2001-06-23 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

While the Queens County Republican Party is in a quagmire of sordid allegations of bribery, misuse of campaign funds, and political clout in exchange for money equivalents, the Democratic Party is busy preparing its full court press in this election season.

Tom Ognibene, the Republican County Chairman, has all but been indicted for accepting "gifts" in the form of vacation trips in exchange for his connections with the Building Department, while our Councilman Stabile is alleged to have traded land that belonged to the Ozone Howard Little League, an organization which he had founded and had presided over for a number of years.

There are also allegations swarming that the Councilman misappropriated campaign funds to pay for his daughter's wedding at Russo's On The Bay. It all sounds like a treatment for an episode on the Soprano's. The Democrats couldn't write a better script!

With each seamy allegation, I suppose the smartest decision Alex Lutz has made is to not enter into this race. Perhaps you know Alex. He was about to run for his boss's seat, running on the fact that he is Stabile's Chief of Staff. Well, when all broke loose, he must have decided, very mildly, this wasn't a good time.

Perhaps Joann Ariola, the most seasoned of the Republican candidates, will decide the same? After all, Joann began her political career under Al's wing as his second Chief of Staff. Although she was able to garner a tremendous amount of experience and grow, many wonder how she can run as a Republican when she has been employed by Democrat Noach Dear.

Joann is very savvy and she will be a formidable candidate in this race. Her only opposition in the Republican primary will be Belle Harbor Attorney John Macron, whom we will be hearing a lot about. Personally, I can't wait for all the debates!

Chris Jorge has been seen everywhere! While driving the other morning, I spotted Chris campaigning all over Howard Beach! And then while in my Doctor's office, I noticed her literature on the counter. Mon Dieu! Don't underestimate how hard this woman campaigns!

Isn't it interesting how, now that there are term limits, that there is such a thing as matching funds? After all, weren't matching funds needed more before the passing of term-limited positions? One can surmise that rather than equalizing the campaign process with the creation of matching funds, it is matching funds that help finance, promote, and advance the political careers of those politicians who are term-limited. Hmmm!

And speaking of matching funds being applied to this campaign season...Did you know that there will be millions of dollars, of your tax money, spent on this local election alone? With eight or nine candidates running in the west end and eight or so running in the east, those are a lot of campaigns that WE will be financing!

Get ready to set sail! The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 21 and 22 will host their annual Sunset Cruise aboard the River Rose on Friday, June 29. The boat will embark at promptly 7:30 p.m. from Paddy K's Tavern on the Bay. The price is $100 per couple, which includes a hot buffet, wine, beer, soda, cash bar, coffee and cake. Come aboard and dance the night away on an enjoyable excursion around Manhattan Island. Contact Dr. Peter Galvin for details.

Major Car Wash, formally located on Beach Channel Drive next to Waldbaum's has relocated and is now called Empire Car Wash. You will find Sam, Leo, and Vito and their nice parents operating their fine business on Beach Channel Drive just east of Mott Avenue. Why go over the bridge? They are still here offering the same great Car Wash service. Good Luck, guys!
   See you...On the Beach!

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