Saturday, December 27, 2008

Manhattan City Council Candidate: Richard Realmuto

Running for: City Council, 10th Council District, Manhattan

Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)

Party Affiliation: Democrat


Candidate Bio:

I received my undergraduate degree from New York University and my law degree from Bridgeport University School of Law. During my years at law school I found employment as a law clerk at the politically connected law firm of Fischbein, Olivieri, Rozenholc & Badillo. Eventually, I went into private practice as a litigator, representing individuals in a wide ranging variety of legal matters, including Immigration, Landlord & Tenant, Bankruptcy and lawsuits involving Racial and Sexual Discrimination.

I have been married for the past 23 years and my wife Wendy and I are proud parents of our son Christian who attends a New York Public School. For the past 19 years I have been an active member of the West End Collegiate Church, a sister church of the Fort Washington Collegiate Church, located in Washington Heights. Through my church I have offered counsel to children and adults and worked in various church sponsored programs for the community.

In 1995 my family moved to Washington Heights where I continued my law practice and neighborhood community programs with children in J. Hood Wright Park. I have volunteered my time as a baseball manager and coach with the Police Officer Michael J. Buczek Little League and the Inwood Little League. An avid dog lover, I also serve as vice president of the J. Hood Wright Canine Club, an organization, located in Washington Heights, devoted to the nurturing of a safe and positive recreational life for canines.

I bring to my campaign a love of New York and a maturity that comes from my years of experience in business and in life. Experience learned on the job as an attorney, fighting to protect the rights of individuals and as a husband, father and a proud citizen. As your City Council member I vow to fight on behalf of all citizens for lower taxes, safe neighborhoods and greater economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.

Candidate Statement:

My decision to run for a seat on the City Council comes from a sincere desire to bring reform to the current system and to put more honesty and accountability back in city government. To insist on fiscal responsibility from elected officials who are entrusted with the duty to run our city with the hard earned money they receive from its citizens.

At the present time there is no democracy in New York City politics. The current Democratic machine has a stranglehold on our city government. This has allowed our city officials to apply the familiar axiom: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely". How else can one logically explain the recent discovery that millions of taxpayers' dollars had mysteriously made its way into a secret bank account controlled by our city officials? So far the scandal at City Hall has uncovered grants given to phantom organizations, bogus bookkeeping that is the subject of city probes and federal indictments of city officials. The amount of money hidden amounted to more than 17 million dollars during the past 6 years. The City Comptroller has stated "It remains clear, however, that the Council's process was conceived and used to deflect legitimate inquiry into how our tax dollars are being allotted".

Now, the Mayor and members of the City Council have passed legislation that has extended term limits, despite the overwhelming desire on the part of New Yorkers against the enactment of such legislation. The passage of this legislation has overturned two referendums by New Yorkers who have consistently rejected the extension of term limits. The Mayor and City Council officials argue that voters can always vote them out of office, if they choose to do so, but they also know how difficult it is for candidates to run against incumbent officials, who use the power of their incumbency to defeat their opposition and hold on to power for another four years. Clearly, reform is badly needed to address the problems that exist within our city government.

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