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Sliwa aims to ‘Save the Senate’

His bid for mayor fell short, but that doesn’t mean Curtis Sliwa is going to sit on the sidelines in 2022.
Sliwa announced this week that he is forming the “Save the Senate” Super PAC aimed explicitly at defeating Senator Chuck Schumer. First elected to the Senate in 1998, Schumer is seeking a fifth term.
“I am more committed than ever to advancing our Republican values and priorities and holding liberal elitists accountable for failing New York and America,” Sliwa says on the website’s mission statement. “Next up: Senator Chuck Schumer.”
Sliwa says he plans to raise millions of dollars through the political action committee, which will in turn be used to promote and help elect a Republican challenger to the Senator Majority Leader. Schumer has not faced a serious challenger in the last three elections.
“As senator, Schumer has delivered nothing more than Sunday press conferences with empty promises,” the website continued. “Between the rising cost of living, a broken healthcare system, struggling public schools, and lack of affordable housing, it is clear that Senator Schumer’s primary concern is keeping himself and his cronies in power.”
Bronx attorney and Albanian immigrant, Aleksander Mici, announced recently that he would seek to challenge Schumer on the Republican line. And Sliwa hasn’t totally ruled out throwing his red beret into the ring, but said he would only run as a last resort.
When Schumer was elected in 1998, he defeated Republican Al D’Amato. D’Amato is now a lobbyist, and recently told the Post that Schumer is virtually unbeatable. The senator visits every county in the state every year, and is a fundraising powerhouse.
Heck, D’Amato even endorsed the man who replaced him during the 2016 election.
As for the aforementioned Siena College poll, voters were also asked how they feel about Schumer. Among Democrats, 70 percent said they had a favorable view of the job Schumer was doing, while only 20 percent of Republicans polled could say the same.

Hochul in control

At this point, it looks like it’s Kathy Hochul’s job to lose.
According to a Siena College poll released this week, the current governor holds a double-digit lead over her next closest challenger, Attorney General Letitia James.
In a survey of registered Democrats, if the primary were held today, 36 percent said they would vote for Hochul to represent the party in next year’s general election, while 18 percent said they backed James.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams would get 10 percent of the vote, while Mayor Bill de Blasio and Congressman Tom Suozzi would each get 6 percent of the vote. Twenty-four percent said they are undecided or back another candidate, which means there’s still plenty of undecided voters out there for the candidates to sway.
Suozzi announced his intent to run last week, turning down an offer by mayor-elect Eric Adams to join him at City Hall and serve as deputy mayor.
Suozzi’s decision reportedly upset some in the Democratic Party, who would prefer that he focus on re-election to Congress, especially after the GOP did much better than expected in local races in Suozzi’s current congressional district, which includes parts of Queens and Nassau County.
With Suozzi focused on running for governor, the seat could be vulnerable to being flipped by Republicans, who are focused on taking back the majority in the House next year.
There was also speculation that Suozzi and the governor would be competing for the same voters, namely conservative-leaning Democrats, making it harder for her to win re-election and opening the door for a progressive candidate like James or Williams.
As for now, it doesn’t look like Hochul has to worry about that, but there’s still a long way to go until the June primary.

Pandemic predators

Dear Editor,
I’m shocked by accusations that “nonprofit” hospitals sued patients and filed liens against their homes during the COVID crisis, despite receiving state emergency funds.
The Coalition for Affordable Hospitals, a group of labor unions, claims that 55 hospitals sued nearly 4,000 patients for medical debt while getting over $442 million from the state’s Indigent Care Pool.
These pandemic predators exploited taxpayers and patients out of sheer greed. Among the worst culprits, says the Coalition, is Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system a biggest private employer with 23 hospitals, 650 outpatient facilities and more than 70,000 staffers.
Its president & CEO, Michael Dowling, got a total compensation exceeding $4 million last year, ten times higher than President Joe Biden’s salary. Not bad for the head of an enterprise designated as a “nonprofit, tax exempt” organization by New York State and the federal government.
In television commercials, hospitals portray themselves as compassionate lifelines to their communities. But their bottom line takes top priority in real life.
They are nonprofit profiteers who violated a basic mandate of medicine: “First, do no harm.” State leaders and regulatory agencies must probe and penalize them for financial abuse.
Richard Reif
Kew Gardens Hills

Suozzi’s folly

Dear Editor,
I couldn’t believe the shortsightedness and purely narcissistic comments Congressman Thomas Souzzi made about running for governor.
Regarding Congress, he said “I’m hoping we win the majority again and we may not, it doesn’t matter. I’m running for governor.”
It doesn’t matter? The GOP taking over the House with Kevin McCarthy, who denies the treasonous attack of January 6 and shows no respect for the rule of law, as speaker doesn’t matter?
The same Kevin McCarthy who was against the infrastructure legislation that will provide jobs for New York State? That doesn’t matter because Suozzi wants the job he was made for?
I have news for you Mr. Suozzi, things are bigger than you. To say that it “doesn’t matter” makes Suozzi yet another Democrat like Senator Joe Manchin, who will sabotage the goals of a sitting Democratic president.
Yes it does matter, how can it possibly not?
Stew Frimer
Forest Hills

Dem vs. GOP debt

Dear Editor,
Dispatcher Larry Penner is upset that President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Bill will add $595 billion to the deficit over the next ten years.
The bill will put $110 billion into roads, bridges and other major projects, $66 billion into freight and passenger rail, $39 billion into public transit systems, $65 billion into expanding broadband, a priority after the coronavirus pandemic left millions of Americans at home without effective internet access, and $55 billion into improving water systems and replacing lead pipes.
It will also increase funding for seniors in regards to vision, hearing and dental care, fight climate change, curb prescription drug prices, and increase funding for veterans.
Was Mr. Penner equally as upset when Donald Trump’s tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires added $3.9 trillion to the deficit? Of course not.
Here is the difference when it comes to Republicans and Democrats in regards to the deficit: Reagan took the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion, Bush 41 took it to $300 billion, Clinton got it to zero.
Then Bush 43 took it from zero to $1.2 trillion, while Obama halved it to $600 billion despite Republican obstructionism at every turn. When Trump left office the deficit was $27 trillion!
Just to be clear, Biden increased the deficit to help the citizens of the United States. Trump increased the deficit so that the wealthy could buy a new yacht.
Robert LaRosa, Sr.

Russia aggression

Dear Editor,
The recent buildup of Russian troops and military equipment along the border with Ukraine certainly must be considered a potential flashpoint for an escalating military confrontation.
How far will NATO be willing to go to support Ukraine should Russia decide to send troops across the border?
Officially, Ukraine is not yet a member of NATO, although it is pushing to become one. Russia is playing a very dangerous political and military game of roulette, and Putin should think twice before launching an attack on Ukraine.
This situation could potentially be a flashpoint for a major conflict, one that nobody really wants to see occur. Diplomacy and tact must be used to resolve this tense situation.
John Amato
Fresh Meadows

QCC honors local business heroes

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted its first-ever Business Heroes of the Year Awards in front of about 400 people at Terrace on the Park last Wednesday night.
President and CEO Tom Grech took the time to introduce and honor the awardees, who come from various industries, such as hospitality and technology, and philanthropic organizations.
District Attorney Melinda Katz spoke at the event, expressing her gratitude for small businesses and all they’ve done for the borough during the height of COVID-19.
“At the end of the day, whether we were dealing with a worldwide pandemic, whether we were dealing with an overdue conversation on policing in the United States, whatever we were working on and dealing with, we had to count on our businesses to continue to thrive and survive,” said Katz.
She presented the first award of the evening to Melva Miller of ABNY, who was also Katz’s former deputy borough president when she served as bBorough president.
Charles Boyce of Boyce Technologies was another honoree, whom Grech commended for saving lives throughout New York State by mass producing ventilators during the depths of the pandemic.
While not everyone can be a frontline healthcare worker themselves, many people view food and hospitality as a way of symbolically healing.
This is especially true for honorees Rachel Kellner of Aigner Chocolates, Nupur Arora of Queens Curry Kitchen, Mark Boccia of Bourbon Street, Patrick Oropeza of Bolivian Llama Party, Frank Russo of Russo’s on the Bay and Declan Morrison of Stacked Sandwich Shop.
As for services and organizations who dedicate their time to help smaller businesses succeed, honorees Jonnel Doris of NYC Small Business Services, Larry Zogby of RDS Same Day Delivery Service, and Michael Peterson of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation fit the bill.
“It was a wonderful evening and it’s a great honor to be given this award by the Queens Chamber,” said Michael Peterson.
“We’ve worked very hard with them along with the other chambers of commerce across the city to help out small businesses,” he continued. “So to be here tonight in person to meet some of the other small business leaders in this community and to be a part of this is a great honor.”
In addition to the businesses being honored for their efforts to the borough, the Queens Chamber of Commerce held a toy drive for children in need that guests could donate to for a chance to win a raffle.

Blood Center, RWNYC team up for Giving Tuesday blood drive

The never-ending need for blood has been exacerbated by both the global pandemic and the holiday season, with reserve levels decreasing across New York City and the country.
On Giving Tuesday, the New York Blood Center and Resorts World NYC hosted an annual blood drive event as part of their nine-year partnership.
Under normal conditions, the New York Blood Center would typically have a week’s worth of blood in their reserves, said account manager Armando Echeverry. But currently, the center is down to just one to two days worth of reserves.
And the blood shortage is also being felt across the nation, with the Red Cross announcing they are heading into the holiday season with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade.
“We’re hoping that people can give a little bit of their lives to save others,” said Echeverry last Tuesday at Resorts World NYC. “Since the pandemic started, donations have dwindled to the point where our reserve levels are very low. We have people with chronic illnesses who need blood on a consistent basis.”
Every pint of blood donated can save three lives. With eight to 12 pints of blood flowing through the average person, blood is usually regenerated in the body within 24 hours.
The efforts to incentivize people to donate blood in a dire time of need has been tough, says Echeverry, and he fears that new coronavirus variants will discourage people from donating.
During the pandemic, the number of blood drives in the region dropped by two-thirds.
“With our mobile blood drives, about a quarter of our blood came from schools and colleges,” said Echeverry, recalling the height of the pandemic. “That was no longer there. Little by little, we’re starting to get schools back.”
One does not need to be vaccinated in order to donate blood
Michelle Stoddart, RWNYC director of Community Development, said the blood drive was the fourth the casino has hosted this year, with many familiar faces returning to donate.
“We definitely see that people understand and that people will turn out to do this,” said Stoddart. “There’s a real passion, even with our staff.”
Denis Shannon, who works an evening security detail for the casino and hotel in Jamaica, is among the group of employees who give blood at the donation centers set up by their employer.
The one-hour process for Shannon helped RWNYC climb closer to a goal of 100 units of blood donated over the course of the day. Instead of taking his scheduled lunch break, Shannon was set on giving back before starting his shift.
“I do it because somebody needs my blood,” said Shannon as his blood was being drawn. “I’d rather do this than eat.”

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