On The Beach
With Beverly Baxter
The Republicans Are Coming! The Republicans Are Coming!
An historic occasion took place last Thursday evening, May 12, when the Rockaway Republicans hosted a “Meet and Greet” reception at the Blarney Castle with Republican Mayoral candidate Tom Ognibene. The occasion marked the first time in over thirty years that a local Republican Club hosted a Republican candidate in Breezy Point. The event was well-attended as Ognibene was well-received by an enthusiastic audience eager to hear the voice of a true Republican candidate who espouses the party’s core principles. Mr. Ognibene has mounted a formidable grass root effort to challenge Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a Republican Primary on September 13.
While attempting to answer the most obvious question on people’s minds: How can one expect to successfully run against an incumbent Mayor who has more than a billion dollars in his canon and the blessing of the State Republican hierarchy, Ognibene draws the glaring differences-fiscal as well as physical- between himself and the Mayor. He accuses the Mayor, a Liberal cloaked in a Republican facade, as standing on his wallet; while Ognibene, a towering 6’4, stands (and is running) on pure principle.
“The Republican Party has been sold to the highest bidder who happens to be a Liberal Democrat who has exploited and bought the party to further his own political gain. When people ask how I can audaciously buck the Republican hierarchy and run against an incumbent Republican, I say to them,
“ I’m not running against a fellow Republican, I am running against five Democrats!” states the former two-term City Councilman and Republican Minority Leader in the Giuliani Administration. He cites and seeks to advance the accomplishments of a Republican Leadership. “It was due to the aggressive Republican social policies that we became the safest large city in the U.S. We reduced the Welfare rolls and implemented the Workfare program which gave us cleaner parks and streets and gave skills and a sense of empowerment to those who need them. We reduced crime without spending more money on social programs to cure crime.”
Another area where the Republican Mayor breaks with Republican ideology is with his support of Gay Marriage and Partial Birth Abortion. “This Mayor, despite the courts ruling, supports civil marriage of Gay couples and the termination of Doctors who refuse to perform Partial Birth Abortions.
Bloomberg, who has publicly stated that he “is a Republican in name only and that it doesn’t pay to be a Republican in New York City”, has alluded to his future endorsements of ultra-Liberals Hillary Clinton and Elliot Spitzer, thereby causing a Democratic Tsunami.”
Ognibene states that it is the majority of the Republican State Senate that “keeps us sane”.
He cites a litany of other areas where Bloomberg has breached party principles including governments intrusion into private lives, the raising of fees, taxes, and fines and the refinancing of Bonds that were about to expire. In addition, Ognibene accuses Bloomberg of fumbling a chance to improve Public Education. “He took the D.O.E. and decided to manage it with mandates from the Tweed Building. He robbed Teachers of their unique abilities to teach. He basically tied their hands and opted for a route-way of teaching, producing in the short term higher test scores, but students are not learning in the long term.”
Ognibene would restore the art of teaching to the Teachers and empower Principals with the day-to-day operations of schools. He also favors vouchers for Private, Parochial, and Charter Schools. He also opposes the Mayor with regard to the building of a West Side Stadium opting instead for economic development through mixed-use housing. He states that taxes generated from housing would be more profitable than those produced by a stadium.
Although these glaring differences would propel the candidacy of any Republican, it is the notion that the Republican Party has been bought and sold that galvanizes the candidacy of Mr. Ognibene. “When you don’t have two parties competing in mind and spirit, when the Republican Party shuts down the election of ideas, when Democracy itself has been purged and one particular party has become Totalitarian, when Bloomberg can just take money out of his pocket to pay potential candidates not to run against him...while the Republican hierarchy looks away; if Bloomberg is elected, then we won’t have a Republican Party.
This is why I am running for Mayor.”
***I extend my personal apology to PHC Nurse Manager Melanie Zipagan who was featured in, but randomly edited from, my column, “PHC Nurses: Taking The Pulse Of The Community” due to space. Nurse Manager Zipagan has made many valued contributions during her nearly 25 years at the hospital.
Melanie, who hails from the Phillipines, is the Nurse Manager of the Telemetry Unit, a step-down Cardiac Monitoring Unit for patients who have graduated from the Cardiac Care Unit, but still need constant monitoring of blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate until they are ready for the regular unit. Among Nurse Zipagan’s contributions is the expansion from a 15 bed to a 25 bed state-of-the-art Telemetry Unit.
She has spent endless hours orientating new Nurses to staff the additional beds. She consistently promotes a team spirit and her Nursing Staff adore her. Nurse Manager Zipagan is a true asset to our community hospital.
***The 12th annual Bikers For Breast Cancer will take place on June 5th beginning at the Harley shop on Northern Blvd. and 43. Street in Flushing.
It will travel through Brooklyn on the B.Q.E. and Belt Pkwy to Cross Bay Blvd. where it will end at Forest Park.
There will be Barbeques, Entertainment, Bands, Prizes, and Celebrity appearances. Come out and join our very own Ed (Shevy) Shevlin, Radio Personality Maria Melito (Q104.3) and 3,000 bikers as they rev up to promote awareness and the need for a cure.
***See you...On the Beach!