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Brooklyn Political Roundup, April 18: Local pols give praise to Barbara Bush

In Public Service, From The Political Staff Of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

April 18, 2018 By Paula Katinas & John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
FILE - In this 1990 file photo, first lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in Washington. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92. AP Photo/Doug Mills, File
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Praise for Barbara Bush

Tributes to the late Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, came in from elected officials and political activists from all parties after the Bush family matriarch died on Tuesday at the age of 92.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a Democrat, praised the former first lady.

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“Brooklyn mourns the passing of Barbara Bush, a native New Yorker who served our nation with dignity and grace as its former first lady. Her commitment to civil rights and combating illiteracy shined a light on some of our society’s greatest barriers to opportunity. My condolences go out to her entire family, including her husband President George H.W. Bush and their six children, 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren,” Adams said.

Barbara Bush, who was in Flushing, Queens in 1925, is one of only two women in U.S. history to be a wife to one president and the mother of another. Her son George W. Bush was the nation’s 43rd president. Only Abigail Adams, whose husband John Adams and son John Quincy Adams, both served as president, shares the distinction.

Bob Capano, Brooklyn chairman of the Reform Party, recalled his memories of being a kid in Bay Ridge experiencing the first pangs of political awareness.

“Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are the first president and vice-president I remember growing up in Bay Ridge. By their sides constantly were Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush. Barbara Bush will always be remembered for her straight talk and loyalty to her husband, children and nation,” he said. – PK

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Kavanagh pushes for campaign finance reform

State Sen. Brian Kavanagh is looking at the other side of the state Capitol, seeing what the Assembly is doing and feeling pangs of jealousy. Kavanagh pointed to a series of bills the Assembly passed to overhaul campaign finance laws and said he wants to senate to do the same.

One Assembly bill would get rid of the so-called LLC Loophole, the process by which donors funnel campaign donations anonymously through limited liability companies. Other bills would allow early voting, eliminate restrictions on absentee voting and allow voters to register to vote online.

Kavanagh (D-Brooklyn waterfront-lower Manhattan), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Elections Committee, said he is getting impatient with Republicans in his legislative chamber.

“Earlier this year, my Senate Democratic colleagues and I, led by Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, called for the senate to take up and pass a broad range of bills that would address these deficiencies. But these efforts have been rebuffed so far this session, as they have in many prior sessions, by Senate Republicans. This has to change,” Kavanagh said in a statement.  – PK

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Golden to host recycling fairs

If you have old documents, love letters and birthday cards you want to get rid of, Sen. Marty Golden is the man to see.

Golden (R-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn) is hosting two Spring Recycling and Ecology Events in his district where he will supply a paper shredder, collect used clothing and give residents a chance to drop off electronic items they are seeking to discard.

The first event will take place on Saturday, April 21, in the parking lot of Saint Anselm Church, Fourth Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Sunday, April 22, the fair moves to the Avenue U parking lot between Stuart Street and East 33rd Street in Marine Park. It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I encourage everyone to participate in the recycling event and together we can make a positive impact on our environment,” Golden said.

For more information, call Golden’s Bay Ridge office at 718-236-6044. – PK

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Budget battles in Washington

Two of Brooklyn’s House members, Republican Dan Donovan and Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, spoke out about the balanced budget amendment after the measure failed to capture enough votes for passage.

The amendment, which required the approval of two-thirds of the House, would have mandated that the federal government not spend more money than it takes in.

The amendment would have also required a three-fifths majority vote in the House and Senate to approve tax increases and raise the nation’s debt limit.

The national debt currently exceeds $21 trillion, which broken down, comes to approximately $64,500 per citizen, according to Donovan (R-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island).

“Every American family and business makes tough decisions each day to stick to their budgets. The federal government shouldn’t be any different.  Not only can we simply not afford to continue the reckless spending that has ballooned our debt to unsustainable levels, but we also have a moral obligation to future generations to get our fiscal house in order,” Donovan said.

Jeffries (D-Canarsie-Sheepshead Bay-Coney Island) voted against it, calling the bill “a phony, fraudulent and fake effort at fiscal responsibility.”

Jeffries, a member of the Budget Committee, charged Republicans with being careless with the nation’s pocketbook.

“Republicans burned down our fiscal house, and now you show up with a so-called balanced budget amendment and act like the volunteer fire department. I’m from Brooklyn, I know a hustle when I see one,” he said. – PK

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MTA, DOT delay start date for bus-only lane on Kings Highway

City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay-Manhattan Beach) has announced that MTA President Andy Byford and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg have agreed to delay the start date for implementing the Select Bus Service (SBS) route on Kings Highway impacting the B82 bus line between Spring Creek and Coney Island.

They will spend the next several months speaking with community members and elected officials in an effort to address some of their concerns about the plan and how it will affect small businesses.

“This decision comes after a lengthy meeting we held with the MTA, DOT and my colleagues in government, urging further consideration about the potential impact that removing significant parking and creating a bus-only lane could have on small businesses,” said Deutsch.

Deutsch also said he was grateful to his colleagues, including state Sens. Simcha Felder and Marty Golden; Assemblymembers Bill Colton, Helene Weinstein, Dov Hikind and Steve Cymbrowtiz; and Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Kalman Yeger, for partnering with him to help protect local businesses.

“I thank the MTA and DOT leadership for taking our concerns seriously and agreeing to work with us going forward,” Deutsch added. – JA

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Malliotakis saddened by death of Assemblymember Frank Skartados

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) issued a statement about the passing of her colleague state Assemblymember Frank Skartados. Skartados represented the 104th District, which includes the cities of Newburgh, Beacon and Poughkeepsie.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of my colleague Assemblyman Frank Skartados,” Malliotakis said. “He was a dedicated legislator and also very proud of his Greek heritage, giving passionate speeches on the Assembly floor about Hellenism and his journey to America as a Greek immigrant.”‬

Malliotakis said that Skartados’ passing “is a loss to his district, our state and the Greek community, all of which he represented with great pride.”

Skartados was born in Astypalea, Greece in 1956, and was 62 when he died on April 15. -JA

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Reform Party leaders blast Grimm for dirty tricks at Board of Elections

The Brooklyn and Staten Island Reform Party today criticized a maneuver by Michael Grimm’s congressional campaign that they claimed is possibly illegal. Specifically, shortly before the midnight deadline on Thursday, April 12 for filing designating political party petitions, a Grimm operative filed one Reform Party petition signature for Dan Donovan.

The Board of Elections does not require cover sheets on petitions that are fewer than ten pages unless they are more than one volume. Reform Party leaders filed one volume of eight pages for Donovan, containing four times the required number of signatures.

Therefore, a cover sheet was not required. By filing a second volume, through submitting the additional signature right before midnight on Thursday, the Grimm campaign is hoping to invoke the cover sheet requirement and therefore remove Donovan, who has been endorsed by the Reform Party, from the line in November.

A cover sheet includes the office, the political party’s name, district number for the office the petition designation is being made, the number of volumes for each petition, as well as additional political information.

Bob Capano, the Kings County Reform Party Chairman said, “This race, as well as several others, are expected to be close and the Reform Party line can play a significant role in determining the outcome. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are trying every trick to deprive Congressman Donovan of our line.”

Staten Island Reform Party Chairman Frank Morano agreed that filing a petition for a candidate with the intention of getting him or her thrown off the ballot is fraud. “We are going to be asking the Manhattan DA, the Staten Island DA, and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District to investigate this,” Morano said. “This is fraud. A guy who is a convicted felon is trying to steal an election.”

Donovan and Grimm are engaged in a heated Republican primary for the 11th congressional district, which comprises Staten Island and southwest Brooklyn. -JA



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