Doocey at Large: NYC ELECTIONS ARE SCHEDULED FOR NOV. 3 ...The Time to Start Judging Candidates is Now - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2009 Juniper Berry Magazine

Doocey at Large: NYC ELECTIONS ARE SCHEDULED FOR NOV. 3 ...The Time to Start Judging Candidates is Now

Front Page of Queens Courier Aug 9, 2007 showing Councilman Dennis Gallagher in handcuffs.

Councilman Gallagher Indicted on Rape Charges.

Assemblyman McLaughlin Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions.

Feds: Indicted Queens assemblyman Anthony Seminerio talked nonstop on phone

Hiram Monserrate Indicted on Assault Charges.

And there are many more headlines of disgraced politicians. We just couldn't fit them on this page. Most of the disgraced pols are right here in Queens County. And many are OUR elected officials in Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale and Ridgewood.

We have to stop the trend of electing people with such a propensity to lie, cheat and abuse others to represent us. In effect we have to "kick the tires," of potential candidates for office, asking the right questions and getting the right answers. We must refuse to vote for anyone who tries to avoid scrutiny. It is a big responsibility but it is worth it, so we can finally have a few good men or women represent us in the city, state and federal governments.

As a voter, don't let the coming November 3, 2009 election creep up on you without warning. You have to look at the candidates and choose the best one for the job for each elective office. That is a big responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. Everyone has his or her own way of deciding who will get their vote.

The following are some strategies that you can use in making your decision:

Naturally, register to vote. If you're not certain of your registration status, visit: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx. Follow the very simple directions. If you need to register, or wish to change your voter registration information, visit: http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/register.html.

This is the official site of the New York City Board of Elections (BOE). You can download an official voter registration form to your computer, print it, fill it in, and then mail it to the NYC BOE. All rules and directions are supplied on the Website and on the registration form. If you know of any of your family or friends who are not registered give them the above information.

You will be notified by postcard from the NYC BOE that Election Day is arriving, and the address of your polling place will be shown on this postcard. Keep the postcard for your information.

If you need help using the voting equipment, ask a friend to accompany you to the polling place and explain to the poll workers that you need help. As long as the workers know what the arrangement is, your friend will be permitted to enter the booth with you to show you how to use the machine.

Then comes the big decision of who will get your vote.

WHAT POLITICAL PARTY WILL YOU JOIN?

My best advice is, forget parties. The parties forgot you a long time ago when they made deals with various politicians for campaign endorsements and funding. This happens to be true at the local, state, and national level.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR CHOSEN CANDIDATE?

Does the candidate deliver promises, accomplishments, or excuses? Candidates who have never yet held elective or appointed office could be judged by any positive community accomplishments that they have achieved. In other words, check their resume showing their list of projects they have worked on in their neighborhood.

DOES THE CANDIDATE HAVE THE FACTS ON KEY ISSUES?

When the candidate speaks, does he or she have command of all pertinent facts regarding the issues? Is the candidate humble enough to admit not knowing some facts? Does the candidate deliver on the promise to get back to you promptly, with information you or someone else requested? Is the candidate an interested, concerned guest at meetings, always arriving on time, prepared to answer the questions of the attendees?

HOW ARE YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED?

When someone asks the candidate a question, is the response a polite, respectful answer or are there expressions of irritation at the questions? What is the range of topics the candidate will respond to, i.e., campaign financing, staffing of offices, and other hot button issues that are of concern to you?

TERM LIMITS? CONGESTION TAX? EMINENT DOMAIN?

What does the candidate say about the overturning of term-limits ‒ even though the issue was decided twice by the voters, in favor of limiting terms of city officeholders to two terms? Did the candidate vote for congestion taxing, an unconstitutional limit on your freedom to travel anywhere in the US? What about the use of eminent domain? Does your candidate believe that the government has first claim on your property, and you are only a tolerated squatter until a powerful developer, with enormous connections, points to your property and demands that you be evicted so he can extend his own wealth?

WHAT ABOUT BUILDING SCHOOLS ON TOXIC LAND?

What does the candidate have to say to you about the building of a large high school in Maspeth; where two other large schools are crowded into a very small area' where there is heavy auto and truck traffic, on land that is severely contaminated with dangerous toxins; across the street from cell towers that emit microwaves into the new school? What has the candidate done to quash this plan, not to just amend the plan, but to kill it now before any more of your money is spent on harming children?

WHO CONTROLS YOUR CHILD'S EDUCATION ‒ YOU OR A POLITICIAN?

Does the candidate support the mayor's ambition to have unlimited control of the public schools in New York City? How does your council member, state senator and state assembly representative feel about mayoral control? Can you entrust the education of your children in the hands of the candidate?

HAS CRIME BEEN OUTLAWED?

What has the candidate done to restore the police officers cut from the city by the mayor? Is the candidate aware of the dangers to the public when police are laid off, or their numbers cut, and the real possibility of an increase in crime and illegal activities and also the negative impact on police response time?

WHAT ISSUES HAVE BEEN OMITTED?

There have been many issues omitted from this article. Add your own issues as well as any comments you have regarding the issue and the politicians who want your vote.

CAN YOU TRUST THE CANDIDATE WITH YOUR FUTURE?

Can you trust the candidate with your money, your property, your life, your safety, and your family's safety regarding schools, police, fire, hospitals, ambulance, and truck and auto traffic?

WAS THAT A FRIGHTENING EARTHQUAKE IN CALIFORNIA?

On Tuesday, May 20th, California conducted a statewide vote on six propositions that would control statewide spending. What a shocking victory for citizens who wanted the state budget brought under control! Each of the six propositions won by nearly two-thirds of the vote! Sensible Californians took control. The state politicians are now terrified ‒ a proper state of mind for politicians who believed that the people who paid for the spending were too cowardly to take back control. This vote is going to reverberate throughout the nation only if you, too, decide that the politicians report to you, and it is not the other way around!

**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.