Pol Position: AOC absent or is Ramos full of hot air?

State Senator Jessica Ramos recently slammed Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for being ‘absent’ in the district.

The debacle started on Monday after a British medical student tweeted that AOC’s staff dismissed NHS experts, telling them that “they were doing healthcare right now.” AOC tried to address the issue saying that it was antithetical to her values. (A representative for AOC told The New York Post that they werent able to identify the meeting referenced in the tweet.)

“Maybe if you spent more time in your office and with your team you’d know what goes on,” Ramos, the left-leaning local politician who represents overlapping Queens neighborhoods tweeted.

“She’s barely ever present in the community. It’s an indisputable fact,” Ramos, who shares an office building with the congresswoman added in a follow-up tweet.

DSA-affiliated pols like Brooklyn State Senator Julia Salazar, Brooklyn State Senator Jabari Brisport, and Queens Assemblyman Zohran Kwame Mamdani came to AOC’s defense on Monday night.

“Respectfully… I don’t think New York State Senators, who are only expected to be in Albany for like 70 days/year (or less), can expect a member of congress (who also rep districts like 3X larger than our districts) to be in one neighborhood in their district as often as we are,” Salazar tweeted.

“Respectfully, she ran on breathing our air,” Ramos replied. In AOC’s original 2018 campaign, she released an ad stating that someone who “doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us,” critiquing the then-long-time incumbent as out of touch with the district.

Ramos added that she has gotten better facetime and support from local officials like Congresswoman Grace Meng than she has out of her Astoria counterpart.

Brooklyn State Senator Jabari Brisport hit back against Senator Ramos, tweeting a photo of Ramos and AOC from March, with Ramos’ own words:  “I have not spoken to my congressperson in months. Maybe more than a year?”

Ramos called Brisport’s tweet disingenuous, as it was an event and not the same as a conversation or meeting.

Pol Position: What does a socialist look like anyway?

Last week, dozens of people overheard a verbal exchange be- tween a staffer from City Council- man Bob Holden’s office and a State Senate candidate at Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

Japneet Singh, the Democratic candidate running against Senator Joe Addabbo in a primary in the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Ozone Park & Rich- mond Hill, was at an ‘80s night performance in the park talking to concert-goers and apparently giv- ing out campaign literature.

After all, when there is a crowd in one place it’s a good place to maybe pick up some votes, right?

The staffer began the kerfuffle, claiming that the concert was a private event in the park and cam- paigning should be done outside the park.

Singh told her that he was just socializing with friends, but she

was insistent and apparently stayed right on his tail.

Singh remained in place, and said, “We’re in the park—at an event funded by taxpayer dollars.”

As Singh and his campaign man- ager, Julien Segura, walked away, they heard a man yell, “Don’t vote for socialists.”

Singh says he attempted to talk to the man and was interrupted again. “Don’t get him started. Don’t talk to him. You don’t get to talk to him.”

The staffer pointed up and down at Singh… “This is what a socialist looks like.”

I guess we were mistaken. And all this time we thought all social- ists had three eyes in their heads.

Singh and Segura continued talking to folks in the park after- ward.

Yikes… That’s politics. Makes you think about running for office, huh?

Pol Position: Attack Ads target Assembly Candidate

Real estate interests are spending big in local assembly district races across the city, with attack mailers labeling candidates as too far left.

One of these candidates, Juan Ardila, was recently endorsed by The Queens Ledger in the race for Assembly District 37 — which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Long Island City.

The attacks ads are part of a last-minute ad-blitz from the group “Common Sense New Yorkers,” a Super PAC funded by big real estate money.

Records from the State’s public disclosure system show that within the last two weeks, “Common Sense New Yorkers” has received two donations from 360 SLD Management, a foreign limited liability corporation under the White Plains-based Cappelli Organization, for $30,000; and Muss Development, a multigenerational development company based out of Forest Hills.

These are the groups funding the message that Juan Ardila is “bad news” for our community. Pretty rich for people who don’t live in the neighborhood.

The mailer labeling Juan Ardila as “Dangerous! Reckless! Socialist!” are far from the truth. In an interview with The Queens Ledger, Ardila emphasized that he was not seeking DSA’s support in the race, and has received the endorsement of more traditional New York liberals like Senate Deputy Leader Michael Giannaris or the Working Families Party.

The mailers also claim that Juan Ardila wants to “reduce the budget of the police throughout the state” and that it is in his own words. In the Jim Owles questionnaire response, the attack ad which refers to Ardila specifically, talks about funds that have been used to militarize the police and divert them to social programs to be able to tackle the issue of crime. While he does advocate for some reallocation, it is far from the “too extreme for Queens” allegations.

The mailers also attack Ardila for racist, homophobic and anti-semitic comments he made in high school. This is not a new revelation as it was unearthed by The New York Post during Ardila’s previous campaign for City Council. Ardila has previously apologized for the language he used on Facebook as a teenager.

The truth is Juan Ardila has the best interests of district residents. He is an ardent supporter of good cause, a necessary bill that will protect tenant rights, while the cost of living keeps rising.

One of Juan Ardila’s main competitors in the race, Johanna Carmona, is the real estate industry’s pick. Public records show that Carmona received $4,700, the highest possible donation from Neighborhood Preservation, a PAC associated with the pro-landlord Rent Stabilization Association.

With 24 hours left in the campaign, Carmona has raised some key high-dollar donations from other real estate interests. Public records show that she took a $1,000 donation from Dan Tishman, a long-standing member of the Real Estate Board of New York. Carmona also took $1,000 from Ayala Barnett, the wife of Extell Development founder Gary Barnett, who received favorable tax breaks after being a long-time donor to former Governor Cuomo, as the New York Daily News reported.

Juan Ardilla has foregone taking corporate or developer money. While the polls will have closed before this paper is printed, these attack ads only solidify our endorsement of Ardila as the candidate to represent the community’s interests up in Albany.

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