Dishing with Dee: Local leaders had no faith in Halloran as a candidate

By Dee Richard

Whose child is this? It has long been said, “Failure is an orphan, but success has many parents.” So it is with Dan Halloran.

I first met Dan in November 2008 and was impressed with him. I was introduced to him by a mutual friend — the purpose of the introduction was that Dan was a Libertarian and this friend suggested his Liberty Caucus Group could use some publicity, as it was trying to increase its membership and could benefit by some exposure. We agreed to introduce him at the Northeast Queens Republican Club’s November meeting. We did and the rest is history.

After numerous discussions, I asked Dan if he had ever thought about running for public office. He admitted the thought had crossed his mind and I said: “Let’s go for it!” He agreed.

I told Phil Ragusa and Vinny Tabone of the Queens GOP that I had met this young man and thought that, at long last, the Queens GOP had a potential winner in Dan! They told me to go paddle my fish elsewhere, that they had their own candidate and had absolutely no interest in Dan. Furthermore, in their opinion, he didn’t have a shot. Tantamount to dropping the gauntlet, there is nothing I enjoy more than a challenge!

The first person that agreed with me, was state Sen. Frank Padavan. In fact, Padavan officiated at Dan’s induction as an Eagle Scout and the senator had worked with Dan’s uncle, Judge Robert G. Hanophy, when they were both city commissioners.

Prior to Padavan’s becoming a senator, he was Dan’s first endorsement. The next people I was able to get interested in Halloran were Bart and John Haggerty. After that, it was Tom Long of the Conservative Party, then Mike Niebauer of the Independence Party. Dan himself was able to secure the support of the Libertarian Party. Having secured four lines, it looked as if he might have a shot!

At this time, all of the sudden, the Queens GOP announced it had loved him from the start. As a matter of fact, it had discovered him! He was their candidate of choice from the get-go! Couldn’t you just throw up? But such is the world of politics — everyone loves a winner! Everyone claims they and they alone are the reason for Dan’s success!

The straight skinny for the real reason Dan was elected was threefold:

1. His law partner, Vito Palmieri

2. All the good guys from the Northeast Queens United Group

3. Yours truly, as mentioned in the latest edition of City Hall News, a twice monthly publication that covers city and state politics.

The United Group had originally thrown its support behind Paul Vallone. When Vallone lost his Democratic primary, it switched its support to Halloran, thereby launching Dan on his road to victory! It held fund-raisers for Dan, raised him an impressive amount of money and supplied him with tremendous manpower. It was responsible for distributing posters, installing lawn signs and handing out literature. As you can see, it was the real reason for Dan’s success.

Was my support of Dan completely altruistic? It was not! As I live in this district, it was to my personal interest to see it preserved as one of the most desirable areas of Queens to live in. I would end this column with the same question I started with. As for Dan Halloran, whose child is this? Carpet baggers be damned, put the credit where it belongs!

On Saturday, the Queens Garden Center held its seventh-annual Holiday Festival, complete with Santa Claus, his helpers and lots of toys for children from the neighborhood. College Point Cascarinos donated a tremendous amount of pizza along with soda, hot chocolate and coffee.

Every child had their photo taken with Santa and, in a few minutes, they were presented with their Santa photo in a holiday folder. In spite of the rain and snow, everyone had a wonderful time. They also collected in huge boxes toys for needy children.

The whole event was sponsored by the Queens Garden Nursery’s owner, Louis Zaccarella; his friends; the Northeast Queens United Group; the Knights of Columbus; and lots of volunteers from many local organizations. They also collected donations for St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voicemail at 718-746-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.

Be sure and check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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