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Common Sense: Week of December 27

CHANGING TIMES

The Democratic Party in Brooklyn had a serious setback last week when State Senator John Sampson, who hails from Canarsie, was soundly defeated in his attempt to be re-elected minority leader of the State Senate.

The title went to Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester. The loss is not simply one of bragging rights for Brooklyn. Sampson as minority leader controlled a number of important appointments, a very large staff and some influence over the legislative and budgetary process.

Sampson was blamed for a fair share of the Democratic problems in the State Senate. In fact, he had as many problems with fellow Democrats as with Republicans. The breakaway Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) was formed in great part due to the failures of Sampson and his leadership team.

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Speaking of the State Senate ,with all the ballots the trial judge permitted to be counted opened, Republican-Conservative George Amedore won by 39 votes. This gives the Republicans, with the support of Democrat Simcha Felder, a one seat majority in the Senate.

The Democratic candidate is certain to appeal, hoping to get an appellate panel to allow as many of the remaining 400 ballots as possible also to be opened. The trial judge agreed with the objections that, under the statute, the ballots were obtained improperly. The appellate panel, after arguments, could do anything from allowing no additional ballots to be counted to allowing all of them.

In any event, as of this writing, all the ballots allowed by the court of original jurisdiction have been counted and the Republican-Conservative George Amedore has won.

Amedore is the sixth Republican senator out of a total of 31 elected whose margin of victory was the Conservative Party line.

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One of the true unsung heroes of our community is Senator Golden’s District Office Manager John Quaglione. Due in great part to John’s efforts, not only was the office – which I lead as chief of staff — able to provide near 24-hour support to storm-impacted communities within the senator’s district, the office maintained its usual busy schedule including distributing many turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, running a Toys for Tots drive, doing numerous Christmas tree lightings, protesting the toll increases and of course helping hundreds of constituents.

When he has free time, John volunteers many hours on behalf of St. Anselm’s Church. I am certain that John and his wife Kerry, who is an interim acting assistant principal at P.S. 127, will be looking forward to Christmas with their daughter Natalie Grace who turned one this past October.

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Wishing all my readers, and Helen and The Home Reporter and Spectator staff a happy and safe New Year!

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