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Governor Cuomo: Accused Of Waging A War Against The Hospitality Industry

By Robert Golomb, Feb. 26, 2021

Editor’s Note: This is syndicated columnist Robert Golomb’s latest column as published in the news and media outlet, The Published Reporter

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing updates on the spread of the coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol. Albany, New York, March 15, 2020. Photo credit: Hans Pennink / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

QUEENS VILLAGE, NY – The reason that Mickey King can name every Governor of New York State starting from Thomas Dewey, the state’s 44th chief executive who served from 1943- 1954, up until the current Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state’s 56th leader who has served from 2011 to the present, is that the names of every one out of the total of 12 appears on the 75 year old guest book list of Antun’s- an iconic Queens catering hall founded in 1945 by its eponymous owner, Frank Antun, and bought by Mickey’s father Joe in 1996.          

“Right here in our guest books are the names of 12 governors who have attended at least one event at Antun’s,” said King the long-time chief operating officer and the current president of this tightly knit family business, at the start of a recent interview with me.

As any serious student of New York State government would know, the 10 former governors whose names can be found in between the appellations of Dewey and Cuomo on the thousands of pages of Antun’s guest books are Averell Harriman, Nelson Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson, Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer and David Patterson.

At Antun’s, right to left: Joe King, US Attorney General William Barr, Mickey King, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Photo credit: Mickey King.

I was not surprised, as you will soon discover why, that it was the 56th Governor, Andrew Cuomo, whom King, 40, the married father of two young children, wanted to discuss. “I had met Governor Cuomo at several past events at Antun’s… He seemed pleasant, and I respected the job he was doing as governor,” stated King.         

Beginning, though, shortly after the COVID epidemic struck the world in February 2020, King explained that his respect for Cuomo descended into the deepest level of contempt.

“By issuing edicts that totally closed restaurants down and later edicts that reduced capacity to a mere 25%, Governor Cuomo has declared war against the entire hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, bars, hotels and catering halls, employing in total approximately 900,000 women and men, pre-COVID,” King charged. 

Noting that since last March more than 1300 restaurants and bars in NYC alone have permanently closed, leaving more than 160,000 people unemployed, King elaborated,

“The sight of goodbye messages on so many bar and restaurant doors thanking customers for their many years of patronage tells the tragic story of so many hardworking owners and employees who have been the victims of Andrew Cuomo’s arbitrary and non-scientific based policies.”   

While calling Cuomo’s policies “arbitrary and non-scientific” might sound hyperbolic, King offered strong evidence to support that accusation. Citing data from independent research on the reported transmission of COVID showing that only 1.3% of new COVID infections can be traced to restaurants and bars, King stated,

“It’s a cruel joke for the governor to say that his severe restrictions are based on science. Rather, research proves that the opposite is the case. “The reason,” King then added, “that catering halls are not included in that data is because of Cuomo, they have not been able to do enough business to be statistically relevant to be included in those studies.”

Referring to the same studies, King noted that 74% of new COVID infections come from private in-home gatherings.

“It’s as if the governor is too busy praising himself on TV, including his narcissistic seemingly nightly guest shots on his brother’s show, and spending countless hours writing a self-praise book, that he doesn’t have the time to read the actual studies and base his policies on them,” he charged.

King elaborated that he sees a deadly cause and effect connection between the governor’s edicts restricting the guest capacity of bars, restaurants, hotels and catering halls and the alarming spread of COVID at large private home gatherings.

“Because people are not allowed to hold group social events at previously commonly frequented dining venues, which have meticulously followed all state mandated safety protocols, many people instead held the gatherings at their own homes, which, of course, are unsupervised,” stated King.  

“The result,” he inferred, “has been a mammoth increase in the comparative rate of infection. For that, just as in the deaths of more than 12,000 seniors in nursing homes, Governor Cuomo must be held accountable.’’  

King actually is doing just that. In addition to running Antun’s, he has served for the past seven years on the board of the New York State Restaurant Association, which has vociferously opposed many of Cuomo’s COVID related restrictions on the state’s hospitality industry.

“I first became involved with the association with the goal of helping them continue serving the then prosperous and growing hospitality industry,” King recalled. “But now, because of Cuomo’s war against the entire industry, our job has solely become to prevent him from causing even further damage.”  

A wedding ceremony at Antun’s pre-covid. Photo credit: Mickey King.

Still, King explained that even with “Cuomo’s war against the entire industry,” his own Antun’s has remained in business, but not without him and many of his former staff suffering great financial loss.

“We have,” he stated, “managed to remain in business. But it has been a great struggle. What has made it particularly difficult for us and other catering halls is Cuomo’s arbitrary and onerous rules from banning dancing, to limiting the maximum guest capacity to 150 – we by the way previously had a 1200  person maximum – to mandating that all events end no later than 11pm.”

“As a result of these and other onerous Cuomo regulations,” King continued, “We are doing only 9% of the pre-Covid business. And at the same time, our monthly overhead has remained the same, our taxes are still due to the city and state, and if they are not paid on time we face a 20% penalty. What troubles me most, though, is the plight of the more than one hundred of our employees whom we were forced to let go under these dire circumstances.”

King added that he is also troubled about the numerous  restaurants, bars and catering halls owned by his counterparts in Queens that have closed this past year.

“There had always been enough business to keep us all very busy.  So I have never considered the owners of businesses in the [hospitality] industry in Queens as competitors, but rather as peers and friends. So seeing so many for ‘rent signs’ on the windows of the dining establishments of my friends is very hard for me to accept. And for that I blame our governor,” said King.

It would be reasonable, I believe, to conclude that King is hoping that come the state’s gubernatorial election in November 2022, that “our governor” will be replaced with one far more to the liking of King, his fellow entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and the tens of thousands of the men and women whom they once employed.  

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Robert Golomb

Robert Golomb is a nationally and internationally syndicated columnist. His work has appeared in The South Asian Times, The Epoch Times, The Long Island Jewish World group of papers, the Muslim Community Report, the Messenger and more. You can email him at MrBob347@aol.com.


Donald Trump To Speak, Next Week, At Annual CPAC Event

Venue Moved To Sunshine State In Support Of Commonsense Leadership By DeSantis

By Alan Bergstein , Feb 22, 2021, as published in the news and media outlet, The Published Reporter

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). National Harbor, MD, March 6, 2014. Editorial credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

BOCA RATON, FL – Former President Donald Trump, fervent Israel supporter and defender of our Constitution, will speak, next week, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), to be held, for the first time out of D.C., and in Orlando Florida. CPAC is the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world. This yearly event brings together hundreds of conservative organizations, thousands of activists and untold millions of viewers to see, mingle with and hear the brightest leaders of the world expound on issues that impact all of us, liberals, progressives and conservatives. In addition to the move of the venue to Florida, obviously, as a thumb in the eye to the radical leadership of D.C. and its environs, Matt Schlapp, the group’s president declared it was in support of the Sunshine State’s Governor Ron DeSantis for his commonsense leadership.

“Florida has kept its economy, schools, and churches open – while balancing the health and safety of Floridians,” making it “the right state to host CPAC 2021.”

Our own fellow New Yorkers must look with envy at the moral and civic leadership of DeSantis compared to the ineptitude of their criminal, murderous, governor.

Trump, who lives just a few hours drive south of Orlando, will surely discuss the future of his own Republican Party which sadly is now in a bit of internal disarray. It’s also a good bet that he’ll focus on President Biden’s horrid, dangerous amnesty and border policy. Our nation, that is, those of us with some solid matter between our ears, are preparing for the worst news out of puppet-Biden’s mouth relating to his recent pleadings with Iran to come back to the “bargaining table” to make outrageous demands that we will surely fulfill. Such as removing all of Trump’s economic, diplomatic and military sanctions and the immediate thumbs-up for that terrorist-supporting state to complete its nuclear ambitions. And most probably, with a strong arm wielded by the radical House member, Ilahn Omar and her growing crew of Progressive Jew haters, Joe will ignore the real threats by the Mullahs to incinerate the Jewish State. Biden’s staff of former Obama honchos, now controlling the White House are preparing the much feared “kiss Iran’s butt” script for Biden to blindly follow. And he will mindlessly do as directed. And don’t forget the tidal wave of hatred directed against all White people by radical blacks and mimicked by their robot-like progressive, dumb-as-dirt liberal, Democrat White lemmings. We want to hear Trump’s ideas and plans of actions to counter, educate and lead us regarding these dangerous moves and currents now imperiling us all.

Most assuredly, the Progressive politicos and their first line of defense, the mainstream media, will predictably bleat that a former president should disappear into retirement, not get involved with issues relating to his successor and should keep his mouth shut. Of course, the four years of string pulling and blueprinting by non-stop, by ex-President Obama are routinely omitted from their commentary. Trump, who has not appeared at any major event since January 20th will speak on the last day of the event, on Sunday, February 28th. Tune in. Listen. Be motivated and keep the faith. We wish him and his beautiful family the best.

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Alan Bergstein

Alan Bergstein is the current President of The Judeo/Christian Republican Club of Palm Beach County. He is also known as a lecturer, columnist and editorial writer for The NY Jewish Voice, a retired NYC school principal, father of four and Korean War veteran. Alan’s material appears in The Published Reporter® with his explicit permission.


New York Post: Staten Island Republican Party Endorses Curtis Sliwa for Mayor

New York Post. By Carl Campanile February 21, 2021 

Curtis Sliwa. Photo credit: Matthew McDermott

The Staten Island Republican Party has endorsed Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa for mayor.

The backing of the island GOP’s Saturday night is a coup for the red beret-wearing Sliwa, as the island GOP is the strongest, most organized Republican organization in the otherwise Democratic city.

“The members of the Staten Island Republican Party are concerned with the current trajectory of the City of New York. Today we make the first step to take back our City,” said newly elected island Republican Party chairman Anthony Reinhart.

Other GOP candidates in the running include taxi-bodega advocate Fernando Mateo and financier Sara Tirschwell.

Billionaire business mogul John Catsimatidis is strongly considering a second run for City Hall after losing the GOP primary to Joe Lhota in 2013. Petitioning to get on the ballot is March 2, so he’ll have to decide soon.

“The Staten Island Republican Party interviewed all candidates who responded to our call … Curtis Sliwa was the clear choice to be our candidate, and we are enthusiastic to support him as he brings his vision on how to save our City and protect Staten Island’s quality of life,” Reinhard said when asked about Catsimatidis.

Sliwa, who recently filed paperwork for his candidacy, said he will step aside if Catsimatidis jumps into the race.

Catsimatidis owns 77 WABC Talk Radio and Sliwa has his own radio program on the network — which means Catsimatidis is his boss.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Staten Island Republican Party. This is the body that rescued this city twice, first with Rudy Giuliani and then with Mike Bloomberg,” Sliwa said.

“Right now, with our city facing a crime crisis and the precipice of fiscal calamity, I’m looking forward to working with Republican leaders from all over the city to save it.”

While Democratic candidates have been talking about reining in the NYPD, Sliwa and his Guardian Angels safety patrol group have been visiting and patrolling subway stations and other locations that have seen spikes in crime.

On Saturday, Sliwa stumped outside Bay Ridge train station where an elderly man was mugged on the subway platform.

“The paramount issue is crime and public safety. Without addressing that, nothing else happens,” Sliwa said.

“Public safety is my strength. It’s been my whole life.”

Staten Island has a GOP congresswoman with Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. Other Republican elected office-holders include Borough President James Oddo, state Sen. Andrew Lanza, Council members Joseph Borelli and Steven Matteo, and Assembly members Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis.

Former President Donald Trump carried the borough over President Biden in last fall’s election.

Strong votes on the island helped elect Rudy Giuliani twice and Michael Bloomberg three times as mayor when they ran under the GOP banner.


Our Children Are Essential

By Phil Orenstein, February 19, 2021

For 150 years New York City Public Schools have remained continuously open and undaunted by all manner of calamities and natural disasters. Throughout our history from the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Great Depression, two World Wars, Cold War panic, civil unrest, the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001, to Hurricane Sandy, the schools have always been open.

Not until 2020 has New York had a governor, a mayor, and a political class during a time of crisis, who have so miserably failed the children of New York. They have put our children in harm’s way physically, emotionally and academically.  We do not know the full scope of the consequences of these failures on the part of our political leadership, but the closing of our schools for 10 months and likely longer can be considered one of the biggest scandals in the history of our country. It has already taken an enormous toll on a generation of our children suffering in remote-learning environments, sequestered on endless video games. The laundry list of physical, emotional and academic maladies affecting our children due to remote-learning include mental illness, suicide, sickness, depression, anxiety, weight gain, isolation, 10 months of squandered learning, and lost opportunities for academic and athletic scholarships.

It has taken an enormous toll on working and middle-class parents and their extended family as well. The balancing act that parents must perform is work, their child’s education, and the financial stability of their families. These challenges that parents face are simply devastating. Never has the pressure been so unevenly placed upon the family unit than it has today by New York politicians. 

The public heaved a big sigh of relief when teachers were classified as essential and went to the front of the line for Phase 1 of the vaccinations. We all thought that within a short span of time, we would see the beginning of the reopening of our schools and the return to normalcy.

Teachers who were in their 20’s went to the head of the line, in front of seniors and people with comorbidities. But the public was ok with it because teachers are essential to the education and development of our greatest asset in America, our children.

The public was willing to let the teachers go to the front of the line and were hopeful to see the light at the end of the remote-learning tunnel. But the hope soon turned to despair as we were conned once again. The bait and switch charade pulled off on the public was from a minor faction of teachers and the union leadership who are still balking about going back into the classroom. While teachers are considered essential in receiving preferential treatment, our children are an afterthought.

For 150 years, New York’s political leadership understood the prime importance and significance of a good education, to ensure successful outcomes for future generations of our children. In 2020, the world changed. Elected officials abdicated their responsibilities in government and leadership roles regarding the education of our children, and left it in the hands of union leaders and a few selfish interests.

The political con job they played on parents and their kids was in promoting their misleading narrative that the classroom environment is unsafe. While the city’s schools closed for 10 months, Catholic and private schools have effectively remained open, and the teachers are safely at work doing in-person learning. The CDC never recommended schools close, and the CDC Director said schools are ‘one of the safest places’ for kids during the pandemic. Catholic schools are already starting up their after-school sports programs to begin on March 1st. Our local and state elected officials have failed our children, our parents, our communities, and our country, and there will be dire consequences for all.

The torturous road of the pandemic is indeed one filled with many heartbreaks.  Our schools are central to a thriving society today and for future generations to come.  We offer some simple guidance for the days that lay ahead.  Vaccinations for teachers and school staff started in January. By the middle of April all personnel of the city’s Department of Education, should have been vaccinated.  The mayor, City Council, and DOE should require all teachers and staff to be back at work by April 15th.  Citywide information portals should clearly communicate the planned reopening so that everyone understands NYC schools are in fact fully opened five days a week with after-school activities.  The consequences for those civil service employees who fail to report to work is the implementation of the Taylor Law to enforce back-to-work orders. This is above and beyond the realm of politics, union contracts, and special interests, and once and for all, decisive action must be taken.

What has been going on since March of last year has been near criminal. Never before in the history of our country, has a government and its political leadership so forsaken our most cherished resource in the present and for the future of our country. Our children are essential.

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Phil Orenstein is the president of the Queens Village Republican Club. Established in 1875, it is America’s oldest Republican Club  www.QVGOP.org. Historian, Jerry Matacotta, founder of History Seminar Series at Queensborough Community College was the advisor for this article. He worked 32 years for New York City Public Schools primarily teaching High School American History.


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