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Dishing with Dee: Once-quiet election season is now starting to heat up

What had started out as being a rather ho-hum election cycle has suddenly shown all the signs of sparking the interest of our political pundits. The Republicans, Conservatives and Tea Partiers as well as numerous blanks now have the opportunity of pulling off a potential trifecta.

The gods seem to be smiling on them as they have come up with three solid electable candidates. In this 2011 cycle, they have Jane Deacy running for Audrey Pheffer’s 23rd state Assembly seat in Rockaway Beach. Audrey, as you know, has moved on to fill deceased Gloria D’Amico’s seat as the Queens county clerk, thereby creating a special election in the district.

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner also stepped down from his 9th Congressional District seat in Forest Hills, thereby creating another special election. Bob Turner ran against long-term popular incumbent Weiner in the last election. Turner garnered more than 40 percent of the vote.

Both of the above special elections are being held Sept. 15. The third leg of the trifecta concerns Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, who has announced he will run for U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat in 2012.

What do these three, diversified candidates with totally different backgrounds have in common? They are all charter members of the Good Guys Club.

Good guys are few and far between in government offices. They seem more interested in getting re-elected than in serving the needs of their constituents, who got them elected in the first place. We need a plethora of the old-fashioned, decent, hardworking, family- and community-oriented candidates.

There is, however, no short supply of political hacks and flacks. As of now they are all wallowing us up to our navels — in fact, you need a big stick to beat them off. We certainly do not need any additional ones as I’m sure you have noticed they are not in short supply. The hacks and flacks groups are to be found on both sides of the aisle — no one party has a lock on them. That is not to say there are no decent, hardworking electeds out there — they are just in short supply. In fact, they are becoming scarcer than hen teeth.

When the economy is good, no one seems to care what’s going on politically. But when the economy turns bad, like now, everyone seems acutely aware of unsatisfactory situations and tends to become rather nitpicky, so much so that according to the rumor mills, there are lots of indictments getting ready to trickle down.

The pendulum on the clock has swung as far to the left as it possibly can and is now beginning to swing back in the opposite direction toward the right. That would make it seem to be a good thing. As citizens of our great and free country, we have enjoyed being the envy of the world — that is, up until recently, when our leaders started making some bone-headed decisions. Now our status is rather questionable. We surly don’t want to descend into a third-rate, third-world country.

If we are to survive and enjoy all our previous benefits living the American life, then we all have to get busy to set things straight. It can be done! We can start out with making sure that we elect qualified candidates who are more concerned about serving the public rather than themselves. After all, it is the candidates who will have the final say and control the destinies of ourselves, our children and future generations.

We have already suffered a long siege of incompetents and ineptitudes, so what do we have to lose by voting for a change? The old system just isn’t working any more. Remember, a new broom sweeps clean. If the new group doesn’t live up to our expectations after they serve one term, we can always vote them out.

The spirit of competition should work in our favor. Rather than taking us for granted, our elected officials will have to convince us that by electing them they will better serve our needs rather than their competitors. Isn’t that a novel idea?

We’ll see you on the campaign trails. The next six weeks are going to be busy, nonstop action.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

That’s it for this week.

Till next week, Dee.

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