2001-07-07 / Front Page

Ariola: ‘Political Deal For My Failure Led to Me Leaving Al’

Ariola: ‘Political Deal For My Failure Led to Me Leaving Al’

"My vision for this district is much different than Al’s," says Joanne Ariola, who was once Al Stabile’s executive director and is now running for her former mentor’s open seat on the council.

Ariola contacted The Wave to clarify her relationship with Stabile and to "dispel all of those rumors about why I left his office."

She says that one has to go back to the 1996 election to understand the background of why she chose to leave and to go and work for Councilman Noach Dear instead.

That was the year that Ariola ran against Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer for her assembly seat.

"I ran an active campaign," she says, "and I expected to win."

She says that near the end of the campaign, however, she found that a deal had been struck between Democratic and Republican leaders to insure that both of the incumbents should reatain their seats. Stabile would be guaranteed the win against Joe Addabbo and Pheffer would be guaranteed the win against Ariola.

"I knew that political deals such as that one happened all the time," she says, "but it took me a long time to digest the fact that somebody as close to me as Al had made a deal to insure my failure."

It was then, the candidate said, that she decided to leave Stabile’s side and look elsewhere.

"I know that there are a lot of rumors that I left Stabile because he refused to back me for his job," she says. "There was never any question about my not running for the seat and Al’s decision to back Alex (Lutz) has nothing to do with my leaving him."

"I never wanted his backing in any case," she adds. "I wanted to distance myself from him before all of the things that eventually came out did come to light."

She also dispels the rumors that she was the one who "leaked" the information about Stabile to the press.

"I would never have masterminded Al’s demise, because that just makes it harder for me as a Republican to win my election," she told a Wave editor.

"I am tired of smoke and mirror politicians," she concluded. "Those politicians who show up for elections and then disappear when they win. I do not plan to be that kind of politician."

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