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Dishing with Dee: Padavan lost due to UFT backing Avella for Senate

By Dee Richard

There have been a number of articles and columns appearing locally blaming Carl Paladino for the dismal record of the Queens GOP. To any person capable of logical thinking, it just doesn’t add up and I will tell you why.

First of all, all politics is local, so what happens in Buffalo stays in Buffalo. It was a given from the get-go that Andrew Cuomo was going to win the governorship. So whatever Paladino did or did not do wasn’t going to change things one iota. The results would have been the same if Rick Lazio had been the Republican candidate.

Paladino’s campaign manager should have assigned a 24/7 handler to him as everyone knew he suffered from hoof-and-mouth disease. For the uninitiated, hoof-and-mouth disease is when you open your mouth and you put your foot in it. You do not have to be a politician to suffer from that disease.

Everyone knew Paladino had a short fuse. All his opposition had to do was to bait him and for sure a relapse of H&M would have followed. If a handler had been accompanying him, he would have managed to stop his not-very-well-thought-out responses.

This is an interesting diagnosis of Paladino’s reason for not being elected governor this time. But please do the numbers. New York state is a Democratic state and it is nearly impossible for a Republican to win. Also, the first time candidates run for any position they rarely win. Sometimes they have to run two, three or more times before they achieve their goal.

Somebody please explain to me how the aforementioned Paladino scenario affects the results in the 19th City Council District, the 26th state Assembly District or the 11th state Senate District — where I live in northeast Queens and, of course, why I am interested in those results.

It would seem to me that it’s a blame game tactic to divert you from the reality of a local, totally incompetent Republican management of campaigners as opposed to a totally competent Democratic Party management of campaigners. Live and learn, guys — copying a winner’s tactics is not only a good thing but a smart thing. Do not be so angry and upset that you miss the valuable lessons to be learned and do not fall victim to a bait-and-switch game. To be the declared big winners the next time out, you have to run a smarter, tougher campaign.

In spite of all the Monday morning quarterbacking, it is this columnist’s opinion that the real reason for Frank Padavan’s loss to Tony Avella was the fact that the United Federation of Teachers switched its support from Padavan to Avella, and in that district there are 7,000 registered UFT members. Again, do the numbers. You cannot beat those odds in a local Senate race. The three North Shore Tower buildings are in that district. Each building houses 5,000 tenants, the majority of whom are either retired or active UFT members, and there goes the ball game.

Why did the UFT drop its support of Padavan after having supported him all these years? According to the odds makers, it was the combination of several things:

1. Padavan was viewed as a close friend of Mike Bloomberg.

2. They did not like Bloomberg’s way of handling the city Department of Education.

3. Bloomberg supported charter schools and Padavan agreed with him.

Don’t you think it’s rather sad that an organization would put its own self-serving interests above that of a child getting an education? If the end result of a child attending a charter school is a good education, that will enable the child to make his or her way in the world. Then what difference does the descriptive title or type of school make? The end results are really all that matter. A portion of our tax dollars is designated to educate our children. The law does not specify what type of school, only the curriculum.

In any event, this is only one woman’s opinion. What do you think?

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 voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at deerrichard@aol.com.

Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.

Till next week, Dee.

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