Political rumbles

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In the final spurt before the Democratic primaries Sept. 12, the tone in several Queens City Council races has become down and dirty.

The first campaigns in the borough since Donald Trump was elected president may reflect a change in what is now considered acceptable in political hand-to-hand combat. There have been no local riffs on “Lock Her Up!” but we have seen some strikingly personal attacks between candidates.

In Flushing, Councilman Peter Koo is facing a curious challenge from Alison Tan, the wife of state Assemblyman Ron Kim, who had earlier endorsed the two-term councilman.

Tan accused Koo of endangering the health of the Asian community because his pharmacies sell cigarettes, but he called her a hypocrite because a photo on her Facebook page shows her smoking. Koo said Kim had done nothing as a state legislator to fix the city’s troubled subway system. Tan said it was “quite pathetic” Koo would resort to attacking her husband.

Over in Bayside, civic activist Paul Graziano recently withdrew a suit contending Councilman Paul Vallone used deceptive practices to collect signatures on petitions for his re-election bid. Vallone defeated Graziano in the 2013 primary.

Graziano has spent much of his recent campaign angrily assailing Vallone, letting his own solid record as a northeast Queens land use expert become eclipsed by the attacks. Vallone has replied with only brief official statements.

There is palpable bitterness in the campaign between Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Juniper Park Civic leader Robert Holden in Middle Village. Crowley’s campaign sent out a mailer depicting Holden as the surly grandfather on “The Simpsons,” which he claimed inspired an unidentified man to scrawl a bomb threat across his face on the flier and deliver it to his home.

But perhaps the most acrimonious race is state Assemblyman Francisco Moya versus former Councilman Hiram Monserrate in Corona.

Moya has repeatedly questioned Monserrate’s character and suitability for office because he was convicted of stealing taxpayer money from the district he once represented. Moya said he ran to stop a felon from occupying the seat.

Monserrate has accused Moya of hiding his legal residence in Long Island City, which is outside the Council district. Moya has refuted this claim by saying he lives with his parents in Corona.

All of these are legitimate campaign issues, but the dialogue has become far more confrontational. Whether this is a turnoff to voters or a motivator to get them to the polls remains to be seen.

Posted 12:00 am, September 1, 2017
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Reader feedback

Re Pete from Flushing says:
F Bastone from Corona says:
When you read the words of journalists, the quotes like those above from elected officials, and comments from readers, there is a commonality woven in among them all.

Disgraced, violent, misogynist, unhinged, theft, fraud, corrupt, unstable, abusive, delusional, disconnected, convicted felon, bully, thug, hated.. these are all of the words that are repeated over and over and over again when people speak of Monserraste. Every place you look in print or spoken, that's what people say about him.

The issue is not about Monserrate winning, he knows he will lose and so does everyone else. Moya needs just one teeny weeny vote more than Monserrate, and he will get it for sure. Its about the questions raised by many people about how a clearly mentally ill and disturbed person with a long history of violence and corruption can be considered for a position in a public service capacity when they may be dangerous.

Perhaps it is time for mandatory psychological screening of candidates for public office when there is evidence that the person has a history of antisocial and criminal behavior. I am not talking about a Pandoras Box approach that would allow for abuse. I mean a process that would allow a non-partisan commission or oversight board to take action and require a candidate to be screened by medical professionals in cases where they have a known history of mental illness, violence, and emotional issues.

The voters may not be able to fully quantify the extent of such illness and therefore they may be hoodwinked by such a sociopath. Those qualified observers would then be empowered to intervene where their expertise in identifying these dangerous individuals raised flags with them. If there was ever a case for such a safeguard to be implemented it is the case of Monserrate.

In fact, Moya should be demanding Monserrate release his medical and psychological records to the public based on the questions surrounding his assault and stabbing of his ex-girlfriend, if he successfully attended counseling, and also what was the effect of his time spent in prison on his mental state. Most convicted felons have serious emotional, psychological, and social adjustment issues upon reentering society. It usually requires intensive and long term therapy. Did Monserrate get it? Fair questions to demand answers to.
Sept. 1, 2017, 8:12 am
Re Pete from Flushing says:
Another person making great points about crazy Monserrate:

“Who would ever believe that a 43-year-old man would live with mommy and daddy and not in the penthouse suite that he purchased in Long Island City? is the quote from the Papaya salesman that slashes women.... the $64,000 question from the razor sharp glutton. According to this lunatic that should be a disqualifier for office, and so should fraud ???
But the NY Daily news tells another story of about a grown man living with his Mommy and Daddy, a liar, that was convicted of fraud. Only it wasnt Moya, it was Monserrate.
******** Disgraced ex-State Sen. Hiram Monserrate is struggling to pay his court-ordered restitution — and he doesn’t visit his elderly parents despite claiming to live with them, new filings and his father revealed. But between March and May 30, Monserrate only made one payment, prompting the U.S. Department of Probation to notify Manhattan Federal Court Judge Colleen McMahon on Tuesday of the “noncompliance,” which was subsequently rectified. He says in court papers that he’s now caught up.
Filings noted Monserrate, 47, lives with his 80-year-old mother, Hilda, and 79-year-old father, Manuel, in Bellerose, Queens. But his father said he rarely even visits.
“My son does not live here,” the elder Monserrate said. "When you find him tell him his father is good.” ************
So this pathological liar and lunatic raves that the very things he has filed in court papers in federal court about his living arrangements, in the case he was convicted of federal fraud charges, and was imprisoned for, should disqualify Moya but not him ??? LOL, he is dangerously unstable.
Please "journalists" and "reporters", do your jobs properly. Give the public the context of a raving lunatic and criminal convict thief (public fact) calling out others over unproven allegations from a nutjob and insults about a man that might live with his parents for real.
It would seem the Creedmor Candidate from Bellrose should include his name on the complaint he is filing against Moya for not living in the district. Less then two years ago the pathological liar filed fraudulent documents in the federal court claiming he lives in Bellrose yet he also claims he lives in Jackson Heights. He had a reason to lie, dont know what it is but it probably has to do with hiding property and money from the court, creditors, ex wives, etc... Moya should ask him face to face to explain HIS story to the voters. Moya needs to hold a press conference at the same spot and demand answers.
Sept. 1, 2017, 8:17 am
Pest Controller from Queens says:
Hiram does seem to be a conflicted whacko for sure. I tend to agree he should be examined by the doctors and he should at the very least release his medical records. We have a right to know if they think he is a dangerous predator and what medication regimen he is on. How will his medications impact his conduct?
Sept. 3, 2017, 12:02 pm

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