Tag Archives: election

Candidates eyeing Avella’s seat

| mchan@queenscourier.com


State Senator Tony Avella recently announced his intent to seek re-election, but contenders vying for his 11th District seat plan on giving him a run for his money.

Republican challenger Joseph Concannon has entered the race, while Elio Forcina — who ran for State Assembly in 2010 — said he’s “strongly considering” it.

Concannon, a retired city police officer from Bellerose, told The Courier he “can do a lot more for the district” than the current leader.

“I think I can be more effective, address more of the issues in the area and spur some job creation as well,” he said. “I think in today’s economic environment, people want to work. They want opportunity in front of them.”

Concannon said the incumbent Avella “has not been effective at all in Albany” — a sentiment shared by Forcina as well.

“By many people in the district, they really feel somewhat oppressed by government getting into their business all over the place,” Concannon said. “My legislative agenda is to keep government as small as practical and as effective to relay service to the people of the state who are paying their taxes. I don’t think Avella has been good in that area at all.”

Forcina, a Democrat-turned-Republican from Whitestone, said he would run only if Kimon Thermos — a possible yet unofficial candidate — decides not to.

“I’m very fond of him, and if he wants to run, I’ll be supporting him instead,” said Forcina, an attorney and Marine Corp veteran.

Thermos could not be reached for comment.

Forcina cited Avella’s “immoral and unethical” campaign tactics against candidate Frank Padavan during the 2010 election as part of his reasons for wanting to seek office. He said Avella bashed Padavan for his religious and social views on abortion and gay marriage.

“I didn’t like the way Tony Avella’s campaign treated Frank Padavan. Avella’s message was ‘If you’re Catholic, you’re disqualified for running for public office.’ He attacked him. And because of that, I will support anyone who runs against Avella,” Forcina said.

Padavan, a popular Republican incumbent of 38 years, was ousted from his seat when Avella beat him in the down-to-the-wire race. Both candidates took shots at each other — Avella painted Padavan as a problem the voters sent to Albany for too long and as anti-woman’s rights, while Padavan insisted Avella give back alleged crooked funds provided by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee while they were under investigation by the Inspector General.

“For that reason, I think Queens needs a Republican up in the State Senate. That made me realize I could no longer be a Democrat. I don’t think Avella is able to bring anything back to his district,” Forcina said. “He gives a lot of press conferences that yield no results.”

Avella said in his announcement that “a great deal” was accomplished during his first term, but that there was still “a long way to go to reform Albany.” He said since taking office, he has “served this district faithfully, both in Albany and in the community, through bi-partisan legislative efforts, an unbridled defense of our neighborhoods from harmful over-development and unparalleled constituent services.” His accomplishments so far, he said, include authoring and introducing more than 50 bills and co-sponsoring more than 200 bills.

The Queens County Democratic Organization did not confirm if any Democratic runners plan on challenging Avella in this year’s primary.

“We’ll see what happens,” Forcina said.


Has Obama learned to lead?

| letters@queenscourier.com

The problem in being the head of any organization is that regardless of the malfeasance of anyone, you bear the blame. With leadership comes the ups and downs. Enduring the ridicule of disappointed customers is one of the prices of being a leader, even in the absence of control.

President Barack Obama justifiably deserves the rancor of many voters. Upon his swearing in, his control of the organs of government was a unique opportunity given few presidents. Rather than exercise the power he held in his hands, he chose to indicate a direction for others to lead. By doing so, he corrupted his power, diminishing the esteem his supporters had for him.

Many prior supporters of the president hold him accountable for the dire condition of employment and are vehemently enraged by the financial aid that has returned the big banks to stability and profitability. Though the Great Recession would have become another Great Depression if the banks were allowed to fail, the average person who is underwater in their home and fearful of losing their jobs asks, “What about me?”

Current indicators point to an upturn for the economy and to improved employment. Yet the anger and fear that created the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street is not soon to disappear. The open hatred of the Republicans for Obama will only become more evident as we near November 2012.

Regardless of the eventual Republican nominee, Obama’s chances of re-election remain good. America has paid for this president’s education that finally has him standing out front of issues and fighting for what he deems right for the American people. Hopefully, if Obama is re-elected, the mistakes of the past have taught him how to lead a nation that has always stood with a leader.

Edward Horn

Eliminate voter apathy

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Amazingly, consumers seem to be spending, and Americans appear to be shedding the anxieties that have stymied confidence. American optimism is a remarkable resource that defines the U.S. as exceptional among all the nations.

Yet, the problems and threats confronting the world are ongoing and real. The multitude of dangers that could impact the U.S. make for jittery investors and frighten people, including those whose decisions will affect future employment. It also provides fodder for political gamesmanship that disregards the common good seeking electoral advantages.

The foolish vindictiveness of the political wars gave birth to the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement. At first glance, these groups would appear as far apart as possible. The common thread is the unfairness felt by their members. Americans have concluded that government and the ground rules that have traditionally governed people’s lives have been turned into political spoils used to secure future support.

Politicians have concluded that most people do not vote. The voters who count are those who do so during primaries. As the most committed voters, they usually represent hardcore advocates of extreme positions. As a consequence, only those seeking an elected office that panders to the extremes have any hope of winning their party’s primary.

Citizens are in the streets across the nation and at rallies decrying anyone who believes that government is a force for good. Probably those who are protesting will participate in the upcoming presidential election process. It would be a shame if potential voters conclude that the process is so alienating as to excuse them from voting. Only when voter apathy is defeated and Americans accept their obligation to participate can America begin healing from the polarizing cancerous political wars that currently are normal.

Edward Horn