FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio
IS CATSIMATIDIS ANOTHER BLOOMBERG IN 2009?
Some time ago, in April this year, a big-time Hillary Clinton fund raiser and a New York City lifelong Democrat named John Catsimatidis rode into Queens to pick up a Noted Philanthropist Award from Phil Ragusa, chairman of the Queens County Republican Party. Mr. Ragusa is the same person identified by Peter Boudouvas, a former Republican candidate for State Assembly and City Council, as a thousand-dollar political supporter of Charles Rangel, a hardcore liberal democratic congressman from Harlem.
Mr. Catsimatidis has expressed his intention run for Mayor of New York City in 2009 by using his own money which may run up to approximately $40 million. Definitely he would be another Michael Bloomberg, a democrat turned Republican, who succeeded in buying City Hall twice. That would explain his dramatic appearance at a Queens Republican event to rub elbows with prominent Republican elected candidates and local leaders who seemed to welcome him with open palms.
Mayor Bloomberg has already left the Republican Party after manipulating it for his selfish political ambitions. Peter Boudouvas, a lifelong Republican from Queens who is running against Phil Ragusa for the Republican Assembly District leadership elections this coming September 18th, when asked if he would support John Catsimatidis if ever his fellow Greek American decides to run in 2009, made this remark: “I do not want another Bloomberg at City Hall.”
Party membership is a serious political commitment. When a candidate joins a political party, he or she virtually signs a pledge of loyalty to the party's agenda and ideals. True Republicans should never support any candidate, like Bloomberg or possibly Catsimatidis if he decides to run as a Republican, who exploit the party's name and resources without adhering to the party's policies and principles.
Party leadership is even a more serious commitment to the party's ideals. When a party leader is found to have supported leaders belonging to another party, it's time to look into it instead of remaining silent of what appears to be political treachery that would harm prospective party candidates.
The Queens County Republican Party for the record has helped and maintained only three elected candidates, one in the New York City Council and two in the New York State Assembly out of several council and assembly districts in Queens. Why? The answer seems to lie in the character of the current republican county leadership that lacks the necessary enthusiasm and drive to help willing and eager Republican candidates win elections in their districts.
It's time for a change in leadership of the Queens County Republican Party and let the loyal and true Republicans take over the organization.