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Queens Election Year Apathy And Doldrumzzzzzzzzz... – QNS.com

Queens Election Year Apathy And Doldrumzzzzzzzzz…

When even Allan W. Jennings, Jr. isn’t making news in his own primary, it’s a dull election year.
When a County-endorsed insurgent trying to take out a sitting Councilmember can only raise $12,000 in his effort, Rosedale, we have a problem.
But that’s just what we have here in Queens this year — boring, boring primaries.
There’s nothing on the local level that is going to make anyone come out on September 13 except the faithful, triple-prime Democrats, who — like lemmings — will file to their polling site that Tuesday morning, rain or shine, to pull the lever for whomever currently occupies the office.
Yes, I know, the mayoral primary will drag more people to the polls than usual. Democrats are going to want a say in who gets to lose to (oops, sorry I just glanced at the recent polls), I mean take on Mayor Mike Bloomberg in November.
Around 32,000 Queens Dems showed up on Primary Day 2003. There were no other races to bring people out that day, just City Council.
Obviously, turnout will be higher this year. Insurgents are banking on it.
But it still won’t matter. With figures like Eric Gioia’s gaudy $528,000 compared to opponent Robyn Sklar’s $5,230, returns are going to get ugly.
I’ve said it before and I’ll scream it again…until the Campaign Finance system in the city is fixed, expect massacres and indifference on election days. The power of incumbency is borderline unbeatable.
Heck, even Jennings has a shot at re-election this year. Our favorite political punching bag has managed not to take out any advertisements this year professing his love for an Asian woman, and frankly we kind of miss those days.
Now we have the “Hatfield vs. McCoy” primary in his district, where candidates and failed candidates and their families are feuding and levying charges of harassment and menacing against each other.
Albert Baldeo, an attorney leading the pack in fundraising with $63,000, was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly waving a gun and threating the wife of former candidate Robby Mahadeo.
But on Sunday night, Baldeo fired off a manifesto via email saying he was innocent of all charges and that Mahadeo (who had only raised $2,000 anyway, hardly worth threatening, if you ask me) lied about the whole incident.
Baldeo claims he was at a community event at that time and has dozens of witnesses.
Zzz. Sorry, but even that “he said, he said” isn’t exciting me.
Meanwhile, former Councilmember Thomas White is just a tad behind Baldeo on the funds front, and we expect will give Jennings his biggest scare — he may even win, which would deprive political writers of our favorite pastime, but would also rid the Council of an embarrassment.
And in other non-news, David Hooks keeps putting out press releases saying that Councilmember James Sanders has missed “another” campaign finance deadline.
The story is months-old and voters won’t care. Meanwhile, Hooks has only raised about $12,000 — a paltry sum for a County designee. Unless Hooks starts talking about himself and raising some real money, expect Sanders in a walk.
Just a reminder…
The last day to register to vote in the September 13 Primary is Friday, August 19. For more information, call 212-VOTE-NYC…The NYC Board of Elections website has installed a handy-dandy little doo-dad that tells you where to vote in case you have moved recently or haven’t voted since Reagan left office. To access it, visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us and click “Poll Site Locator.”
politics@queenscourier.com

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