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Boro Dems face three-way primary for Ackerman’s seat

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Like they used to say on the old TV program, there are many different stories in the naked city. We will have to amend that to say every day there are many different stories in the political arena.

To wit, last week it was Elizabeth Crowley, Rory Lancman and Grace Meng as the Democratic candidates for Gary Ackerman’s congressional seat. This week we also have a new hat tossed in the ring in the person of Jeff Gottlieb, who is employed by the Queens Board of Elections. Jeff is also a retired city school teacher.

Lancman said he thought it was a Democratic Party ploy to divide the Jewish vote, which would take away from his campaign and give Meng better odds at wining the Democratic primary. Meng is the party’s choice for Ackerman’s seat. It would seem this is a variation on the age-old theme of divide and conquer. Such is the world of politics.

In Sunday’s New York Post, however, their was a “gotcha article” going back to 1971 claiming that Gottlieb set his apartment on fire and as a result was charged with arson a felony. He was allowed to plea bargain the charges down to fourth degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and allowed to keep his teaching job and retired with a pension in 2000, the Post said. What scandal will pop up next week on one of the other candidates? Stay tuned.

Last Thursday, the Jefferson Democratic Club had its April meeting at its usual place, the Clearview Golf Club. The guest speaker was Ackerman, who discussed his pending retirement. He also provided an update on the Democratic fight against the increasingly radical agenda of the GOP in Washington, D.C.

Following his discussion, he opened the floor up to question and answers. The second speaker on their program was Capt. Jason Huerta, the commanding officer of the 111th Precinct. Huerta gave an update on his first few months as the commander. All in all, it was an informative meeting.

From the Clearview Golf Club, it was off to the Roma View Caterers in Howard Beach for the Queens Conservative Party’s spring gala.

The honoree was U.S. Rep. Bob Turner, who is running for Kirsten Gillibrand’s U.S. Senate seat. Seated at the same table with Bob and his wife Peggy was Wendy Long, the Conservative Party’s choice for Gillibrand’s seat. Oops! An embarrassing moment. The Conservatives had decided to make Bob their honoree before anyone knew they were going to eliminate Bob’s congressional district.

At that point he decided to run for the Senate seat. If he had waited another week or two when Ackerman announced he was not going to run again, would Bob then have decided to run for that congressional seat? Since he was already a congressman, would that have been easier? At this point, it really doesn’t matter as the die is already cast.

To add to the fun, the third candidate, George Maragos, showed up at the party to wish everyone well. This has all the signs of being one of the more interesting races.

At the Republican-Conservative convention at the end of March, newcomer Long was way ahead of the pack, but the latest Quinnipiac poll shows that this week’s leader in the pack is Turner. Who will it be next week?

Some of the other guests at the party were former state Sens. Serf Maltese and Frank Padavan, state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, Queens Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long, the Haggerty brothers Bart and John, City Councilman Dan Halloran, Vito Palmieri, Sal Bacarella, Grant Lally and his wife John Watch, Bob Schwartz, Joe Kasper and almost 100 others. Good luck to Katherine James on her retirement from the Board of Elections.

Friday was Good Friday in the Greek Orthodox Church. We attended both the mass and the procession route on Northern Boulevard and the adjacent streets in Flushing. We wish to extend to all our readers and friends of the Orthodox faith a happy Easter.

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