2007-09-19 / Political Page

Brown Endorsed For 5th Term; GOP Intra-Party Fights

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, who had no opposition in yesterday's primary elections, won the nomination to run for a fifth term in the November 6 general election. In the general election, Brown, 75, will also be running without opposition, so he is assured of re-election. Besides being endorsed by his own Democratic Party, Brown also has the Republican and Conservative Party nominations in November.

Brown is presently completing his fourth full term. He began his career as the chief Queens prosecutor in mid-1991 when he was appointed by then Governor Mario M. Cuomo to fill a vacancy created when John Santucci resigned as district attorney. He is looking forward to becoming the longest-serving DA in Queens history next April 25; eclipsing the mark set by Benjamin Downey, who held the post in the late 1800s.

In New York City, there were no Democratic Party primaries at all on yesterday's ballot. However, there was some ballot action involving borough Republicans who were competing for party positions. The results of these elections were not known when this issue went to press last night and they will appear in next week's issue.

Brown is presently completing his fourth full term. He began his career as the chief Queens prosecutor in mid-1991 when he was appointed by then Governor Mario M. Cuomo . Brown is presently completing his fourth full term. He began his career as the chief Queens prosecutor in mid-1991 when he was appointed by then Governor Mario M. Cuomo . On Election Day, November 6, besides Brown on the ballot for re-election, there will be three elections for Supreme Court Justices and three contests for Civil Court Judge positions.

Democratic nominees for the state Supreme Court positions will be chosen at a nominating convention to be held next Monday at Democratic Party headquarters in Forest Hills. No date has been set for Republicans to choose candidates.

The Democratic nominees for the Civil Court judgeships in Queens have already been made. They are Rudolph Greco of Jackson Heights; Cheree Buggs of Jamaica and William Viscovich of Bayside.

The borough's Republicans have named nominees for two of the three Civil Court positions. They are Robert Beltrani of Jackson Heights, opposing Greco, and Thedore A. Stamas of Whitestone, opposing Viscovich.

GOP EYES ASIAN COMMUNITY: When Philip Ragusa became the Queens Republican Party chairman last February, he promised to be more aggressive in fielding candidates against Democratic incumbents. One area where he's trying to apply this policy is in Flushing, where City Councilmember John Liu and Assemblymember Ellen Young, both Democrats, hold elected offices.

Recently, Ragusa and his GOP organization had what he called a major fundraising dinner, held for the first time in Flushing. Ragusa said he was following the example of state Senator Frank Padavan (R- C, Bellerose) and Janet Malone, the Northeast Queens Republican Club president, "who have worked for and with the Asian-American community for many years".

Ragusa commented, "In order to rebuild and grow the Republican Party in Queens; we have to bring our message to all the communities of our diverse borough and I know that our message will resonate in the Chinese- American community."

To further highlight this point, Ragusa chose Peter Koo, owner of a chain of pharmacies and a philanthropist, to emcee the dinner. In remarks made during the dinner, Koo stated, "The Republican Party is the party of hope, opportunity and respect for tradition and community values, fighting for those who work hard for a better future for themselves and their family. The future of the Chinese-American community is with the Republican Party."

As for his own political future, Koo ran yesterday for a Republican Party state committee post in Flushing's 22nd Assembly District, opposed by Oliver Tan. If Koo wins the post, it could be a forerunner to his seeking public office in that area, which would help fulfill Ragusa's strategy of having Republicans cut into the strong hold Democrats have on Queens elective positions at every level of government.

Speaking at the affair, Padavan commented, "This is the beginning of what I believe will be a very exciting and productive relationship between the Chinese-American community and the Republican Party." Padavan endorsed Koo for the party post.

Despite Ragusa's optimistic policies, he was challenged in yesterday's primary by Peter T. Boudouvas, who strangely enough, is on Padavan's office staff. Also running was Janet Malone, challenging longtime incumbent District Leader Meilin Tan. Also on the Ragusa- Malone- Koo ticket was Gloria Pierkarski, who ran against Rose Spondello for the 26th AD (Bayside- Whitestone) state committee post.

Also appearing at the dinner was billionaire supermarket owner John Catsimatidis who has been mentioned as a possible GOP mayoral candidate in 2009.

Award recipients at the affair included Tai Nin Wang of WAC Lighting, Entrepreneur of the Year, Michael Meyer, F & T Group, Community Development Award and potential congressional candidate Michael Ricatto, recipient of the GOP Eagle Award.

CROWLEY, MARSHALL HONOREES: Congressmember Joseph Crowley, Queens Democratic Party chairman, and Borough President Helen Marshall will be feted as Special Guest and Honored Guest, respectively, at the organization's annual Pre- Election Cocktail Party on Thursday, October 25 at Antun's in Queens Village.

The Dems, by citing Crowley, may be sacrificing some funds from the $300-per-ticket affair. According to the dinner notice, because of Crowley's participation in the event, the organization may not accept contributions from corporations, labor organizations, or other federally prohibited sources." Additionally, the organization is not accepting contributions in excess of $5,000 per individual per year.

Co-chairing the dinner are Assemblymembers Audrey Pheffer (Rockaways) and Assemblymember Mark Weprin of Little Neck.

SPITZER, YOUNG LAUNCH JOBS PROGRAM: Assemblymember Ellen Young (D- Flushing) recently joined with Governor Eliot Spitzer and Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith to launch the Department of Labor's "Labor-On-Wheels" program, a new initiative to promote outreach among immigrant workers throughout New York City.

Young, noting that immigrant workers are subject to mistreatment, unsafe conditions and unfair labor practices, said, "If we are to live up to our reputation as a nation of immigrants, we must provide the necessary resources for their livelihood." This will be the aim of the new program, Young said.

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