Monday, January 09, 2017

An Open Letter to Oyster Bay Town Board

From: John Rennhack,,,,,

Choosing a New Oyster Bay Town Supervisor

The Oyster Bay Town Board,

The resignation last week of Supervisor Venditto has left the Town Board with a rarely used opportunity to appoint a successor. The rush to appoint that successor does not reflect well on the Town Board. Nor does the evident involvement of political party bosses from outside the Town influencing the decision. With the Town government still tainted by scandal and ongoing Federal investigations, it would be better to have an open and transparent discussion on the successor. I was glad to see members of the Board uneasy with such a fast move to appoint a new Supervisor. I commend those Board members for their actions.
I humbly suggest that the Town Board further delay any decision until the residents of The Town of Oyster Bay know who is under consideration and what they stand for. We have an Acting Supervisor with Councilman Muscarella so Town business can continue while the selection process plays out. The Board should schedule public hearings where all interested candidates can present their positions and ideas for the Town to the public and be questioned by the Board. There will be no special election here and the public will not have an opportunity to choose who they believe is the correct person for the job. The taxpayers of the Town will have an unelected Supervisor most of them have never heard of or know their policy positions. The reported scandals in the Town make having the taxpayer fully aware of who you may choose vital. This is an opportunity for the Town of Oyster Bay Board to lead on transparency and reform in local government. Eschew the backroom deals and selections that involved politicians from outside of our Town. Make the process open to the pubic. Allow the public to question the candidates for the position. Involve the taxpayers you represent in the process. This decision cannot be taken lightly or done secretly while the Town faces so many financial and legal problems. Making a choice in haste with no public input or notice continues the path which brought us here in the first place. Ultimately the Board will decide and that vote should include an explanation for that choice. There is much work to be done to fix the problems in the Town which requires a Supervisor prepared to make the tough decisions and bring new ideas to the table. The next Supervisor must reassure the taxpayers that the Town will be on a better path. I believe you would agree that the taxpayers deserve to be fully informed. They/We deserve to know before you vote.
I believe that by taking this step, the Town Board can be a model for reform and transparency while also reassuring the residents of Oyster Bay that we have turned a corner. I ask that you consider this proposal and what is the best course for the Town of Oyster Bay.


John Rennhack
N. Massapequa

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto Resigns

In a statement today, long-time Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto resigned his office. This comes 11 weeks after being arrested and indicted by the FBI and federal prosecutors. The cornerstone of justice system is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and we stand by that. The evidence however is overwhelming.
Following his arrest and indictment, former Supervisor Venditto appeared at Town Hall once in order to vote on increasing Town taxes by 11.5%. The weeks prior to this meeting he was locked in his publicly inaccessible campaign contributor funded storefront office in North Massapequa. The Town cannot be run from a bunker. Oyster Bay is in dire financial straits and we require a full-time Town Supervisor with a Town Board not distracted by federal corruption charges.
Each of the Town Board members voted YES for many questionable contracts that are being reviewed by federal prosecutors. The board members involvement is either complicit in the corruption or incompetent. The taxpayers of the Town have no confidence in the current Board Members.
There are many questions left unanswered that the residents of the Town of Oyster Bay need answered."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Welcome Back

We took too long of a hiatus and so much is going on. We'll be updating this blog on a regular basis.
You can follow us on Twitter @nassaugopwatch

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What's Wrong with Leg. James Kennedy's Bio?

Right out the gates the newest member of the Nassau County Legislature does what his predecessor did get squishy with his biography. Kennedy is in the 12th LD which is Massapequa. He is also the son in law of the the late Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt who originally held that seat.
On his official Nassau County web page, Kennedy says about himself "James Kennedy is a lifelong Long Island resident and a graduate of Fordham University. Before being elected in a special election in February 2015 to serve the 12th Legislative District, James worked as a fifth grade teacher at Holy Child Academy."
There is a teeny-tiny 3 YEAR issue with that introduction. You see, BEFORE being elected he didn't work as a teacher. Oh, he did work as a teacher previously but that changed in 2012 when he took a patronage job at the Nassau County Board of Elections.
Kennedy's father in law got him a patronage job through the republican party at the Board of Elections. 
Why leave his government work out? He worked for the County from 2012 until the special election in 2015. 
Why not just tell the truth?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

My Fellow Nassau Democrats

My fellow Nassau County Democrats. It is time for a change. A drastic change in the leadership of the party which I have fought very hard for. I am calling for the immediate resignation of current Chairman and the Executive Board. The absolute failure in this election has shown that the Democratic Party in Nassau is poorly served by the so-called "leadership." With FIVE Legislature seats UNOPPOSED and an incredibly weak campaign for County Executive, we need a fresh start. I call for the resignation of William Biamonte, Thomas Garry and the rest of the "leadership" that have proven so very ineffective. I am not alone in this feeling I am just he first person to speak up. This is the 3rd consecutive MASSIVE failure for a party with a majority of voter registration. I understand many committee members are afraid for their jobs at the Board of Elections, but now is the time for change. And those that believe they know everything at party headquarters are dead wrong. And THAT is a proven fact three times in a row. You cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. I don't claim to have all the answers but NONE of the "leaders" have any.
Ed Mangano was a horrible County Executive, a horrible campaigner and his record is that of failure. His lies were many and were easily refutable. You actually have to work hard to fail against that. But that is seemingly what the Nassau County Democrats have done. The message of "tea party" and "guns" is not a message for a County Executive race. That was an incredible waste of time and resources.  So-called consultants are hired from outside the County that know nothing about the voters here. Stop hiring poli-sci majors and start hiring communications experts.
Sadly when the Nassau Democrats had the last 2-4 years to make their case, they did not. They had 2 years to develop a bench of strong candidates, they did not. We have 2 years to rebuild. Two years from tonight. Join me.

John Rennhack

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mangano Police Consolidation Failure

Oh this is just brilliant.... Mangano and his inept lackey's pushed a precinct consolidation plan without taking a close look at one kind important part: SPACE. Seems that the genius that is Ed Mangano doesn't quite understand if you combine two things into one, the one thing will either be really crowded or it has to get bigger.
The consolidation of the 5th Precinct means that there isn't enough space in the building to the "money saving plan" means a $300,000 purchase of TRAILERS that will house officers. This being government by fools, the cost will probably be more in the end.
Newsday reports "But the consolidated precinct's mix of prisoners, officers and other staff is expected to be too crowded for the existing Hewlett building. So the department plans to install a modular building for added office space for supervisors, said First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter.
A similar trailer is expected to be installed when the First Precinct, in Baldwin, is consolidated with the Seventh, in Seaford. That consolidation is on track for Nov. 1, Krumpter said.
The modular buildings, permanent installations with foundations, cost about $150,000 each and measure about 1,300 square feet, said police department spokesman Insp. Kenneth Lack."

Nothing like making a professional police force look trashy, eh Ed?


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Too Soon? WTC Imagery in Kate Murray Re-election Signs

Nassau County Republicans are shameless in self-promotion. They will plaster their names and faces on anything and everything. They will use every opportunity to remind residents that they exist and the residents should be thankful.
Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray has always taken self-promotion to the next level. She will make sure that everyone sees her name. But I'm wondering in her re-election campaign that maybe... possibly... she just went a little too far to make sure people know her name.
On huge signs that have gone up around the Town of Hempstead, signs different from the standard Nassau GOP signs, there seems to be what looks alot like World Trade Center Imagery.
(Click to enlarge)


When I saw the sign late monday night, coincidentally the week of the 9/11 anniversary, I did a double-take. The image in the stylized american flag jumped out at me. Those looked like the Twin Towers.
I had to make sure what I was seeing was right... no politician, especially here in NY, would be so shameless... so narcissistic.. that they would use a subtle 9/11 reference of their re-election signs. I got closer and yes, it did look like the WTC Towers and NOT a stylized American flag. The image was distinctly two seperate columns. Even the stripes make them look like buildings.
(click to enlarge)

If Kate Murray and her campaign are using subliminal, subtle 9/11 imagery in their campaign, they should be ashamed of themselves.
Kate Murray needs to apologize for this disgusting attempt to link herself to the 9/11 tragedy the week we remember the victims, comfort the survivors and honor the heroes of that day.
There is no place in politics for this and yet it seems that Kate Murray and the Nassau GOP have no problem with it.
Murray will try to explain this away.
But she shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

We're Back

Oh yeah.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Funniest Thing I've Heard Today

Peter Schmitt cares about minority voters. I'm surprised he could say it with a straight face.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sen. Dean Skelos Accepted a Bribe, Lobbyist Admits.

Rent Stabilization Association President Joe Strasburgspoke to a crowd in Brooklyn and was unaware he was being recorded. Capital Tonight has the video...
"…So, in the last 48 hours [of the elections last year], RSA – and we’re not ashamed of it – we gave and donated and supported all the Republicans. We basically emptied our piggy bank in order to make sure they recaptured the Senate.”

“And Dean Skelos, who understands how important you are as an industry – and it’s selfish – but he understands clearly that if he doesn’t hurt us or he tries to avoid hurting us, we will be there for him next time around, and next time around is two years from now, and you need resources in order to achieve and maintain being in power.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Dissembling of CSEA Local830 President Jerry Laricchiuta

What is right, standing up for your Union members who elected you or covering for your political party bosses?
On Friday, Nassau County CSEA President Laricchiuta spoke at St. John's University which hosted a forum on the union-busting in Wisconsin. There, Republican Laricchiuta said "We find ourselves under attack by those in our party, mostly over to the far right."

"They have convinced many people in this country that the reason for the economic crisis is the pensions and benefits and salaries that public workers have fought for over the years... It's without merit. And yet they've got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attack labor and they're going to take it."

Laricchiuta is saying "they" and "far right" republicans are going after unions.

In February, Laricchiuta wrote an op-ed which was published in Newsday and many of the local weekly papers. There too he stated "Accusations by various groups and individuals that paint the county worker as the No. 1 reason why the county has fallen into this financial abyss, are wrong and baseless."

When it comes to the attacks on union workers in Nassau County, it isn't some "far right" republican group or any mysterious cabal, it is Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt. Both REPUBLICANS, just like Jerry.

Why didn't Laricchiuta just come out and say "Mangano and Schmitt have been maligning union workers"?

He does say "...the main message here is that the anger and venom being spewed today at the county worker are wrong and misdirected." But as the leader of almost 10,000 County Workers, he conceals the culprits to the detriment of the members. Why not let the workers know exactly who is attacking them. Be honest, it isn't some mysteroius, shadowy group or fringe individuals, it is the republican county executive and republican Legislature Presiding Officer. It certainly NOT the Democrats but Jerry in his dissembling tries to protect his fellow republicans as we head into the fall elections. The same people attacking his union members now, have gone hat in hand in the past to get endorsements and campaign contributions. Is Jerry going to endorse Schmitt and his republican rubber stamps in this years elections? He'll have a hard case to make to his members when they know without a doubt that Schmitt and the republicans are the ones attacking them.

It was Mangano, not "various groups" that demanded $60million in labor concessions and then threatened layoffs AND breaking the union contracts.

It's Mangano who has said “The costs related to our work costs have simply become too great for our taxpayers to fund through the real property taxes that are collected.”

And Schmitt who said "Nobody who works for private industry has some of these benefits and receives some of these benefits.”

Jerry Laricchuita needs to defend his workers against the clear union-busting Mangano and Schmitt are attempting with breaking the contracts. The Union Leaders in Wisonsin have not been afraid to name names and Laricchuita should follow their lead.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Schmitt and Police Union Get Into a Tussle

Schmitt has always gone to the Unions for endorsements and approved their contracts so it was probably disconcerting for them to hear Schmitt attack them publically. Schmitt dismissed the Unions by saying "Name one of my legislators who needed police union support to win election. Who runs this county, the elected officials or the unions?"
According to Newsday, it seems the PBA has something to say to Schmitt who sent them a solicitation to buy tickets to a fundraiser.
...when Schmitt this month sent Carver a solicitation to purchase $500 tickets through him for the Nassau Republican committee’s annual “Inaugural Ball” , Carver returned the letter, attaching a copy of the news article reporting Schmitt’s comments. “Dear Mr. Schmitt,” Carver wrote. “Your strong message in Newsday ...about not needing police union support was loudly received by the PBA and its membership. Enclosed I have returned your request for support.”

Carver cc’d Legis. John Ciotti of North Valley Stream, a Republican who has counted on PBA support in the past to win in his Democratic district.

Schmitt then replied: “Dear Jimmy, Do as you will — I do believe you supported Mejias over Belesi, Toback over Kopel, as well as Weitzman over Maragos. Hence my comment that they did not need your support to win.”

...Carver told Newsday, “He blindsides us in the paper with inappropriate comments about not needing union support. Then he has the nerve to send us a request to purchase tickets through him....He could have called me afterward and said, ‘What’s bothering you, Jim?’ Peter has the habit of going to the press without out ever speaking to anyone. He’s now being treated the same way he treats everyone else.”

Carver added, “There is no police officer in Nassau County that needs Peter Schmitt.”

I wonder if the Union will remember this in a few months when Schmitt once again asks for their endorsement.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mangano Takes to the Airwaves to Look Ridiculous

At 4am this commerical popped up on tv. It was a cheesy looking ad with lots of erroneous information. It was Ed Mangano (paying out if his campaign funds) taking an unnamed swipe at NIFA and touting some of his "accomplishments."
It's funny to hear him say he is protecting Nassau from "Propety Tax" increases. Of course he has to preface "Tax Increase" with the word "Property" because Mangano raised $60million in fees, shifted millions in tax burdens to school districts and tried to INCREASE the county SALES tax.
When he's pushing that broom at the end, you might wish that was the extent of his job responsibilities after what he has done to Nassau in a single year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Got a Mid-Priced Home? Managno Raised Your Taxes.

So much for the Tax Revolt and any promise Mangano made to "fix the system" and "protect taxpayers from property tax increases."
Maybe it's time to a Recall law in New York.

From Newsday:

"Nassau used a new and untested method for assessing residential properties this year that will shift the overall tax burden to middle-class homeowners while reducing taxes on high-end and bottom-priced homes, County Comptroller George Maragos says in a draft audit.

According to the draft, obtained by Newsday, the new method will increase the overall property tax bills of owners of middle-range homes by an average of $227 each; owners of top-end houses will see an average tax decrease of $173, while owners of the least costly houses will see a drop of $55 on average."

"According to the draft audit, the assessment department dropped the use of comparable properties for determining the tentative residential assessment roll issued this January. Instead the county used the lowest of an array of values - including last year's assessed value, any reductions resulting from property tax protests and a recent sale of the property.

Auditors said the new method is not used by other municipalities, was not reviewed by mass appraisal experts and has not been tested to see if it complies with state law."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ed Mangano's Sick Tax

Welcome to the New Nassau County where County Executive Ed Mangano wants to save you from a property tax increase but sure as heck hopes you break a leg so he can close his budget gap. That's right Nassau County Taxpayers, if you are in a car accident, have a heart attack, fall down a flight of stairs, slip on some ice or just feel too terrible to take yourself to a hospital, Ed Mangano is making sure you do your part to help him balance the county budget. Up until January 31st of this year, your ride to the hospital in a Nassau County Ambulance was $400.
On February 1st, the Mangano Sick Tax kicked in and now it costs $1000 to get you to a hospital.

But wait, THERE'S MORE!
You need Advanced Life Support?
That'll run you $1200 (versus $550 previously)

Need even more Advanced Life Support??
Well, you get a sort-of discount at only $1250 (versus $650 previously)

And just when you thought you were being bled dry enough, Mangano and Schmitt increased the mileage surcharge over 100% from $6 per mile to $15 per mile.

So Nassau County, do your part and go out there and break a leg!

Mangano expects to make an additional $8million from this tax increase to balance his budget.
Mangano and Schmitt won't call it a tax but it is. And even if we just accept it as a "fee increase" then what happend to the campaign rhetoric of Schmitt and Mangano not to increase fees either? Oh wait, those were Tax Revolt Party lies.
Mangano, Schmitt and the Nassau County Republicans are trying to make more money off of sick and injured people. How Revolting.

In the meantime to get folks motivated to pitch in, we have a new Slogan for the County..


Sen.Dean Skelos: Not A Well-Liked Guy

Some people poll low but jeebus, this is low..
Sienna Poll for New York State:
Favorable Ratings:
President Obama: 62%
Governor Cuomo: 77%
Sen. Gillibrand: 57%
NYS Assembly Speaker Silver: 19%
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos: 11%

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mangano and NIFA: A Modern Day Scorpion and the Frog

The main crux of Mangano's lawsuit against NIFA is that NIFA is unconstitutional. He is arguing that a NIFA takeover violates the NYS Constitution.
Now keep in mind that NIFA was created to pull Nassau County from the brink of financial disaster caused by then Legislator Ed Mangano and Peter Schmitt.
Mangano and Schmitt voted for the creation of NIFA.
Mangano and Schmitt greedily accepted the money that NIFA could offer to fix Nassau's mess.
Mangano and Schmitt charged around Nassau during the 2009 elections practically calling NIFA reports that criticized Tom Suozzi the gospel.
Now that NIFA isn't a useful election tool, Mangano and Schmitt no longer have use for them.
Experts aren't siding with Mangano on this and the attorney for NIFA counters "A municipality can hardly claim that its domain has been invaded by legislation it asked the state to enact."

This situation brings to mind the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog.

"One day a scorpion arrived at the bank of a river he wanted to cross, but there was no bridge. He asked a frog that was sitting nearby if he would take him across the river on his back. The frog refused and said, 'I will not, because you will sting me.'

"The scorpion replied, 'It would be foolish for me to sting you because then we would both drown.'

"The frog saw the logic in the scorpion's words, and agreed to carry the scorpion across. But when they were halfway across the river the scorpion stung the frog. The stunned frog asked, 'Why did you sting me? Now we will both die!'

"The scorpion replied, 'Because I'm a scorpion … and that's what scorpions do.'"

Friday, February 11, 2011

And if Other Republicans Say This About You.....

Long-running NYC Republican website Urban Elephants had this to say about the NIFA takeover:

"A state financial control board set up to oversee Nassau County's finances has seized control of the county for failing to balance its budget, a humiliating rebuff to the newly elected GOP County Executive and GOP-controlled County Legislature.

If you can't cut a budget enough to balance it, you're not competent to govern."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NIFA Breaks News to Mangano and Schmitt: 'You're Our Parents!"

After spending a few weeks calling NIFA "unelected", "unaccountable", etc, etc, NIFA responds to the Mangano/Schmitt lawsuit against them and says "A municipality can hardly claim that its domain has been invaded by legislation it asked the state to enact."
Yup, that's right.
Eleven years ago, Schmitt and Mangano in the Legislature voted to create NIFA to pull them out of the fiscal mess they created back then.
So, CONGRATULATIONS to Momma Mangano and Papa Schmitt. You can't disown your own kid.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New GOP Senator Jack Martins Needs a History Lesson

Jack Martins who barely defeated Sen. Craig Johnson has teamed up with Lee Zeldin the newest Senator from Suffolk (and possibly the NYS Senate's very own Ted Baxter) to complain that money that was set aside before the election for community projects have been cut.
Martins and Zeldin write
"...the former Democrat Majority in the Senate was directing state authorities to de-fund these very same programs worth over $12 million for the two districts."

Perhaps they should talk to their boss Dean Skelos who defunded projects for the 7th SD when Craig Johnson won the special election.
Not only that, after all Skelos' talk about "fair share" for school funding for Long Island, schools in the 7th SD got short-changed while republican districts made out very well.
Then take the case of Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins, a Democrat that defeated a sitting republican. School aid for her district was cut after that election. Skelos said about that "This would never have happened if Senator Nick Spano was still there.” Classy.
Skelos didn't even try to hide that he was playing politics with education money.
I hope Martins and Zeldin feel that Skelos is also "
... grossly irresponsible, devoid of integrity," and is "causing significant harm to the recipients including towns, villages, school districts, fire districts and not-for-profits who have been deceived by their actions."
'Cause otherwise, they would be huge hypocrites.

The next bit
is one that really irks me because it is such a lie perpetuated by republicans to scare voters. "Once again, the New York City based Senate Democratic leadership have looked to Long Island as their ATM machine."
The FACT is that NYC gets $11billion LESS in money than they send to Albany.
NYC does not and never has taken money from Long Island. Martins and Zeldin need to look to upstate for that.