2001-06-23 / Columnists

From the G-Man by Gary G. Toms

Slamming City Council Candidates

Okay, what was the last count on the number of folks running for City Council? I think it’s at 700 or something now. No, I’m just kidding, but it may as well be 700. It seems like everyone, on both ends of the peninsula, is running for this spot, and it’s really starting to make me laugh.

I really don’t know many of the candidates, and I guess that will change as Election Day draws closer. They will be jockeying for position, and many will turn to this publication for equal time to convey their intentions or seek an endorsement.

Democratic District Leader Lew M. Simon is one of the people vying for the seat. I had the opportunity to meet "Sweet Lew", about a year ago at a community event, and he was very gracious in his praise of my column.

After a long conversation about things that are happening on the peninsula, I was left with the impression that he is a man who simply wants to do the right thing for all of Rockaway. Not just the East end or West end, but all of Rockaway, and that’s a plus.

The only thing that bothers me about him is the fact that he looks like that man who’s always featured in the Pink Panther cartoons. I can’t shake that image. I don’t know if it’s the hair, the nose or what, but the resemblance is uncanny! By the way man, pull down those pants a little. You’re also starting to look like Fred Mertz from "I Love Lucy". So, the next time you see me Lew, and I bust out laughing, you’ll know why. Cue the Pink Panther music please! Good luck "Sweet Lew".

My good friend "JB", better known as John Baxter, has also put his hat into the ring. I really like John. He is a man who is misunderstood to a large extent, and many regard him as the town crier. Well, I will say this much about him. In my 26 years of living in Rockaway I have never come across anyone with as much knowledge and factual information about every inch of this peninsula as "JB" has.

He takes a page out of Superman’s book in terms of fighting for truth, justice and the American way. That may sound corny, but John Baxter is the real deal. He has put his ass on the line and battled community leaders and government officials for years, all for the sake of obtaining a better Rockaway. The man has no fear and can back up any claim he makes with documented proof. I guess that’s why I like him so much.

My only fear with "JB" is that if he wins he might become known as "The Singing Councilman", with Owen Baxter as a backup! Hey John, "C’mon Down To Rockaway" didn’t exactly make the Billboard charts you know. He’ll probably go off at 25-1 odds in the race, but so did Monarcos during the early stages of the Kentucky Derby. Do your thing "JB"!

Representing the ladies we have Joann Ariola. I do not know much about her as of yet, but I did have the chance to hear her speak at a few functions. Many tell me that she seems to be right on target with a number of ideas she has for the Rockaways, and based on her speeches, I think that assessment is valid.

Ariola is considered to be a front- runner by many, but with the recent revelations about Al Stabile, whom she was linked to at one time, she appears to be paddling up doo-doo creek with two broken oars. I guess she’s feeling a bit like Hillary Clinton during the Senate race when Bad Boy Bill was caught up in all kinds of controversy. If it’s any consolation to you Joann, Hillary did end up victorious despite her husband’s antics. I suggest you hire some really good spin-doctors, and I don’t mean DJ’s either! Here’s a new campaign slogan for you. Big Al…He Ain’t My Pal!

Another lady staking her claim in the race is Chris "Can’t Miss" Jorge. There is quite a buzz in the air about this woman and her numerous accomplishments with the local area kids and the programs that she has developed for them. I spoke to her earlier in the year, and she also came across as someone that really wants to better the community and has very interesting ways of going about it.

Although I like her chances in the race, I do not like that campaign poster that they came up with for her. Chris, lose the poster…please! You are much more attractive than that, and it makes you look like…well…you are the weakest link! Goodbye!!

There are too many candidates to rip in this installment, but as the election date approaches I promise that there will be plenty of "diss" to go around for everybody. You can run, but you can’t hide. The G-man will find you, and it won’t be pretty. Take care everybody.

See you next week!

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