Q&A With State Senator Serph Maltese
New York State Senator Serph Maltese is the subject of today's Q&A.
In addition to serving New York State's 15th senate district, Serphin Maltese is the Queens County Republican Chairman.
Why should Tom Ognibene be mayor of New York City?
Because I believe he would be an articulate advocate for all the people of the City of New York. He would ensure the so-called "outer boroughs" get a fair shake and fair deal. He would be a compassionate, involved mayor with the experience and background of a true representative of the people. I also believe he would have a good working relationship with the law enforcement officials, unions and the blue collar middle class families of our City.
Who are the best Republican prospects in New York for the 2005 city and 2006 state elections?
Mayor: Tom Ognibene
Queens Borough President: Philip Sica
City Council: Dennis Gallagher, Peter Beduvas, Jim Oddo, Andrew Lanza
Staten Island Borough President: James Molinaro
You recently made headlines opposing the Log Cabin Republicans entry into the Republican State Committee's Executive committee. Why do you oppose their involvement?
I do not believe that a place on the Republican State Executive Committee should be granted solely on sexual orientation, but rather by Republicans who have paid their dues and earned a place on that top new York State Republican governing body.
In addition, the Log Cabin Republicans have shown their disloyalty to the Republican Party by making the biggest media buy in their history (according to their own website) in the critical election state of Ohio during the week prior to the November '04 election attacking President Bush for his defense of marriage and opposition to same sex marriage.
They have also attacked Karl Rove, as well as many other top advisors, terming them "right wing reactionaries". I have no objection to the inclusion by the State Chairman, as he has every right to do, of a gay or lesbian individual who has earned a place on the Committee by virtue of service to our party.
What would be the best makeup of the committee?
The best makeup of the Executive Committee would be the old fashioned way - by appointing those who earned it through party activity and civic and community involvement, as well as loyal and dedicated service. The County Chairmen of the 62 counties should continue to have a position on the Executive Committee by virtue of their election by their Republican constituents to that post and they then can continue to elect their officers.
I would also favor a role for the President of the New York State Women's Republican organization. Beyond that, while I do favor reaching out to all ethnic groups, I Believe there are sufficient activists within all the groups that they could achieve membership on their own merits.
What does the executive committee do?
The Executive Committee is responsible for day to day party activities at the state level in between meetings of the full party representatives. They also are responsible for reaching out to statewide candidates for office, as well as setting policy for New York State in national conventions and meetings.
What are your biggest legislative priorities in the coming two years?
Among my legislative priorities, I am working to keep violent sex offenders off our streets by enacting the Omnibus Sex Offender Registration Reform Act, which strengthens current law in 25 ways, including: mandatory notification by police when a registered sex offender moves into a community, lifetime registration of all sex offenders, requiring information about all levels of sex offenders to be posted on the Internet, and GPS monitoring for the worst offenders.
As a former Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau, I know firsthand that sexual predators cannot be rehabilitated and the statistics show the highest recidivism rates for these dangerous and depraved criminals.
This legislation will keep our communities better informed and increase penalties for sexual predators who prey on our most vulnerable and precious resource -- our children.
I also am working continually to improve education for our young people at the City and State level.
What can a Republican County Chairman do in an overwhelmingly Democratic town to build a party?
Continue to build an effective party in the face of overwhelming numerical odds. In addition, champion the principles of limited government, low taxes and traditional family moral values.
What does being a Republican in New York City mean to you?
Fighting the good fight, showing the colors and carrying the standard of the party, supporting the President and supporting traditional Republican values.
Why did you enter into politics?
To make a difference and because I thought it was important and enjoyed the challenge. Also, because in our great country, the son of immigrants can enter politics and aspire to elected office.
What do you do in your free time?
Reading, particularly history. My hobbies include collecting antique postcards, stamps, military medals and political buttons.
I'd like to thank the Senator for his time, with special thanks to Victoria Vattimo for handling all of the details.
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