2016-09-14 / Political Page

Bad Break For Clinton

At a crucial point in her presidential campaign battle with Donald Trump, with just 55 days to go until election day on November 8th, Hillary Clinton would have needed every ounce of energy. Instead she has pneumonia, a sickness that leaves a patient weak, unsteady and listless.

In the 55 days remaining in the campaign, candidates are expected to go at full speed for about 10 or 12 hours a day to try to reach as many voters as possible. Besides this, the candidates will have three face-to-face debates – the first one scheduled just 12 days away on Monday, September 26th – and the participants are expected to be at their sharpest.

Besides this polls show the race is tightening in many states, so Clinton partisans can only hope for the quickest and best recovery possible. Lucky for them Clinton is a fighter and can be expected to give it her best effort.

TRUMP CHARGED IN PAY-FOR-PLAY CASE: Of all things, Donald Trump last week was charged with having been involved in a “pay-forplay” scheme, the same kind of game he’s been accusing his opponent Hillary Clinton of in the presidential race.

In Trump’s case, he’s being charged with having made an illegal $25,000 contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who at the time in 2013 was running for reelection. At that time, Bondi was allegedly considering investigating Trump’s business school, Trump University’s operations. Four days before receiving the donation, her office had announced it was “reviewing the allegations” that had been filed in New York State against the school. But Bondi’s office never took any action against Trump U.

The $25,000 contribution to Bondi had come from Trump’s family foundation, which violated federal tax laws, so Trump had to pay a $2,500 penalty for that. Meanwhile, Bondi stated she never took any money from Trump.

Meanwhile, MORE CLINTON EMAIL HEADACHES may be on the way. While Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is still busy working through the last batch of emails presented to her by the FBI. Congressional Republicans announced more may be on the way.

Reportedly, the House Oversight Committee Chair, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R–Utah), who’s been leading the effort to keep the Clinton emails coming, discovered that some may have been misplaced or destroyed, which is prohibited by law. Chaffetz requested the FBI and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch investigate whether the worker may have deleted an archive of Clinton emails, although he had been directed to preserve it by the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The details were revealed last week in documents made public by the FBI about its investigation into Clinton’s emails, according to a Newsday story.

Meanwhile, with Trump showing strength in some polls lately, Clinton will unleash several surrogates to do battle for her in coming weeks on the campaign trail. They range from President and Mrs. Obama, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, and VP Joe Biden, to celebrities such as Tony Goldwyn (“Scandal”), Don Cheadle, and Audra McDonald.

President Obama was at an event yesterday and the First Lady will be speaking in northern Virginia on September 16.

TRUMP ENDORSED BY CONSERVATIVES: The New York State Conservative Party, which almost aligns itself with the Republican Party, in elections last week endorsed Donald Trump in the US presidential race against Hillary Clinton. Trump readily accepted the support of the far right organization, promising a victory in the November 8th election. He also promised to carry Democrat-heavy New York State in the election, though we think that will be very difficult to do.

The Queens-born-and-raised New Yorker readily dismissed his Democratic opponent, calling her a non-New Yorker, although she and former President Bill Clinton settled in a home in Westchester in 1999. Still, Trump assured everyone, “I’m the real New Yorker.”

Longtime Conservative Party Chair Michael Long noted, “Trump’s chances at the presidency are substantially improved with the party’s ballot line and it’ll be a clear signal to Conservatives across the country.”

Trump also won an endorsement from 88 retired generals and admirals who cited his commitment to “rebuild our military, to secure our borders, to defeat our Islamic supremacist adversaries…”

RIDGEWOOD DEM CLUB GETS ELECTION UPDATE: Members of the Ridgewood Democratic Club got a campaign and election update at the organization’s most recent meeting last Friday evening, hearing from State Senators Michael Gianaris and Joseph Addabbo Jr. They also heard from Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, who reported on the recent Democratic Convention.

The club, headed by Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, heard first about the Democratic Primary election, which was on tap for September 13th. But the dog-fight between Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump was surely uppermost on everyone’s mind, especially with the first debate so close.

Addabbo and Gianaris also surely had a lot to say about the State Senate and Assembly contests that will also be on the ballot on November 8th. There’s no doubt that the Assembly will remain under Democratic control, but the Senate, now controlled by the GOP, could go either way in the election.

MARKEY’S PRIORITIES: Assembly Member Marge Markey appeared to be a good bet to win her primary race in yesterday’s Democratic primary election. The Maspeth representative, who was seeking the Democratic nomination for the 30th AD seat and a chance then to seek reelection again in the November 8th balloting, has had a firm grip on winning since she first ran in 1999, and that has made her a senior member of the Democratic Assembly leadership in the state capital and a member of the two most influential Assembly committees – Ways and Means and Rules. As such, she was instrumental in achieving these results during the present session:

 New legislation to give middle class taxpayers their lowest taxes in 60 years.

 Raising the minimum wage and starting paid family leave so that workers can take care of their families.

 New buses and trains, a freeze on tuitions at City University colleges, and continuing funding for seniors.

Markey’s top priorities for the 30th AD covering Maspeth have also been impressive. They include funding for local libraries, senior centers, civic and veterans’ group; $2 million to enhance security at Woodside Houses; and $1 million for new programs at the Queens Botanical Garden; $250,000 for a new home for the Queens Art Council; and $100,000 for the Queens Tourism Council, among many other projects.

EX-POLITICAL RIVALS, HEVESI AND GREEN, MEET AGAIN TO DISCUSS CURRENT ELECTIONS, PROGRESSIVE POLITICS: Former political rivals Alan Hevesi and Mark Green will meet again, this time to discuss the current election and the rise of progressive politics. In 2001, then-NYC Public Advocate Mark Green and then-NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi faced off in the NYC Democratic primary race for mayor. Now these two longtime political insiders, will speak together on the current election at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills on Tuesday, September 27, at 1 p.m.

Green worked with Ralph Nader for a decade and later served as NYC Public Advocate for 10 years. The Nation called him “next to Nader, the leading public interest lawyer of his generation.” Hevesi is former State and City Comptroller, former Assemblyman, and a former Professor of Political Science. He is the father of Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi (D–Forest Hills). The two major figures from NYC's recent history will discuss what it's like and what it takes behind the scenes in city and national politics in the context of this momentous presidential election. The Central Queens Y is located at 67-09 108 Street, in Forest Hills. All events are always open to the public. An $8 voluntary donation is requested.

Green and Hevesi will discuss both past history and the current election. In the 2001 election, Hevesi endorsed Green in the Democratic primary runoff. Green lost by two points to Michael Bloomberg in that mayoral election – the City’s closest of the last century. In a new memoir, Bright, Infinite Future, Mark Green blends biography and politics to discuss the consequential 9/11 election and how the values of the ‘60s are shaping a new progressive majority in 2016.

Green becomes our political tour guide not only to the last 50 years of progressive politics, but also the the trends that predict a possible realignment in the 2016 election. Hevesi and Green will also discuss Green’s years in the anti-war movement and his work with Nader at the start of the modern consumer advocacy movement.

This program is part of the Fall Speaker Series of the Central Queens Y. More information is available online at www.cqy.org or at (718) 268- 5011 ext. 151, or pkurtz@cqy.org. The Central Queens YM & YWHA is a non-profit community center offering recreational, educational, cultural and social events to enhance the quality of life in the Central Queens community. The Y is an agency of UJA- Federation.

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