Too many politicians in Albany have forgotten that they work for the people, not the other way around. Our state government has been the most inept in the nation for a long time, but this may be the year voters finally declare they’ve had enough and elect a significant number of new senators and assemblymen and women.
We’re not going to go quite as far as The New York Times did when it advocated voting out all incumbent Assembly members — tempting as that one-size-fits-all advice may be. But there are a few races that warrant endorsements in the Sept. 14 Democratic Party primaries.
The 39th Assembly District
In Assembly District 39 in western Queens, a seat left vacant by Jose Peralta when he became the area’s state senator, the choice could not be more clear. One candidate is a responsible community activist and the other an unstable scoundrel with a history of violence.
Francisco Moya, who has the backing of the Democratic Party and every other elected official in the district, started a civic group, the Corona Gardens Neighborhood Association, when he was just 15. He went on to work for Rep. Nydia Velazquez and in Elmhurst Hospital. A genuine community advocate like Moya, with civic, governmental and healthcare experience is just what’s needed in Albany.
His opponent is ex-state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, star of the video that shows him roughing up his girlfriend and won him a misdemeanor assault conviction and expulsion from the Senate. Even if Moya weren’t a fine candidate, a vote for Monserrate is a vote for insanity. The gentleman needs to find a new line of work.
We endorse Francisco Moya.
The 28th Assembly District
In District 28 in central Queens, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi has not been much of a presence either in Albany or at home. He’s not big on lawmaking or constituent service. His official website tells the tale —it has just one photo of him at a community event, and he hasn’t posted a press release since 2007. Some pols put out a release every time they turn around, but it seems Hevesi just can’t be bothered, or has nothing to say. He’s like a college kid getting by with the old gentleman’s C.
But his opponent, attorney Joe Fox, has plenty to say on the issues and deserves a chance to do it from the floor of the Assembly. Fox has experience in both the public and private sectors, working for clients ranging from the owners of expanding businesses to destitute homeowners facing foreclosure. He says he’ll focus on the state’s fiscal mess, governmental transparency and healthcare if elected. Albany needs fresh thinking and Fox has it, earning the “Hero of Reform” label from former Mayor Ed Koch’s New York Uprising — a big plus.
We endorse Joe Fox.
The 33rd Assembly District
In District 33 in eastern Queens, attorney Clyde Vanel is challenging Assemblywoman Barbara Clark. Clark is one of those lawmakers who appears to do little more than vote as Speaker Sheldon Silver directs while setting up “charities” with our money to benefit her cronies. More than half of the half-million dollars she’s funneled to the so-called Community Care Development Project reportedly has gone to overhead, not the community.
Vanel should be more specific about policy positions at this point, but we’d like to see what he can do as a lawmaker and test the independence he claims he’ll exhibit.
We endorse Clyde Vanel.