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Political clubs are a necessary extension of political parties. They usually have monthly meetings and carry on the work of the parties by assisting in fund-raising, providing campaign workers come election time and providing a forum for guest speakers, as well as their party ideals and positions, on various issues.
One such club is the Queens Village Republican Club. This organization has been active in various forms since 1875. Every year it has a large turnout for its annual Lincoln’s Day dinner in February. The club has helped in candidate fund-raising efforts and providing volunteers during election campaigns.
Phil Orenstein, a member of the QVRC board of directors, attended the March on Washington, D.C., Sept. 12, mainly to protest President Barack Obama’s health care plan. He mentioned the significant number of people from Long Island who attended the event.
In his report to the club Oct. 1, he mentioned several of the speakers at the event, especially U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who during his presentation to the protestors called the present confrontation over health care “a non-partisan battle for the heart and soul of America .... It’s not a Republican issue or Democrat issue, but an American taxpayer struggle ....”
Orenstein also referred to another prominent speaker, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). She discussed a state health plan in Tennessee that became law in 1994, whereby the state government formulated a state-run health insurance plan similar to the federal plan being initiated by the Obama administration. The result was that the plan was unsuccessful and almost put the state into bankruptcy. Blackburn further indicated the state ended the plan by canceling 150,000 state residents from participating in the health insurance plan.
In another project initiated by the Queens Village club, Chairman of the Board of Directors Jim Trent and Orenstein held a town hall meeting organized at a VFW post in Queens Village. Again, the meeting mostly concerned the national health plan controversy, but it was also in response to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Bayside) refusal to call a town hall meeting in his district.
At this event, former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, who served in that position during the Pataki administration, was a guest speaker. She spoke against raising the cost of health insurance and called for not allowing the federal government to control health care for our citizens. She further argued government should not interfere regarding decisions made between ourselves and our doctors.
Orenstein, in regard to these two major events, said, “People will be wiser to hold their elected officials to account and not allow career politicians to serve themselves instead of serving the citizens they represent.”
At the club’s October meeting, Orenstein was recruiting more people to attend the next March on Washington, which will probably take place sometime next spring. He also expressed the hope that this huge grassroots movement will turn into votes at the polls to elect true leaders to serve the people.
At that same Oct. 1st Queens Village club meeting, the Conservative Party candidate for mayor, Stephen Christopher, was a guest speaker. Other speakers were Joe Mendola, Republican candidate for city comptroller, and Robert Friedrich, the City Council Republican candidate in the 23rd Council District.
Christopher during his presentation expressed his belief in limited government and a common-sense way of governing. He opposes welfare for people who can work but will not work. He also opposes government subsidies for illegal aliens. He believes government should reflect the will of the people. In a statement he made later, Christopher said, “I believe this government needs to be smaller and less expensive to the taxpayer.”
Political clubs usually are geared toward local politics in their immediate location, but can and do sometimes involve themselves in national issues, as seen by the activities of the Queens Village Republican Club.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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