Dishing with Dee: Most Conservative votes go to Schwartz in Stavisky seat race

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The following is a perfect reason for scratching your head and saying to yourself, “What the …?” — referring of course to the latest tallies released by the county Board of Elections. I will give you the facts and you give me any logical explanation of the results.

If true, it seems that the highest vote-getter on the Conservative line in Queens was party candidate Bob Schwartz, who was vying with Democratic state Sen. Toby Stavisky for the 16th District seat. Schwartz came in first with 5,171 votes. Second place went to Dr. James Milano, running for the 5th Congressional District seat as a Republican, who secured a total of 2,735 votes. The third-place candidate on the Conservative line in Queens was Republican Frank Padavan, running for the 11th Senate District seat, who had a total of 2,496 votes.

All of the Conservative Party candidates spent a ton of money and countless hours on their respective campaigns except Schwartz. His total expenditure was $79 for a box of business cards.

Schwartz never had a consultant, campaign manager, campaign office space or phone. He never purchased lawn signs, palm cards, mailers or newspaper ads or held a fund-raiser.

Given the above, please explain to me how he managed to come out as the top Conservative vote-getter. He ran against Stavisky in the 16th District race. Could it be that the voters voted for Schwartz as a protest against Stavisky? If that’s true, then only time will prove true the rumor mills that say she’s vulnerable.

Schwartz has announced he intends to run against Stavisky in 2012. This time, he says he’s going to run as a Republican. While Schwartz has been a lifelong Democrat, we understand he’s now a fully authorized member of the Republican Party. One thing you can say about Schwartz: In his campaigns, or lack thereof, there is never a dull, rational moment.

As we and others have often said, politics is becoming a family business. Stavisky’s seat was originally held by her husband, Leonard. When he died while still in office, Toby was then placed in his seat to serve out the rest of his term and has been re-elected ever since.

The Staviskys’ only child, Evan, formed the Parkside Group about 10 years ago. The Parkside Group was comprised of three partners: Evan, Harry Jinoulis and Bill Driscoll. Driscoll is an attorney and was former chief of staff to the late Tom Manton. The Parkside Group did rather well managing political campaigns and subsequently became a lobbyist as well. From what I understand, they have done equally well in that venue. However, Driscoll decided to leave the partnership. He is now working with a firm in Nassau County that only engages in lobbying.

On Thursday night, the Queens Village Republican Club held its monthly December meeting along with its annual holiday dinner at Trattoria Lucia in Bellerose. It was a four-course meal of great food, complete with the local usual camaraderie. The featured speaker of the evening was Oleg Atbashian, author of “Shakedown Socialism,” an interesting read with a thought-provoking point of view. The author’s basic opinions in the book are his views of unions, pitchforks, collective greed, the fallacy of economic equality and the optical illusions of “redistribu­tive justice.”

According to him, “Shakedown Socialism” is progress to nowhere. It failed in the USSR and now it has moved to the USA. It’s time to wake up, America. The nominating committee of the Queens Village club has proposed a slate of new officers and it has been approved by the general membership.

On Sunday night, the Great Neck Arts Center held its 17th anniversary benefit gala at NYIT’s de Seversky Center in Old Westbury, L.I. The honorees were Jerry Sloane, “Man of the Year”; Nassau County legislator Judi Bosworth, “Inspiration Award”; Dohn S. Schildkraut, “Outstanding Service Award”; Melissa Errico, “Artist of Distinction Award”; and James Rosenquist, “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

It was a great event in what was once a magnificent palatial setting. All the members of the Great Neck Art Center whom I met that evening were charming, engaging and sincerely devoted to their center. I am looking forward to covering what other events they present in the future.

That’s it for this week.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

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

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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