Queens Examiner endorses Peter Koo in Flushing Council Race
Oct 20, 2009 | 4723 views | 13 13 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The race for City Council in the 20th District has become one of the most talked-about races in the city, and is surprisingly very competitive. The seat is being vacated as Councilman John Liu continues upon his certain path to be our next comptroller.

After seven Democrats faced off in a primary election in September, education candidate Yen Chou pulled off a surprising victory to many in the mainstream. But Republican business leader Peter Koo has been working on getting votes since before the summer. Now that we are in the home stretch of the campaigns our meetings with the two candidates lead us to an endorsement decision.

This City Council race has brought out political star power on both sides, with mayoral candidate Bill Thompson siding with Chou, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg siding with Koo. Additionally, Rudy Giuliani is promoting Koo, while John Liu issued a late endorsement for Chou.

What is interesting to us about this race is that party organization politics seems to have taken a back seat as a good number of Democrats have crossed party lines to support Koo, including Terence Park, Pauline Chu, Martha Flores-Vazquez, Isaac Sasson, and Ethel Chen. The word is that Jimmy Meng is also supporting Koo – and the list may be growing.

Not to be out done, Yen Chou has pulled Democratic elected officials to support her including Marge Markey, Elizabeth Crowley, and Helen Marshall, to name a few.

However, when the bright lights of endorsements are said and done, the voters of this district have to make a decision on who can best represent their interest in the City Council.

We here at the Queens Examiner believe that candidate is Peter Koo.

We are impressed with his philanthropy and his common sense approach to government. He has served on the community board and co-founded the Flushing BID. Peter is a small businessman that started out in this country with some pocket change and a suitcase with all his belongings packed inside.

He put himself through school working minimum wage jobs at KFC and Dunkin Donuts. He went to Pharmacy school, worked in Booth Memorial Hospital, and then opened up his own store in Flushing, which grew into a small chain.

Additionally, we firmly believe that the City Council should be diversified and have varying point of views. We feel that Peter Koo, unlike his opponent, will question the entrenched leadership, provide a fresh outlook, and not be beholden to special interests.

Yen Chou has a number of positive attributes. She has an energy that is apparent and speaks lavishly about her passion in the field of education. She has taught at The Mary Louis Academy and Queensborough Community College. She runs a non-profit and also operates a small tutoring business.

We are impressed with her accomplishments, but we are distressed about her failure to attend over 60 percent of the meetings of the Community Education Council to which she was appointed.

She accepted the position, but did not show to meetings. To be fair, when present, according to our sources, she did indeed add a perspective other members say was valuable.

We are also concerned that as someone who is seeking public office she has not participated in the democratic process by voting in elections. Yen Chou registered to vote in the year 2000 and then did not vote in an election again until this September.

What’s odd is that throughout that time she worked in the office of Councilman David Weprin. We expect more from our public officials and those who are seeking to become our elected leaders.

So on November 3 we support Peter Koo, and so should you.

Comments
(13)
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FLUSHING
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November 02, 2009
YEN CHOU IS THE DEMOCRAT SATAN.
HONESTYII
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November 02, 2009
YEN CHOU IS THE DEMOCRAT SATAN
Honesty
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November 02, 2009
Peter Koo is the Republican SATAN
Mark W.
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November 02, 2009
My vote goes to Mr.Koo beacuse I have seen him around in Flushing and I know that he has done lots of good work in the community. Chou, I only saw her today at the subway station, never seen her before, never heard her name before. She needs to realize that Flushing is not only the #7 train station.
Maureen D.
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November 02, 2009
Im Voting for Yen Chou. I think Peter Koo is the republican puppet. I agree with many of these comments. Why didn't Peter Koo come to my block? Flushing is not just Main Street. Yen was here and walking on 164th St when it was raining. She came to my door and everyone of my neighbor's doors. She is the only one that did. Yen knows we exist and I haven't seen that from Peter's campaign. I have no confidence in him as a candidate

God Bless this race for City Hall and don't forget, vote for Yen Chou tomorrow the people's choice.
DaisyH_FafaChiquita2
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November 02, 2009
This election is not by party, but by peson,leadership, and principle. Yen Chou ask people to "vote for democrat, vote for Yen Chou" Because she knows that she herself, does not quilify for the seat. She can only count on people voting for her because of their party. We cannot put our future in hand of a person that is clearly more interested in her own benefits that that of the community she represents. As a USA citizen she did not vote, as a member of various organizations she missed about 70% of the meeting,she is not puntual, she says that she is a professor but she does not qualify in NYS to teach in any public school, She claims that her tutoring school is non-profit when it is for-profic charging 2-3 times more than other schools. How can we vote for this kind of person? She absolutely not qualify for the seat of district 20. Because she is a democrat, then she is good, and regardless of her lies we still vote for her? Because she is a democrat, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, PRINCIPLE, AND PERSONALITY no longer counts? Then, what kind of society do we live in? It just means that we no longer care about our future. It is just sad. I hope that those who want to vote for her do some research on her and realize what a big mistake to vote for her. Please, vote tomorrow for the best canditate, not for party. Thanks all.
Becky Hewitt
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November 02, 2009
Yen Chou is so weak, she can't lock down a District where Dems far outnumber Republicans? Really sad. I wish SJ Jung had continued his run on the working families party ticket. Dems who did not/do not support Yen Chou would have supported him. Instead, Peter Koo may pull off an upset. And then the Republicans will surely run him for the State Senate race next year. District 20 deserves better.
Flushing Hspitl39
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November 01, 2009
There seems to be a lot of spin on this race. Let's clear that up quickly.

Peter Koo is a nasty republican. His campaign is already in debt to the Republican machine. He will cut community programs and promote an extreme right wing agenda in his legislation.

Yen Chou did not have a political machine running her campaign. She began grassroots and continues to draw on support from grass root efforts, community members and activists throughout our neighborhoods. She'll be accountable to us, the people. She's progressive and she know's District 20 is a big place with rich cultural history and cherished neighborhoods.

Peter Koo and the other minions of the Republican party in the Council like Eric Ulrich, Jimmy Oddo, Ognibene and company -- when they hear Flushing they think it's one place, MAIN St. They proved this when they went to support Koo on Main St and Main St. only. It is indeed a stereotype and many people including myself find it offensive.

When you hear Peter Koo, think of the other gang members that are the Republican party. And much like organized crime, they will follow each other in lock step because fools seldom differ.

Beware this wolf in sheep's clothing. Know who you're voting for.

Chiquita2009
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November 01, 2009
And, not everything is bad. Not because someone is a republican he/she is bad. Yes, Peter koo is a republican. But, he is a person of pure honesty, integrity, and excellet principle. He is one of the nicest person one can ever meet. If he wins, he will not have to pay back to no one. He will just work hard to make Flushing better and better. He is not after the money or to take advantages of the seat like others. To proof this, last week he announced that if he wins, he will use his entire salary to help district 20. There are lots of community centers that need help because they are non-profit and do not get much help from the governent. Thanks again everyone. Chiquita.
Chiquita2009
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November 01, 2009
Peter koo is definitely the best choice for this general election. He has the honesty, integrity, principle, and experience to represent the people of Flushing. Like many of us, he worked and still work hard to archieve his goals. He has been helping our community ever since he established in Flushing. He is a role model that anyone can identify with and a great example for the young generation. Yen Chou in the other hand, is not really clean in what she claim of herself. She said she was a teacher for CUNY. In reality, she never qualified as a professor to teach in any NYS public school. She tutored for a while in Queens Borough Community College because of a donation given by Sam Chan. And of her non-profit school, it is a lie. She does charge students a fee and not just a fee, but 2 to 3 times more that other simillar school. The reason, she claims that she is the only one who has materials and test that will help students to improve their scores. She uses her name to push her business. Also, as s US citizen it is ones reponsibility to vote. She did not for the last ten years and not even in her own primary!!! She does enroll in different associations but almost never attend? From here, we can see what kind of person she is. How can we trust in someone like her the future of our community? The future of distric 20 will be lost. I'm an idependant and I'm so proud to vote for Peter Koo this coming November 3. I really wish him and Flushing good luck. Please, don't vote because you belong to this or that party. Vote from your heart, who you think the best for the seat. If you just vote like Yen Chou suggested "vote for your party" then it shows that you are just another follower, someone without dream nor aspiration, someone who does not know what he/she wants nor who he/she is. Lest vote for the best;Peter koo. Thank you everyone. Chiquita
David Yeon
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October 27, 2009
Mr. Jannacio was asked the same question last year and he didn't know what to say. Looked like his bubble head was about to pop.

Let's not vote for Peter Koo, we all know he's a republican backed by the same people who backed George Bush. And now that Mr. Jannacio feels like he can throw his poison in the well, I want to vote for Yen Chou even more. Peter Koo is bad for Flushing and we all know it.

Richard Jannaccio
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October 27, 2009
Yen Chou answers to the people? What a joke.

How can she answer when she doesn't understand the question?

I asked her a question about zoning at a candidates' debate and she apparently didn't know what I was talking about.

Flushing residents know about the issues that affect their quality of life. Not Yen Chou.

Maybe that's because Yen Chou just moved to Flushing this year, and apparently she's not a quick learner.

Mr. Yeon can try his best to glue devil's horns on Peter Koo and angel's wings on Yen Chou, but in both cases, they just won't stick.

I've known Peter Koo for more than 10 years as downtown Flushing's neighborhood pharmacist who, over the years, became increasingly active in the community. Peter has roots in Flushing. Yen Chou? Not even a spore in the wind.

The commentor's fear mongering has no factual basis.

The Examiner endorsed the better candidate, Peter Koo, for all the right reasons, as stated.

The Examiner just as clearly rejected Yen Chou because her resume and track record, vis a vis her attendance and voting records, are a disgrace for anyone seeking public office.
David Yeon
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October 26, 2009
Both candidates are very interesting, but only one is a party hack. I am not so glad the newspaper has calculated it decision with reckless abandon. In office, Peter Koo will be lining his republican pockets and owing favors to the radically conservative Queens County Republican Party. These people are predatory. They'll promise a world of change and fresh ideas, but all you'll get is a bunch of fat cats sitting around cracking racist jokes and laughing at the misled people of Flushing. Koo is their puppet. In November vote for the candidate who answers to the people. A candidate who knows the value of good schools and safe neighborhoods. Vote the issues. Vote for Yen Chou