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Douglas Manor man unites boro’s Asian conservatives

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Jun Policarpio, a Fair Immigration Party candidate for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) in the November 2004 race, founded the New York State Asian American Republican Coalition to bring together conservatives of Korean, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Pacific islander and southeast Asian descent."The purpose is to influence the election, nomination, selection of candidates for public offices, especially this year as a mayoral election," said Policarpio, who promised to endorse incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg.That support could be critical in Queens where the Republican Party sided with Bloomberg's challenger Thomas Ognibene on the grounds that the mayor, who defected from the Democratic Party in 2001, was not a true Republican at heart."There are more Democrats in the Asian-American community. One of our goals is to register more Republicans," Policarpio said. "Nobody's doing it - there's a need."Policarpio, a member of the National Asian American Republican Coalition, was commissioned with the task of forming a state club by a leader at the national level. The New York club is the first of its kind to register for 527 tax status."That's the birth of perhaps the first Asian American political action committee under Section 527," Policarpio said. He ran as a Fair Immigration candidate in the 2004 race and said he was hindered by not having the support of a 527 political action committee. The impact of 527s became evident in last year's presidential election when purportedly unbiased organizations used their fund-raising power to be major donors in both the George Bush and John Kerry campaigns. These groups came through the cracks to circumvent campaign finance reform that changed the way candidates could accept donations.Kwangsik Kim, president of the Korean American Association of Flushing, is one of about five people nominated for the board of the New York State Asian American Republican Coalition. Other nominees include a Nassau County political activist, Bishop Arnold Cabalquinto of Queens and a member of the Chinatown Republican Club."(Policarpio) recommended to a member of the Asian American Republican group," Kim said. "I didn't decide yet, I have to go and meet them and find out what's going on." Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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