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Park heads Flushing political group

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The group consists of both Democrats and Republicans. Park acknowledged its bipartisan composition, but he also noted that most members were Democrats."The purpose is purely for campaigning for viable candidates," Park said when asked of its purpose. "It is purely a political machine."In a nod to bipartisanship, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) attended the event, along with Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who made a late appearance. Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans)was also scheduled to address the event but was unable to attend.Padavan said the committee proved that grass-root efforts "still boil down to individuals who are willing to put themselves on the line," adding that the group was "making a contribution to our civic life."The state senator then swore in the officers: Vice President Richard Jannacio; 2nd Vice President Edward Salas; 3rd Vice President Herbert Williams; 4th Vice President Catherine Liu; Secretary Margaret Bena; and Treasurer Jung Lee.He also swore in Park as president of the group. Padavan praised Park for serving "not only the Korean community but also the community at large," describing him as "no stranger to the political scene."Park ran unsuccessfully for Councilman John Liu's (D-Flushing) seat in 2001 and for Assemblywoman Ellen Young's (D-Flushing) seat in 2006, selling his company, Truecom Communications, to focus on his political ambitions.Having served in the Koch and Dinkins administrations as well as in the New York City Housing Authority, he ran in 2006 on a platform of affordable housing, clean streets, zoning and adequate parking.Park, in turn, thanked Padavan, pointing to the senator's more than 30 years in office as an inspiration. "His word is his bond," he said of the senator.Avella, arriving a bit late and seemingly surprised the ceremony had ended so quickly, nonetheless echoed Padavan's comments in describing the group's formation as a positive civic step."The more people involved in the political process, the better," he said.Speaking after the event, Park said the committee's formation was not thought out well in advance. "It just naturally happened," he said.Uncharacteristic for a meeting attended almost solely by politicians and aspiring politicians, Padavan prefaced his remarks to the newly formed group with a joke about those interested in public office."Five doctors got together and discussed what kind of person would make the best surgery patient," Padavan said, later coming to the punch line to startled laughter: "And the fifth doctor said politicians would, because they're heartless, gutless, and spineless --and their heads and butts are said to be interchangeable."Turning serious, however, Padavan praised the political group's formation, saying it "has a great deal of promise in involving more people in the political process."Reach reporter M. Junaid Alam by e-mail at malam@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext 174.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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