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Preet can’t be beat, unless you think Loretta is better. The U.S. attorneys for the southern and eastern districts of New York, respectively, Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch, are in the midst of stellar work that should do more to clean up the political corruption that seems endemic to Albany than most so-called reforms have ever managed.
They’re going after corruption in case after case and knocking down one elected domino after another. Any city or state lawmaker who’s on the take and hasn’t been charged yet must be very, very nervous.
Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who was arrested last month on accusations that he took part in a scheme to bribe Republican officials in order to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) onto the mayoral ballot as a Republican, announced Wednesday that he will not run for a second term.
Halloran, who was first elected in 2009, was arrested April 2, along with Smith and Vince Tabone, former vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, for an alleged plot to solicit bribes to acquire a Wilson Pakula for Smith, a Democrat, in order for him to get a place on the GOP primary ballot for mayor. He was indicted late last month.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and four others were formally indicted last Thursday in the alleged bribery and extortion scheme for which they were arrested April 2.
They all pleaded not guilty in federal court in upstate White Plains on Tuesday.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) has been kicked out of the small coalition of breakaway Senate Democrats who first joined forces a few years ago to break away from the short-lived Democratic majority leadership.
One of those leaders was Malcolm Smith.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and four others were formally indicted Thursday in the alleged bribery and extortion scheme for which they were arrested April 2.
Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) has been kicked out of a small coalition of breakaway Senate Democrats who first joined forces a few years ago to break away from then-Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
The Saratogan and Syracuse.com are reporting that Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) has booted Smith from the Independent Democratic Conference.
When details first started coming out following the corruption arrest of state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), Professor Michael Krasner of Queens College just shook his head.
Krasner, a political science professor at the school school since 1970, has long been an observer of Queens politics.
Councilman Eric Ulrich said he was not surprised by the indictment of Queens GOP Deputy Vince Tabone in the alleged scheme to help state Sen. Malcolm Smith get the GOP nomination for mayor, but he was disappointed to hear of Councilman Dan Halloran’s involvement.
It might be laughable if it weren’t so serious — Republican operative Vince Tabone of Bayside was “less skilled at conducting a patdown than he was at conducting a shakedown.” That’s how the FBI described the GOP apparatchik’s failed attempt to find the wire an undercover agent was wearing when he handed Tabone a wad of cash as part of an alleged bribery scheme.
But it is serious. Deadly serious. The case unveiled Tuesday against Tabone, Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith of Hollis, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran of Whitestone and three other alleged conspirators does indeed, as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “demonstrate, once again, that a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government.”
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) were both arrested in an alleged plot to bribe GOP officials in an attempt to gain support for a potential Republican primary candidacy by Smith for mayor this year.
Officially the chairman of the Queens Republican Party is Phil Ragusa. But if what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says is true, that may come as a surprise to the borough party’s Deputy Chairman Vince Tabone, who was one of six people indicted in the scheme centered on state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
Queens Republican Party official Vince Tabone.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Jamaica) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) were arrested Tuesday morning, charged in an alleged plot to illegally affect the mayoral election.
The ongoing civil war between two factions of the Queens Republican Party is flaring up again — just in time for the 2013 city elections.
It all began when Queens Republican leaders failed to appropriately renominate Judith Stupp as the borough’s GOP commissioner on the Board of Elections by the Jan. 31 deadline. Stupp, a district leader from Bayside, is a key ally of Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa.
As a key Republican Party nomination battle for state Senate shapes up between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Forest Hills attorney Juan Reyes, the Queens Conservative Party today gave Ulrich an ideological boost by throwing him its support.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) threw his hat into the race for the 15th Senate District seat held by state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) this week — a move that pits the Republican against a Democrat in a district redrawn to include more conservative neighborhoods and which has been known to be a political wildcard.
“For the past three years, I have been honored to serve the people of my community at City Hall,” Ulrich said in an announcement made Tuesday morning via a number of social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. “I am now ready to take the fight to Albany, where I will be an independent voice for the taxpayers of Queens County. I will be a state senator that never stops fighting for the middle class.”
The war within the Queens Republican Party flared up this week when Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) accused some members of the leadership of corrupt behavior, and his targets responded by slamming the lawmaker’s own ethics.
The party has long been divided between the group that supports the leadership of Chairman Phil Ragusa and an insurgent faction, in which Ulrich has become a leader since his election to the City Council. Other prominent figures in the rebel group include Bart Haggerty, Ulrich’s chief of staff, and his brother, the political operative John Haggerty, who was recently found guilty of stealing nearly a million dollars from the 2009 re-election campaign of Mayor Bloomberg.
Estelle Cooper, 81, administrator of Flushing Meadows Park for the last 17 years, has resigned to lead a new political consulting firm.
To be known as Cooper and Company, the business is also being headed by Cooper’s grandson, Michael Balsamo. Neither could be reached for comment before the Chronicle’s deadline.
While a Queens judge has ruled that Phil Ragusa is the chairman of the borough’s Republican Party, there appears to be no truce between the two factions that have waged verbal assaults against each other, lobbing criticisms that each side has done nothing but obstruct Queens’ minority party from being able to function without internal strife.
Former Middle Village Councilman Tom Ognibene said he was considering appealing last week’s decision by Queens Supreme Court Justice Phyllis Flug. The ruling came after rival sections of the Queens GOP each nominated a new party leader at the end of September.
It’s deja vu all over again for the Queens Republican Party as one faction tries to wrest power from the other.
With Democrats greatly outnumbering Republicans in Queens, the one thing the GOP leadership doesn’t need is disunity. But that’s just what’s happening as one dissatisfied faction continues its attempt to take over the leadership.
Those supporting GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa say the attempt is illegal and will not be successful. They also point to an article in capitalnewyork.com about the possibility of Republican Councilman Peter Koo of Flushing defecting, saying it is not true and was another attempt to split the county party.
The Queens delegation to Congress could well take a hit as the state cuts two seats when redistricting this year.
And the election this month of Rep. Bob Turner (R-Queens and Brooklyn) in the 9th District has cast a monkey wrench into the work being done by the state legislature’s redistricting committee.
Down on DC
Democratic political newcomer Ed Braunstein handily defeated Vince Tabone on Tuesday to retain the District 26 Assembly seat for his party.
Governor of New York State: Andrew Cuomo (D) Carl Paladino (R)