Editorial: Help re-elect Maloney on June 26

While less of a high-profile fight than that of Cuomo and Nixon, locally the hot seat is occupied by Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, who is running against Suraj Patel, a hospitality executive and NYU professor of business ethics who is hoping to ride the “blue wave” against the Trump administration (as well as the former breakaway group of State Senate Democrats) to victory.

This so-called blue wave has been an interesting phenomenon. It has helped Nixon, an actress who has never held office, gain credibility so far in her attempts to argue Cuomo is not a true Democrat. However, her attempt to dethrone an incumbent is still an uphill one as it is also for Patel, despite his being able to outraise Maloney in recent months.

The race has not been without its controversies. As Town & Village previously reported, Patel sued two other candidates over invalid petitions and they’ve since been knocked off the ballot. Additionally, other published reports have shown discrepancies over what has been Patel’s primary residence and where he’s voted in recent years.

Town & Village interviewed Patel, an East Villager who grew up in Indiana with parents who emigrated from India, about his campaign, in March. He has some relevant political experience, having worked on both campaigns for former President Obama and having worked pro bono as an attorney for immigrants stranded at JFK last year during a travel ban. Patel would actually like to defund ICE and with immigration detention centers where families are being separated indefinitely currently making headlines, the idea doesn’t just come off as the rantings of a far-left fringe candidate. (This week, Maloney signed into legislation that would end this despicable and un-American policy and has been protesting the separations.)

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Maloney’s former opponent writes book about race

By Sabina Mollot

Two years ago Robert Ardini, a marketing executive, was running a campaign against Carolyn Maloney for her long-held seat in Congress. The Republican political outsider ultimately only got 16.08 percent of the vote, but said he learned a number of lessons from the race, which he has since outlined in a new book called Running for Congress in Trump’s Backyard.

Ardini, formerly a Manhattanite who now lives in Long Island City, spoke with Town & Village about the book, which was semi-self-published through CreateSpace. This means while the book faced editorial scrutiny from the South Carolina-based publisher, Ardini still held most of the control. He also said he wanted to do the promotion for the book himself, which he’s just begun.

He said he wrote the book for the following reasons.

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Opinion: Moving onto the next local election

Nov16 Marie Ternes

Marie Ternes

By Marie Ternes

Suffering a spat of election fatigue? The signs. The phone calls. The mailers. Oh, those mailers. Or maybe you are still in a state of post-Trump election agitation and are extra energized to do everything you can to protect New York? Regardless of your passion or disinterest in local politics, I have news for you: there is another election headed our way and I hope you will embrace it, engage in it and ultimately vote in it.

This past November 7, our Assembly Member, Brian Kavanagh was elected to the State Senate to fill a vacancy created by former Senator Daniel Squadron, leaving our neighborhood without an Assembly Member to represent us in Albany.

While we are fortunate to have great State Senate representatives in Senators Brad Hoylman representing PCVST, and Senators Liz Krueger and Brian Kavanagh nearby, we must take filling the post of Assembly Member for the 74th Assembly District with renewed interest.

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As for borough president…

Feb23 Gale Brewer

Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is seeking a second term against three unknown candidates and being the Democrat incumbent, we’re sure she’ll clobber them. However, the fact is that it doesn’t matter who wins this race since the position is useless. The purpose is to be a cheerleader for one’s borough, appointing members to community boards and, if one is ambitious, coming up with ideas that hopefully City Council members will pick up. 

 

Last year in T&V’s “Politics & Tidbits” column, former Assembly Steven Sanders called the office that borough presidents hold, as well as the office that evolved into the public advocate “throwbacks to an earlier age in the last century when they were relevant.” Now, he pointed out, “It has become mostly a springboard to run for mayor or comptroller, where the actual power resides. The current mayor and current comptroller are prime examples of that.”

We like Brewer and that she’s so passionate about Manhattan’s mom-and-pops. But her position kind of handcuffs her from doing anything about this worsening crisis. She recently conducted a study of vacant storefronts and the results were not exactly shocking: Retail blight is getting worse. Her office didn’t respond when we asked what the next steps were on acting on this knowledge, and we’re guessing this is because there aren’t any. Brewer, previously an effective City Council member, should run for another position where she can actually make a difference.

Nov2 Brian Waddell

Brian Waddell

 

Also on the ballot is Stuyvesant Town small business owner and community activist Frank Scala. A good man we respect but we don’t know how he’d magically affect real change with such limited power, either.

If you want to vote against wasting taxpayer money pick a candidate named Brian Waddell. This candidate, on the Reform and Libertarian lines, is running with the idea of eliminating the office completely on his first day if elected. In an amusing Q&A Waddell conducts with himself on his website, the candidate asks: “Is the rent too damn high? Yes, but there is nothing a borough president can do about it, so let’s get rid of them.”

We endorse this plan and this candidate.

Note to candidates: ST/PCV is off limits to door-knocking

Rick Hayduk (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the election coming in November, candidates for City Council as well as those canvassing for them should take note: Stuy Town is off limits.

Stuyvesant Town’s general manager Rick Hayduk said at a meeting this week held by the 13th Precinct Community Council that while door-knocking isn’t illegal in the city, it is against the “house rules” on the property.

His comment was in response to a complaint from a resident at the meeting who said door-knockers were roaming the complex before the primary election in September.

Hayduk agreed that “It was pretty rampant (during the primary).”

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Letters to the editor, July 27

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Why I welcome new homeless shelter

Re: “Neighbors demand answers on planned E. 17th St. shelter,” T&V, July 27

I welcome any facility and program that helps the homeless. I welcome the day that there is a home for every person. And was also happy to learn that the topic of housing our local homeless was raised at the BRC community meeting.

We have Gene living on 14th Street and First Avenue on and off for the past two years.  And John who lives in a wheelchair on First Avenue for more years than that. Several homeless who reside on 15th Street by the Con Ed building and many more neighborhood regulars panhandling in front of our local banks and stores. Homelessness affects the person that is struggling with their life and it also affects every one of us who pass them on the street while shopping or enjoying our neighborhood. It’s sad and upsetting and lessens the daily experience of our community and our city.

Therefore I strongly encourage BRC to welcome in the homeless that inhabit this area. It makes it a win-win.

With blessings,

Susan Turchin, ST  Continue reading

Maloney’s tips for women candidates

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, pictured at center campaigning last June in Stuyvesant Town, said candidates need to be prepared for constant battle. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, pictured at center campaigning last June in Stuyvesant Town, said candidates need to be prepared for constant battle. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

With the presidential election still a recent memory and New York City races for mayor and the City Council now heating up, Town & Village turned to Carolyn Maloney, who’s represented Manhattan’s East Side in Congress for nearly a quarter century, for some advice for would-be elected officials.

Note: While this article was actually supposed to be a guide for women seeking office, all the tips that were shared by Maloney would work just as well for male candidates. For some background, prior to first getting elected in Washington in 1992, the Upper East Side Democrat served for 10 years as a member of the City Council.

Read on for her guide to success at the voting booth and upon getting elected, success as a lawmaker.

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Opinion: Waiting for number 2

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders
Some might remember the great 1980’s party game that for a time swept the nation called “Trivial Pursuit.” It matched players’ wits against little known facts from various areas of history. Example: Name the original four Beatles. Or, who was the first man in space? You get the idea. But better yet, who were the last two New Yorkers to be on the Republican Party national ticket? See how well you do (answers below). This is a particularly interesting trivia question since the 2016 presumptive Republican nominee for president was born and still lives in New York.
But this year’s “party game” of selecting a vice presidential running mate for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has much more consequence than Trivial Pursuit because it is about the future and not the past. And it is very much about who can help each nominee of their party win enough electoral votes in their pursuit to become president of the United States. These decisions will be made within the next few weeks as each party prepares for their National Conventions over the summer.
The first question is what are the “legal” qualifications needed to become vice president? You hope that the vice presidential candidate will have the stature and experience to become president if for whatever reason the incumbent president leaves office. That circumstance has actually occurred on eight occasions. But the answer is that there are three legal criteria. First, you need to be a natural born citizen of the United States. Then you need to be at least 35 (your age, not your IQ). And finally, you may not reside in the same state as the presidential nominee. That’s pretty much it. But the political considerations are much more involved.
The primary rule of thumb, like a doctor’s oath, is first to do no harm. A candidate for vice president must not detract from the presidential nominee in any way. After the fact, John McCain may have had buyer’s remorse having picked little known Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2008. Her glittering presence was a constant source of distraction from Senator McCain. In many ways, she upstaged him with her unscripted homilies about, well, just about everything. She attracted more media attention for her provocative remarks than McCain ever expected. In the end, she proved to be a minus, not a plus. And John McCain went down to defeat at the hands of novice Senator Barack Obama. In contrast, Obama chose the venerable Senator Joe Biden who in spite of his occasional gaffes along the way gave Mr. Obama the added credibility of a tried and tested politician who would not hog the spotlight but could competently assume the presidency.
Way back in 1960, underdog John F. Kennedy chose as his running mate the wily Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson from Texas who helped Kennedy carry not only his home state but also several other critically important southern states in a historically close election. “All the way with JFK and LBJ” proved to be a winning slogan and a cunningly smart choice. This in spite of the fact that the two men cared very little for one and other. But it was a political marriage made in heaven. In 1968, Republican candidate Richard Nixon from California picked Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew to balance the ticket geographically, and to add a tough-talking conservative to appeal to culturally angry white voters. It worked.

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Maloney fires back at challenge by opponent

Peter Lindner

Peter Lindner

By Sabina Mollot

Last week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as well as her opponent, a Union Square Democrat named Peter Lindner, managed to stay on the ballot following challenges each made against the other’s candidacy.

Lindner, a 66-year-old computer programmer and political outsider, had challenged Maloney based on a simple paperwork error.

In his challenge, Lindner pointed out that she had entered the incorrect zip code on her address on her paperwork following a recent move.

“I wondered if that would invalidate it,” Lindner said. However, he added that the challenge was tossed because he’d sent his mailed challenge to an aide rather than Maloney herself.

Lindner then faced a challenge to his candidacy by Maloney, who pointed out that her opponent had nowhere near the required 1,250 signatures to get on the ballot.

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