2000-11-04 / Columnists

On The Beach

    As we approach the last few days of this exciting campaign season, candidates on the local and national levels are preparing to mount their final full court press to wrangle those voters who are still undecided and up for grabs.

At the top of the ticket, I will cast my vote for Gore the Bore. Although I am a registered Republican, I rarely vote the entire party; rather, I tend to vote for one's individual merits and the seminary issues that matter most to me. Electing Al Gore, in my opinion, is the responsible thing to do. Re-electing and continuing many of the Clinton Administration's policies makes sense. With an unprecedented economy, low unemployment rate, and the seeds of many new social policies in place, dare we change in mid-stream? On the issue of affability, indeed, Bush would be the life of the party and perhaps the most popular guy on campus; but we're not electing a "frat boy". Al Gore is most prepared to step into and walk in the big shoes.

I do, however, find it most irritating that so much importance is placed on
the issue of affability; and Gore's deliberate and strenuous attempts to achieve it are awkward and even disfiguring! Perhaps Tipper Gore said it
best, "You don't have to fall in love with Al Gore, I did that!" Indeed, Bush would entertain us, but we're not electing Gypsy Rose Lee!

Whomever you decide to vote for, what is most important is that one utilizes and exercises ones citizenry and is a part of the determination. Take the process seriously....and get out and vote!

As for the Senatorial race, I will reluctantly vote for Rick Lazio. My assessment of Hillary Clinton is too complex. I admire her for some reasons and am disappointed by her for other reasons; yet none of these reasons have anything to do with the betterment of New York. When I think of how wonderful it would be to have the First Lady live here and represent us in the Senate, I have to ask myself, "why?"! I think it would be much more interesting to see if she continues to reside in Chappaqua should she loose. Although I would like to see her do so, as it would show a sincere thread of intention, I believe, however, that she would not. Although she is untested, she is certainly very capable; however, I can't vote for her because her ideologies are too liberal for New York. We have liberal representation in Chuck Schumer. Since Hillary is "left of left", I believe we need a more moderate balance of ideologies and that's why I have to vote for Rick Lazio.

Now for the fun part of the house! The local State Assembly race will probably produce Audrey back for yet another term; but not with my vote. I
am truly impressed with the candidacy of Anthony Stasi. Audrey is a "party gal" and her voting record confirms that her interests lay with the Democratic Party rather than with the interests of our district. Let us not forget that Audrey Pheffer voted to eliminate the Commuter Tax, which sent nearly 400 million dollars in revenue out our door. While it benefited Westchester and Long Island, the result of her vote was a staggering loss in services for the city and her district where these services are needed most. It is reprehensible that she would cast a vote such as that. We need more responsible and representational voting from our elected officials.

Anthony Stasi would be a breath of integrity in the State Assembly. He has an intricate grasp of the complex issues and the energy to take them on and produce on our behalf. For some reason the Rockaway community has a real resistance to change; yet what we need most is leadership, a daring quality that we have not seen in sometime from our elected officials. We seem to forget that they are in our employ. We "hire" them with our vote.

Stasi's $1500 dollar tax credit is designed to help families educate their children regardless of which school they choose to send their children to. It is not only applicable to those who send their kids to private schools; rather it is a targeted tax credit for education and available to everybody. Since it is not solely for private school, it is constitutional. Stasi's plan differs from a voucher in that it is not specifically designed to enable a child to leave a damaged school and go elsewhere; therefore, it does not enable a child to leave a damaged school and go elsewhere. It is a tax credit and does not come out of the school budget. If you choose to have your child attend Beach Channel High School or Stella Maris, you would still benefit from the tax credit. Stasi states, "Today’s kids are wired! A $1500 tax credit could be extra money spent on computers or tutoring...The point is that it allows and enables parents to have more resources and a choice of how to spend it on behalf of their kids."

When Anthony Stasi speaks of the unlimited potential of our community, he beams with enthusiasm. The theme of his candidacy could be expressed in word: Imagine! When he speaks of what could be, he refers to the progress made in other areas of the city. "Staten Island was once a garbage dump. Now its a standard!" He states that our "system's greatest attribute is that we can vote for change. Audrey has simply been in office too long. She has become ineffective and can only continue to be because she is in the sunset of her political career. Even if she were to vote for the benefit of our community, she would not be able to produce. Her colleagues in Albany regard her as merely biding her time. At this point in her career we would simply be naive to expect her to make any significant departure from the status quo."

I believe that when we elect somebody new, it's a direct mandate for change. It's a rock in the river and it signals that it's time to pay attention. Anthony Stasi is of the new breed of candidates. Unlike Audrey, he did not come up through the party system. He has academic mileage and a distinguished record of civic service.

We deserve and would fare well under his leadership in the State Assembly.

The Wave has just recently decided to endorse him. I hope you will too!

Although I happen to like Anthony Weiner, I have been disappointed by his performance on behalf of us in Congress. When he initially ran in the wake of Schumer's success, he ran on the promise of quieter skies and better schools. With the erection of Doppler Radar, problems at MS 180, and additional flights at the airports, Weiner chose to squander the opportunity to make a name for himself. I believe that as responsible voters, we have to become more intolerant of elected officials who fail us. I can actually say that I'm mad at Anthony Weiner because I do like his style, his personality, etc., but his voting record makes it impossible for me to vote for him. I will most likely vote for Noah Dear. That's the beauty of our system. We can change.

***Congratulations and best wishes to Amy Schwach on her announced engagement. Howie, we may not always agree on all things political, however I must tell you, you have a lovely daughter!

***It was great to bump into Carl Alviado in Key Food recently. Carl and Michelle have been sequestered in wedded bliss. They now have a ten-month-old daughter, Alexandra Lucille Alviado, named for Carl's maternal grandmother, Lucille Kelly of Lundy's Restaurant fame. These days Carl is employed by 1-800-Flowers and travels the globe opening up new markets. I miss his presence on the Parade Committee when we used to have so much fun. Glad to know that the Alviados are happy and doing well.

***And celebrating birthdays this week are Michael Benn and James Geoghegan. Bon Anniversaire!

See you...at the polling booth!

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