SURPRISE: QUEENS INSURGENTS OUST REGULARS TO TAKE CHARGE OF COUNTY CHAPTER OF “JOE BRUNO DEMOCRATS”
COMO'S VICTORY COULD IMPACT STATE SENATE RACE-NY Daily News, June 5th, 2008
Republican Anthony Como's razor-thin unofficial victory over Democrat Elizabeth Crowley in Tuesday's special election to replace ex-City Councilman Dennis Gallagher reaffirmed a political trend that could impact a high-stakes state Senate showdown this fall.
The nonpartisan special election was watched closely on the state level because of the big-money Senate race this fall between Republican incumbent Serfin Maltese and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo - a race that could decide who wields power in the upper house….
The statewide significance lies in the fact the 30th Council District forms the northern half of the 15th Senate District, where Maltese has won 10 straight terms in spite of a ….Democratic enrollment advantage….
…Maltese was giddy. "That is a good sign for my future election," Maltese crowed….Maltese said that by appealing to Democrats and Conservatives, not just Republicans, Como was able to hold off an all-out organizing effort by the Democratic Party, which is led by Crowley's cousin, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens).
Control of State Senate May Lie in NYC Special Election Nassau GOP Watch -May 30, 2008
A Special Election to fill the seat of disgraced Republican Dennis Gallagher has a role in the fight for control of the New York State Senate. The 30th Council District covering Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Glendale has been in republican hands since the map was re-drawn years ago. The District sits in the very heart of endangered republican State Senator Serf Maltese's district. A win for Democrat Elizabeth Crowley against republican Anthony "Baby Face" Como would seal the deal for the 15th SD.
Como is Maltese's guy and is going to bat for him in this election. Como has a prominent sign on Maltese's campaign office.
Maltese won re-election last time to a complete unknown by about only 850 votes....[The Senate GOP] is giving Maltese $2.441 Million in Members Item funds to campaign with. That's right, your tax dollars are being used as a campaign slush fund to save Maltese's keester.
Maltese is high on the Democrats hit-list this november and a Council seat win for a Democrat in the heart of Maltese's district, defeating his wanna-be successor Como spells the end of Maltese...
Winning by Making Crowley (and the Queens Machine) Lose
June 11, 2008
The counting is still going on in the special election for the Queens 30th City Council district, but a spokesman for the candidate who came in last place is claiming victory--because he helped prevent another Democrat, Elizabeth Crowley, from winning.
According to unofficial results, Crowley is a few votes behind Republican candidate Anthony Como.
“We won this race," Sam Esposito, a spokesman for Democratic candidate Charles Ober, wrote in an email to supporters, which was forwarded to me by a Democratic operative. "Maybe not in the way many of you would understand, but we really are winners. We had 2 goals, 1 Charlie would win but more importantly was to not let Crowley take that seat."
It goes on to say, “We put the Queens machine in their place. We hurt Crowley's chances of ever getting elected.”
Also, Ober is looking for someone to challenge Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, who is from Ober’s Democratic club but did not support him for reelection.
“I am also putting word out that we are looking for people who want to run for the assembly seat against Nolan. And the committee chair against Vanbramer. I will run your petitions with Charles in certain areas and I will run the petitions for you in the other areas also. All I need are 2 people who would like to run for office.”
Excerpts from the email: “To all our supporters, our friends, our volunteers and our workers,We will be releasing a press release in the coming days. But I wanted to just say a few things about this race. We won this race. Maybe not in the way many of you would understand, but we really are winners. We had 2 goals, 1 Charlie would win but more importantly was to not let Crowley take that seat….We wanted other people and politicians to understand that the 6th crime family, the Queens machine family, was not going to run things the way they are used to anymore….
…We are winners. We put the Queens machine in their place. We hurt Crowley's chances of ever getting elected. And county has 3 people to blame for that. Cathy Nolan, Lois Marbach and Cathy's wife Jerry Marsicano Nolan….
…Her and her cohorts tried everything to get Charlie to not run. They even tried to see if they could buy him out of the race. what no one knows is that Charlie cannot be bought and he will not compromise his principals and morals like Cathy did. Charlie is true to himself….
….We lost because we would not have people go in the poling sites voting under dead people's names, we would not threaten people if they did not support us, we did not fight with people, we did not use horrible tactics to hurt any of the candidates all we did was tell the truth all along and even though we lost the race CROWLEY is not the councilwomen of the 30th district and that is great.”
In a stunning example of role reversal, the Queens County Democratic Organization has seemingly committed itself to putting its full weight behind efforts to attain a Democratic majority in the NY State Senate, rather than repeating its past practice of covertly (and sometimes not so covertly) helping the County’s two Republican State Senators retain their ever more Democratic seats.
Finally, with a Democratic majority in plain sight and a member in good standing of their inner circle at the Senate Democratic helm, visions of the motherlode have been allowed to triumph over the prior Austin Street philosophy of the two-party system as a fee-splitting arrangement, but it was not always thus, as we can see here:
One would think that this change would have delighted those Queens insurgents who, albeit sporadically, have attempted form time to time to upset the applecart in a quixotic effort to use the Democratic line to elect a Democratic.
One would be wrong.
First there is Al Baldeo, the strange immigration lawyer who managed, on Eliot Spitzer’s coattails, to get 49% against incumbent Serf Maltese in 2006, while everyone was caught sleeping.
The 2006 Democratic candidate could have been popular Councilman Joe Addabbo, son of the legendary Congressman of the same name, but despite promises of Bloomberg money, the boys at Austin Street decided it was better to do business with a friendly Republican in the Majority instead of a very friendly Democrat in the Minority.
If Addabbo was the nominee, he would have won, with an extra Democrat in the Senate, Republicans John Bonacic and Joe Robach would likely have jumped, “Choppergate” would never have happened, Joe Bruno would have been history and the resulting wet-dream would have kept the Governor so satisfied that the Emperor would have kept his clothes on.
But instead, the 2006 candidate against Maltese was Baldeo, previously most famous for a gun arrest (charges dropped) during a prior campaign for City Council. And, in an almost happy accident, he nearly pulled it off.
Now, despite the agreement of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee and the Queens Democrats to support Addabbo, Baldeo is running again. Let me be clear, Baldeo has every right to run, and while I do not find his claim that he is the strongest candidate to be very compelling, it is not an argument which is facially ridiculous.
What is ridiculous is his argument that his prior showing gives him the right to be handed the nomination on a platter. By that our logic, Presidential nominee should be John Kerry.
And what Baldeo does not have the right to do is threaten to run as an independent, or endorse Maltese, if he loses the primary. But that is what he's done, threatening, even before Addabbo entered the race, to circulate petitions to create a third party, and saying he intended to run on that line in the general election regardless of the outcome of a Democratic primary.
"Let’s say he wins the primary," said Baldeo of Addabbo, "he’ll still have to deal with me, and the reality is, he can’t win."Brillaint tactic; sort of like Cleavon little in "Blazing Saddles" pointing the gun at himself and threatening to shoot the new Sheriff. The best thing Baldeo had going for him was a claim to the moral high ground. So sad that he chose to forfeit that ground even before it clear whether his claim for it was even going to be contested.
If Baldeo is really as strong as his follower (the lack of plural is not a typo) says he is, he'll win the nomination. If he's not, he'll lose. That's called democracy. Meanwhile Baldeo’s supporter argues that no one should run against Baldeo because that could result in a split general election vote hadning the seat to the Republcians.
Baldeo’s the one threatening to run on an independent line come primary defeat or not. I say that anyone who won’t promise to drop out should they lose the primary should forfeit any claim on support of voters who care about ending Joe Bruno’s reign. And the ugly and ceaseless attempts by Baldeo's hired hands to portray Addabbo as a racist must stop.
Luckily Baldeo is more of a lone wolf than a faction; the same cannot be said of Queens’ small but hardy band of “progressives”. To their credit, the “progressives”, whatever their misgivings about Addabbo, seem to have caught on that Baldeo is unworthy of their support this time out. Unfortunately, that has not stopped them from other quixotic activities.
A constant refrain this year is that the “progressive” losers who undertook hopeless races last time out should be given another chance. Congressional candidate Steve “Stevie Wonder” Harrison and Suffolk State Senate candidate Jimmy Dahroug each lost races by 14 points that progressives now brand as “close”, even though Hillary’s similar defeat in North Carolina was branded by them as a landslide defeat. Somehow, we are said to owe these losers a second or (in Dahroug’s case) third shot, even though the same “progressives” would rightly deny the same to upstate DINO reactionary Jack Davis, who came closer in his Congressional race than Dahroug or Harrison.
By the “progressive’s” own Dahroug-Harrison logic then, Elizabeth Crowley, who fought the good fight last time against Former Councilman Dennis “the Menace" Gallagher, when no one in the party, family included, gave her a shot, would seem to have earned her second chance as well.
Actually, I understate the case. Since Harrison and Dahroug’s current races involve primaries, and Crowley’s race was a de facto general election, the argument that other Democrats should have stepped aside in her favor was far more compelling in Crowley’s case than it is in the other races I've mentioned. However, given the Dem/Rep margin at the Council, it could be argued that far less was at stake.
However, that argument was dead wrong.
It is clear that the Republicans intend to use this seat as a breeding ground for their choice for Serph Maltese's eventual successor, provided they hold Serph’s seat, so killing their choice in its cradle would have been nice.
Moreover, the Republicans saw this race as crucial to holding Maltese’s seat. In the war of perceptions, A Republican victory is a great boost for Serph’s chances, and has already helped their efforts to create buzz and momentum to aid their fundraising on a statewide basis. Rightly or wrongly, Como’s victory will be taken as a sign that Democratic victory in the fall is not such a sure thing; and such perceptions can make all the difference in the world to the Albany contributing class.
But, a Democratic victory in the northern, more Republican end of Serph’s district would have been seen as the beginning of the end for Joe Bruno, opening the floodgates for Democratic fundraising, while leaving the Republicans high and dry. And, with a popular former Republican Councilman challenging the Republican organization’s choice, the perception of inevitable Democratic victory could have been created with a minority of the votes.
But insurgent “progressive” Democrat Charles Ober had other ideas; his pathetic 10% of the vote ego trip cost Crowley victory by a mere 38 votes.
Why couldn’t Ober have let Crowley win the special, and instead waited for the primary to contest her? Even had she won, Crowley would have been virtually without any advantage of incumbency, and the Republicans would have been far weakened.
Ober could have endorsed Crowley in the special, making it clear his challenge was coming later, and he would have gotten some nice publicity as a person of integrity for what would have been a laudable act of selflessness.
Yes, Crowley was no Jerry Nadler, but she was liberal enough to be endorsed by Queens’ gay Democratic club. Instead Ober gave Serph Maltese a double-sized cocktail of steroids and viagara. And now his campaign has the nerve to claim they have performed a public service.
Having engaged in a kamikaze act of self indulgence, they now seek to facilitate “progressive” challenges to Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, possessor of a near-perfect liberal voting record, and James Van Bramer, Queens’ first openly gay Democratic State Committeeman.
Can an endorsement of Baldeo be next? Of course, there is one person who has given Nolan a good scare in the past by running candidates against her; perhaps Ober should consider asking this person for help.
But the idea of Queens “progressives” making common cause with Vito Lopez really isn’t much of a punchline, when they’re already making common cause with Serph Maltese, whether they know it or not. The fact that they (unlike Baldeo) obviously have no intention to help Joe Bruno only makes the stupidity of their actions that much more pathetic.
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