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Queens Chronicle

Defending the chairman

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

As former elected officials from Queens County, we have had the opportunity to work very closely with Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa. We have known Phil for over 30 years and in our experience, he is one of the most honest, diligent, decent and forthright people we have had the pleasure to be associated with in our many years in public service.

Phil has led this Queens County organization for the last seven years and has been an exceptional leader. We admire how he has shown great vision in growing the Queens Republican Party, recruiting a new group of active and dedicated members to lead our party into the future, and attracting talented and qualified candidates to run for office.

It is always shocking when someone in the political arena betrays the public trust and is accused of corrupt activities. It is even more disturbing when those accused are individuals we’ve known for years. What is even more unfortunate and disappointing is when political opportunists use such circumstances to advance their own narrow agendas and personal aspirations for power.

The recent scandal involving two Queens Republicans is allegedly of their own making and now, they must face the consequences. No one should be so cynical as to make baseless charges as to the integrity and forthrightness of Phil Ragusa, or to attempt to use this scandal to tarnish his good name and reputation. No one should be accused of guilt by association.

We realize that there are some who have been trying to replace Chairman Ragusa almost from the minute he was elected chairman. We are appalled at their crass attempt to twist these unfortunate events into a tool to use to undermine Chairman Ragusa’s authority and to serve their own purposes and longstanding agenda.

If these people had more experience, maturity and a basic sense of decency they might instead use this as an opportunity to bring people together and to rally the Queens Republican Party behind their leader and their fellow Republican candidates instead of heading down a path that can only result in damaging the party and further eroding the public’s trust in their Republican elected officials, party leaders and candidates.

We continue to give our full and unqualified support to Phil Ragusa as chairman of the Queens Republican Party and stand ready to defend him against these transparent attacks from longstanding and predictable foes.

Serphin R. Maltese
Former New York State Senator
Former Queens GOP Chairman
Glendale
Frank Padavan
Former New York State Senator
Jamaica Estates
Michael J. Abel
Former New York City Councilman
Bayside

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