Down and Dirty in Queens

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We aren’t surprised to see the Obama-Romney race for the White House get dirty, but we weren’t expecting to see mudslinging in the race to represent northeast Queens in the state Senate.

From the start, John Messer, an Oakland Gardens lawyer, was an underdog. Even though he had challenged Sen. Toby Stavisky back in 2010, he lacked name recognition. Stavisky, on the other hand, is a familiar figure after six terms in office.

Messer tried to win the uphill race by taking the low road with tactics that overshadowed discussion of the positions taken by the two candidates.

In the early days of the campaign, Messer bypassed a city agency and went to the Queens Supreme Court to charge that Stavisky obtained fraudulent signatures to get on the ballot.

A Democratic Senate candidate needs 1,000 signatures from registered party members in the district to get onto the ballot. Stavisky had 7,000 signatures collected by 130 individuals assigned by the Queens Democratic Party, which backed Stavisky.

As the rhetoric from both camps grew uglier, Messer insisted it was not a grudge match between him and Stavisky but was being fought on the issues. Then he went on to say he was determined to take down a political family who had been in power for 46 years, a reference to Stavisky and her late husband, who represented the district before her.

Stavisky had her own mud to throw. She criticized Messer for his ties to former Republican City Councilman Dennis Gallagher, who was convicted of sexual assault. She said Messer “deals with criminals,” referring to the consulting firm hired by Messer and associated with Gallagher.

Messer’s mud didn’t stick: Stavisky won easily.

In the 25th state Assembly District primary, Nily Rozic defeated her Democratic Party-backed opponent Jerry Iannece. Rozic used a picture of herself with Assemblywoman Grace Meng in fliers even though Meng had endorsed Iannece. It appeared to be a calculated move in a district that includes Bayside and has a large number of Asian voters.

Rozic, a former chief of staff for Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, was practically unknown in Queens. It’s possible this misleading picture made the difference in that race.

Posted 1:55 am, September 20, 2012
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Reader feedback

keung from flushing says:
Politics is a dirty game. You no longer vote for the best candidate but for the one who can distort the truth more. The calculated games that are played behind closed doors are unbelieveable. The in party backstabbing ridiculous. Who loses, we do.

Messer/Stavisky just ugly. Dirtyness, underhanded maneuvers and personal agendas instead of real issues that affect Queens.

Iannece/Rozic who is Rozic? Talk about the "Queens machine"...she is a nobody with NO RECORD that was backed by the NY Times. Since when does the NEW YORK TIMES get involved in Queens? Especially for a nobody. Oh yeah, she works for the "Manhattan machine" which evidently worked really hard at putting their puppet in place here in Queens.

Politics has become just disgusting. It shows how far this great country has fallen. We need leaders, not liars!!
Sept. 22, 2012, 8:17 am
bill says:
Did you really just write that 1 picture of Meng/Rozic swung 500 votes? I guess those 500 people happened to miss the 10 Meng/Jerry pictures, events, robo calls and mailers.
Sept. 22, 2012, 10:47 am
Idiots from Queens says:
On behalf of all idiots I'd like to lend kudos to you all for overlooking the facts behind Stavisky's campaign, she is the pinnacle of corruption, graft, and lobbyists infiltrating and running political campaigns, and all of us have overlooked it.

Shame on us. Shame.
Sept. 22, 2012, 2:02 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
This pathetic editorial fails to mention that since May whenever there was an article this paper ALWAYS placed Iannecces picture first,every single time. As for Stavisky ,she is as relevant as a black and white TV. Editorials like this is why the Times Ledger now has to resort to dumping papers for free in apartment complexes in order to justify their circulation numbers!~
Sept. 22, 2012, 7:30 pm
Linda from Bayside says:
I don't know maybe it is just me... A thought, out of respect, wouldn't you put the person that actually did represent the area on various levels first before the person that no one ever heard of before. And who cares anyway? Its about the issues. Its about us. Like the first person said we need leaders, not liars. Lets pay attention and elect those who will work for us and not work for themselves.
Sept. 22, 2012, 11:50 pm
Dan from Bayside says:
It is interesting that Lou, who could not stop talking about how Iannece was "an abortionist" (which was untrue), and claimed to back no individual or party, quickly congratulated Rozic when she won, in spite of the fact that her "Womans" agenda is a cover-up for a total pro-abortion position. If anyone doubts this, they can go to Rozic's web site and check out the list of woman rights groups that supported her.

One might conclude that "Lou" was really one of Rozic's Manhattan backers.

If Rozic wins, Queens will have no state assembly man, and Manhattan will have an extra one, sort of like the relationship between Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the Supreme court, where Scalia effectively has two votes.

What a puppet show it will be!
Sept. 24, 2012, 3:50 pm
Lou from Bayside says:
Wrong Dan. Didnt vote. Both parties are corrupt and stink. The difference is that Ms Rozic did not hide behind a facade of little league coach and church going family man while at the same time getting high marks from NARAL. Ms. Rozic is what she is and didnt pretentdto be anything other than a typical NY Times liberal . The other guy put on a phony act and the people saw through it!People in Bayside didnt want to stand with a guy who took endorsements from some of the biggest degenerates and immoral , unethical scoundrels this city has to offer!
Sept. 24, 2012, 6:27 pm

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