Planned changes in district lines create interesting races

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When you were a child, did anyone give you a kaleidoscope as a gift? For those of you who are not familiar with kaleidoscopes, they are similar to a small telescope, but when you twist the rim on the top, you get variations of many different colorful designs formed into intricate geometrical patterns. Each twist forms a different pattern and no two are alike. The possibilities are endless.

Why the reference to kaleidoscopes? Because that is what politics in general and Queens politics in particular are turning out to be. A case in point was last Thursday at Cathy Nolan’s fund-raiser at Dazies.

Rory Lancman announced he was going to announce the next day his candidacy for Bob Turner’s congressional seat. In Thursday’s late paper, however, they said they were going to combine Joe Crowley’s and Turner’s seats into one.

There was no way Lancman could beat Queens Democratic leader Crowley for his congressional seat. So instead, Lancman hinted he might challenge Gary Ackerman for his seat. Now that scenario, if it happens, will be one interesting race to watch!

While Council members, assembly members and senators are required to live in the district they are running in, it appears rules are different for Congress and anyone can run in any district. If they should win, are they then required to move into that district? I don’t know for sure, but I’m positive someone will inform us on the correct rules and regulations.

Speaking of upcoming political races, it would seem that if the new lines remain the same, that would then put both Sens. Tony Avella and Toby Stavisky in the same district, thereby pitting them against each other. As both senators are apparently represented by the Parkside Group, I wonder how that will play out. It looks like there may be many interesting things about to happen on the Queens political horizon.

On March 7, I was invited to a cocktail reception for Jim Wrynn at Harbor Lights at the South Street Seaport. The event was packed like sardines. It seems that after serving a number of years at the state Department of Financial Services, Jim has decided to return to private practice. He will now be connected with the Goldberg-Segalla law firm.

It has offices in Philadelphia, New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, White Plains, Garden City, Princeton, Hartford and Long Island. With those many locations, it sounds like a most impressive firm. Good luck to you, Jim. I’m sure you will contribute to your new firm all the accomplishments you provided for the state.

It was an interesting party. While there I had occasion to speak with Steve Levy, Esq. Levy, if you recall, was the Democratic executive of Suffolk County. Somehow or other, the Queens GOP managed to convince him to change his party registration and reregister as a Republican. If he did, they would support him to run for governor. Well, we all know how that turned out!

On New Year’s Day, Levy was replaced by Democrat Steve Bellone, the current Suffolk executive. During the course of the evening, Levy gave me his card. He is now president and CEO of his own consulting firm. He is an attorney and served eight years in the Suffolk Legislature, where I’m sure he has made many solid contacts. Good luck, Steve!

The Samuel Field Y, in partnership with the Central Queens Y, held a business partnership breakfast at the Douglaston Manor March 6. They had a good turnout for that event.

That evening, the Long Island City Chamber of Commerce held a meeting in the Penthouse Bar and Restaurant at the Long Island City Ravel Hotel. What beautiful views of the New York skyline from all the windows, but what a place to find. It’s the best-kept secret in Queens unless you have been there before and know exactly where you’re going.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Be sure to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

Posted 12:56 am, March 15, 2012
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