But we have a confession to make goslings. Over 99 percent of the time, the photos that we dig out of the archives have absolutely no information attached to them; they are just snapshots in time and we need your help to fill in the details.
But this photo was the rare one, we later discovered, that actually still had it's caption, a short description of the proceedings typewritten on a piece of paper. So while we didn't get a whole lot of responses, no worries because we can tell you exactly who is the photo.
Here's the caption as we found it:
An Irish Hello – U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) greeted visitors at the Fifth Annual Irish Festival in Rockaway Beach, Queens, on July 26. Pictured above, from left, Assemblyman Denis Butler, Assemblywoman Gerdi Lipshutz [sic], Simeon Golar, Senator D'Amato, Mario Biaggi (behind senator), Adrian Flannelly, Grand Marshall Monsignor Brady, Congressman Thomas Manont and Mayor Ed Koch.
So there you go! We're sure that you, like us, are familiar with D'Amato, Koch and Manton, the former powerful head of the Queens County Democratic Party who, like Koch, has since passed away. D'Amato you can occasionally still catch on NY1's “Road to City Hall” during the Wise Guys segment, but what about Butler and Lipschutz.
Dennis Butler lived his entire life in Astoria, and in 1976 was elected to the Assembly, where he served for 24 years. He retired in 2000. Sadly, Butler passed away in 2010.
Lipschutz had a more interesting career (and demise) in politics much more in vein with the way it seems state politics in Queens is operating these days – or was operating, at least. In 1987, Lipschutz resigned from the Assembly after a five-week investigation revealed that she had added two “no show” jobs to her state payroll as a political favor, which seems like something a state politician from New York City might do.
At the time of her resignation, she had served for 11 years.
Lipschutz testified that she had added the jobs at the behest of Richard L. Rubin, an influential Queens political figure and number two in the the pecking order of the Queens Democratic organization. Rubin had Lipschutz create the “jobs” for two former secretaries.
Lipschutz told her that Donald Manes, the former Queens borough president who killed himself when the corruption that gripped his office slowly started to become public, wanted her to create the jobs and that she owed it to the party.
Rubin was found guilty and eventually sentenced to five years in jail.
And the archives once again uncover new and interesting facts about the seedy underbelly of New York City politics!