I have been sitting on some old articles by Tom Wrobleski, trying to make sense of some comments and see what came out of them. In a June 18 article, "The intrigue behind BP's community board moves"
, he writes about Borough President James Molinaro's recent changing of community board members via his power to appoint and retain members at his discretion;
In a bid to bring in new faces, Molinaro has removed 11 members from Staten Island's trio of community boards, including eight members of the South Shore's Board 3.
One reason, insiders said: Some deposed Board 3 members, including chairman John Antoniello, Public Service Committee head William D'Ambrosio and Environmental Committee chair Gregory Markow, are Republican Party supporters of South Shore GOP lawmakers, notably state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island).
The article goes on to outline the feud between Lanza and Molinaro. Lanza as we know comes out of the South Shore Republican machine which officially or not acts on the graces of Rep. Vito Fossella. When Molinaro intervened in the State Senate primary for Sen. Marchi's seat, he allowed Robert Helbock take the Conservative Party nomination potentially splitting the party when it got to the polls. Needless to say the two are not as close as Fossella and President Bush
. The intriguing part of all of this though, is the Fossella connection. Lanza is a Fossella supporter, which puts Fossella and Molinaro in a less than amicable relationship.
The implications could be far-reaching. One observer pointed out that no members were removed from Board 1, which covers the North Shore area represented by Democratic Councilman Michael McMahon.
McMahon and Lanza are both mentioned as possible candidates for higher office, and Molinaro has great influence over who receives the coveted Conservative endorsement in campaigns.
McMahon aside, although a point we should remember to revisit, consider that statement with 2008 implications. Should this feud go any further we might be watching a rather intriguing split in the Republican party on the island and the potential to withhold the Conservative ballot line from Rep. Fossella who votes a lot more 'Bush Republican' than he does true Conservative, or worse do we see the ballot line thrown to a Democrat in exchange for not forgetting Staten Island for the glitz of DC.
In 2004 Fossella garnered 8,400 votes on the Conservative line, or 1.9% of his total, a task that will most likely be improved upon should he get the nod. I am not going to put any money on a Democrat pulling the Conservative line, but a split ticket with a Conservative going up against Fossella could make things real interesting, all the while giving the Republican candidate for President both ballot lines if desired.
There is an identity crisis going on in the district with Republicans. The Fossella Republicans are not your parents or grand parents Conservatives, despite the implication when they share ballot lines. One is a party of limited and smaller government, the other is Rep. Fossella voting that the Government should intervene in family issues like the Terri Schiavo case. One is for free market economics, the other has Fossella giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to billion dollar oil industries. I enjoy pulling up a bleacher seat and watching the two parties wrest for control of the 'Republican' tag and hope some more Conservatives start seeing the error of Fossella
see also:WFP, Con, and Ind Party StrengthsWFP, Con, and Ind Party Strengths, Part II
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Labels: Andrew Lanza, Conservative party, James Molinaro, Rep. Vito Fossella