Tag Archives: tea party

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

District Attorney says Queens teacher had sex with student, 13

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

District Attorney says Queens teacher had sex with student, 13

Prosecutors say a New York City public school teacher is being charged with rape for a sexual relationship with a student that began when she was just 13. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says 44-year-old Charles Oross engaged in a sexual relationship with the teen from January 2009 to April 2010. The district attorney said the encounters happened at the school, Intermediate School 238 in Queens, and in Oross’ car. Oross, of East Islip, N.Y., was awaiting arraignment Thursday. No information about an attorney was immediately available. Read More: Wall Street Journal


Tea Party big Mark Meckler pinched for gun possession at LaGuardia Airport Thursday 

A co-founder of an influential Tea Party group was arrested at LaGuardia Airport Thursday for illegally trying to bring a pistol and ammunition aboard a plane, authorities said. Mark Meckler of the Tea Party Patriots had a Glock 27 pistol and 19 bullets in a locked gun box — but he didn’t have a New York State permit for the firepower, which he told authorities he needs because he gets threats. Meckler, 49, handed the gun box to a Delta Airlines ticket agent around 5 a.m. Thursday, Queens prosecutors said. It was discovered during a pre-flight check. Read More: Daily News


NYPD cadet arrested for allegedly stealing this mother’s credit card in a $13 million ID theft ring in Queens 

An NYPD cadet was arrested Wednesday for stealing his mother’s credit card as part of a $13 million identity theft ring, authorities said. Raymond Gumti, 23, is accused of taking his mom’s TD Bank card and PIN numbers and using them to create a counterfeit credit card. He put the phony card in the name of another defendant who was indicted as a shopper in the scheme and racked up nearly $13,000 in unauthorized charges at stores like Apple, Louis Vuitton and Bloomingdales, a spokesman for the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office said. Read More: Daily News


Santa was really a Rotarian

Santa Claus rang his sleigh bells loudly as he combed the halls of the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) Children’s Center. Followed closely by Frosty the Snowman, the pair peeked inside various rooms, searching for children. Toys in hand, they entered one at the end of the hallway — to an eruption of delighted squeals. Read More: Queens Courier


More Liu Donors Said to Be Examined in Fund-Raising Inquiry

The federal inquiry into the campaign finances of New York City’s comptroller, John C. Liu, a possible mayoral candidate in 2013, appears to be widening, with people knowledgeable about the matter saying Thursday that there has been an increased focus on seeking information from his supporters in the Chinese-American business community. In recent weeks, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation have delivered subpoenas seeking a broad range of records and other information to a growing circle of Mr. Liu’s more generous donors, said the people knowledgeable about the matter, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Read More: New York Times


Councilman Van Bramer Volunteers At LIC Food Pantry

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and his constituents reached out to help the St. Raphael’s Parish food pantry Thursday. Read More: NY1


Cop-slay judge bails

The Brooklyn judge who unleashed a violent ex-con weeks before he allegedly killed a cop was a no-show at work yesterday — the day after Mayor Bloomberg ripped into her for a bail bungle. Judge Evelyn Laporte was nowhere to be seen in Brooklyn Criminal Court as several City Council members denounced her ill-fated decision to spring Lamont Pride without bail after his arrest last month on drug charges. There was a warrant for his arrest in North Carolina for an August shooting when he was busted on Nov.3 in New York for crack and pot possession — but Laporte ignored prosecutors’ pleas for $2,500 bail. Pride, 27, is accused of gunning down Officer Peter Figoski during a Brooklyn home invasion on Monday. Read More: New York Post


Kid shoots off finger

The 11-year-old son of a Staten Island school teacher shot off a portion of his finger yesterday while playing with his father’s illegal gun, police said. The West Brighton youth was home alone with his 8-year-old brother in the basement of their single- family home when the gun went off at 2:40 p.m., according to law-enforcement sources. Michael Bilotto, a Department of Environmental Protection construction worker, was taken into custody for possession of an unlicensed handgun, police said. Read More: New York Post


Cop slay getaway driver’s lame defense: I drove thugs in exchange for gas money

The getaway driver charged with four others in the slaying of NYPD Officer Peter Figoski admits he knew the accused triggerman was carrying a gun before the botched robbery that led to the Brooklyn cop’s murder. In an exclusive jailhouse interview with the Daily News, Michael Velez, 21, said he looked over to Lamont Pride, who was sitting in the passenger seat and saw the weapon. Velez said he was stunned — and even more so when Pride, 27, put his finger on the trigger of 9-mm. Ruger. Read More: Daily News


Hiram Monserrate’s 2009 assault conviction upheld on appeal 

A state appeals court on Thursday upheld disgraced lawmaker Hiram Monserrate’s 2009 assault conviction for roughing up his girlfriend in the lobby of his Queens apartment building three years ago. The four-judge panel dismissed the former Queens pol’s claim that prosecutors failed to prove a key element of the assault charge — that girlfriend Karla Giraldo endured “substantial pain” from a physical attack. Read More: Daily News

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

Politics Aside: Bloomberg Disinfects Zuccotti Reign of Terror

| RHornak@queenscourier.com

In the early hours on Tuesday morning, November 15, Mayor Michael Bloomberg finally directed the NYPD to clear out the squatters in Zuccotti Park, who have been holding not only the park but the entire neighborhood hostage for the last two months. And it’s about time.

What began as a simple expression of frustration about the worsening economic climate and the increasingly oppressive taxation of the middle class has degenerated into a frenzy focused on sex and drugs and masked with every fringe agenda under the sun in an attempt to maintain some sense of credibility for this “movement.”

While many left-wing power brokers, including Big Labor, Acorn and even George Soros, have tried to bolster and co-opt the Occupy Wall Street agenda, they have been unable to focus or control the out-of-control atmosphere being incited by OWS organizers. The problem appears to be that most of the protestors are more interested in the event itself than promoting a serious agenda. And they appear to be developing an overblown sense of power from all the attention being showered on them, and the havoc they can wreak with impunity.

The old adage holds that power corrupts, and the OWS movement is a perfect example. The reports have been well publicized of how they have terrorized local residents and struggling small business owners. Almost all of whom would be considered to be in their 99 percent.

OWS has broken promises not to engage in drumming for more than two hours a day, or into the late evening, to keep the park clean and free from bodily waste, and they terrorize local business owners who don’t allow protestors to use their restrooms. Additionally, crime has become rampant in the park, including sexual attacks, forcing OWS to break another rule by erecting a women’s only tent for protection.

Their shanty town breaks every city code in existence. Violations of codes for fire, zoning, health, construction, etc. have been completely overlooked by city officials, who thrive and derive their power from establishing and enforcing these codes. But for a group they desperately want to sympathize with, who they see as their left wing answer to the Tea Party, suddenly rules don’t apply.

Bloomberg was absolutely correct in finally closing Zuccotti Park and giving it the disinfecting it needed. If the protestors want to return, they should be required to do so according to the rules every other protest follows. They should be required to get proper permits, pay the costs required and vacate the park at the end of the day. If not, they should all be arrested for breaking laws that you and I would be arrested for if we broke tomorrow.


Last week I included Senator Jose Peralta in a list of Queens Democrats under investigation for potential corruption. There has been no official confirmation that an investigation has been launched by any branch of law enforcement.

Robert Hornak is a Queens-based political consultant, blogger, and an active member of the Queens Republican Party. 

Politics Aside: Time to occupy government

| RHornak@queenscourier.com

While the occupation of Zuccotti Park continues, observers are still trying to figure out what the Occupy Wall Street message is. While it seems to mostly be a BYO for agendas, with people there for everything from legalize drugs to anti-war to socialist revolutionaries, there does seem to be one constant theme – their taxes are too high and they are tired of getting screwed.

They are right, their taxes are too high and they have been getting screwed. That pretty much aligns them with the Tea Party people, with the main differences being the Tea Party people are much more coherent in their message, more respectful of authority and generally cleaner and well groomed.

The anger comes from basically the same place. However, the Tea Party knows who to point the finger of blame at and how to begin fixing the problem.  The Occupy Wall Street protestors think that their lot in life will improve if only the government would substantially raise taxes on the rich. They clearly haven’t had much experience dealing with politicians or what they generally do with extra cash.

In New York, they are complaining about a so-called millionaire’s tax surcharge that is set to expire at the end of the year. They are upset that the rich will be getting what amounts to a tax cut, while they continue to be overtaxed at both the state and federal level. What they probably don’t realize is that the surcharge kicks in at only $250,000. Most professional couples in New York City earn around that much with their salaries combined, and the state considers them millionaires.

The surcharge was intended to be a temporary, stop the bleeding measure. And Governor Andrew Cuomo has rightly stood firm on not extending it beyond originally stated emergency period. Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver has countered, offering to up the threshold to $1 million. Silver said that millionaires shouldn’t be getting a tax cut while “working people” are sacrificing.

And for once Silver is right. The middle class has been abused by government and deserves real tax relief now. With the income tax, retirement tax, utility taxes, sales tax, property tax and the myriad of other taxes and fees that government extracts from us on a daily basis, it’s time we collectively said enough is enough. The Tea Party gets it, and now the Occupy people get it.

If they remain by Wall Street and continue to protest American business men, they will get great attention but little results. If they want to make real change, they should move their protest to Albany, the White House and every statehouse in the country. Then watch the politicians sweat instead of the taxpayers for a change.

Robert Hornak is a Queens-based political consultant, blogger, and an active member of the Queens Republican Party.