22 THE QUEENS COURIER • SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Minching and Paladino face off in primary
Photos by Ryan Kelley/QNS
Vickie Paladino and Simon Minching, Republican candidates for the 11th Senate District of New York, at the Bay Terrace Community Alliance “Meet the
Candidates Night” on Aug. 29.
Queens GOP distances itself from primary candidate
BY RYAN KELLEY
Th e Sept. 13 primary elections for
a number of local offi ces are quickly
approaching, and the Queens GOP
is moving to discredit one of its candidates
before it is too late.
On Aug. 28, Queens GOP
Chairwoman Joann Ariola came to the
Queens Courier offi ce in Bayside to
voice the party’s concerns about State
Senate District 11 Republican candidate
Vickie Paladino, who is running
against GOP-endorsed candidate Simon
Minching in the primary.
Ariola pointed out several areas of
concern the party has with Paladino,
including her tax records, her affi liation
with fringe political groups, her behavior
on social media and past remarks
she has made at campaign events.
“Vickie Paladino represents everything
that we are not,” Ariola said.
Th e party’s distaste with Paladino
dates back to her involvement in Bo
Dietl’s independent mayoral campaign
in 2017. Paladino fi rst joined Dietl’s
campaign aft er a video of her shouting
at Mayor Bill de Blasio aft er a press conference
in Whitestone went viral.
Once she began working for Dietl,
Paladino was asked numerous times
to delete Facebook posts that were
offensive, John Haggerty of the Queens
County GOP claimed, and her personal
Twitter account was eventually shut
down. Haggerty accompanied Ariola
to her visit with the Queens Courier
Since launching her own political
campaign, Paladino has created a new
Twitter account that was briefl y suspended
this year for reasons unclear.
On Facebook, some of her supporters
have spread anti-Semitic and borderline
racist speech on her page, as
seen in screen shots shared by Ariola.
Haggerty remarked that Paladino’s failure
to denounce these supporters is
Paladino has also garnered support
from groups like Latinos for Trump and
the Proud Boys, the latter of which has
been associated with white nationalism.
Moreover, Ariola pointed out that
Paladino herself has approximately
$40,000 in tax debt, as revealed in
her fi ling with the Legislative Ethics
Still, the GOP did not challenge
Paladino’s petition to run in the election
because they believe in the primary and
the ability to let the Republicans decide,
Haggerty said. Ariola added that the party
is, in fact, trying to harvest the young voters
and focus on “center right” views rather
than the more extreme “in a borough
where we now can win.”
When reached over the phone on
Sept. 5, Paladino campaign spokesperson
Robert Hornak, a former executive
director of the Queens GOP himself,
expressed his disappointment that the
party has resorted to using such tactics
against a candidate.
Hornak, who said he is Jewish, added
that accusations of Paladino being
anti-Semitic are “vile” and he would
openly reject them if true. He also
referred to Minching as “extremely liberal”
on many issues and recently sent
out a press release calling for Minching
to denounce the support he received
from the Libertarian Party.
“Th ey are the ones using this tactic in
the most disgusting way,” Hornak said
of the GOP. “Th ey make these generic
claims just calling her names without
any evidence whatsoever.”
Read more at QNS.com
BY RYAN KELLEY
A pair of fi rst-time candidates are
facing off for the right to represent
the Republican party in Queens and a
chance to earn a seat in Albany.
In the race for the 11th District of
the New York State Senate, Simon
Minching and Vickie Paladino are on
the ballot in the Republican primary on
Sept. 13. Neither candidate has an established
political career, but both were
given the opportunity to explain their
views at a recent forum in Bay Terrace.
Minching spoke fi rst during the “Meet
the Candidates Night” hosted by the Bay
Terrace Community Alliance on Aug.
29. Th e 31-year-old Little Neck resident
introduced himself by telling the
audience that he wants to off er voters a
better choice than the same old incumbents.
“I’m here to off er a diff erent product,”
Minching said. “I want to take the best
idea from both sides and use data and
decency to solve problems for you.”
Since 2013, Minching has worked
in business development for Palantir
Technologies, a multibillion-dollar private
soft ware and services company.
Th e moderators of the panel fi rst
asked Minching a series of questions
about illegal basement apartments and
the problem of over development in the
district. In order to be more proactive
than incumbent Senator Tony Avella,
Minching said, he plans to scrape the
available data to compare zoning codes
in the district and “identify the sites
where there is a disparity between
what’s actually legal per the zoning code
and what’s desirable and in alignment
with the culture of the community.”
When asked what “common sense gun
reform” he would propose, Minching
said that legislators need to be more
focused on stopping the fl ow of illegal
guns into the state.
Minching also said that he supports
school zone speeding cameras,
but believes there must be transparency
about their presence so they are not
used as a “backhanded way to tax people.”
He also voiced his support for term
limits and the independent redistricting
of the Senate.
Paladino, 63, managed a successful
landscaping company with her husband
for more than 30 years. She spoke much
later in the panel but got off to a fi ery
start as a panelist asked her a question
from the audience about the meaning
of comments she previously made at a
campaign event about millennials being
an “uninformed, dumb audience that
doesn’t know what it’s like to pay a bill,”
according to the panelist.
“I’m sick and tired of being taken out
of context,” Paladino said. “I have two
kids, a 31-year-old and a 41-year-old.
I’m surrounded by nothing but millennials.
How dare someone think they’re
brave enough to take me out of context.”
Th e moderators also asked for her
stance on basement apartments aft er
supposedly being taken out of context
on that issue at another event. Paladino
explained that she does not support
basement apartments in areas where the
zoning makes them illegal, but she does
support legal basement apartments.
Paladino also said that she supports
term limits and believes that the community
needs to get more involved in
stopping the over development in the
area. She suggested that the community
board needs to invite more people to
its meetings where building plans are
reviewed, and a panelist who is on the
community board pointed out that all
board meetings are open to the public.
In the end, Paladino agreed with
Minching that better collaboration
must emerge between Republicans and
Read more at QNS.com