Staten Island Republican Party Bosses Trade Judgeships for Democrat Favors

By M. Thomas Nast

I am a politico and longtime Republican. I am using a pseudonym. The publisher knows who I am.

I learned my craft – several decades ago – the art of getting people elected – from the greatest generation of political operators from New York State and across the country.

Recently, I was asked how these old-timers would have dealt with the “the Swamp” — the behemoth and entrenched political and administrative establishment.

The Swamp really is a revolving door between politics, government, and the private sector, disregarding the rank-and-file Republican voters.

Party leaders make a deal on cross-endorsement

I have a simple answer. The failure is my party.

The party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, and now Trump is suffering from “Electile Dysfunction.” And unless we act quickly, the condition may become incurable.

Lifelong Republican Guest Writer Modern Thomas Nast wonders whether The Swamp has swallowed the GOP whole.

How do I reach this prognosis? The symptoms:

  1. Lack of viable messaging
  2. Poor candidate selection
  3. Failure to challenge questionable ballot mail-ins and harvesting practices
  4. Party leadership putting their personal advancement and agenda before the good of the party

Number 4 is the biggest issue by far.

From the local levels to the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party is a diseased political animal.

I can illustrate the disease by what happens in my home county, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York.

Staten Island is the only “Red” County of the Five Boroughs of New York City. Our voter demographics resemble suburban enclaves in the northern and western parts of New York and swing counties in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Arizona, rather than the rest of “deep blue” New York City or State.

Notice a pattern.

Red counties, in blue states. A Republican county and in a very Democrat state. Or Democrat control and bent GOP leadership.

Currently, only four of the eleven Staten Island elected officials are members of the Democrat Party. In county-wide races, Republicans have gotten at least 60% of the vote for the last decade, with few exceptions.

As a student of politics, I look at the numbers.

The 2020 census says the population is just under 500,000. In the 2022 Presidential Election, there were 217,899 votes cast. Donald Trump won 123,320 votes (57%) to Joe Biden’s 90,997 (42%), a 15-point margin.

Staten Island is Red.

2020 Presidential Election - Staten Island Vote Totals
2020 Presidential Election – Staten Island Vote Totals

The Borough President is a county-wide seat. In 2021, Trump-endorsed Republican Borough President Vito Fossella beat Democrat Mark Murphy, the son of a former US Congressman, by 27,000 votes.

The District Attorney is a county-wide seat. In 2019, the Staten Island Republican Party Leadership let Democrat District Attorney Michael McMahon (well known to Frank Report readers) run UNCONTESTED!

In 2022, Republican Lee Zeldin beat Incumbent Democrat Governor Hocul in Staten Island by 43,000 votes in a statewide contest. Hochul won statewide.

In another statewide contest, unknown Republican Paul Rodriguez topped incumbent Democrat Comptroller Tom DiNapoli by 36,000 votes. DiNapoli won statewide.

Unknown Republican Michael Henry won over incumbent Democrat Attorney General Letitia James by 40,000 votes.

James won statewide.

Unknown State Senate Candidate Joe Tirone came within 700 votes of flipping a State Senate seat a Democrat held for 18 years.

And unknown Republican, Sam Pirozollo, flipped a State Assembly Seat a Democrat had held for 18 years.

The numbers don’t lie.

There was a “Red Wave” in Staten Island’s 2022 elections. Even in deep-blue New York State, which hasn’t carried a Republican President since Ronald Reagan in 1984 and hasn’t had a state-wide Republican hold office since George Pataki left the governor’s mansion in 2006.

Three county-wide NYS Supreme Court judgeships were on the line in 2022. The Staten Island Republican Party leadership chose not to run a Republican (many wanted to run) against the Democrats and endorsed Democrats Judith McMahon (the wife of District Attorney Michael McMahon) and Ann Thompson.

This “deal” was in exchange for the Democrats endorsing one Republican judicial seat. Former Republican Party Chairman Brendan Lantry was cross-endorsed and elevated to the bench.

When a judicial candidate is cross-endorsed, he or she appears on both the Republican and Democrat lines – so there is no contest. Party bosses, not the voters, decide who the judges will be.

In all three races – with judges not facing an opponent – the two Democrats and one Republican all got more than 70% of their vote totals on the Republican line.

This means that if the Republicans had put a candidate against the two Democrats, the Republicans would have had a good chance at winning all three.

Instead, there were no races, and the only Republican cross-endorsed was the party boss.

Fast forward to this year.

Once again, the Staten Island GOP leadership in a heavily Republican county – dictated that no Republican candidate was to run against Democrat Michael McMahon. He will run unopposed as Richmond County District Attorney.

Democrat City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks will also run unopposed in the Staten Island portion of the NYS Senate district, which came within 700 votes of flipping Republican in the last election.

Staten Island GOP Rally
A Staten Island Republican Party Rally?

For years, Republican NYC Councilman and later two-term Republican Borough President James Oddo was a staunch conservative. That was until his wife, Kim Petersen, wanted to “get made” as a judge. In 2016, she was appointed to the Queens County Criminal Court bench by former NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, buying Hizzoner four years of Oddo being his loyal (and maybe only) lap-dog in the Red Borough.

In 2020, he supported Democrat NYS Senator Diane Savino and Democrat NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick. He also snubbed Republican Congressional Candidate and now US Representative Nicole Malliotakis, supporting her Democrat opponent Max Rose.

In 2021, Oddo refused to endorse Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa. Then in January, after Democrat Eric Adams beat Sliwa, he appointed Oddo to his “dream job” as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations – a nice pay hike for the Republican.

Oddo Savino Adams
“Republicrat” James Oddo [r] and Democrat Diane Savino [c], former  NY State Senator and Special Assistant to NYC Mayor Eric Adams [r], with their new employer.
In 2019, the Richmond County Republican Party let Democrat District Attorney Michael McMahon run UNCONTESTED.

Then Republican Party Chairman, Robert Helbock, became a Civil Court Judge.

The next Republican County Chairman, Ronald Castorina, Jr., supported Democrats, helped McMahon, and became a New York State Supreme Court Justice.

Frank Report readers will find the Castorina name familiar because of recent perjury allegations against him.

In 2022, Republican Joe Tirone came within 700 votes of flipping the NY State Senate Seat held by a Democrat for 18 years.

Oddly, the NYS Republican Senate Campaign Committee didn’t help his campaign with any money or manpower.

Inside sources told me Staten Island Assemblyman and current Richmond County Republican Party Chairman Michael Tannousis and sitting State Senator Andrew Lanza were blocking Tirone’s support.

Tirone came within 700 votes of winning. Had he had support, he might have won.

Republican Sam Pirozzolo, a victim of arson because of his support for Donald Trump, is labeled as a "wild card" by the GOP Establishment.

Republican Sam Pirozzolo, a victim of arson because he supported Donald Trump, is labeled a “wild card” by the GOP Establishment.

In 2022, Sam Pirozzolo also had the same lack of GOP establishment help. Defying the odds, he flipped a NY State Assembly seat a Democrat held for two decades.

And don’t forget the 2022 “deal of the century,” “two for one” judge swap.

Give away two seats in a deal when you can get all three at the polls.

And the Staten Island GOP leadership isn’t trying to hide the blatant quid pro quo.

Three straight Richmond County Republican Party Chairman give Democrats FREE RIDES, and now all three are judges.

Someone should investigate how former Republican County Chairmen, all lawyers – Brendan Lantry, Robert Helbock, and Ronald Castorina – became judges.

It will be interesting also to observe if Richmond County Republican Party Chairman, who is also a lawyer, Michael Tannousis, will soon become a judge.

If it is unclear, a Republican in the sole Republican County in greater New York City, who supports Democrats in a city and state controlled by Democrats, can tap into favors with the party where it counts. He can get patronage, jobs, and legal work [these men are lawyers] and become a judge.

These opportunities would otherwise be unavailable if they put their party above their personal ambitions.

Said another way, by selling out Republicans, they can curry favor with Democrats who hold the big city and state power.

Staten Island GOP Headquarters?
Staten Island GOP Headquarters?

Let’s be blunt. Current GOP Leadership has been involved in politics for decades. On Staten Island, several of them are elected State Legislators and attorneys.

It’s not improbable that a greedy lawyer becomes a spineless political hack in a state where the Democrat Party and the Trial Lawyers’ lobby control the court system and determine who gets elevated to the bench.

A GOP Headquarters near you?
A GOP Headquarters near you?

This is The Swamp, and it stinks.

And this cesspool isn’t limited to New York.

Republicans across this country must boot our self-serving leadership and start choosing leaders who put the people ahead of personal ambitions.


About the author

Guest View


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • “Why did the trans-man always eat salad?
    Cuz he’s a [sic] herbivore.
    Get it?”
    -Scott Johnson

  • Dear M. Thomas Nast,

    As you are well aware Staten Island is awash with corruption and has been for over 100 years.

    Of the five boroughs, Staten Island is the most corrupt one. The Bronx is just a zoo.

    There is nothing shocking or new in Staten Island.

    What is shocking is you believe things were ever not corrupt in Staten Island. Staten Island isn’t a swamp, it’s lower than that, it’s whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

    Staten Island is a dump you have to pay $15 cash for the privilege(sarcasm) to enter.


    Tell Luthmann I said hi!

  • Interesting piece. By the way, “M. Thomas Nast”, what does the ‘M’ stand for? Mad? Also, I think there might be a typo in the last name – shouldn’t there by a ‘Y’ at the end of it? Love the cap too, but I think you might have lost the totenkopf off the front?

    “The party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, and now Trump is suffering from ‘Electile Dysfunction.’ And unless we act quickly, the condition may become incurable.”

    You might say that the first 4 famous Republican presidents ruled at a time when the party’s fortunes were a lot more rosy, and the party a lot more united. It could easily be argued that the final infamous one has succeeded most in fragmenting its support base.

    Let’s revisit the symptoms you list:

    1. Lack of viable messaging – how can you have viable messaging when you don’t have any viable policies?
    2. Poor candidate selection – GOP sold out to the Tea Party and then Trump, what do you expect?
    3. Failure to challenge questionable ballot mail-ins and harvesting practices – sorry, but exhaustive investigations found no evidence whatsoever of election fraud
    4. Party leadership putting their personal advancement and agenda before the good of the party – you got that right, and guess who that was? Glad you agree it’s the biggest issue.

    You proceed to try to blind us with spurious electoral stats concerning the 5 NY boroughs, as if it could all have been so different if only GOP had fielded more candidates. The numbers don’t lie? Depends which ones you count. Such speculative nonsense.

    “The next Republican County Chairman, Ronald Castorina, Jr., supported Democrats, helped McMahon, and became a New York State Supreme Court Justice.”

    Nice to see a bit of bipartisan cooperation for a change. Are you implying that it’s only the corrupt Republicans that do deals with Democrats, and that the extremist ones are all squeaky clean? No doubt the NYS Republican Senate Campaign Committee has been infiltrated by an assortment of corrupt Democrat lovers, pinko commies, libtards and lefty wokists? LMFAO!

    “Republican Sam Pirozzolo, a victim of arson because he supported Donald Trump, is labeled a “wild card” by the GOP Establishment.”
    Hello, the GOP establishment IS Donald Trump: Trumpism, and its foul legacy, dominates the GOP, which is why the GOP is suffering from ‘electile dysfunction’. Duh!

    “Someone should investigate how former Republican County Chairmen, all lawyers – Brendan Lantry, Robert Helbock, and Ronald Castorina – became judges.”
    Presumably bacause people voted for them. Isn’t that how it works?

    All I know is the Orange Ape has now been criminally indicted by a Manhattan grand jury for allegedly paying off a porn star through his then lawyer, Michael Cohen. Trump had honorably let Cohen take the fall for his sordid dealings, but thanks to the evidence and Cohen’s testimony, a grand jury concluded there was sufficient evidence to charge Trump. Much as he ranted and raved on his Truth Social, less than a handful of people turned out to protest. The “electile dysfunction” of his party sounds a lot like something Stormy Daniels was complaining about.

    His legal problems are only starting as the probable indictments mount up. What Republicans have to ask themselves is: do they really want an almost guaranteed loser in 24, or do they want someone who can actually give them an unlikely, though slightly better chance of winning? I’m sure most Democrats would love Trump to get the nod. If he does, there’s probably more chance of Raniere getting out of jail than the GOP regaining the Presidency.

    Trump was famous for saying he wanted to empty the swamp in Washington. Of course he did: he was the biggest stinkiest slimiest alligator of them all, and he wanted that swamp all for himself.

    “I have a simple answer. The failure is my party.” You said it.

    • You have obviously never studied NY political history, if you don’t know who Thomas Nast was.

      I will enlighten you.

      Thomas Nast was the political satirist and cartoonist that almost singlehandedly brought down William Magear Tweed and his corrupt Democrat Machine called Tammany Hall.

      • Thanks for the enlightenment. And you’re right, I’ve never studied NY political history.
        What I’m worried about at the moment is the corrupt Republican Machine called Trumpism.

      • Nast was anti-Irish and anti-Catholic Prot who would imprison most of the Republican Party of the Staten Island for the crime of popery

        • Bringing corruption to the greatest levels ever seen at the time. After Tweed, political corruption was big business. They were bigger than US Steel before the Italian Mafia.

  • The Uniparty/Deep State continues their destruction of the U.S. Our country has declined into a Banana Republic.

    • ShadowState and other idiots:

      The Crossing the Rubicon…..

      ….Was when Caesar crossed over the Rubicon entered Rome and declared himself dictator for life.

      The only man in U.S. history who has attempted to take over our Republic is Trump on January 6.

      He crossed the analogical Rubicon.

      If you morons called the Democrats – bolsheviks that would be a more fitting analogy.

      Didn’t you, Shadow, go to a real? Or so you claimed. LOL

  • This is an accurate synopsis of the politics in the State of New York…having worked for the state since 1987 (working for Mario Cuomo), the state and the Legislature are nothing short of dysfunctional. So many of our legislative leaders have landed in prison for ethic violations (i.e., payola — local and federal) and the dirtiness of the State and Legislature sees no end. The highest paid legislators in the country get richer and richer off of the backs of NYS citizens. The NYS motto should be: Dirty Politics at its Finest.

  • You’re right Mr. Nast!

    Maybe now that our country is on a slippery slope, more Republicans will understand how much we need:

    more viable messaging
    better candidate selection
    effective responses to questionable ballot mail-ins and harvesting practices; and,
    party leadership that puts the good of the party before personal advancements and agendas

    Many Democrats are so dedicated to their platform and candidates, it’s almost a lifestyle for them.

    How can we have only paper ballots and in-person voting in every state?

      • Considering you previously stated opinion on Trump, I wouldn’t be so eager for the “Fun to Start”.

        The State Charges have a 2 year statute of limitations, and the possible Federal Charges have a 5 year statute of limitations.

        You can expect Tacopina to ask for all the Charges to be dismissed because of the statute of limitations violations. If the Judge doesn’t do it, it will be appealed up the line to the Appellate Division in NY. If none of that works it will be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, and we all know what will happen there.

        All that DA Bragg and the Democrats are doing here is creating a martyr. If I were advising the Trump campaign, I would tell them to use his Mug Shot for all his campaign material.

        This will turn into the biggest political misstep and backfire since someone put Michael Dukakis in a tank.

        • Yeah, Tom, I’m hearing you. Not much doubt the Orange Ape will get the nomination now, and there’s probably going to be a bit of blood spilled, not that that fucker gives a toss about it – the more the merrier in his book.

          But there’s a much bigger picture, which is far more important: it’s called the law. And as Merrick Garland recently said, no ones above it, and that includes former presidents and wannabe despots. Sure, he might get off with this one. No matter – the precedent for indictment has been set, the genie’s out of the bottle. The other cases are much more serious, and the evidence much more compelling.

          And when that evidence gets aired in the media, and Trump’s thugs are out on the street causing mayhem as is their wont, a lot of independent-minded folks are going to vote in the interests of their own future security, and the corporation power brokers are going to start giving their money to the other side because that shit’s bad for business.

          You might want to just have a quick read:

  • For decades I lived in Illinois, a state much like New York.
    Illinois’ Republican Party was led by individuals like Charles Percy the Senator and James Thompson, the Governor.
    Those men are now dead but they were moderates who appealed to Illinois voters outside of the Democrats’ Chicago stronghold.
    Chicago has not had a Republican Mayor since 1930 and the prospects for the Republicans in the city are grim.
    As it stands now I do not see any Republican winning the Presidential vote in Illinois.

    I must give people the advice of commenters like Jessie Kelly who has a radio show.
    If you live in a blue state, a state dominated by the Democrats, for God’s sake relocate to a Red State where you will reside in a more friendly environment.

    As long as Donald Trump was just a businessman willing to to finance the Democrat Party he was fine with New York’s political elite.
    The minute Donald Trump became a Republican and talked of draining the swamp the political elite in New York and Washington D.C. declared unrelenting war against Trump.

    The Democrats will fabricate facts and laws to destroy Trump and anyone like Trump.
    A corrupt media elite as well as a rotten academia and a greedy financial elite will use all of their resources to destroy anyone like Trump who dares to oppose them.

    This is reality in 21st century America.
    The following states are beyond saving:
    New York
    New Jersey
    Washington state.

    Any state dominated by Antifa and BLM is not safe to live in.
    Any state or city dominated by people who believe men can become pregnant is living in delusion.[

    No matter how inconvenient avoid states and cities that are living in delusions.
    Right now San Francisco is considering “reparations for slavery” of 5 million dollars per person.
    California wants to raise that figure to 7 million dollars per person.
    This is not a joke.

    California reparations efforts eyeing $5 million payments, restitution

    • “The minute Donald Trump became a Republican and talked of draining the swamp the political elite in New York and Washington D.C. declared unrelenting war against Trump.”

      In becoming a Republican he effectively declared unrelenting war against them.

      “The Democrats will fabricate facts and laws to destroy Trump and anyone like Trump.”

      They don’t have to. Trump does that best all on his own.

      “A corrupt media elite…” You mean like Fox News and the NYP? The “greedy financial elite” love him because he gives them such massive tax cuts!

      “The following states are beyond saving:” What’s your solution? Nuke ’em? Sounds like you’re pregnant, Shadow – with BS.

    • Yeah, let’s get rid of 70% of the nation’s GDP. Take a look at the economics of the Civil War sometime. The south took on a giant outnumbering them 10-1 on almost every statistic.

    • The older I get, the more I come to believe the Gene Hackman version of Lex Luthor was a genius. It’s time to buy Arizona desert property for when California and parts of the Pacific Northwest drift into the ocean.

    • Nah, Trump already did that for them. As Tucker Carlson famously said, there’s really no upside to him. Well said, Tucker!

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083