramer’s bills will hit businesses where it hurts, he said, by increasing fines and allowing the Department of Consumer Affairs to revoke the business licenses of repeat offenders.

“When businesses use sidewalks as parking lots, it puts communities in danger,” said Van Bramer. “Too often, these establishments figure in the occasional parking ticket as just a cost of doing business. We need to hit them where it hurts. My bills, introduced with Council Member Espinal, will increase fines and allow the Department of Consumer Affairs to suspend or revoke the business licenses of repeat violators. By punishing businesses in a real and tangible way, we can get cars off the sidewalks and keep communities safe.”

“These two pieces of legislation are simply about pedestrian safety. I value our small businesses and the services they provide to the local community, but people shouldn’t have to walk on the street or through a maze of cars to get from point A to point B. Our city’s sidewalks are made for pedestrians, not for businesses to park their cars. This is an issue that has plagued many neighborhoods, especially in the outer boroughs and it’s time we take action,” stated Espinal, the Chair of the Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee.

The first bill, Intro 1179-2016, makes parking vehicles in a sidewalk or crosswalk a violation for the following types of DCA-licensed businesses: used car dealers, parking garages and lots, tow companies, and car washes. The bill states that the commissioner shall suspend or revoke the license of businesses that are found to be in violation more than twice in one year. The second bill, Intro 1180-2016, directs the Commissioner of Finance to implement increasing penalties for repeat violators.

“For far too long, too many businesses have made parking lots out of our sidewalks, which are supposed to be a place where our families can walk without having to worry about cars,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “We thank Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for showing Vision Zero leadership and taking action to put a stop to this deadly form of business as usual.”

“It is absolutely unacceptable for car dealerships to use the pedestrian sidewalk as an extra parking lot for their vehicle inventory,” said Laura Newman of Make Queens Safer. “Cars on the sidewalk force pedestrians into traffic. Car dealerships tend to be on heavily trafficked roadways where pedestrians are placed at great risk stepping off the curb and into oncoming traffic. The sidewalk is the pedestrian safe zone. Make Queens Safer applauds Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for introducing a much-needed bill to prohibit this egregious infringement upon pedestrian safety by making sidewalk parking a violation of the business license and allowing the Department of Consumer Affairs to shut down repeat violators.”

MENG SIMANOWITZ GET IMPROVED MAIL DELIVERY: U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D–Queens) received a letter from the U.S. Postal Service saying that it has taken action to improve mail delivery in Kew Gardens Hills.

The correspondence was in response to a letter Meng sent to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan in March about poor mail service in the area. The Congresswoman sent the letter after several constituents complained to her and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D–Flushing) about mail not being delivered in an efficient and timely manner.

“Residents of Kew Gardens Hills depend heavily on their mail and they deserve reliable and quality service,” said Meng. “I thank affected constituents for raising this issue with Assemblyman Simanowitz and me so that we were able to address the problem, and I appreciate the Postal Service for taking action to fix it. I look forward to mail being delivered in a dependable and effective manner for all residents of Kew Gardens Hills.”

“Our community depends on reliable mail service for its homes and many small businesses,” said Simanowitz. “Working with Congresswoman Meng, we were able to come to a resolution with the Postal Service to address issues raised by our constituents. I am confident that their response will result in the efficient and dependable service our residents deserve.”

The Kew Gardens Hills Post Office – which administers and oversees postal service in the area – is located at 75-23 Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills.

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