By Patricia Adams and Michael V. Cusenza
Joann Ariola, longtime civic president and borough GOP district leader, has been named chairwoman of the Queens County Republican Party.
Ariola on Wednesday evening upset incumbent Chairman Bob Turner, 3-1, during a QGOP reorganization meeting in Howard Beach. The stunning victory was bolstered by what Ariola characterized as an “overwhelming” show of support from Republican committee members and district leaders throughout the county.
“I first want to say that I appreciate how far Bob Turner has taken the party, and now it is my job to pick up where he leaves off and carry out the work that is so needed,” Ariola beamed in an exclusive chat with The Forum following the event at Russo’s on the Bay, which is just a stone’s throw from her Lindenwood home.
Former U.S. Rep. Turner was handed the reins of a dysfunctional QGOP in March 2015, inheriting a group in turmoil and disarray that for several years had been divided into two combative factions that hadn’t been able to see eye-to-eye on myriad issues, including leadership.
The vast majority of the membership saw the selection of Turner as a major milestone for the party in the borough.
“The war is over,” state GOP committeeman and district leader Bart Haggerty told The Forum at the time.
On Monday, many were excited about the prospects of an Ariola era.
After calling Turner “a true champion for the Republican Party,” and noting that the QGOP is “greatly appreciative for his service,” City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) said he was “happy” that his “good friend” Ariola, whose party roots date back some 25 years, had been elected the new county leader.
The newly-minted chairwoman later told The Forum that she was both “honored and humbled to have been given the support of people I have worked with and admired over the last two decades.”READ MORE
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s unintentionally hilarious, self-coronating interview in New York Magazine this week included this insane sentence:
“I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.”
Ahem — leave aside for the moment the Marxist-Leninist malarkey behind the mayor’s lust for “central planning” that might as well be a Soviet-style Five-Year Plan.
Let’s instead take de Blasio’s statement on its own, laugh-riot terms. So, people all over town want City Hall to micromanage land and property use, do they?READ MORE
President Trump on Friday told Jewish leaders during the traditional phone call before the start of the High Holy Days next week that he would crack down on rising anti-Semitism across the US.
With his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner also on the line, Trump said the tradition of Judaism “strengthens our nation and inspires us all,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Trump said he was aware that Holocaust survivors were also on the call, and emphasized how important it was to learn their history.
“We forcefully condemn those who seek to promote anti-Semitism,” Trump said.
“I will make sure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, to make sure they are safe.”READ MORE
By Deroy Murdock at National Review
Under de Blasio, rats thrive, subways stall, and it’s legal to pee — and live — on the sidewalks. Four words elected Donald J. Trump president: “Make America great again.” Unlike Hillary Clinton’s nebulous creed — “Stronger Together” —Trump’s slogan was a call to action. MAGA suggested better times ahead and recalled better times behind. Also, MAGA was general enough that voters supplied their own definitions of “great,” ranging from low taxes to school choice or what Trump called a “beautiful southern-border wall.” Gotham’s Republican/Conservative mayoral nominee Nicole Malliotakis should deploy her own four-word motto:
Clean Up New York!” That battle cry would crystallize what New Yorkers already know: Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio has made a grimy mess of America’s premier metropolis. There is plenty to clean up, all of which the Staten Island state assemblywoman easily could articulate: Clean up the garbage. A random walk down any New York street these days confirms that litter, refuse, and overall squalor are widespread.READ MORE
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned North Korea on Friday that she is more than willing to let Defense Secretary Jim Mattis deal with the nuclear threat from Pyongyang if sanctions do not work.
Haley said recent sanctions have “strangled” North Korea’s “economic situation,” calling the impact “dramatic.”
But she said there’s only so much the U.N. Security Council can do “when you cut 90 percent of the trade and 30 percent of the oil.”
“So having said that, I have no problem kicking it to General Mattis because I think he has plenty of options,” Haley said at the White House briefing, where she and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster previewed U.S. efforts at the U.N. General Assembly next week.
North Korea conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile Friday, sending an intermediate-range weapon hurtling over U.S. ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both defiance of its rivals and a big technological advance.
McMaster stressed Friday that the U.S. is still trying to resolve the conflict diplomatically. Joining Haley at the briefing, he said it’s important to employ “rigorous enforcement of those sanctions” in pursuit of that route but acknowledged the United States is willing to use force.
“There is a military option,” he said. “Now, it’s not what we prefer to do. So what we have to do is call on all nations, call on everyone to do everything we can to address this global problem short of war.”READ MORE
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s midday nap habit came under fire Tuesday by political opponents gunning for his job — one of whom offered him a can of Red Bull outside City Hall.
Hours after The Post exclusively revealed Hizzoner’s penchant for crashing out on his office couch, Republican Nicole Malliotakis was about to hold a campaign news conference when she spotted de Blasio headed to a nearby subway entrance.
The Staten Island assemblywoman approached the mayor and held out the caffeinated energy drink.
De Blasio, who was surrounded by bodyguards, didn’t reach for the eye-opener and instead just smiled and gave her a thumbs-up.
“I said, ‘Mayor, I got you a Red Bull to keep you up during the work day,’” Malliotakis said afterward.
De Blasio held his tongue, she said, adding: “I’m sure he was thinking of something.”
Malliotakis said she was “a little disappointed” that the Democratic incumbent rejected her offer of a pick-me-up “because it shows that not only is he lazy and incompetent, but he’s rude, too.
“I’m just trying to help him out so he can stay awake during the day — and doesn’t even need those frequent naps,” she said.
On his way out of City Hall en route to the subway, de Blasio refused to respond when The Post asked him if he’d ever taken a nap on the job. His press secretary had earlier denied that de Blasio “regularly” snoozed inside City Hall.READ MORE
President Donald Trump on Saturday touted new sanctions the U.N. Security Council approved for North Korea, saying they will have a “very big financial impact.”
The Security Council unanimously approved the sanctions on North Korea, including banning coal and other exports worth over $1 billion. The U.S.-drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea’s neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump wrote on Twitter: “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!”
A few hours later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump commended the Security Council for its action and appreciated the cooperation of China and Russia in passing the resolution.READ MORE
For Jona S. Rechnitz and Jeremiah Reichberg, giving money to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political campaigns offered a backstage pass to city government. They exchanged friendly emails with the mayor and got access to high-level officials to discuss business they had with the city.
The close relationship between the mayor and the two men — who became embroiled in a police corruption scandal and separate federal and state investigations into Mr. de Blasio’s fund-raising — is detailed in a series of emails released by City Hall on Friday in response to Freedom of Information requests.
The emails further the notion that Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, was eager to do favors for campaign donors.READ MORE
West Virginia Democratic Gov. Jim Justice plans to announce at a rally Thursday evening with President Trump that he is changing parties, three Republican sources confirmed to Fox News.
Justice is expected to announce he’s becoming a Republican.
Trump earlier in the day had teased the prospect of having a big announcement at his rally in Huntington, W.Va.
The state is a Trump stronghold, and even as the president faces record-low approval ratings nationally, his popularity has largely held in West Virginia.
At least 1,000 supporters lined the streets ahead of the president’s expected appearance, wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting “USA! USA!”
The New York Times first reported that Justice plans to announce his party change.
The rally is set to start shortly after 7 p.m. ET.READ MORE
WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Donald Trump legislation to provide the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade.
The Senate cleared the bill by voice vote on Wednesday, passing the second piece of legislation aimed at addressing urgent problems at the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs in as many days. The House passed the bipartisan college aid legislation last week.
The measure is a broad effort to better prepare veterans for life after active-duty service amid a rapidly changing job market.
Building on major legislation passed in 2008 that guaranteed a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university — or a similar cash amount for private college students — the bill removes a 15-year time limit to tap into GI benefits and increases money for thousands in the National Guard and Reserve.READ MORE