Today’s news:

Dishing with Dee: Candidates for Queens races get ready for local campaigns

This week, for the first time in a long time, seemed to be rather slow at least as far my sphere is concerned.

The potential candidates are still mulling the possibility of tossing their hats into the ring. They are encouraged in their aspirations by all the would-be campaign managers and political consultants. Have you noticed lately that almost everyone is claiming to be a consultant or campaign manager?

The question for the would-be candidates to ask is, “What winning campaign have you worked on lately?” For most of them, this could be an embarrassing question. Sad to say most of the would-be advisers have the same lack of experience the would-be candidates have.

This time in the new election cycle, we are looking at races for Congress, the Senate and the state Assembly on the local level, none of which are eligible for campaign matching funds. This makes these elections more serious races. It means organizing many fund-raisers or, perish the thought, self-financing with your own money.

In case no one has noticed, we are in a tight economy. How high on the survival scale do campaign contributions rate? Which ones, if any, are tax-deductible?

Last week there was a blockbuster decision that came down from the U.S. Supreme Court allowing big money interests like Wall Street banks, Big Oil, insurance companies, corporations and unions to lift the ban on their campaign caps. How will this affect our local politics? Remember, all politics is local. Obviously money makes the world go ’round. That seems to be truer in the political world than in any other.

So far from what we hear in our northeast Queens area, for the Senate on the Republican side we have Sen. Frank Padavan being challenged by Democrat Tony Avella, Democrat Toby Stavisky being challenged by fellow off-again, on-again Democrat Bob Schwartz.

For the Assembly, we hear Republicans Vinny Tabone and Rob Speranza are both eyeing Democrat Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s seat. Most of the political pundits view her seat as vulnerable. The rumor mill has it a number of Democrats are weighing the possibility of forcing her into a primary.

That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable supposition. Remember there were six or seven impressive candidates vying for Avella’s seat, any one of whom that live in her district, which could present formidable opposition. As of this moment, there haven’t been any Democratic challenges to Carrozza that we have heard of.

The only for sure local congressional candidate we have heard of is Democratic Assemblyman Gary Ackerman. There have been rumors Republican Liz Berney is again toying with the thought of mounting a campaign against him.

The only other congressional race we have heard of where there is a potential challenge is by an Orthodox Jewish candidate, Republican Joseph Hayon, for Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat. Remember folks, this is January and it’s a long time to the primaries in September and even longer to the general election in November. A lot can happen, both pro and con, between now and then.

City Councilman Dan Halloran held the official opening of his Whitestone office from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. His district office is at 166-08 24th Road just off of Francis Lewis Boulevard. The phone number is 718-631-6703.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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