Thursday, July 28, 2005

Eva Moskowitz

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The New York Times July 24, 2005 Sunday

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

July 24, 2005 Sunday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section 14; Column 1; The City Weekly Desk; Pg. 11

LENGTH: 586 words

HEADLINE: Other People's Money

BODY:

In his campaign for re-election, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has so far spent more than $23 million of his personal fortune. So it seemed like small change when Gifford Miller, the speaker of the City Council, and one of four Democrats hoping to unseat Mr. Bloomberg, spent $1.6 million to mail fliers last month to millions of New Yorkers. The difference is, Mr. Miller's spree was paid for with taxpayer funds, in a way that reflects poorly on his judgment.

As speaker, Mr. Miller enjoys a great deal of power, which unfortunately for him has not translated into name recognition among voters outside his Upper East Side district in Manhattan. The mailings aimed to remedy that. Depending on the district they were mailed to, the brochures sought to contrast Mr. Miller's budget priorities with Mr. Bloomberg's on school class size, cultural institutions, and programs for the elderly or immigrants.. The fliers featured photos of Mr. Miller, and most included a shot of the local council member.

The material stopped short of asking for votes, but the intent was clear. Several council members disapproved of using their taxpayer-financed mailing privileges -- called franking -- for what was frankly a campaign message. One, Eva Moskowitz, who is herself running for Manhattan borough president, blocked the use of her name and photo after deeming the flier for her district inappropriate. Another, Councilman Tony Avella, called for Mr. Miller to reimburse the city.

This page has long criticized Mayor Bloomberg for tilting the political playing field by using huge sums from his own fortune in his campaigns. And less wealthy candidates in the past have tried to use public funds for what everyone could see were campaign purposes. Rudolph W. Giuliani appeared in television spots with Joe Torre, the Yankees manager, ostensibly to promote recycling, as he sought re-election in 1997. The previous speaker of the City Council, Peter F. Vallone Sr., faced criticism when he sent out his own mailings on the public dime. He, too, was hoping to become mayor. None of the spending was illegal. But that did not make it right.

The same is true now. Mr. Miller is quick to point out he acted within the law, which he says he helped to toughen. But some suspect Mr. Miller rewrote the law last year to try to inoculate himself from future criticism. The law now bars city officeholders from sending out any mailings within 90 days of an election -- presumably to avoid the appearance of abusing public funds for political purpose. The Miller mailings just cleared the deadline, by less than a week.

Instead of coming clean when questions about the mailings were raised by another mayoral candidate, C. Virginia Fields, the Manhattan borough president, Mr. Miller's staff tried to minimize the concern by minimizing the numbers. The cost of the mailings was at first grossly understated, at $37,000. And the printings were divided into 150 smaller jobs, conveniently avoiding requirement for competitive bids for larger contracts.

It cannot be easy running against an incumbent who is prepared to spend whatever it takes to get re-elected. That does not justify abusing the public trust. Unlike Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Miller agreed to take part in the city's public finance program, giving him matching funds for money he raises. That means he also faces spending limits. He should not be allowed to use even more public resources to skirt those caps. Mr. Miller owes the people of New York an explanation and an apology.


The New York Times September 7, 2004 Tuesday

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

September 7, 2004 Tuesday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 22

LENGTH: 261 words

HEADLINE: When Dog Bites Dog, Man Is Next

BODY:

New York is a place where eight million people share a crowded landscape with roughly one million dogs -- and where as many as 10,000 people have been bitten by dogs in a single year. People who love dogs and people who don't can peacefully coexist only when dog owners handle their animals responsibly and the authorities intervene promptly when dangerous animals place people, and other animals, at risk.

The problem that has been festering for months in the Manhattan neighborhood of Turtle Bay clearly fits this description. In this case, a pair of badly behaved pit bulls have attacked several neighborhood dogs -- on the streets and in a building elevator -- and finally succeeded in actually killing a Chihuahua.

Leslie Kaufman reported last week in The Times that the pit bulls' owner was already under a court order to muzzle the dogs, a requirement that neighbors say she has ignored, and had been successfully sued in connection with one of the attacks.

The owner of a golden retriever that survived an attack complained to the police and was told that nothing could be done unless the pit bulls plunged their teeth into a human being. That may happen soon enough if people keep finding it necessary to shield their animals with their own bodies.

Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz has a point when she says the law about problem dogs should be modified to hold owners more closely accountable for aggressive dogs and to bring those dogs under scrutiny while they are still attacking other animals -- before they get around to attacking people.


The New York Times December 15, 2003 Monday

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

December 15, 2003 Monday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 26

LENGTH: 333 words

HEADLINE: In City Streets, an Unwelcome Sentry

BODY:

It sometimes seems that car alarms were invented as part of a mass sleep-deprivation experiment. How else to explain the setting off of honking and whooping devices around the city just as the average New Yorker reaches the R.E.M. sleep phase? Often the alarm is false, set off by a passing truck, a gust of wind or a glancing blow from an opening taxi door. So when the police get a call, it's usually someone complaining about the noise, not reporting a possible robbery in progress. In fact anyone who's been awakened by an alarm would cheer the thief who takes away the vehicle -- and noise -- and quickly.

With their constituents' complaints ringing in their ears, members of the City Council that brought us cellphone-free theaters are mercifully taking another crack at passing the first law in the nation to curb car alarms. The issue is complicated. A few cars have manufacturer-installed devices, some are put in by the dealer and others by the owner. And some offending alarms are on the cars of out-of-city visitors, and there may be nothing to be done about them. Still, a proposal sponsored by Eva Moskowitz, a Council member from Manhattan, and John Liu, from Queens, deserves a hearing, and is scheduled for one next month. Among other things, it would ban the sale and installation of audible alarms in the city, and that's a good start. The Bloomberg administration -- which started a popular anti-noise campaign last year -- nonetheless last spring sided with car alarms as a deterrent to car theft.

It is true that automobile theft is down in the city -- more than 111,000 cars were stolen in 1993; so far this year, the number is below 25,000. But that seems to be the result of smarter police work, since the decline in car theft is in line with drops in robberies, home burglaries and homicide in the same period. Considering that shrieking devices are just one way -- the loudest way -- to protect a car, it's time to turn them off and end rude awakenings in the city.


The New York Times December 11, 2003 Thursday

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 11, 2003 Thursday

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 43

LENGTH: 669 words

HEADLINE: All That Noise for Nothing

BYLINE: By Aaron Friedman; Aaron Friedman is project manager for Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group.

BODY:

Early next year, the New York City Council is supposed to hold a final hearing on legislation that would silence the most hated of urban noises: the car alarm. With similar measures having failed in the past, and with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg withholding his support for the latest bill, let's hope the Council does right by the citizens it represents.

Every day, car alarms harass thousands of New Yorkers -- rousing sleepers, disturbing readers, interrupting conversations and contributing to quality-of-life concerns that propel many weary residents to abandon the city for the suburbs. According to the Census Bureau, more New Yorkers are now bothered by traffic noise, including car alarms, than by any other aspect of city life, including crime or the condition of schools.

So there must be a compelling reason for us to endure all this aggravation, right? Amazingly, no. Many car manufacturers, criminologists and insurers agree that car alarms are ineffective. When the nonprofit Highway Loss Data Institute surveyed insurance-claims data from 73 million vehicles nationwide in 1997, they concluded that cars with alarms "show no overall reduction in theft losses" compared with cars without alarms.

There are two reasons they don't prevent theft. First, the vast majority of blaring sirens are false alarms, set off by passing traffic, the jostling of urban life or nothing at all. City dwellers quickly learn to disregard these cars crying wolf; a recent national survey by the Progressive Insurance Company found that fewer than 1 percent of respondents would call the police upon hearing an alarm.

In 1992, a car alarm industry spokesman, Darrell Issa (if you know his name that's because he would later spearhead the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in California), told the New York City Council that an alarm is effective "only in areas where the sound causes the dispatch of the police or attracts the owner's attention." In New York, this just doesn't happen.

Car alarms also fail for a second reason: they are easy to disable. Most stolen cars are taken by professional car thieves, and they know how to de-activate an alarm in just a few seconds.

Perversely, alarms can encourage more crime than they prevent. The New York Police Department, in its 1994 booklet "Police Strategy No. 5," explains how alarms (which "frequently go off for no apparent reason") can shatter the sense of civility that makes a community safe. As one of the "signs that no one cares," the department wrote, car alarms "invite both further disorder and serious crime."

I've seen some of my neighbors in Washington Heights illustrate this by taking revenge on alarmed cars: puncturing tires, even throwing a toaster oven through a windshield. False alarms enrage otherwise lawful citizens, and alienate the very people car owners depend on to call the police. In other words, car alarms work about as well as fuzzy dice at deterring theft, while irritating entire neighborhoods.

The best solution is to ban them, as proposed by the sponsors of the City Council legislation, John Liu and Eva Moskowitz. The police could simply ticket or tow offending cars. This would be a great improvement over the current laws, which include limiting audible alarms to three minutes -- something that has proved to be nearly impossible to enforce.

Car owners could easily comply: more than 50 car alarm installation shops throughout the city have already pledged to disable alarms at no cost, according to a survey by the Center for Automotive Security Innovation.

And there is a viable alternative. People worried about protecting their cars can buy what are called silent engine immobilizers. Many European cars and virtually every new General Motors and Ford vehicle use the technology, in which a computer chip in the ignition key communicates with the engine. Without the key, the only way to steal the car is to tow it away, something most thieves don't have the time for. In the meantime, the rest of us could finally get some sleep.


The New York Times December 3, 2003 Wednesday

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

December 3, 2003 Wednesday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 30

LENGTH: 373 words

HEADLINE: School Wars in New York City

BODY:

With more than a million students and 80,000 teachers spread over more than 1,100 buildings, the New York City school system is more complex than most cities. Retooling this gargantuan system to meet the new standards laid out by both the state and the federal governments would be difficult in the best of times. It will be impossible if the city and the teachers' union succumb to the hostility that has been building in their relationship in recent months.

Last week the union filed a grievance, charging the city with dragging its feet in negotiating a contract to replace the one that lapsed in May. The complaint accuses the city of attacking the union through the press while refusing to convene formal negotiations as labor law requires. Even so, the union's hands are not entirely clean. When, earlier this year, the city announced that it would lay off paraprofessional workers instead of teachers in a budget crunch, the union filed an inflammatory "disparate impact" lawsuit, in essence accusing the city of racial discrimination.

The relationship between the two sides deteriorated further during recent City Council hearings led by Eva Moskowitz, which were intended to highlight the contract rules that impede school management but ended up inflaming ongoing talks.

The city says it wants sweeping work-rule changes that would allow it to place more senior teachers in weak schools, pay more to hard-to-find teachers in areas like mathematics and further streamline the process by which inept teachers are dismissed. Recognizing that work-rule changes are in order, in September the union proposed a new "thin" contract that would do away with a vast majority of rules -- but in a gradual process that would begin with perhaps 150 schools and be expanded once teachers saw that the new process was not the end of the world. The city has yet to respond in a formal way to that proposal.

Both sides seem to understand what reasonable people know to be true: work rules need to change for schools to work better. But the shrill tone of the discussion seems to be obscuring this basic point. Instead of barking at each other in public, the sides should sit down and come to an agreement that benefits the city's schoolchildren.


The New York Times September 22, 2003 Monday

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

September 22, 2003 Monday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 16

LENGTH: 363 words

HEADLINE: Illegal Guns and Liability

BODY:

It's puzzling: a society that figured out that it could not stem the use of alcohol and tobacco by minors without punishing the people who profit from those sales still has not done much to keep the wrong people from owning guns. Now Congress is poised to take a step back from that goal.

Usually, weapons used in urban crimes are purchased far away. The sniper killings in the Washington, D.C., area were traced to a gun sold in Tacoma, Wash. Guns that end up in Chicago often start out in Indiana and points south. In New York, a study showed that some 85 percent of guns used in crimes came from Florida, Georgia and other states.

The so-called iron pipelines are kept flowing when gun makers supply dealers who sell to traffickers or those who front for them. While responsible business practices seem a reasonable requirement, the federal government is close to all but eliminating liability for the gun industry in deaths and injuries. If that happens, it would render moot some of more than two dozen lawsuits by municipalities and victims that are still pending.

Last month three California cities won as five dealers, including two from Georgia and Ohio, promised in a settlement to change how they sell guns in the state. But in many other cases, the industry has prevailed.

Without help from Washington, local lawmakers are taking action. The New York City Council, which saw one of its members killed with an out-of-state gun, is weighing two bills. One offered by Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz of Manhattan makes suing the gun industry easier for shooting victims and their families. It may be too far-reaching, possibly leaving even suppliers of police weapons vulnerable. A better bet is the bill from Councilman David Yassky of Brooklyn, which seeks to compel manufacturers and dealers to adhere to a code of conduct. Both are pressing for similar state legislation.

Local law, however, can be trumped by Congress, where the House handily voted to give immunity to gun makers and distributors in almost all cases. If that bill passes in the Senate, where a majority backs it, the question of who's to blame for the spread of illegal guns may find another answer.


The New York Times November 6, 2001 Tuesday

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

November 6, 2001 Tuesday

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 20

LENGTH: 167 words

HEADLINE: Election Day Choices

BODY:

This list summarizes The Times's recommendations for some races and ballot proposals throughout the New York region today. Poll hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in New York and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in New Jersey.

NEW YORK CITY

MAYOR

Mark Green

PUBLIC ADVOCATE

Brooklyn

CITY COUNCIL

43rd District (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst): Joanne Seminara.

Manhattan

CITY COUNCIL

Fourth District (East Side from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to Yorkville): Eva Moskowitz.

Queens

CITY COUNCIL

19th District (northeast Queens): Dennis Saffran.

Staten Island

BOROUGH PRESIDENT

Jerome O'Donovan

CITY COUNCIL

50th District (Central Staten Island, Parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn): Libby Hikind.

New York Ballot Proposals

1. Yes to making the State Constitution gender-neutral.

2 to 6. No to these five unnecessary changes to the City Charter.


The New York Times November 3, 2001 Saturday

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

November 3, 2001 Saturday

Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 22

LENGTH: 690 words

HEADLINE: Election Choices

BODY:

New York City voters will have a lot of choices in next Tuesday's election, including an array of local contests and ballot proposals. Here are our endorsements in some of the most heavily contested City Council and other races and propositions to change the State Constitution and the City Charter.

Manhattan, Fourth District (East Side from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to Yorkville): Eva Moskowitz, the one-term Democratic incumbent, faces Nicholas Viest, a Republican being vigorously supported by the city's G.O.P. leaders, who are trying to retake the district after four years. While Mr. Viest has been an active leader on community boards, Ms. Moskowitz has shown the kind of independence the Council needs. As her political education proceeds, she has shown signs of becoming one of the rising stars at City Hall. We endorse Eva Moskowitz.

Queens, 19th District (northeast Queens): Tony Avella, a Democratic civic activist who is former chief of staff for State Senator Toby Stavisky, is a much more compelling speaker than his Republican opponent, Dennis Saffran. However, Mr. Saffran, former head of the Center for Community Interest, offers the district the more thoughtful alternative. A strong supporter of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's "quality of life" initiative, Mr. Saffran also wants to "rectify the lapses" in the way the Giuliani administration treated minorities. We endorse Dennis Saffran.

Brooklyn, 43rd District (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst): Voters in this district once again have a choice between two solid candidates. The incumbent, Martin Golden, the borough's only Republican City Council member, has found himself in a spirited rematch with Joanne Seminara, a Democratic lawyer with an excellent record of civic service. Although Mr. Golden has represented this district faithfully in his first term, in a close call we endorse Joanne Seminara, who has been a forceful advocate for area schools, transportation and other issues.

Staten Island, 50th District (Central Staten Island, parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn): The incumbent, James Oddo, a Republican Council member since 1999, is being challenged by Libby Hikind, an independent-minded Democrat who is the sister-in-law of Assemblyman Dov Hikind. In a period when Staten Island is facing all the problems of overbuilding, Ms. Hikind would be a far more energetic voice for down-zoning until schools, roads and other needs are ready for more people. We endorse Libby Hikind.

Staten Island, Borough President: Guy Molinari, the outgoing borough president, has tapped James Molinaro, a Conservative Party member, to succeed him. While Mr. Molinaro has experience as Mr. Molinari's deputy, his Democratic competitor in this race, City Councilman Jerome O'Donovan, has more of the independence necessary to carry the borough forward. Mr. O'Donovan promises to be more straightforward in his appointments to city boards and offers more diversity at Borough Hall. We endorse Jerome O'Donovan.

Ballot Proposal No. 1: This proposal, to make New York State's Constitution gender-neutral, might be a harder call if the Constitution itself were a hallowed and historic text. However, it is a workaday patchwork of a document started a century ago and revised repeatedly ever since, which bears less resemblance to the Declaration of Independence than to a town zoning code. Making it gender-neutral when possible won't hurt, and will make an important symbolic point. Vote yes on ballot proposal No. 1.

Ballot Proposals 2 through 6: These five proposals are unnecessary changes to the city's charter, written by a makeshift charter revision commission that was created by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as a way to get around the City Council and assure that nobody else could get a proposal on the ballot. While most of the proposals are harmless, they do not require a charter change to be put into practice, and the process by which they got on the ballot deserves to be repudiated. The proposals that are worthy can be passed by the City Council, after the appropriate public debate. Vote no on ballot proposals No. 2 through 6.


The New York Times, November 2, 1999

Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

November 2, 1999, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 26; Column 1; Editorial Desk

LENGTH: 137 words

HEADLINE: Election Day Choices in New York City

BODY:

The off-year general election is being held today, with polls open between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. in New York City. Ballots for the city boroughs cover several judicial, Council and district attorney races, plus two proposals, one on the judiciary, the other on charter revision. Here are our recommendations:

CITY COUNCIL

District 4 (Manhattan's East Side from 14th to 96th Street): Eva Moskowitz (D)

District 50 (Staten Island, and Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn): John Sollazzo (D)

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Staten Island: William Murphy (D)

BALLOT PROPOSAL ONE: AN AMENDMENT

Vote Yes. To improve the system for assigning judges temporarily.

BALLOT PROPOSAL TWO: A QUESTION

Vote No. To amend the city charter in ways that would disrupt the balance between the mayor and the City Council.


The New York Times, October 29, 1999

Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

October 29, 1999, Friday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 34; Column 1; Editorial Desk

LENGTH: 573 words

HEADLINE: Endorsements for Tuesday's City Election

BODY:

New York City's off-year election next Tuesday is expected to draw a very small turnout, which lends even more weight to every single vote. The few vigorously contested races include two for the City Council and one for Staten Island district attorney. Following are our recommendations for those races as well as for two ballot proposals.

City Council District 4 (Manhattan's East Side from 14th to 96th Street): Eva Moskowitz, a college professor and Democrat, came close to winning this affluent district two years ago from the incumbent, Andrew Eristoff. She is an intelligent and dedicated civic leader who could be expected to work hard on improving city schools. Her opponent, Reba White Williams, is an energetic Republican who quit the city's Art Commission in a recent battle over flagpoles being erected in parks by Henry Stern, the Parks Commissioner. A supporter of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, she is also a diligent advocate for public schools. One crucial difference is that Ms. Moskowitz is participating in the city's campaign finance system, while Ms. Williams is not, instead using much of her own money to run what could be one of the most expensive Council races in city history. Such a decision undermines an excellent campaign finance system and distorts the political process. We endorse Ms. Moskowitz, a vigorous, independent and thoughtful candidate for the Council.

City Council District 50 (Staten Island and the Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights areas of Brooklyn): This rematch pits the Republican incumbent, James Oddo, against a Democratic challenger, John Sollazzo. Mr. Oddo, who was elected to the seat in a special election last February, is well informed about city issues, since he was previously the lawyer for Republicans on the Council. But his opposition to freedom of choice on abortion and his wavering on school vouchers provide reasons for endorsing Mr. Sollazzo, who has a history of public service within his community and his party.

Staten Island District Attorney: Vying for a fifth term on the Democratic line, the incumbent, William Murphy, faces a challenge from Catherine DiDomenico, a Republican lawyer who serves part time as counsel to the local G.O.P. Congressman, Vito Fossella Jr. Ms. DiDomenico's obvious intelligence and enthusiasm for helping people, especially crime victims, make her an appealing candidate. However, Ms. DiDominico has never been a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney or a judge, leaving her thoroughly unseasoned in making the sorts of sensitive judgment calls about prosecutions that district attorneys must make every day. We recommend that voters stick with Mr. Murphy. An able and widely respected career prosecutor who recently stepped down as president of the National District Attorneys Association, Mr. Murphy continues to run a professional office that serves Staten Islanders well.

Ballot Proposal One: This item would improve the system for assigning judges temporarily, and should be supported.

Ballot Proposal Two: As we have asserted before, these changes in the city charter need to be defeated. Mayor Giuliani has put considerable energy into backing the charter revisions. But they were hastily conceived with too little input from citizens and other officeholders. The measure includes tricky language that would disrupt the balance between the mayor and City Council and could force unnecessary increases in property taxes.


The New York Times, November 4, 1997

Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

November 4, 1997, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 26; Column 1; Editorial Desk

LENGTH: 381 words

HEADLINE: Election Day Choices

BODY:

Today voters will choose New York City's next mayor, New Jersey's next governor and other officials. They will also vote on important ballot issues. Polls will be open from 6 A.M. to 9 P.M. in New York State, and 7 A.M. to 8 P.M. in New Jersey. Here is a summary of our endorsements:


New York City

MAYOR

Rudolph Giuliani (R)

COMPTROLLER

Alan Hevesi (D)

PUBLIC ADVOCATE

Mark Green (D)

Manhattan

CITY COUNCIL

Fourth District (East Side, from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to Yorkville): Eva Moskowitz (D).

Fifth District (parts of 49th to 92d Streets on the East Side, plus Roosevelt Island): A. Gifford Miller (D).

Queens

CITY COUNCIL

32d District (Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Rockaway, South Ozone Park and parts of Ozone Park): Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D).

Brooklyn

CITY COUNCIL

43d District (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and part of Borough Park): Joanne Seminara (D).

Staten Island

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

13th District (including Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn): Eric Vitaliano (D).

Nassau County

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Lewis Yevoli (D)

STATE SENATE

Seventh District: Doreen Banks (D)

Suffolk County

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Tad Scharfenberg (D)

Westchester County

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Andrew Spano (D)

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Jeanine Pirro (R)

Rockland County

COUNTY EXECUTIVE

Scott Vanderhoef (R)

NEW JERSEY

GOVERNOR

Christine Todd Whitman (R)



The New York Times, October 30, 1997

Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

View Related Topics

October 30, 1997, Thursday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 30; Column 1; Editorial Desk

LENGTH: 632 words

HEADLINE: City Council Endorsements

BODY:

All 51 members of the New York City Council are up for re-election next Tuesday. Here are our endorsements in the more competitive contests.

Manhattan, Fourth District (East Side, from Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to Yorkville): The incumbent, Andrew Eristoff, combines strong performance in most areas with an overriding flaw that prevents us from endorsing him. He is the most important consistent opponent of the city's campaign finance program. Mr. Eristoff spent about $900,000 -- most of it his own money -- on a pair of back-to-back elections in which he won the seat four years ago. This year he once again declined to accept the spending and contribution limits that are critical to reducing the influence of special interests and providing a level playing floor for all candidates. We might take Mr. Eristoff's complaints about the problems the system imposes on a Republican running in a basically Democratic district more seriously if he had attempted to improve the campaign finance program once he was in office. But he did not. Fortunately, the voters have a good alternative in the Democrat Eva Moskowitz, a history professor who has campaigned hard and given serious thought to the issues facing the Council. We support her candidacy.

Manhattan, Fifth District (parts of 49th to 92d Street on the East Side, plus Roosevelt Island): This race, a rerun of last year's special election, pits two intelligent and ambitious young candidates. The Republican, Alexander Stephens, the 32-year-old challenger, is a former community board member who served until recently as a legislative aide to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, making him well versed in Council issues. Still, we see no reason to replace the incumbent, A. Gifford Miller. Mr. Miller, who is 27, has shown initiative in helping to create a task force on regional planning, which he heads. He has worked hard on transportation, environment and quality-of-life issues. We endorse his re-election.

Queens, 32d District (Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Rockaway, South Ozone Park and parts of Ozone Park): The Republican Alfonso Stabile seems to run on pure emotion. He is at his best when he demonstrates his attachment to his district, and at his least attractive during political quarrels. Mr. Stabile called Mayor Giuliani "Mussolini" during a disagreement over the siting of a social service agency. His shifting loyalties on the Council have been one reason the Republican minority is faction-ridden. The Democrat Joseph Addabbo Jr., the son of the late Congressman, is a 33-year-old attorney and former community board member who seems likely to play a more active role in the Council, where Mr. Stabile has not had much influence. Mr. Addabbo is not participating in the campaign financing program, citing Mr. Stabile's refusal to take part. Someone has to represent the 32d District next year, and of the options available, our preference is Mr. Addabbo.

Brooklyn, 43d District (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, parts of Borough Park and Dyker Heights): This swing district has long been represented by Sal Albanese, a Democrat who quit the Council to run unsuccessfully for mayor. The race to succeed him pits the Democrat Joanne Seminara, a lawyer active in education and youth issues, against Martin Golden, a former police officer who now owns a catering hall in the district. Mr. Golden, who has been involved in local volunteer and booster activities, is a welcome change from the attack-dog politics practiced by some of the area's Republican candidates. But we think Ms. Seminara's enthusiasm, grasp of city issues and energy make her the better choice. She knows her own community well and expresses a commendable concern for the sometimes overlooked Bensonhurst side of the district.

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