Dishing with Dee: Primary elections are more important than people realize

Dishing with Dee: Primary elections are more important than people realize
By Dee Richard

This week we are going to start out with the most humorous quote of the week. Warren Schreiber had a question for his Conservative Party friends from Queens. His question was, “Why would you allow Robert Schwartz to run for office under your banner? He makes [Carl] Paladino look sane.” This provoked a number of responses on Facebook. The one from Michael Schenkler was the funniest: “Schwartz was the milk guy? That’s udderly ridiculous.”

On Thursday, I left my house at 5:15 p.m. and took the Whitestone Expressway to the Grand Central Parkway. It took 1 1/2 hours to go one exit. That was the area where the tornado hit and hit hard.

I was on my way to Terrace on the Park for the Queens Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year reception and buffet. This year’s honorees were Hal Rosenbluth, Lou Vlahos, Vicky Schneps and Joseph Ficalora. It was also the chamber’s 99th anniversary. Terrace also sustained considerable damage as it was on the peripheral of the storm’s path.

The evening wound down rather early as everyone was concerned about getting home. I live 6 miles away and it took me more than four hours. Trees and power lines were down on every block, my car overheated in the more than four-hour bumper-to-bumper traffic. I barely made it home before it conked out. It had to be towed to the Ford dealer and is now in its garage. Heaven only knows what went wrong with it and how much it will cost to get it fixed.

In the interim, I have to rent a car. The sacrifices I make for work …. My husband says, “It cost me more money to work there than I am paid.” But it’s fun and I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On Wednesday evening at the Clinton Democratic Club, Ed Braunstein was one of the guest speakers. Elio Forcina was present and thanked everyone for their support. He in turn pledged to totally support Braunstein. Braunstein won the four-way race with 37 percent of the vote. He had a fabulous victory party at Sullivan’s in Bayside.

Another interesting local race was in the 16th Senate District — one which had three Democrats vying against each other. Sen. Toby Stavisky won by 45 percent while her opponent Sasson had 34 percent and newcomer Messer had 20 percent. If only one of the two men had run, maybe they would not have cancelled each other out, which made it a shoe-in for Stavisky.

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman beat fellow Democrat Pat Maher 68 percent to 31 percent. Ackerman now has to face Republican Dr. James Milano in November.

The absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Whether or not they will make a difference remains to be seen. In a large-percentage win it’s not likely, but if it’s close they could possibly make a difference.

To me the most interesting race was the one for governor. It was assumed that in the Lazio vs. Cuomo race, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wins. But with Paladino trouncing Rick Lazio, it’s quite a different ballgame. Paladino does not strike anyone as a person to be intimidated or “buffalo-ed.” (Pardon the pun. I couldn’t help myself.)

Quite the contrary. Paladino comes across as a tough, take-no-prisoners, street-fighter type. On top of that, he is personally well-funded and has considerably more money to use than Cuomo. What a fun political month this next one will be. Let the games begin!

The interesting sidebar in this race is the fact that Lazio, while he lost the Republican line to Paladino, is the Conservative Party’s choice and he will be on the ballot on their line. But if he doesn’t garner at least 50,000 votes on the Conservative line, then that party loses its line and goes the way of the Liberal Party, which lost its line by not being able to come up with the required 50,000 votes. You Conservative fellows have much work to do, and the stakes are very high. Again, what interesting times we live in.

If the electorate is so fed up with dysfunctional Albany and truly wants to throw all the bums out, how come so many incumbents won? You can’t have it both ways! If you want change, you have to vote for it. That’s why primaries are so important. If your candidate doesn’t survive a primary, he or she will not be in the general election. You have to come up with a good, electable candidate and work tirelessly for him or her. If you’re not willing to do that, then don’t complain.

That’s it for this week.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mails at [email protected].

Till next week, Dee.

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