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Two weeks ago we used this space to criticize political leaders, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilman Peter Vallone, who came to College Point to protest the beating of Jack Price, an openly gay man. We believed at the time the people who put on this event were being unfairly critical of College Point residents.

We were wrong. More than one reader has pointed out the fact that the people of College Point welcomed this protest. In fact, at one point they took over the microphone to make it clear the kind of bigotry that resulted in this attack will not be tolerated in their hometown. They were horrified this happened in their backyard.

We were quick to judge the motivations of the politicians who showed up that morning and we apologize. His attackers will have their day in court. From what we know, the beating of Price was inexcusable.

A Pagan on the Council

One year ago, who would have imagined Councilman Tony Avella would be replaced by a Republican pagan?

It is not difficult to see the people of his district electing a Republican. After all, before Avella they were represented by Republican Mike Abel. Both Halloran and Abel enjoy the support of state Sen. Frank Padavan, also a Republican.

But it is surprising the voters in this conservative district elected Dan Halloran, a man who openly admitted days before the election that he practiced a pre-Christian pagan religion known as Theodism.

There are those who say a candidate’s religious beliefs are not relevant. We disagree. Religion plays, or should play, a role in the shaping of a person’s character. We know little about Theodism and are suspicious about the manner in which this piece of information was introduced into the campaign by a newspaper once owned by U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman. But we have the impression Halloran is a man of character with strong values.

Halloran handled the revelation about his beliefs well and managed to defeat Democrat Kevin Kim, a candidate with much more money to spend and the support of his boss, Ackerman.

We look forward to seeing if Halloran, as part of a small Republican minority on the Council, will find creative ways to serve his district.

Posted 6:29 pm, October 10, 2011
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