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Queens BP Candidate Peter Vallone Brands Himself as 'Superhero'

By Katie Honan | August 1, 2013 6:48am
 Vallone Jr.'s campaign sent out a flier showing the Astoria councilman as the borough's superhero. 
Vallone Brands Himself As Borough Superhero
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QUEENS — It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a Queens councilman fighting to become borough president!

Fliers sent out by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.'s campaign show the Astoria rep dressed in a suit, holding an American flag and presumably running toward danger. 

The flip side shows a tie-wearing man ripping open his button down shirt to reveal a Superman-style outfit — with a "V" where the "S" would usually be.

"Police respect him. Criminals fear him. He'll keep our neighborhood safe," the flier reads.

The hero role is one that's familiar for Vallone, who last summer rescued two girls from the rough ocean off the Jersey Shore.

This summer, he's turned the spotlight on his record fighting crime as he runs for borough president.

"Queens has its own crimefighter," the flier says.

The tongue-in-cheek pamphlet, which includes a comic strip tale showing Vallone's efforts to keep Queens' streets safe, is a striking piece and was conceived by Sheinkopf LTD, the company handling his campaign, the pol said.

It was given the OK by his daughter Caroline after he said he was "hesitant" about approving it.

"I just was concerned that the people would have the same sense of humor that I do," he said. "I didn't want anyone to take it too seriously."

The comic book showcases his accomplishments as a city councilman working on issues of crime, graffiti clearance and public safety, with quotes from The New York Times, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly — and even a quote from Vallone about his experience raising two daughters in the public school system.

The message — that he understands the borough and will protect it better than his opponents — is something he's noted repeatedly at forums.

At a forum Monday in Kew Gardens Hills, Vallone, who is the chairman of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, said his biggest accomplishment within the council was his work fighting crime.

When asked at the same forum what the biggest challenge was to Queens residents, he said public safety.

That crime-fighting role, he said, is why he sent the flier.

"It highlights the major difference between me and the other candidates," Vallone said. "I have experience keeping us safe, and no one else does."

As borough president, though, how much can Super Vallone do to stop crime?

"Not much," says Doug Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College, who said the ads are "cute" but that "cute only carries you a little bit."

"As borough president, in a sense, you've got a bully pulpit and you have board agency meetings, but there's not much that can be done with law enforcement."

Vallone admitted that his job would be mostly as an advocate for the borough — not so much Batman, but Gotham's main cheerleader.

"The borough president has to be an advocate on the issues. I'm going to continue to be an advocate for safe streets, for more police, for our Queens precincts getting our fair share of cops," he said.

"That's not happening right now."