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Queens Chronicle

QUEENS VOTES BP debate finishes with a bang on QPTV

Arcabascio, Katz exchange fire on party, class warfare accusations

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 5:18 am, Wed Dec 24, 2014.

UPDATE: Due to a technical issue during the recording, Queens Borough Public Television has canceled all scheduled cablecasts of this debate. It will run a Meet the Candidates Night program scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21, at St. John's University.

An Oct. 10 debate between the two candidates for borough president started with questions about the partial federal government shutdown and Obamacare and ended with a terse exchange over just which candidate would only represent the interests of the city’s one-percenters in Borough Hall.

The one-hour debate between Democrat Melinda Katz and Republican Tony Arcabascio is scheduled to air 12 times on Queens Public Television between today and the end of the month.

The most contentious moments came in Arcabascio’s closing remarks, during which he addressed a mailer sent out recently by the Katz campaign.

“You call me an evil Republican, a one-percenter,” Arcabascio said. “Do you mean the one percent who are the children of immigrants, who work hard and succeed? Maybe you mean the first four and a half pages of your [campaign] donations, which is how far you have to go before you see anyone who contributed less than $3,850.”

He also asked the former city Councilwoman and Assembly member how many wealthy “one-percenters” she was hob-knobbing with at a recent fundraiser for the arts in Queens.

Katz’s reply in her own closing was direct.

“Your party shut down the federal government,” she said, a shutdown that both candidates acknowledged early in the debate was hurting Queens residents.

On local issues such as job creation, Katz, citing her years as chairwoman of the Council’s Land Use Committee, said creative land use regulations and investment in infrastructure would make a difference.

She said the city is going a long way in its efforts to make Long Island City a high-tech destination. But Arcabascio said those Queens residents entering the job market with the required skills often are leaving the area for high-paying jobs elsewhere.

Touting his more than 30 years in the tech and private sectors, he said high tech is not enough, and the new borough president will have to work with businesses to foster job creation in a wide array of areas.

On education, neither showed much deference toward Mayor Bloomberg’s administration.

Katz said the initiatives that Bloomberg’s Department of Education is trying to push through in its final weeks — such as dozens of school co-locations — should be held in abeyance until a new mayor assumes office in January.

Arcabascio, without mentioning Bloomberg by name, assailed the mayor’s unrelenting attacks on the teachers’ union.

Both said the borough is woefully underfunded by the city given the respective populations of Queens and Manhattan, and that they would be better suited to take the funding fight to City Hall.

The debate was moderated by QPTV hosts Clifford Jacobs and Roslyn Nieves.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • arcabascio2013 posted at 12:03 pm on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    arcabascio2013 Posts: 3

    mel1515 Thank you for your support. With regards to my opponents position on the Affordable Care Act I believe, based on her responses at the Candidate Forum's, that she is very much behind it. I also recall her stating that she wanted to propose legislation that would allow people with no insurance to have free medical care at the privately owned urgent care centers such as Stat Med, First Med and a like. These facilities are privately owned and operated, I can't imagine how the government can pass law that they MUST provide medical care for free. Our current medical care structure allows for that. Anyone requiring healthcare can walk into an emergency room and they will be examined and provided the necessary services. If the debate were to have been aired you would have heard my response to this issue which stated that if this Affordable Care Act was to have been the solution to the 40 million people in the U.S. that didn't have insurance, why did they not devise a plan to implement it initially to accommodate those people? why was it that years after it has been approved, and a Supreme Court decision has been made those same people STILL do not have insurance. that to me is the real travesty of the Affordable Care Act and its inability to serve anyone even today. In our great country no one should be without the right to have medical attention and to be given preventive and emergency medical care. The idea was not a new one, the implementation has been abysmal.

    Thanks for all your support and I hope the people all come out on November 5th to vote for a better Queens and make the changes that will benefit the people of Queens. I thank you for all your support and look forward to being the ositive change we need!

  • mel1515 posted at 10:12 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    mel1515 Posts: 2

    tony, i was wondering if you can let me and the people know, what is your take and your opponents view on the obama health care bill?
    us seniors are mighty worried that this bill will eventually bankrupt medicare and medicaid!

  • mel1515 posted at 9:51 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    mel1515 Posts: 2

    i'm just wondering if the technical issue is another democrat ruse to hide the real truth from the people. the party of re-distibution of the peoples wealth has learned much from the corrupt administration running the country. melinda katz comes from a well to do wealthy family. spoon fed, typical democrat, who is being promoted by the left rich elitists. This guy arcabascio is a queens guy, the son of hard working immigrants, who taught that guy the meaning of what made america great! he is well schooled on the issues of what is right and wrong with queens. she has the nerve to to call him the one percent, and say he is from the party that shut down the government? she is from the party that is turning the the middle class into the poor class! like charles barkley said: " the poor and minorities in this country have been voting democratic party for 50 years, and they are still poor."
    i'm a registered democrat, and i am voting for the working guy, not the rich, pampered gal!
    good luck tony!!! we need more politicians like you!

  • arcabascio2013 posted at 11:43 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    arcabascio2013 Posts: 3

    For the record...withe regards to this article reporting that there was a technical issue that has forced the cancellation of this debate as told by QPTV, it's a lie. Call QPTV and demand that they air the debate, demand that they tell you the truth! I will not allow QPTV to tape me on Oct 21st at St John's University. It is my choice and I refuse to allow a Public Television station manipulate the public and the public's perception of any candidate.

    I invite all to please attend the St John's

    thank you!University Candidates Forum at 7PM this Monday night October 21st.

  • arcabascio2013 posted at 11:37 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    arcabascio2013 Posts: 3

    Apparently you must not know me very well 100PCCPres. I never give up, that's why I'm here today because I was taught to fight for what was just and to fight for what I believe is best not just for me but for those around me. Maybe you should pay attention to the facts more and leave the partisan politics to the people that don''t even remember the neighborhoods and towns they represent. This is a local election that will have an impact on you everyday. This is a very important election and the future of this borough hangs in the balance based on who is chosen to lead this borough for the next 4 years and probably the next 8 years. Remember, in 2009 when Ms Katz represented her constituents in the City Council she defied the will of the people and voted to extend term limits for a ll local officials. the people voted no not once but twice! she and her cronies knew better than the people and reversed the will of the people. That was done for a reason....but it didn't work out for Christine Quinn and the people will have the last word for Melinda Katz. This type of action should not be rewarded, not now and not ever. this is our government , one of the people no the elected officials! I know my place and it's to speak for the 2.3 million people of Queens, and not to speak for the people who finance my campaign and party that advances their agenda through her.
    That ferry ride with Melinda may have to wait for a while but I would be glad to take you and all that want to join us on a ferry ride any day anytime! Thanks for your comment and i hope we can discuss any issues you may have soon. my website is www.arcabascio2013.com

    Joe Moretti...thanks for your continued support and you have my word that south Queens will be one of top 5 poriorites when I take office. I have plans for that area and it all involves new business, arts and entertainment and a MUCH better Quality of Life for everyone. With your help we will make things happen. The Rockaways are also a top priority, I know that there are people eager to help out there as well. together we will make things better and we will make Queens the envy our all!

  • 100PCCPres posted at 7:43 am on Sat, Oct 19, 2013.

    100PCCPres Posts: 32

    Give it up Tony...Melinda will be our next Queens Borough President. Melinda when you WIN we will all take a ride on the Rockaway Ferry we will call it the victory ride...

  • CleanUpJamaicaQueens posted at 3:46 pm on Thu, Oct 17, 2013.

    CleanUpJamaicaQueens Posts: 121

    Go get that hypocrite Tony. Katz is full of it, a liar, not too be trusted and in developer's pockets. After twelve years of that idiot Helen Marshall, want we do not want is another Helen Marshall on steroids.

    Her line “Your party shut down the federal government,” has nothing to do with Tony at all, completely off topic.

    I am a Democrat and Tony Arcabascio gets my vote.

    GO TONY!