Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Empty suits leave empty seats

After initially confirming that they would attend, Elizabeth Crowley and Anthony Como wimped out of a debate hosted by the Juniper Park Civic Association last night at the last minute, claiming they had to attend, of all things, an editorial board meeting at the Queens Ledge scheduled hours in advance for the exact same time. The civic's forum was not to be a candidates night, but a true debate, with tough questions and the opportunity for rebuttals. Apparently, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Como were afraid of being exposed as the no-talent hacks that they are, so they conspired with Walter Sanchez, publisher of the Queens Ledge, to come up with an excuse (and a lame one at that).
Charles Ober kept his promise and impressed many in attendance with his knowledge of issues specific to Middle Village and Maspeth.
Mr. Ognibene, the former councilman for this area, brought up the fact that Anthony Como is contributing to overdevelopment by building a hideous McMansion on the same street that Tom lives on. "This thing casts a shadow on my house," Ognibene lamented.

Both candidates also raked Crowley over the coals regarding her campaign finance fraud charges and her disqualification from the matching funds program.

Before ending for the night, the community was told by JPCA President Robert Holden, "Remember who insulted you here tonight by not showing up."

Ognibene & Ober: 1
Como & Crowley: 0

Photos and story from the Juniper Park Civic Association (with edits)

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

A classic Queens poltician. The press LOVES you, the machine LOVES you, and the public?

At home watching American Idol.

They believe that its not important to show up and address the public's concerns.

They will tell the public what is important.

Anonymous said...

Empty heads, empty suits, empty seats and an empty ballot box
awaits those no-shows!

Remember Pearl Harbor...voters!

We all just got skunked!

The political Battle of Midway
will soon begin at the polls!

Payback's gonna be a bitch....
you two-faced two-fers!

Anonymous said...

that ridiculous house destroys an otherwise beautiful block

one of the nicest in middle village i might add

oh i know i am jealous

ya sure you got me

Anonymous said...

If these scum sucking pigs
walked out on us now....
it's not going to get any better
for our community if these SOBs
get elected!

MAKE SURE THAT THEY DON'T !

They'll just be Gallagher's ghost!

STOMP THESE CLUBHOUSE VARMINTS!

And make sure that these
"shades of pink" don't return
to the political stage!

We've had enough of these crooks running our show!

Anonymous said...

Do you know how petty you all sound complaining about this house? For your own good, enough already. Most people don't mind bigger and better house renovations, as long as the house doesn't change into a multi-family house. The house right across the street upgraded to become bigger and nicer and most people are glad to see it. It makes the area look better.
For all the things to bring up about Como, this is just silly.

Anonymous said...

The block was full of tasteful low rise homes. Then Anthony bought a house on the corner. People love it when their potential elected officials rack up 21 complaints and 14 violations and make a blight on the neighborhood. This man Como deserves my vote.

Anonymous said...

thank you mr como for building such a beautiful building. middle village was so ugly before!

Anonymous said...

I have to believe that with Mr. Holdens and the JPCA's track record for sanbagging people they do not favor, Crowley and Como made a wise decision.

Anonymous said...

I am not jealous, let me make that loud and clear. Having so many violations screams out... I did not follow the rules and regulations that I am to uphold when I am in office, plain and simple!

If the blogger thinks this is petty and not an important issue, they are mistaken.

I think his house looks ridiculous, hiddeous and out of character.

Anonymous said...

"I have to believe that with Mr. Holdens and the JPCA's track record for sanbagging people they do not favor, Crowley and Como made a wise decision."

What is sanbagging? And the fact that Como and Crowley were too scared to stand before the community and explain themselves proves that they don't have what it takes to hold elected office in the first place.

Anonymous said...

i just checked the DOB website and there are no longer any violations on Como's house. i'd rather have him build a bigger one family than have a three family built there instead.


hey bob, when are you going to let the DOB in to see your "legal" basement?

Anonymous said...

Parkside who lobbyist for developers all over the city is working for Crowley.

Anonymous said...

Please everyone, you must understand that the original house was not large enough to accommodate Como's fat ass, which seems to expand exponentially each year.

Anonymous said...

Parkside, who lobbied to have St. Saviour's torn down, is running the Crowley campaign.

Anonymous said...

Parkside, who is about to be exposed in the worst way, is running the Crowley campaign.

Anonymous said...

Word out on the street is that Parkside who did heavy lifting for Brian McLoughlin is about to be exposed as part of Brian attempt to cut down on his jail sentance.

Talk McLoghlin talk

Anonymous said...

Stavisky, Driscoll, Giannoulis, your days meddling in government are numbered.

Anonymous said...

Cowards! How could they turn their backs on the community that came out to hear what they had to say? Scoundrels, both of them.

Anonymous said...

Liz: "Pinky, I am afraid people will think I am stupid, what do I do?"
Pinky: "Don't worry, Liz, I'll help you."
Anthony: "Can you help me too? I'm just as dumb."
Pinky: "Ok, let me ask Walter."
Walter: "Sure, I'll be your cover. I love being a scumbag."
People of Middle Village: "You can't hide forever. We'll see you tonight at PS49. Try to get some sleep. You'll need it."

Anonymous said...

Not attending a meeting of an attack-oriented hateful civic does not equate to turning your back on the community. However, if they said they would be there and people went expecting to hear what they had to say, they shouldn't have backed out. I wouldn't mind if they decided not to attend in the first place, but don't agree to attend and then decline at the last minute.

Anonymous said...

Why did the Campaign Finance Board refuse to allow Crowley from getting matching funds.

Why was Crowley fined $50,000?

Monica said...

"if they said they would be there and people went expecting to hear what they had to say..."

Well, duh. We filled out cards to ask a specific candidate a question. Many of them were for Crowley or Como, and were on important issues. They weren't attack-oriented in nature at all. Does anyone think Hillary, Obama or McCain would not show up for a debate because they were afraid of being attacked? Como and Crowley are obviously not ready for prime time, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am actually happy with the way it turned out. The crap candidates weeded themselves out and we got to hear from 2 qualified, intelligent potential representatives.

Anonymous said...

Parkside blew this one big time.

Note to Pinky: There was no executive board member who sent you an e-mail warning you of "deck stacking". Everyone knows you made that up to cover Crowley and Como's asses, you vile pig.

Anonymous said...

The cream rises to the occasion and the crap goes to meetings with Walter Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone think Hillary, Obama or McCain would not show up for a debate because they were afraid of being attacked?"

Actually, the Democrats refused to have a debate on Fox News, even though it is the highest rated cable news channel, and Obama has refused to appear on Bill O'Reilly's show even though Hillary and McCain both have.

Anonymous said...

Did Parkside know about the fake non profits where ciminal Quinn and Giffard Miller hid city budget funds? Is that what they are being investigate for?

Taxpayer said...

Let's say that the two low-IQ ones were actually set up. What were the questions that the two could not have answered?

What questions do the pair fear the most?

A question to explain what they will do about overdevelopment? Wow! That topic would be a real surprise (to someone operating from a script).

A question to explain the unpaid fine from the Campaign Finance Board? Such a question is not the taxpayers' business! Even though it was taxpayer money that was fraudulently used, taxpayers shouldn't stick their noses in. The clubhouse will take care of this matter.

Or, questions regarding the anonymous letter Crowley sent to try to attack Charles Ober? What business is it of the voters to know the ethics and character of someone who wants to put their snout into the taxpayers' trough?

Or, say, questions regarding Como's blatant conflict of interest by being paid by the Board of Elections while preparing to announce his candidacy?

Were those the "sandbag" questions that were "stacking the deck"?

Or, was it the simple fact that they had no advance copy of the questions to arrange a script from?

Unethical, lowbrow cowards, these two. Insulting voters is a sure winning strategy.

Here's something for them to ask Sanchez of the Queens Ledge (Yes, the paper that failed to forward employees' Social Security payments to the feds - yes, that one): what does this mean: Stupid is as stupid does?

Yes, this stupid, lazy, frightened pair preferred the company of someone who cheated employees of their retirement income, to being in the company of voters who just wanted to know where they stood on various very ordinary local and city issues and whether their tax paymnets were safe from additional corruption and fraud.

Each is a very stupid, insulting, ignoramus who thinks voters don't notice these things.

Surprise!!

Taxpayer said...

The two dumbsters who flipped the finger to voters need to explain this:

Why were Charles Ober and Tom Ognibene "courageous" enough to show up to face the "firing squad"?

Are they the superior candidates with enough experience to face harsh questions?

Should voters conclude that the two best candidates showed and the clueless rabbits with no brains or experience fled to talk to a friendly newspaper (one that refused to care for its employees retirement)?

How do you explain your fear to intelligent voters?

Oh, yeah! You think the voters are stupid and that you know what's best.

Crowley, Como, Gallagher and lackey Sanchez (yes, the one who cheats employees), time to join forces again and send another hate filled, anonymous letter.

Don't forget to send it to the same voters you just insulted.

Anonymous said...

voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid voters are stupid

Anonymous said...

Why were Charles Ober and Tom Ognibene "courageous" enough to show up to face the "firing squad"?
----------------------------------

DUH!....Because each are favored in one way or the other by the JPCA...JPCA is hedging bets...Sleeping with 2 of the 4 candidates in hopes of backing an eventual winner...You hateful dopes talk about transparency...The JPCA and they're hateful agenda are as transparent as glass. And before you numbskulls accuse me of being with one campaign or another I do not even live in you're hateful, civil war district.

Monica said...

Ognibene was asked why he defended Gallagher after he was accused of rape and why, after Gallagher pleaded guilty, did Ognibene say he felt sad about Gallagher but not about what happened to the victim. This does not sound like favoritism to me. There were no punches pulled last night. Como and Crowley acted like cowards, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Hey Monica no good deed goes unpunished. Look at how Pinky is relentlessly going after the only man who defended him and maligning him all over his blog.

Queens Crapper said...

Just think what it must feel like to be Gallagher. He is known throughout the community as a sexual deviant, he lost his job, family and paycheck and he now can do nothing but sit back and watch while others are duking it out for his old job. All he has to look forward to is attacking his old friend and mentor. What a miserable existence this man now leads.

Anonymous said...

"The JPCA and they're hateful agenda are as transparent as glass."

The fact that you are uneducated enough to use the contraction "they're" when you mean the possessive "their" means we have reason to believe that you are Pinky.

Anonymous said...

2 chickens! Bok, bok, bok, bok!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was Ober and Ognibene's fault for actually sticking to their word and showing up. It was Ober and Ognibene's fault for taking questions from their possible future constituents.

Queens Crapper said...

Here's the funniest thing...the excuse both Como and Crowley came up with to evade questioning was that they were being interviewed for possible endorsement by the Queens Ledge. Who would be proud to get an endorsement from the that paper? THEY CAN'T EVEN SPELL THE NAME OF THEIR NEWSPAPER RIGHT!!!!

Anonymous said...

The question to Ognibene concerning Gallagher really wasn't a tough question. It was a softball meant to illicit criticism of Gallagher. Did anyone ask Ognibene about the past investigations into his alleged unethical behavior with the former building inspector, and the gifts and vacations he may have received from the inspector? That would have been a tough question and I didn't hear anything about that being asked last night.

Taxpayers said...

Now the ignorant cowards are crying because "Ognibene and Ober" rebutted them in their absence.

Well.

This is call the "empty chair debate". Happens all the time in all campaigns when one or more candidates refuse to answer to the voters.

Stupid, inexperience people like this cowardly pair want to have it both ways.

They want to avoid questions from voters. They want other candidates to honor their cowardice.

Not gonna happen, stupidos!

This is the world for big boys and girls. Grownups. Adults.

You prefer to hide behind Sanchez and Gallagher (both lawbreaking liars)? Screw you then. We voters have no more use for you than we do for used toilet tissues.

Nobody kept you away last night but your own insulting, infantile, fears. Live with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Correction - meant to say "elicit"

Taxpayer said...

Anonymous said...
"The question to Ognibene concerning Gallagher really wasn't a tough question. It was a softball meant to illicit criticism of Gallagher. Did anyone ask Ognibene about the past investigations into his alleged unethical behavior with the former building inspector, and the gifts and vacations he may have received from the inspector? That would have been a tough question and I didn't hear anything about that being asked last night."

Who prevented you from being there to ask that question yourself?

Anonymous said...

Ognibene was asked why he defended Gallagher after he was accused of rape and why, after Gallagher pleaded guilty, did Ognibene say he felt sad about Gallagher but not about what happened to the victim. This does not sound like favoritism to me------------------------------------------------------

If that's the case, I am wrong. I'm glad to see the Q&A was on the level after all. I still believe the JPCA has a hateful agenda, but if they ran a straight up candidates night, kudos to them, humble pie for me.

As for my misuse of "they're", no excuse, that was poor. The lack of education reference was well earned, but was my misuse so egregious that I had to be accused of being Pinky? Now that's rough!

Anonymous said...

Ognibene was asked about Lattanzio at several other candidates nights and his response was always, "I was never indicted." (unlike Pinky) It was reported in the papers and the civic wanted to ask questions that the candidates were never asked before.

Anonymous said...

"Ognibene was asked about Lattanzio at several other candidates nights and his response was always, "I was never indicted." (unlike Pinky) It was reported in the papers and the civic wanted to ask questions that the candidates were never asked before."

That's pretty lame. They asked about overdevelopment, Como's house, St. Saviour's, and other topics that have been covered at prior candidate nights. They go on and on about this church building but they don't ask about Ognibene's biggest potential ethical issue?

Christina Wilkinson said...

"They asked about overdevelopment, Como's house, St. Saviour's, and other topics that have been covered at prior candidate nights."

Ognibene brought up Como's house. The question for Como was along the lines of how do you put yourself down as an active member of JPCA when you don't show up to the rallies or meetings? St. Saviour's was not brought up at other candidates nights to my knowledge. Not surprisingly, Maspeth hasn't had a candidates night yet. They don't like it when Maspeth people vote. I live by the LIE and they make me vote at PS 128 in Middle Village.

Here were the questions from the first round:

1. In the last 10 years, what civic accomplishments are you most proud of?

2. Can you identify the problems of delivery of services of the 104th Precinct?

3. Would you fully fund the reconstruction and restoration of
St. Saviour’s ?

4. What is your position on Cross Harbor and how would you reduce truck traffic in our community? What would you do to help the Maspeth Bypass Plan become a reality?

5. Using your crystal ball…What are the top three problems District 30 will be facing in the next 4 years.

6. Do you believe that 74th Street & 57th Avenue is an appropriate location for an intermediate school and two high schools totaling 1,650 students?

Anonymous said...

Crowley and Como couldn't answer these? Sheesh. I'm voting Ober.

Anonymous said...

No, they couldn't and they were afraid to try. Chickenshits we have as candidates.

Anonymous said...

"They asked about overdevelopment, Como's house, St. Saviour's, and other topics that have been covered at prior candidate nights."

Looks like some asshole is commenting without having been there. Pinky.

Anonymous said...

I would have liked to hear Liz and Anthony answer these. Oh well. I'm going with Ognibene.

Anonymous said...

I live in Glendale and was looking forward to hearing Ms. Crowley because she is my neighbor. I was upset that she didn't show up. She lost my vote to the Ridgewood guy.

Anonymous said...

Pinky's in overdrive on his blog because Ognibene came out looking pretty good and IT'S KILLING HIM.

Anonymous said...

Christina, you disappoint me. Yes, Ognibene brought up Como's house. And several times during his discussion, Kampermann repeatedly said that Como's house was the subject of the next question on the list. He was trying to get Ognibene to wait until he could officially ask the question about it, but Ognibene just kept talking over Kampermann's attempts to interrupt him.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Nope, Como's house question was a reserve question if we had time to get to it. Ognibene brought it up, so Ed mentioned that it was on the list. If the other 2 had shown up, we certainly wouldn't have gotten around to asking it. I'm not sure why this is a big deal since Como answered the question about his house many times before. Surely, this was not the question he was afraid to answer. Or maybe it was. It's one thing to defend the house in front of a Ridgewood crowd, it's another to defend it in front of people who live on your block.

Anonymous said...

If Como was afraid to answer questions about his house, maybe he shouldn't have built the thing in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Looks like JD is in the room.

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with you people?

I told you I wasn't indicted. You did burn those tapes didn't you?

And mothers who have children with lead paint poisoning, didn't I tell you to vaccumn 24/7?

I'm so charming why don't you listen to me?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot you term-limited me. So why won't you let me back? Is it because even Pakaki wouldn't let me be a judge? What if I promise to hire Gallagher again if I'm elected?

Justin DiSanzo said...

Please someone rescue me from that bloated inarticulate pseudo attorney, Anthony Como. The guy is an embarrassment.
How bad is this guy?
Next to Como, Elizabeth Crowley actually appears to have a brain.

Anonymous said...

Como and Crowley are cowards, plain and simple. They didn't have the moral courage to appear at the debate to answer tough questions.

How can we trust them to stand up for us in the city council?
We can't.

Anonymous said...

Walter "Lien on Me" Sanchez owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal liens.

How is this guy allowed to be a community board member? He cheated employees out of their social security money and was caught by the feds. He should've gone to jail.

Once again he's living in a (borrowed) glass house and throwing pebbles.

Let's break out the boulders boys! This should be fun.

Anonymous said...

What about the reports of Ognibene was caught on tape taking bribes from a building consultant?
Ognibene admits to the Queens Chronicle in 2001 "That he May Have Failed Morally"
"Ognibene said 'This individual (developer Lattanzio) had a problem with may be found criminal. I may be morally responsible for giving him assistance . . . " - Queens Chronicle June 21 2001.

Anonymous said...

Don't know about anyone else, but the only candidate I've found SO FAR with a CLEAN SLATE is OBER. That's all that is important to me.

Anonymous said...

I kept being amazed that they don't realize all this info is "a Matter of Public Record".

Wait, they do know, but they think we are all stupid. Arrogance is what makes them stupid.

Anonymous said...

Christina, I'm not sure why I have to explain this, but: the JPCA panel had no set question for Ognibene regarding his involvement with the corrupt buildings department inspector, which has been documented in the past by the NY Times and constitutes the single biggest ethical question surrounding Ognibene. A comment above stated this was because it had been discussed before at a prior candidates night. However, the JPCA panel had a set question regarding Como's house, which also had already been discussed at a prior candidates night. This shows that the JPCA was planning to go after Como and go soft on Ognibene.
You first implied that the JPCA didn't have the question about the house planned. When confronted with the truth about it, you then backpedaled that it was a "reserve" question if they got around to it. Even though Mr. Kampermann kept trying to tell Ognibene that Como's house was the next question at the time Ognibene brought it up. Then you tried to imply that the JPCA was only asking general type questions by listing the first round questions, when you know that the questions specific to the candidates' backgrounds were the second round questions. Why don't you list all the second round questions that were asked and planned?
Seriously, it is these types of misleading statements that get people annoyed at the JPCA. Instead of trying to mislead people into thinking that you weren't planning tougher questions for some candidates over others, just say that you planned to focus on issues relating to Como and Crowley more than Ognibene and Ober. I know that when it was announced early in the night that the JPCA were going to ask specific candidate-related questions in the second round of questioning, I was looking forward to hearing Ognibene explain in detail exactly what happened with that building inspector, but the question was never asked.

Christina Wilkinson said...

Ed Kampermann was mistaken. It was not the "next question". It was a reserve question. Regardless, it is a current issue that is affecting the neighborhood and was fair game. The 2nd round questions were:

For Elizabeth Crowley: According to a Campaign Finance Board audit, your campaign was required to pay $56,267 in penalties, $22,207 of which was for exceeding expenditure limits. Another $20,000 was for failure to adequately explain allegations of money order fraud. The penalties are currently being paid on an installment plan. Why should we trust you to handle our tax money when it appears you can’t handle campaign contributions?

Optional Rebuttal: 1 minute for each candidate

• For Anthony Como: Why do you indicate in your campaign literature that you are an active member of the Juniper Park Civic Association when we rarely saw you at our meetings and never saw you at the protests against overdevelopment, Cross Harbor, the Home Depot at the Gas Tanks site, housing at St. Saviour’s or the off-leash dog hearings? (reworded)
You also have been quoted in the media as saying that you will re-hire Gallagher staffers to work in your council office. Is this true?

Optional Rebuttal: 1 minute for each candidate

• For Tom Ognibene: You came to disgraced Councilman Dennis Gallagher’s defense after he was accused and indicted for rape. Please explain why you did that, how you feel about Dennis Gallagher now and your thoughts about his victim.

Optional Rebuttal: 1 minute for each candidate

• For Charles Ober: An ignorant anonymous letter was mailed denouncing your sexual orientation. Only one of your opponents, Republican Tom Ognibene, joined you in denouncing the hate-filled letter. Why didn’t members of your own party, including elected officials you supported, denounce the letter?

These are all recent issues and specific to Middle Village/Maspeth and/or JPCA. Como and Crowley were too chicken to answer them. Ognibene and Ober did. Como and Crowley also committed themselves to our debate then reneged at the last minute with a bogus excuse. This shows they have severe character flaws.

verdi said...

"Fat Tony" Como is a typical
zoological specimen of your squat, chubby cheeked, low class,
"goombah" mouth breather.

He thinks he can elevate his social standing by the "erection" of a fortress, perhaps, in an attempt to overcompensate for his lack of confidence (heh, heh, heh) in "other departments".

Welcome to "palazzo stu cazzo"!

Check your guns at the door
with the major dommo and
don't forget the cannolis !

Anonymous said...

I guess that Ms. Crowley had a previous engagement on her back with Mc Laughlin!

Anonymous said...

Wattsa matta "fat Tony"....
couldn't afford to build
your house in Malba and rub elbows with the local "don cheechs"?

H-m-m-m....
strictly a second rate slob!

Anonymous said...

I would think that whatever group hosting the event has the right to ask whatever questions they see fit. And the candidates should be able to answer them regardless of whether they think they are fair questions or not. None of these were personal questions. If they can't or won't answer these questions, then they are not fit to serve.

Anonymous said...

I love a dat house!

"Que bella cosa....fit for mafiosa".

Bravo mi amigo!

Anonymous said...

Someone better tell the Ober campaign that Michael Mascetti is working for Crowley to get info from Ober's campaign manager to get back to Crowley. They promised him a lot of money for his nonprofit if he gets info out of the campaign manager and gives it to Crowley.

I got wind of this a few days ago at Crowley's campaign that Michael had told Crowley's people that he had an in with the Ober campaign and that he could get info out of the campaign to give to Crowley and they promised him a lot of money for his non-profit and something about Michael's father needing a job in the union. so beware Ober that this is out there. Can someone please get this message to the Ober People in case he is in contact with them. They need to know about this right away.