Friday, December 28, 2007

We Made the Daily News! (How the heck did I miss that?)

The campaign was featured in the New York Daily News's Daily Politics Blog nearly three weeks ago. Columnist Elizabeth Benjamin even said I had the skill of self-promotion "down-pat."

Well, thanks, Elizabeth, for introducing your readers to my campaign and for your kind words. I can't say they're all true- part of good marketing, promotion, and public relations of course is monitoring the press for the results- and I'm quite embarrassed to say I just read your December 11th article last night.

The good news? Even though I didn't read it right away, lots of people did, checked out my website, and a few even contributed. One veteran political guy who read the blog and happened to watch me on Paradise Hotel back in 2003 even emailed me, met with me, and gave me 2 hours of terrific advice, re-energizing me just 2 weeks before my first filing deadline.

Segue alert: January 10th is the first contribution deadline for my all-important fund-raising...So if you're out there, and you haven't supported our campaign yet, or even if you have, and you'd like to give more, thank you so much in advance for clicking here to find out EXACTLY how to contribute.

Happy New Year's Eve Eve Eve Eve.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Movie Hopper No More

So, for years, I enjoyed moviehopping. For those of you that have no idea what this is, moviehopping is the practice of buying tickets for one movie and then staying to see a few. In fact, in my heyday, with my good friend Danny M, I saw as many as 8, 9, even 10 movies in one day. It was a lot of fun, if exhausting, and really passed the time well, especially for a Jew on Christmas.

But it was unethical, and probably illegal as well. Sure, I justified the practice by saying if the theater wasn't sold out, they were not losing any revenue, and I was spending more on food staying there all day, and lots of people movie hop, and the employees don't care, and blah blah blah, but the bottom line is, it was wrong.

Now I'm 31 years old and running for City Council, so it was time to finally retire from moviehopping. My first challenge came Saturday night, when I went to the movie Charlie Wilson's War in Douglaston with my wife. It was a good movie...but we wanted more. We had a babysitter for the night, and we were trying to get a head start in our annual quest to see all of the Oscar contenders. We decided to see Sweeney Todd, and then the big question pay or not to pay? It would be so easy- we were already in the theater, Sweeney Todd was about to start, we were seconds away from the hop...but right was right.

I gulped, left the theater, purchased 2 tickets for Sweeney Todd, and proudly reentered the theater, a legal, legitimate movie hopper for the first time ever. Doing the right thing felt damn good- and as I waited in line for popcorn refills, bragging to my wife about how great it felt to pay $55 for a night at the movies, I looked up only to see David Weprin, the current City Council member whose seat I'm running for.

"What movie are you here to see?," he asked me. "Well, I saw Charlie Wilson's war," I replied, "but now I'm going to see Sweeney Todd." Weprin had no idea what I was doing next, but I held up those Sweeney Todd tickets high in the air, proudly showing him the beginning of a new era.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

THANK YOU for an Amazing First Fundraiser!

Everyone will be getting personal thank you's, of course, but after a wildly successful Fancy Shmancy Campaign Kickoff event last night, all I want to shout from the mountain tops to my friends, family, and early supporters is THANK YOU. We had a wonderful time, and because of the generosity of those who attended as well as those who couldn't attend but have already sent in contributions, we raised nearly $10,000! While this is short of my original goal of $20,000, we are still nearly a month away from the January 10th filing date and deadline for this goal, and there are lots of friends who haven't sent in their contributions yet, so, who knows, we might get a lot closer to that 20K by January 10th. In the meantime, thanks again to everyone, with specific thanks / shout outs to:

-my amazing wife Carrie, who everyday is my Hall of Fame Partner in every sense of the word

-my MVP brother Phil and his girlfriend Joanna who came all the way from Washington

-my MVP friend Damon who made an appearance despite having his 2 little girls by his side, and our good friend Stacy, who made an an appearance despite being 9 months pregnant

-my friend Liz Crowley, who is running for the City Council in central Queens and made an appearance despite not feeling well after too many political functions of late.

-my friends from the greatest high school on the planet, Hunter College High School

-Carrie's awesome friends from Emerson College, and best family, who is now truly my family

-Joel, Estelle, Susie & Bert, my reps from the next-youngest generation

-the best marketing team I know, our incredible team from thekbuzz

-my dear friends from The Shops at Atlas Park, Tritonic and 106.7 Lite FM

-my friend Lindsey, who volunteered her services as Karaoke Queen

-Nick from the Queens Chronicle and Dee from the Times Ledger, both excellent photographers

-Karen and all of our other fantastic hosts from Trattoria Lucia (great food and service!)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Stretch Drive for the Fancy Schmancy Begins

We're just 4 days away from my first political fundraiser ever! I am at once very excited and very nervous, which I'm not used to. Today we emailed 7,500 of our closest friends to remind them about the event and the campaign, and I invited 400 or so friends on facebook. Sure, many of these people live far away, but I figured I'd let the world know at least once about my newest endeavor.

Anyway we're 4 days away, and I'm still not sure how many people are coming. I will say, people are responding very positively, and contributions are starting to come in, both very good signs. I got a great email today from a very involved parent and fellow alumnae of the best public school in the city, Hunter College High School. It's emails like hers that keep me going on a day that otherwise could have been very stressful.

For the final time in '07, Happy Hannukah. Now, after the countdown to the fancy schmancy, the countdown to Santa begins for my 4 1/2 year old. Good times...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

2008 Presidential Candidates Are All Over Myspace, Facebook, Youtube

This is a great article about how new media and social networks are affecting the 2008 Presidential Race. While I haven't seen a candid blog yet from a Presidential Candidate, it's only a matter of time. that's what people want- access, honesty, and true interactivity- and that's what new media can offer!

This blog will continue even after I'm elected to the NYC Council- so that I can always interact openly and freely with the people of New York City, the greatest city in the world.

Friday, December 7, 2007

4th Night Out in a Row and Joe Crowley's Plane Keeps Him in Washington

Last night I went to the Building Awards at Terrace on the Park, hosted by the Queens Chamber of Commerce, of which my company thekbuzz is a corporate member. Maybe I would've been in a better mood, but it was my 4th consecutive night out, and for 3 nights straight I had lit the Hannukah candles with my daughters and then left. So I was a bit on the grumpy side when I found out keynote speaker Congressman Joe Crowley was stuck in Washington with flight issues.

Still, I really enjoyed meeting a few people that even taught me a thing or two, including the publicity director for Councilman Erica Gioia, with whom I'm hoping to meet soon, and two ladies from Sunnyside Community Services, who won an award. SCS seems likes they're doing a terrific job serving seniors in their community- something very important to me for my district- so I hope to stop by their center soon and learn what's made them so successful.

Tonight- it's Hannukah at my inlaws house- which for some, might seems like a chore- but for me, will be such much needed rest and relaxation...even if they do send me home with a bunch of chotchkies I don't need.

And just in case you haven't noticed, my kickoff fundraiser party next Saturday Dec 15th has been moved to a new location: Trattoria Lucia, a beautiful Italian restaurant in Bellerose- but it'll still be 6-10 PM and feature open bar, a full dinner, karaoke, and LOTS OF FUN SURPRISES! Email me at for more info.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Randi! and Happy Holidays Weprins!

I attended two parties last night, one held by UFT for Randi Weingarten's 50th Birthday Roast, and a holiday party held by the Saul Weprin Club. As an active UFT member myself and member of the Weprin club, I knew a lot of people at both functions, and while I was quite exhausted at the end of the day, I had a good time.

Missed my family a lot, though. It was the first night of Hannukah, and rushing off to rub elbows with Al Sharpton after lighting the candles with my girls wasn't exactly my dream Hannukah experience.

Tonight it's the JFK Club's Holiday Party. This is the club I began with, led by the tireless Morty Povman and Charlotte Scheiman along with President Herb Ryan. If any club is to support me in the early going, it's this one. Should be good times, and a t least tonight I had a couple of hours to celebrate Hannukah with my family. :-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

72 Hour Roller Coaster Leads to New Fancy Shmancy Location

Boy, whoever said campaigning was easy was wrong. Maybe nobody said that.

I got word Friday night at 6 PM that I couldn't host my first fundraiser at the Queens County Farm Museum as planned. Amy Fischetti, the Farm's Executive Director, called me herself to apologize - apparently a new employee booked the Fancy Schmancy a month ago without realizing they couldn't hold political fundraisers of any kind there. So despite my contract and deposit with them, and despite the event being 15 days away, it had to be moved.

This was potentially devastating news, but with Amy and my wife Carrie springing to action to help solve the problem, we eventually found a place. We looked at bowling allies, hotels, restaurants, and even empty mansions. It wasn't easy- according to some, this December 15th is one of the most heavily booked nights for parties in years. But we found an amazing, beautiful Italian restaurant with a back room opening just in time for us. Hope you can make it out to Trattoria Lucia, the new location for the official Campaign Kickoff and Fancy Schmancy Holiday Party December 15th.

At least it won't smell like farm animals.