A Spring Message from the NEQRC President

Dear Fellow Republican,

After a seemingly endless winter, spring is finally here and the NEQRC brings you two events to help revive your spirits.

Please join us for these two upcoming events: a free family Easter egg hunt in Bowne Park on Saturday and next week’s general meeting with gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.

It’s important to sponsor events like the Easter egg hunt because it shows our sense of community and dedication to family, right here in our neighborhood. It helps the Republican Brand here in Queens by letting folks know that our Party and our Club are more than speeches and fundraisers. We know our Party’s core values are the only path to safety and prosperity for middle class families and we must take every opportunity to remind local voters.

The NEQRC is not just a place for academic discussion (though we provide plenty of it, with great guest speakers like Jay Nordlinger from the National Review and Lynn Krogh from the Casale Group). We DO things. I ask for your help to make events like these succeed and show our neighbors that the GOP is still vital.

If you’ve not yet renewed your membership for 2014, please do so at your earliest convenience. Your dues help us to fund our meetings and events.

It hasn’t been easy to be a Republican in New York lately, but we are poised to bounce back in 2014 and win seats in Washington and Albany. Candidates for Congress have spoken to our club this year and will return over the coming months. Candidates for State Assembly, State Senate and State Attorney General will emerge and speak to us.

Most importantly, the energetic candidate at the top of the New York ticket, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, will visit us next Wednesday, April 16th.

I hope to see you at both April events.

Kevin J. Ryan

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Reminder: Easter Egg Hunt April 12

Don’t forget to spread the word about our annual FREE Easter Egg Hunt in Bowne Park on Saturday, April 12 at 1:30pm. Take photos of your children with the Easter Bunny for free.

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Free baskets will be provided for the first 150 children. Hundreds of eggs will be hidden in the park, stuffed with prizes. They’ll go very fast, so don’t be late!

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Our April Guest Speaker: Rob Astorino

The NEQRC will welcome Westchester County Executive and Republican candidate for Governor of New York State Rob Astorino as the guest speaker at our April meeting.

rob-astorinoWestchester County Executive Rob Astorino is a Republican candidate for governor of New York State. He is currently serving a second term as County Executive after being re-elected by a 13-point margin in a county with a 2-1 Democratic enrollment advantage. Republicans comprise just 24% of voters in Westchester.

Astorino has a demonstrated ability to attract crossover votes, particularly among independents and traditionally Democratic ethnic constituencies. County Executive Astorino, who is fluent in Spanish, received a majority of the Latino vote in 2013, and he has built strong relationships in the African-American community. His willingness to share credit to achieve bipartisan successes has become one of his signature strengths.

Astorino fulfilled his 2009 pledge to voters to address the “tax madness” in a county with the highest property taxes in America. Astorino froze or cut the county tax levy every year he has served, and he has reduced overall spending in the county by 5.2%, the most in real dollars of any county in New York State. His responsible fiscal stewardship has earned Westchester the highest credit rating among counties in New York, and it has retained and attracted new businesses to the county, helping create 30,000 new private-sector jobs from 2010-2014.

Astorino has stood firmly against a historic federal overreach attempt into Westchester County by President Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.) HUD is hoping to make Westchester a national template for a radical social engineering scheme that would give Washington power to dismantle local zoning laws across the nation. The Obama Administration’s overreach far exceeds the terms of a housing settlement County Executive Astorino inherited from his predecessor.

Before taking office as County Executive, Mr. Astorino had a successful career in the radio industry. He was station manager and program director of The Catholic Channel on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and hosted a weekly radio show from St. Patrick’s Cathedral with the archbishop of New York. In 2001, he helped launch ESPN Radio in New York and became the station’s senior producer. Mr. Astorino was first elected to public office at age 21, serving as a member of the Mount Pleasant Board of Education. He went on to serve for 12 years as a councilman on the Mount Pleasant Town Board, including six years as deputy supervisor. In 2003, he was elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

The County Executive earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Fordham University, where he also minored in Spanish and Political Science. In 2001, he studied in Barcelona, Spain, and received a Spanish Immersion Diploma from the Enforex School of International Studies. He is a lifelong resident of Westchester, where he and his wife, Sheila, are raising three young children.

Don’t miss our April 16th meeting at 8pm

Clearview Golf Course Clubhouse

202-12 Willets Point Boulevard
Queens, NY 11360

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Our Free Easter Egg Hunt: April 12

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What Republicans can learn from car culture

What the GOP Can Learn from Car Culture: The Base Model Manifesto

By Kevin J. Ryan

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As the UAW cries foul after losing its bid to ruin Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, it comes to mind how many Americans join together in their love for the cars that roll off those assembly lines and what American car culture can teach Republicans about how to win outside of Chattanooga.

The Nation and the City of New York have taken a hard left turn that would make Dale Earnhardt Jr. dizzy. Governor Cuomo recently made some disturbing remarks about “extremists” who are Pro-Life or believe in the Second Amendment not having a place in New York. These troubling times make it more critical than ever for Republicans to unite behind our core values and support candidates with a solid chance of victory. Much has been made, both accurately and with some exaggeration, of Republicans’ inability to do so.

Why do the Democrats often seem better at this? When you’re on the subway and a bearded hipster with a Hillary 2016 messenger bag gets on and sits down across from a woman wearing a “meat is murder” tee shirt, they don’t exchange hostile glances. They probably nod, acknowledging each other’s enlightened minds as if to say, “We know that it’s all Bush’s fault and deodorant is a scam.”

Car enthusiasts often join clubs, gatherings or internet forums that focus on a particular type of automobile, whether it’s a make or model, an era or category of car. We have clubs devoted to everything from classic cars, sports cars, modified imports, muscle cars, rally cars, Corvettes, Volkswagens (some made in Chattanooga), Minis, Nissan Z’s, Porsches and every cross-category and price bracket you can imagine. In each group, the core value is the shared belief that a particular kind of car is the best means of conveyance. All kinds of Republicans must agree that our core values are the best means of governance.

If you join a VW club, you’ll find owners of old and new VW’s in all colors: Golfs, GTI’s, vans, Jettas, Beetles, Karmann Ghias, convertibles and hardtops, manual transmission and automatic, with and without stripes, spoilers, fog lamps and other features that each member wanted on their VW. But the core value is the same: our way of getting around is best. Republicans could learn something from car clubs, who have their opinions about the particular models and features they like best but agree to promote the base model.

Have you noticed that, generally, Leftists of various afflictions seem to get along when it counts?  The Ecomentalists who want you to ride a bicycle to work seem to get on just fine with the gun grabbers who want to take away the 2nd Amendment. Taxpayer-Funded Birth Control Enthusiasts have nary a cross word with the Green People who want to force you to buy expensive light bulbs. The Animals Are Better than People crowd never seems to clash much with the Environmentalists for Stone Age Technology or the Marxists for the Metric System. No matter what their Big Cause might be, they know that they have more in common than in contrast. The Democratic Party has been largely able to convince Leftists of all stripes to cooperate, based on shared beliefs: gigantic, all-powerful government that tells people what to do, mercilessly high taxes to pay for it, weak national defense, disastrous foreign policy and a determination to punish hard work and success through divisive class warfare. They came out to vote for Obama, while large numbers of Republicans stayed home instead of voting for Romney.

Luckily, Republican core values are more broadly appealing. Do you want low taxes? Do you want handcuffs on crooks, not cops? Do you want your government to stay out of your private life? Do you want our military to be the strongest in the world? Do you think everyone should be welcome in this country, as long as they follow the rules? Do you believe the United States should be the most prosperous nation, with equality of opportunity for everyone? Do you think you should be able to buy a gasoline-powered car, an incandescent light bulb, a firearm, or a toilet that flushes effectively? Guess what? You’re a Republican. Your other opinions and the priorities you place on them deserve serious discussion and debate. But let’s come together on the 2014 base model and get some Republicans elected.

 

Photo Gallery: Lynn Krogh Speaks at March NEQRC Meeting

Photo Gallery:

Republican consultant Lynn Krogh, political architect of the Casale Group, spoke Wednesday night at our March meeting and led club members in a lively discussion on upcoming races in New York and how to win them.

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Petition Season for Congressional Candidates: Why You Should Answer the Door

Call of the Clipboard Carriers: Democracy Delivered

By Kevin J. Ryan

As we hope for relief from the Polar Vortex, another phenomenon is about to sweep New York State: petition gathering for Congressional candidates. The process of gathering signatures from registered voters to get Congressional candidates on the ballot begins this week, because of the June primaries for Congress.

Republicans  Stephen Labate and Grant Lally hope to run in a June 24th primary in New York’s Third Congressional District, which cuts into Northeast Queens. The winner will run against Democratic incumbent Steve Israel in the general election.

If you’re a registered voter in any party, the peace and quiet of your evening at home may be breached by a knock on your door from someone carrying a clipboard with a long sheet of paper asking for your signature. Before you slam the door and get back to Dancing with the Real Housewives of CSI: Duck Dynasty, consider the plight of petition gatherers and the service they provide.

Petition season is normally in the summer, in June and July. It’s the few short, hot weeks when candidates have to gather a minimum number of signatures from voters registered in their party line, in order to get on the ballot. Archaic as it seems in the Digital Age, collecting signatures on paper and submitting them to the Board of Elections on time is the only way a candidate can get on the ballot. The signature is not an endorsement or a vote, nor does it obligate you in any way. Your signature simply indicates that you are a registered voter who lives at that address and would like the candidate to appear on the ballot on your party’s line.

New Yorkers are among the busiest, most sophisticated voters in the world. We don’t have much free time and are understandably suspicious of anyone ringing our doorbell and interrupting our dinner. It’s been a long, stressful day at work and we just want to feed our families and watch a little TV. The last thing a normal person thinks about at 7pm on a cold March night or a muggy night in June (for city and state races) is an election in November. We are, quite correctly, especially hesitant to sign a paper for a total stranger.

Lots of us complain about not having a voice in government. We say the process is closed to us. There’s no way for the average person to have a say in who runs for office.

But is that true? Do we really want a voice in the political process, or do we only want it at that mythical convenient moment?

The petition carrier soldiers through a curtain of disagreeable weather and disheartening apathy to bring an opportunity to participate in the electoral process right to your door. You don’t even have to go to a poll site. In a few seconds, you can choose whether to help a candidate in your party get on the ballot.

Who are these Clipboard Carriers? Some are paid, while most are volunteers. Some collectors, especially Democrats, might simply set up a table in a shopping center and sign up the plentiful Democratic voters. But the process is more grueling for Republicans, whose lower numbers in New York necessitate going door-to-door. Registered Conservatives are fewer still.

Clipboard Carriers will be out this month, navigating around mountains of snow, dirty slush, ice, moats and mud to collect for Congressional candidates. They’ll be out again this summer for the other 2014 races, getting Cool Hand Luke sweaty and remembering fondly the Polar Vortex. They spend their nights searching for addresses, smiling and giving the same well-mannered explanation for their intrusion over and over, being barked at by strange dogs (and sometimes their owners), taking abuse from regular folks who don’t understand what petitioning is and, understandably, just want to close the door and seal in the blessed air conditioning or heat.

If not for their passion and sacrifice and the bright spots that come from talking to a lot of nice people each night, carriers would easily go home as demoralized as they are dehydrated. A kind word or a brief, pleasant conversation with a voter is like an oasis for a petition carrier.

All Republicans need to be aware of this old-fashioned process, open their doors, sign for the candidate they want on the ballot and be polite to the Clipboard Carriers. They deliver democracy, right to your door. So when a petition carrier rings your bell, pause House of Cards for one minute and take some real political action. Better yet, be truly active and volunteer to carry petitions for your favorite candidates this month and over the summer.