By: Keith S. Shikowitz
“I’m just an average person and I don’t like what’s going on in this country. I don’t like the country that’s being left to my three grandchildren over there (pointing off to the right). It’s shameful. Looking at the crowd towards the back, yelled, Sorry, I’ll talk louder. I couldn’t just sit back and wait another 10 years and say, coulda, woulda, shoulda. So, I stepped up. It was not an easy step to take. I have a nice life and this is a total disruption, but I think it’s so important. We have to do something to straighten out this country.” Maureen McArdle Schulman said addressing the attendees at her fundraiser on July 9.
Following the governor’s COVID Phase 3 opening guidelines, Maureen McArdle Schulman, Republican Candidate for the NY 17th Congressional District, held a fundraiser in which 30 – 40 people coming and going attended at Kennelly’s Bar and Grill on Route 9W in Congers.
Many Republican dignitaries and candidates for state positions attended this event. Jim Monaghan, Stony Point Town Supervisor, former Mayor of Pomona, Brett Yagel, Mike Lawler, Candidate for the 97th NY State Assembly District against Ellen Jaffee, Bill Weber, Candidate for the 38th NYS Senate District, and Lawrence Garvey, Head of the Rockland County Republican Committee were among the guests.
Monaghan was proud to be out there supporting Schulman. “I’ll tell you why. She supports the same values that I do. Family values. She cares about he hard working people. She’s honest. She has the integrity we need. She’s somebody I know will do a great job representing us in Congress.”
He was a police officer for 29 years and worked alongside firefighters in NYC. He called her a trailblazer because when she joined the FDNY, in 1982 she was one of the first women on the fire department. “She has an outstanding reputation. She did an outstanding job as a NYC firefighter. She comes from a big family. She has a lot of experience as a mom, grandmother, as somebody like myself, who was also in civil service. So, when I met her, we sat down and had a nice long conversation, and she supports the family values that I stand for. I am proud to support her.”
Being a police officer has always been a difficult job, even in he best of times. Officers need to make split second decisions that can mean the difference between life and death for them and others. Recent actions by some officers has caused people to paint all police with the same broad brush. As one person put it “cut off their noses to spite their face” by calling for the defunding of the police across the country. Democrat run local governments are falling in line with these people and caving into their demands and doing just that. This is going to reduce the safety of ALL of the people in these municipalities. The rising crime rates and deaths are proof of that. That same person pointed to the praise the police and fire fighters were getting after their heroic efforts on 911. “These people were running up the stairs of the towers, making sure people were getting out to safety, while knowing that they may not. Many of them never went home again.”
“Maureen was one of those 911 first responders. She’s gone into burning buildings before. She was one of the first women in the FDNY. She has definitely devoted her life to service. She wants to continue to devote her life to service in Washington.” Rowan proclaimed.
Schulman’s husband is a retired police Lieutenant. Knowing this Monaghan said, “She’s a strong supporter of law enforcement and police officers. Unfortunately today, what you see with the mayor of NYC, and the governor of New York State, where unfortunately there are a couple of small bad apples and we know of the terrible incident that happened, but overall police officers take that job because they want to help. Today you need somebody that understands with her background and stands up for law enforcement officers, that person is Maureen McArdle Schulman.”
In her speech to the attendees Schulman stated, “What’s going on with the police in this country, what the government is doing to them is an absolute shame and an absolute disgrace. It scares the crap out of me. It should scare the crap out of everyone here.”
Aiden Rowan emceed the speech part of the event. He began by stating, “Thank you for coming tonight. We are here to support a great candidate. She’s so good, even my parents came to their first political fundraiser. Maureen had a great victory in her primary.”
With the primary over, the next step in the electoral process is the general election. The leadership in the democratic party across the country has moved from moderate liberal to extreme Progressive Communist Socialist. They are calling for higher taxes (as much as 70% personal and 90% corporate), defunding police, promoting the Green New Deal, which would cost $94 TRILLION over 10 years. The budget of the federal government is just around $4 trillion a year. They also want to have open borders and give illegal aliens benefits, such as universal health care and free schooling that the American taxpayer will be footing the bill for. They also feel that single family suburban homes are inherently racist and they will take that away.
Rowan commented on this. “Now it looks like we are going to have to run a race against, I don’t even call him a democrat. He’s a socialist. It seems like that’s a big movement in our country nowadays and it would be nice if we could stop it and send Maureen to Washington.” I think she’d be a great addition to Congress and a great asset to our area. Rockland and Westchester are heavily democrat so, we’re going to have a fight on our hands here. We’re going to need every vote and every bit of help we can get. Signs on lawns. People hitting the pavement knocking on doors. It’s going to be a great campaign and hopefully in the end we get a nice victory out of this.”
Bill Weber is vying for the 38th Senate District seat, explained the current obstacles to conventional campaigning and what is going to be needed to bring the slate (Schulman, Mike Lawler, Steve Brescia, Colin Schmitt, Brett Yagel and himself) to victory. “I’m not going to speak long, because it’s Maureen’s night. Aiden made a good point. These are unprecedented times. It’s very difficult to campaign in these conditions. I want to thank everybody who went out and got petition signatures for all of us. Mike, myself, for Maureen, for all of the other candidates that are running local races. We’re going to need you more than ever because we can’t do the conventional handshakes or the conventional door to door.”
“We need to rely on you to reach out to your database, your sphere of influence within your various communities, people we don’t know. We can do virtual fundraisers. We can do other creative ways to get out the vote and also to raise money. As you know to run a race in Albany is difficult, and a race for a seat in Washington DC is even tougher. We need to raise money because the other side will raise as much money as they can to protect what they’ve done. What they’ve done in my opinion, is a terrible job. The legislation that’s coming out of Albany and Washington DC is atrocious.”
Weber’s father, and two brothers are police officers. He went on to talk about the situation with the police. “The attacks on police officers, are unacceptable. There are so many people that we know who are good people. Police officers are not the enemy. They are not the criminals. They are being treated like criminals. We need to change the legislation. We need to change the mindset in Albany and in Washington to a sense of what it used to be. We used to have respect for people in law enforcement. It was only a few years ago that 911 happened right here in NY, where we had first responders, police officers and firefighters running up burning buildings risking their lives and right now they’re being considered criminals. That’s wrong. It needs to change. It starts now.”
Weber’s starting point is with good candidates running, like Mike Lawler, Maureen, himself and other candidates, such as Colin Schmitt in Rockland County. “We’ve had politicians for far too long who have gone to Albany to enhance their resume and to fill their own pockets. I don’t need to do that. I know Mike doesn’t need to do that. I know Maureen doesn’t need to do that. We’re not going to Albany and Washington to make a name for ourselves or to get rich. We’re going there to get things done. To bring common sense legislative abilities back to Albany. That’s what I commit to you. I know the other candidates will do that too. I’m so proud to run with great candidates.”
“We are running on the right message and we can win. We know these districts are winnable. We know Ed Day has won county wide in Rockland County. If anyone tells you a Republican can’t win in Rockland County, well Ed Day has, multiple times and Scott Vanderhoff did for 20 years. Other candidates Carl Bravenic and so many other candidates who can and have won in Rockland County as a Republican. It can be done.” Again, we’re going to need everyone’s help here from this day forward. Money. Just speaking to your neighbors and turning out the vote. It’s going to be complicated to get our messages across in this environment. But I think with your help we’re going to do it. When you run for office it’s not fun sometimes. You open yourself for attack. We’re all strong people. Maureen, as a first responder, you are even stronger than we are. You can take is as much as give it. It’s going to happen. It’s going to get nasty. Campaigns always get nasty. We need people out in the community defending us when issues come up and when the campaigning really gets started.” Weber explained.
Mike Lawler, running for the seat in the State Assembly 97th District, was the next to the podium. “First and foremost, congratulations to Maureen for her victory on primary night. Congratulations to Bill. I’m excited to run with both of you on the ticket this year. It is certainly an interesting time. If I knew then what I know now, I think Lawrence, (Garvey, head of the Rockland County Republican Party) I would have said no. I’m really excited by the opportunity. I’ve lived in Rockland County my whole life. I love Rockland County. I love the people of Rockland County. I really want to go to Albany to represent the interests of Rockland County.”
Lawler took aim at the current lawmakers in Albany for their lack of lack of aid to Rockland and their general hypocrisy. “For too long the politicians in Albany have failed to fight for our residents down here. We pay the second highest property taxes in America. We get short changed year after year on school aid. My opponent Ellen Jaffee has been one of the biggest failures as an elected official in Albany. Her recent attacks on law enforcement are a disgrace. How is it you vote to repeal 50A which affords officers due process of law, but you vote year after year to exempt yourself from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)?” The hypocrisy of the elected officials in Albany is part of the problem. I’m going to fight to make sure that NYS and Rockland County become more affordable for our residents and for our families. That we have well – funded schools. That we have access to affordable health care and that our neighborhoods remain safe.
“We are very fortunate here in Rockland County to have so many great members of law enforcement who serve our communities and serve NYC. I will go to fight for them and their families and all of Rockland County. I’m excited by the opportunity to run this year. Two great things as we are heading into the filing deadline, this coming Wednesday, I have raised over $100,000 for the filing. I am really excited by the support I have gotten locally and across the state.”
His second great thing that happened was the receiving of an endorsement from former NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Kelly generally does not endorse candidates. “It’s only the second time he’s ever endorsed a candidate for public office. Mike Bloomberg being the only other candidate. I really appreciate that endorsement, especially representing so many law enforcement families in Orangetown and in the county. With that, excited to be here today and thank you everyone for coming out here and supporting Maureen.”
With that, Rowan introduced the keynote candidate of the evening Maureen McArdle Schulman. “A lot’s been said already. I don’t know if I can fill in any other details. What I need you to do now is go out and find some democratic friends who have the same thought processes that you have. Talk to them. Tell them about us. Tell them how we believe in law and order. Get five friends. Get them to get five friends. Tell them to vote for us. Tell them to stand up for us. We’re just regular people who want this country to be the way it should be.”
Schulman also spoke of the, what she called, disgraceful treatment of the police across the country. She promised to represent ALL of the residents of the district.
People support candidates for office for a variety of reasons mostly it falls to the candidate’s policies and politics. One supporter is not supporting her for that as much as other things. “It’s not so much her policies and politics. I’ve known Maureen and her husband for a long time. They are great people, honest and I believe that her honesty and though she is not a politician, she speaks through her heart. She’ll be great for the people of Rockland and Westchester.”
The general consensus among the attendees was that the defund the police movement is not a good thing. Lisa Taylor was very vocal on this topic. “It’s just dumb and stupid. In the absence of the police, who is left to defend us…? It’s just us. Who’s going to come and protect you? Nobody. I know Rockland County was planning on doing this. They already had it in their budget to put up license plate surveillance and every technical thing to replace police was already in place. This defunding thing was part of a big plan. This is the democrats. At the same time, not only are they defunding our police, they are beating them. Killing them. Throwing bricks at their heads.”
Taylor claims that the government in NYC has supported the implementation of a Muslim Community Patrol that uses police vehicles. They are fully showcased and flying around NYC. I have seen the pictures and have been reporting on it for over a year on my own page. The Muslim police force and you have the Hasidic Police Force and they’re not going anywhere. The only ones they are taking the police away from are the citizens. It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen in Rockland County, I assure you because of the Patriots.
The Patriots is a group Taylor organized only recently which meets every Tuesday at 7 at the 76 House. “The Patriots will show up the minute they hear there’s a confrontation with our police force. They will surround those police and protect those police. We have more privileges to shoot them (those attacking the police) than they do. If somebody pulls out a brick, they are not going to be very happy. These people are totally on the defensive.”
“I am definitely supporting Maureen. Her opponent is a plant. He worked for Obama before. He is being supported by the very people who are advocating for defunding the police. I have seen absolute proof that they are behind these riots to a great extent. Every blue state. AOC, Bernie Sanders and Obama are supporting him. He has commercials. If he gets in, you’re not going like this county at all. Maureen HAS to win. I’m going to have as many citizens as I can to get out to vote for her.”
Garvey is very excited about Schulman’s candidacy. “Maureen’s an energetic candidate that’s principled and working hard we’re up against what appears to be a left – wing progressive candidate the democrats have put up. I think the people are going to have enough of that sooner than later. I think Maureen’s got legs. She’s got traction and she will do well.”
“We have a great chance of victory. I’m not going to handicap anyone over the other but, again, the message is ours this year, especially in Rockland County. We’re a suburban community. We’re not a progressive urban community. People care about law and order. They care about the police. They support the police, the first responders. I think people have had it the past couple of weeks with what they’ve seen in the news and all over the country.” He proclaimed.
Garvey agreed with Schulman and every other person who spoke on the topic of the defunding and treatment of the police. “It’s horrible. We’re not supporting the people who keep us safe. We’re defunding police departments that need more money, not less. It’s a terrible what has happened to some of these individuals recently. It doesn’t speak to the police as a whole. Police as a whole are out there to protect us. 99.9% of them are hard working and dedicated. You can’t paint all of them with a broad brush because of one person’s bad acts.”
According to Garvey the Bail Reform is a disaster and another hindrance to the police’s ability to do their job. “It’s been a disaster from day one. Between that and letting people out of jail because of COVID, it’s had a terrible effect on what’s going on in NY and around the country.”
Education of our children has become a political hotbed of controversy more than usual. President Trump is saying, as well as many pediatricians and education professionals and psychologists and psychiatrists that we need to get them back into the school buildings.
One additional controversy is the implementation of the 1619 project (which the Buffalo NY schools are implementing) which tells history with “its overall theme is that “out of slavery grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system.” This distorted reading is an educational virus, engineered to infect schoolchildren and warp their understanding of our history — to make that history seem poisonous and evil rather than complex, tragic and noble. According to a NY Post article written by John Podhoretz.
Garvey feel that we’re going to see similar initiatives in our districts. “We’re certainly going to see it in NYC. Believe it or not, a lot of the members of the boards of education here in Rockland County are liberal progressive people. They want to see this type of curriculum in the classroom. It’s up to us as elected leaders, as citizens, as parents to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
Brett Yagel who is challenging Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski for his 96h Assembly District seat says that the Republicans have got a great ticket and that Maureen, Bill, Mike, are core individuals. “They believe in doing the right thing. Maureen reminds me a lot of myself. When I got involved in 2007, I wasn’t a political person. I was getting involved for the right thing because somebody was screwing with our water supply. That’s what I see in Maureen. We didn’t do it for fame or fortune or to make money because we’ve worked in the private sector.”
As many people do, Yagel feels that there are a lot of things that are wrong in our government and that we need common sense brought back to Washington. “I believe because of her grass roots Maureen can bring that common sense back to Washington DC. That’s what our forefathers were about. I am wholeheartedly behind Maureen and her campaign. Anything I can do I will do for her. Maureen is retired FDNY, she was a first responder. First woman in her class. She’s worked in the private sector. I work for a major defense contractor. I have a full – time job. You know what, when you come across people who know you really need to do the right thing, and that emanates from them. That is what I saw in Maureen. That’s what I saw in Bill. That’s what I see in Michael. I am behind Maureen 100%.”
One reason that Mike Mendick, a teacher, is supporting Schulman is that he is tired of the unlawfulness that’s going on. “We need someone who will actually support the police, not believe in defunding the police as her opponent has stated. I like the country as is. I don’t want to see it ripped apart. With all of its flaws, I think we still live in a very great country with people dying to come in, literally. It needs to be preserved for future generations. I have two children and I want them to have the same opportunities that I had.”
As far as the BLM movement. “I believe that all lives matter. I believe that black lives matter isn’t really black lives matter. I believe it’s a socialist, communist front group. I really think they are interested in tearing the country apart.”
Schulman reiterated her reason for running. “I’m just an average person and I don’t like what’s going on in this country. I don’t like the country that’s being left to my three grandchildren.”
She is accepting donations at Maureen4congress.com.