Local Republicans Jumpstart South Queens Club
Roughly a year after the old Gateway Republican Club, which was based in the Rockaways and Broad Channel, shut its doors for the second time in a generation, a group of Rockaway residents are re-starting a South Queens Republican club.
According to Stuart W. Mirsky, a founding member of the new Republican group who recently retired from his position as Assistant Commissioner for Operations in one of the city’s mayoral agencies, "We want to create a viable alternative to the de facto one-party political system we now have . . . a system that’s short-circuited real democracy and left voters without any genuine alternative while enabling Democrats to operate without the kind of competition that used to make Avis try harder than Hertz!"
Recalling what he saw this past Election Day, Mirsky adds "I was totally shocked when I went into the voting booth and faced a ballot with 90% of the candidates’ names the same under all the party labels. That’s not the way democracy is supposed to work! Where’s the choice? "
The new group, which had its first meeting in early November, aims to build a grassroots organization focused on the libertarian philosophy of restrained government, lower taxes and enhanced governmental accountability. According to another founding member, Queens businessman George Greco, "We need to get back to a Constitutional perspective reflecting the principles on which this country was founded. That’s the only way society can be robust and economically strong, when individuals take responsibility for their own actions and governments do the same." Adds Greco, "In fact, this city needs to be run more like a business if it’s to find a way out of the fiscal hole it periodically stumbles into. This means re-thinking city government to make it more efficient and thus less costly to operate."
There are a great many areas where the city can still cut to save money, without being forced into unpalatable layoffs, adds Mirsky. "We want to urge the Mayor to look at actual city operations, to make them more business-like and efficient. Given Mayor Bloomberg’s background in the private sector as a phenomenally successful business- man himself, he’s ideally suited for this kind of initiative." The new Rockaway-based Republican group, say Greco and Mirsky, aims to highlight the need for greater governmental accountability for every dollar of taxpayer money spent and to encourage government, at all levels, to avoid interposing itself in the private lives of its citizens.
Another founding member, Tom Lynch, adds: "We also want to let the nation know we support President Bush for the courage and vision he demonstrated in the aftermath of the attacks that shook our city and country on September 11, 2001. The President took exactly the right steps in defending the nation against the vicious terrorists who destroyed the twin towers and attacked other parts of this country on that day and we think it’s pretty awful that many of this city’s politicians have been so ungrateful."
According to Lynch, the new group will initially focus on gathering signatures of support to thank the President for his efforts and courage in the face of the destruction of 9/11 and to counter-balance the angry anti-Bush partisans who seem to dominate so much of this city’s politics.
"Personally, I’m ashamed of the way politicians in this town, starting late last year with the City council’s majority ‘yes’ vote on resolution # 549, declared their lack of support for our president’s position on enforcement of United Nations resolution 1441," Lynch adds. "The fact that politicians seemed to jump on the anti-Bush bandwagon just to make some political hay at a time when unity is essential, is deplorable."
The petition drive, to express New Yorkers’ support and thanks to President Bush, is beginning in the Rockaways where many police and firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th lived.
Lynch notes that he hopes the effort will grow to include support from all New Yorkers and culminate in a presentation to the President when he comes to New York next August for the Republican National Convention.
"The fact is, we have several aims," adds Mirsky. "We want to build a real opposition that will be able to take the Dems on in the outer boroughs with viable Republican candidates. At the same time, we want to work to enhance the libertarian orientation of the modern Republican Party, make New York City government better and economically affordable for the taxpayer, and raise the flag in support of a President who has been unfairly derided and diminished in some of the media and by partisan politicians who have, as their main goal, reclaiming power, with little apparent regard for the real interests of this nation."
"We’re encouraging others who feel as we do," says Lynch, "to get in touch with us and join a new liberty-oriented Republican groundswell for this President and his solid track record of national defense and pro-growth economics."