Mystery pols identified
Sep 03, 2014 | 8282 views | 0 0 comments | 277 277 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Recently, we here at the Pol Position desk were digging around in the old photos scattered around our basement office and came across this snapshot. This photo was a little before our appearance on the New York City political scene, so we asked our readers to help us identify the obviously important people pictured, and you sure came through.

We received numerous replies, and the general consensus was that those pictured are (left to right) Congressman James Scheuer, Congressman Joseph Addabbo, Sr., Queens borough President Donald Manes, Congressman Mario Biaggi, and Congressman Gary Ackerman.

Because there's probably a lot of folks out there like us for who some of these names are unfamiliar, a little background:

• Congressman James Scheuer – Scheuer had a long and varied political career. He was first elected to Congress in 1964 and served until 1973. Scheuer served a second stint in Congress from 1975 to 1993, representing parts of south Queens and Brooklyn. Scheuer also ran for mayor of New York City in 1969, but finished last in a field of five Democrats in the primary. He died in 2005.

• Congressman Joseph Addabbo, Sr. - Addabbo represented south Queens – where he lived his entire life – in Congress from 1961 to 1986. Addabbo became chair of the Defense Spending Committee in 1979, and he frequently sparred with then-President Ronald Reagan, quite often publicly and in the media. He died in 1986 at the age of 61. If his name sounds familiar, it's because his son – Joseph Addabbo, Jr. - currently represents south Queens in the State Senate.

• Borough President Donald Manes – Where to begin with the sordid tale that is the political career of Donald Manes? Manes served as borough president from 1971 until 1986. When he was first elected at age 37, the Brooklyn-born Manes was the youngest borough president in the history of Queens. During his fifth term, Manes became embroiled in a political corruption scandal, accused in a variety of large kickback schemes. ON January 10, 1986, Manes was found in his car with his wrists slit. He initially claimed he was carjacked, but later admitted he tried to commit suicide. Then on March 13 while on the phone with his psychiatrist, Manes grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed himself in the heart.

• Congressman Mario Biaggi – Biaggi was a former police officer who represented the Bronx 1969 to 1988. He also had a troubled political career and was forced to resign amidst two separate corruption trials for accepting bribes. Biaggi attempted to comeback in 1992, running for his old seat, but lost.

• Congressman Gary Ackerman – That is a much younger and dapper Gary Ackerman in this photo, but with his trademark white carnation firmly secured to his jacket. He represented northeast Queens from 1983 to 2013, when he announced that he would be retiring after redistricting severely altered his district. He was succeeded by Congresswoman Grace Meng.

We'll scour our dank offices for more photos and print them in the future.

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