Today’s news:

Columnist’s take on GOP leadership contained many errors

This is in response to Dee Richard’s recent column, in which she implied that there are two acting chairmen of the Queens Republican Party.

I have bitten my tongue for many of Dee’s columns where she acts like she has some inside knowledge of the events that take place in the Queens Republican Party. Yet I can’t stay silent for these blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations of the facts.

Some may dismiss Dee’s style of reporting as quaint, but she has a responsibility to present facts correctly and impartially. The facts in regard to the unending attempts of the Haggertys to litigate their way to the chairmanship are there for anyone to research.

First of all, Judy Stupp never said that she recognizes two acting chairmen. She states this in her letter. I would expect a “journalist” to know that the fallacy of ad hominem is an attack upon the person, and not arguing the facts. I am certain she should know that using anonymous sources to refute the direct denial of the person quoted is poor reporting and unethical. If Dee knows who heard Stupp make that quote, she should name them. If not, she should retract it.

Stupp was at the meeting that saw Phil Ragusa elected convincingly. Ragusa was elected by majority vote, even without any formulas. If that is disputed by anyone present, they are lying. Also, not only did Ragusa file with the party in a timely manner, he filed prior to Bart Haggerty. Anything implying otherwise is false.

Phil Ragusa is recognized on the state Republican website as chairman of the Queens party. Bart Haggerty, with his brother, contends they held a separate meeting resulting in Bart’s election. In what capacity could he hold a meeting? The real question is whether he represented himself falsely as the chairman in official government papers. Bottom line, Phil Ragusa received the majority of votes to win chairmanship. Anything else is a lawyer’s trick.

Dee addressed in her column the investigation into the mayor’s dubious “contribution” to the Haggertys’ newly political committee. In her homespun style, she dismisses this as a mountain out of a mole hill. Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan DA, is investigating. She suggests that “Bloomberg’s attorneys” would never let him do something illegal. The legality of this is in doubt. Fortunately, most people don’t consider a thing to be ethical just because it is legal.

One thing is obvious, the Haggertys are all about money. All their actions are to position themselves to make money. I hope Vance takes a serious look into this “contribution” and past years to see if Haggerty was truly a volunteer. Dee’s comment about “What does this have to do with Bart” is laughable. This committee was formed by both Haggertys.

This all leads to the question of why anyone would even remotely consider either Haggerty to be a suitable chairman. Besides the ethical issues, it is obvious that the Haggertys are beholden to Bloomberg. This mayor dropped the Republicans like a bad habit when he didn’t need them anymore and visited Dan Halloran’s district to announce support for a Democratic candidate. Ragusa refused to compromise his Republican principles for this mayor.

There is no issue with Phil Ragusa making money from his office. As a friend of his, I know he has lost money in support of the party over the years. My wife, a CPA who works part time for Phil, always complains how Phil is distracted from his work by political commitments. His business suffers at the hands of his dedication to the party.

Dee, if I were to use your style, I’d have to ask myself why you are so assertive in your opinions. Since you seem to have taken up the Haggerty torch, one would wonder if you benefitted from that relationship. If the answer is “yes,” what does that say about your motivations?

Peter Sutich

Queens County Republican Committee

Whitestone

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