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Queens Chronicle

QUEENS VOTES 2018 Paladino vows to fight Dems in Albany

Whitestone resident contending in GOP primary for Sen. Avella’s seat

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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:30 am

Vickie Paladino might be known best for heckling Mayor de Blasio in Whitestone last July because he went to protest in Germany a day after the slaying of an NYPD officer. The scene was captured in a viral video and was widely covered in the media.

But for years before the confrontation, the lifelong Whitestone resident, who’s running against Douglaston resident Simon Minching in a Republican primary race for state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), has been unapologetically vocal with her right-wing views.

“I’ve always been an activist,” she said last Thursday in a sitdown interview with the Chronicle’s editorial board. “Anybody who saw that video who knew me said, ‘Oh, there goes Vickie being Vickie.’ With anybody who didn’t know Vickie — apparently, it made a splash.”

The de Blasio incident was not even the first time she heckled a powerful Democrat.

Eight years ago, she met U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center when she was volunteering for a City Council campaign.

“I went right up to him and he thought I was a fan and I shook his hand,” Paladino recalled.

“I said, ‘How do you do?’ He said, ‘I’m fine.’ I said, ‘Great, I have a few questions I’d like you to answer for me, Mr. Schumer.’ He said, ‘Let go of my hand.’ And I said, ‘But you didn’t answer my questions.’”

She said she ultimately let go of his hand, though, after a police officer friend tapped her on the shoulder and said she should let go of it, warning that she could be arrested.

“But I did ask him my questions when he got to the podium and my questions were answered,” she said.

Paladino says maintaining Republican control of the state Senate is crucial to keeping a check upon the Democrats.

“Our mayor has done everything to take the city apart limb by limb and he’s got all the help he needs up in Albany,” the candidate said.

She argues state government spending is out of control and needs be reined in with a fiscally conservative approach, warning that New York could end up with serious financial problems of the sort Illinois has.

“This took years to get like this, it’s going to take years to fix it,” said Paladino.

“What I can be is a firewall against de Blasio and against Cuomo and against that leftist, liberal socialistic, communistic government that’s taking over our state,” Paladino said. “Even soft Democrats don’t like what they see.”

She says the district she’s running for is facing a declining quality of life.

“Our senior citizens are being pushed out,” she said. “I’ve never seen so many For Sale signs going down a block. One block, three For Sale signs. It’s a mass exodus out of here. People cannot afford to live here anymore.”

She also sympathizes with the issues faced by small business owners, having been one herself. Paladino ran a landscaping company with her husband for 32 years and worked as the chief operating officer of a manufacturing company for a decade.

“People would ask me: ‘Vickie, why don’t you run? Why don’t you run?’” Paladino said. “I had other obligations. I was running a business. I was raising a family.”

Recently, the candidate has been an outspoken defender of the Specialized High School Admissions Exam. De Blasio wants the test abolished as part of his plan to make the eight specialized schools — which have mostly white and Asian students — more reflective of the city’s demographics. He’ll need support from Albany to succeed, though, because state law dictates that the SHSAT is the sole admissions criterion for the eight institutions.

“What Mayor de Blasio is doing is a disgrace,” Paladino said. “It’s an absolute tearing up of our education system.”

She says the mayor should instead focus on improving poor-performing public schools.

“Hey de Blasio, fix what’s broken!” the candidate said. “The SHSATs are not broken.”

One of her sons graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, one of the specialized institutions. “He had to take an exam. He worked very, very hard to pass that test,” she said.

A fan of President Trump, the candidate also has no love for City Hall’s “sanctuary city” policies.

“Build the wall,” she told the Chronicle.

Paladino is also opposed to de Blasio’s plan to dismantle the Rikers Island jail complex and his plan to open supervised injection centers.

The race between Minching and Paladino isn’t the only primary contest for the Senate seat they want. Avella is facing a Democratic challenge from former City Comptroller John Liu, in a rematch of their 2014 race.

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1 comment:

  • livelyreggie posted at 11:24 am on Mon, Jul 30, 2018.

    livelyreggie Posts: 58

    Now here's a candidate I can get behind! Finally! Someone who gets it. Not a fraud or a phony, but a go-getter who may be able to at least stem the tide of corruption that's rampant within NYS, from Cuomo on down. The Queens GOP is doing their little kabuki dance and backing a know-nothing millennial, Mr. Minching, and has all but put Ms. Paladino out to the trash heap of political waste. But rest assured, she is undaunted by the corrupt Republican establishment in Queens with Ms. Joann Ariola at the helm of the sinking ship. Sadly, we all know that the RINOs that infest NYS's political system, are simply content with holding onto their little positions of power and really don't want to win any major elections as long as they are taken care of after their lost election cycle. After all, we have the ex-felon John Haggerty in charge of things....now doesn't that make us all feel good? Ms. Paladino is the real deal, and they are pushing her aside for an unelectable candidate, because, as we all know - it's just another day in politics.