When Queens County Democratic Chairman Crowley talks – candidates listen


| lpenner@queenscourier.com |


Video and sketch courtesy of NYPD

New York State Senator Tony Avella withdrawing from the race for Queens Borough President is no surprise.  Once Congressmember and Queens County Democratic Party Chairperson Joseph Crowley crowned former NYC Councilmember Melinda Katz as his choice, the previous crowded field began to disappear.  State Senator Tony Avella now joins NYC Councilmember Leroy Comrie, Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik and State Senator Jose Peralta as loyal members in good standing. They have taken the “hint” from Crowley and folded their tents to move on elsewhere.  Don’t be surprised when they are rewarded by Crowley by becoming Deputy Borough President or go to work for the next NYC mayor, city comptroller or public advocate.  Only Astoria New York City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. has the cojones to stay in the race until the bitter end.  Of course having raised over $1.4 million dollars doesn’t hurt to remain competitive against former NYC Councilmember Melinda Katz –the Queens County Democratic clubhouse officially designated candidate.

Republican candidate Aurelio Arcabascio outside of his Astoria neighborhood is virtually unknown.  Money is the mother’s milk of politics.  Without it, candidates are unable to grow and compete.  Former Governor Pataki, former Mayor Guiliani, former GOP NYC Councilmembers Mike Abel, Anthony Stabile, Tom Olgibene, Anthony Cuomo or Dennis Gallagher, State Assemblymember Doug Prescott, State Senators Frank Padavan and Serf Maltese or Congressmember Bob Turner along with Queens GOP Chairperson Phil Ragusa have yet to raise and dollars which would enable Aurelio “Tony” Arcabascio to run a competitive race. He has only raised less than $5,000 to date.

As of April 1, 2013 there are 1,076,439 active voters including 703,202 Democrats, 128,335 Republicans, 206,770 Blanks (no declared party affiliation), 27,556 Independence, 5,862 Conservative, 3,280 Working Family and 1,235 registered voters in Queens.  Arcabascio will need a million dollars for direct mail, telephone banks, newspaper, radio and television advertising to overcome these overwhelming odds if he is to be taken seriously.  This is necessary to level the playing field against whomever the Democrats nominate.  No wonder the last Republican queens borough president was James A. Lundy who served from 1952-1957. Ditto for Nat Hentel who served as the last GOP district attorney in 1970.  By comparison, the odds of winning the recent $600 million dollar lotto were easier!