On September 12th – Primary Day – incumbent Paul Vallone eked out a win against challenger Paul Graziano. Based on information received by the Graziano Campaign, it is believed that this was only made possible through the use of an illegal “free” taxi service for seniors supplied by the campaign.
"This past Tuesday, we were reminded of the constant corrupt and unethical behavior during the past three years conducted by Paul Vallone, as was shown during the petitioning process in June and July, when his campaign conducted fraud and forgery on a massive scale,” Graziano stated. "On Primary Day, it was revealed that Paul Vallone's campaign illegally supplied free taxi rides for seniors needing transportation to the polling stations. This was confirmed with an email forwarded to the campaign from a resident of the Bay Club in Bay Terrace who was informed in the email that 'Should you need transportation to visit a polling center to vote in today's primary election, Paul Vallone's campaign has arranged free trips with Four-Two's car service. Feel free to call (718) 428-7285 to schedule a ride to and from the polls.' (see attachment)
“I have spoken to the appropriate law enforcement agencies of the need to examine the connection between Paul Vallone's campaign and the Four-Two's car service, which had recently been paid $40,000 in June in discretionary funds as part of a pilot program to provide 'free rides' for seniors in need of transportation to doctor's appointments and the like. The relationship already exists between Paul Vallone and Four-Twos based on that pilot program, so I wouldn’t be surprised that there was a deal struck behind closed doors.
"Based on this 'free' service provided by Paul Vallone's campaign on Primary Day - which should be counted as campaign spending, according to campaign finance law - I have also contacted the Campaign Finance Board and will file an official complaint against Paul Vallone's campaign for - once again - violating the law. In a strange twist, the Bayside-Whitestone Lions Club also seems to be involved, as one of the numbers listed to contact them is the same as Paul Vallone’s campaign phone number listed above (see attachment). Referenced Articles:
Looks Forward to Round Two in the General Election on November 7th
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 14, 2017) City Council candidate Paul Graziano, running hard against incumbent Paul Vallone, was the closest challenger in a two-way race citywide, garnering 46% of the vote and receiving 2,518 votes to Vallone's 2,991. Graziano will now face Vallone in the November 7th General Election on the Reform Party ballot line.
"I am greatly appreciative that over 2,500 constituents in northeast Queens voted for me in the Democratic Primary based on my campaign of protecting our neighborhoods from overdevelopment, making sure that our children in northeast Queens receive the best education possible and providing extended care for our seniors - and zero tolerance of corruption of our elected officials and government," Graziano stated.
"During the entire campaign, my opponent, Paul Vallone, continuously made outrageous and disparaging statements towards my campaign and candidacy including that 'everyone was with him' and no one was with me. Based on my candidacy getting close to 50% of the vote in the Democratic Primary, I beg to differ.
"I look forward to continuing talking with the residents and voters of northeast Queens during the next two months about the issues that affect them most - including which candidate best represents the needs of the neighborhoods of the 19th Council District."
This is an edited version of the Korean American Community Empowerment (KACE) Candidates Night Forum held on August 18th, 2017, with the sole change being that the identical Korean translation of candidate answers, which were in English, was removed for the sake of shortening the length of the video.
Democratic candidate for 19th New York City Council District