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Queens Chronicle

Vallone: You gotta give your prez a shot

Pol talks proposed federal cuts to NY

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Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017 10:30 am

In a striking departure from many of his Democratic colleagues, Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) says that President Trump deserves a chance.

“I’m not Republican but still, you gotta give your president a shot,” Vallone said at last Wednesday’s Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Civic Association meeting, after saying that many New York elected officials were extremely critical of the president. “And I don’t think anyone gave him a shot.”

Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo have declared that they will do everything in their power to undermine Trump’s agenda short of declaring him persona non grata in the five boroughs. According to Vallone, attitudes about him in New York factored into the president not making the state a priority and planning to cut funding for the area.

“The result is... If everybody’s railing against me in a particular neighborhood, do you think I’m gonna go run and say, ‘Let’s put $6 million in that neighborhood?’” Vallone said. “We’re gonna go and work with the groups that are appreciative. Clearly, New York is not that, so everybody feels that pain now.”

Vallone’s comments came after a man at the civic meeting said the mayor is against Trump and should be “serving us, not illegal criminals.”

Paul Graziano, who is challenging Vallone in the nascent primary race for his seat, took issue with the councilman’s remarks.

“I have no problem giving the president a chance as long as the president isn’t going to punish us in a political sense for something we shouldn’t be punished for,” he said, referring to the idea of New York getting hurt by Trump because of some speaking out against him.

The Flushing resident, who was among several hopefuls who lost to Vallone in the same race in 2013 when the Council seat was open, added that NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill has said that the proposed federal cuts would be bad for New York City’s fight against terrorism.

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