Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Schmitt Talking Out of Both Sides of His Mouth

Can Schmitt ever make up his mind and stick to one talking point? Back in December, Schmitt told the Anton Newspapers that "The Democratic majority on the legislature is fractured. There will be an election on Jan. 3 for presiding officer. Someone needs to get 10 votes. I have nine. Roger Corbin has three or four. Judy Jacobs has five or six. Nobody has 10. I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority. To break the logjam, several members of my delegation have agreed to support Roger Corbin as presiding officer."

What was that again? "Someone needs to get 10 votes."

I'm sorry, can you repeat that Peter? "Someone needs to get 10 votes."

That's what I thought I heard him say.
Why is this important?
Because the lawsuit brought by the Democrats says that since no one got 10 votes, Schmitt is not the Presiding Officer.
Schmitts lawyer is saying that he doesn't need 10 votes. Yet Schmitt himself said the exact opposite a month ago.
Schmitt's lawyer is actually fighting what Schmitt himself stated as fact.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ed Ward Follies - Is He a Liar or Just Ignorant

We'll go with "LIAR."
In the Jan. 28th Newsday article about the possibility that Charles Wang will take the Islanders hockey franchise to Suffolk if the new coliseum plan isn't worked out, Ward said "If [County Executive Thomas] Suozzi doesn't step up to the plate, Nassau is really threatened with the loss of the Islanders,"

WHAT? He's blaming the delays on Suozzi?????
That's simply not in the realm of reality.

Back in September 2004 Schmitt started by saying "He's got a long way to go. He has to build community consensus and there's zoning issues with the town."

In July of this year, Souzzi said to Newsday "I understand that the pace of government is very frustrating. Welcome to my world."

You see, Schmitt started to question Wang's plans in an election year because Suozzi and the Democrats liked the plan.

Ward said that July "A project of this magnitude changes the footprint of the county," adding that the approval process takes time."

Remember, the republicans were using the Wang project as a campaign issue claiming it would cause Nassau to be a "sixth borough."
Wang said at the time "It saddens me ... to see this being politicized. This is not a Suozzi project. It is not a Republican or Democrat project. This is a Wang project."

Republican County Executive candidate Greg Peterson chimed in calling for a slow-down of the process "“A homeowner couldn’t even get plans done to re-design a kitchen in that limited amount of time, yet Suozzi wants potential developers to submit plans for a major transformation of the region in that short a span---something which has not been done since the Levittown housing development decades ago,” stated Peterson. “Suozzi can’t be serious. His action reflects nothing less than a backroom deal without input from competing bidders. Taxpayers will lose out in the end.”

The call from republicans to SLOW DOWN the process for the redevelopment and the call for more plans by Suozzi meant more ideas and a longer process to get the deal done.

Before Wang dropped his plan to build the "Lighhouse Tower" only a month or so ago Schmitt said before the election "This doesn't help him get the approval. It doesn't change the fact that the process Suozzi went through is fatally flawed."

And Ed Ward put the kibosh on any forward movement even without the tower when he said in Newsday Dec. 29, 2005 "He proposed to build a tower. Now he's taking it out, but he's not saying what he's substituting, so you have an unknown amount of acreage with unknown development ..."

When Suozzi was sworn-in earlier this month he said "Together we will work to ensure that the Coliseum redevelopment will happen and it will happen responsibly. Additionally, we will build on our relationships with village mayors to make the vision of New Suburbia a reality."

So to blame Suozzi for holding up the redevelopment plans is just a big lie by Ed Ward.
And now after an extended bid time that Schmitt wanted plus final approval by the Town of Hempstead zoning board on any plan, it will take time but it's certainly not Suozzi's fault. What more does Ward want Suozzi to do?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Did Schmitt Just Call Suozzi a Nazi?

In the New York Observer ‘The Politicker’ column Schmitt is quoted as saying about CE Suozzi “He’s run this county like a stormtrooper for the last few years.”

“Stormtrooper,” eh?

For some reason we’re not seeing him making an allusion to the white-armored Star Wars charatcters.
What comes to mind is exactly how the word Stormtrooper is defined:
“storm trooper (n. )
A member of the Nazi militia noted for brutality and violence.
One who resembles or behaves like a member of the Nazi militia.

So Suozzi has been running the county like a nazi?
If Schmitt feels that way, why doesn’t he just come out and say it?

And this is on the heels of an exchange yesterday after the vote between Leg. Dave Mejias and the usually invisible republican Fran Becker as reported by Newsday:
Legis. David Mejias (D-North Massapequa) stayed to object. "This is an illegal coup by the Republicans," he said.
Legis. Fran Becker (R-Lynbrook) called out, "This is not South America."
Mejias then asked Becker, "Is that a slur on my mother, who comes from Ecuador? You're a punk."

More from the "Man of His Word"

"The Democratic majority on the legislature is fractured. There will be an election on Jan. 3 for presiding officer. Someone needs to get 10 votes. I have nine. Roger Corbin has three or four. Judy Jacobs has five or six. Nobody has 10. I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority. To break the logjam, several members of my delegation have agreed to support Roger Corbin as presiding officer."
Anton Newspapers 12/30/05

So where was that support?

Schmitt also said in the Long Island Press that "If he were to become presiding officer, Schmitt describes his position as a would-be “prescription for disaster.”

So Schmitt wants a disaster now?

We think Schmitt's new best friend Roger Corbin said it best Jan 15th last year in Newsday “The partisan politics on behalf of the Republican minority is jeopardizing Nassau County’s fiscal future. This is a throw back to the Gulotta administration where political expediency was at the expense of the taxpayers and residents,”

A Lie About Lies "I am am man of my word"

Schmitt tells Newsday today "I am a man of my word." right after not living up to his agreement to support Corbin for Presiding Officer. We can’t believe he said that with a straight face. But this is Peter Schmitt we are talking about. He has a history of avoiding the truth. (see www.schmittwatch.blogspot.com)
Schmitt says of yesterdays vote "I would much prefer that a Democrat be presiding officer….But now that this has happened, we have a government to run."

Then why didn’t he vote for Roger Corbin? Schmitt pledged his caucus’ support for Corbin but in the end voted the other way.
We can see Schmitt in self-preservation mode when it looked like Judy Jacobs as an un-affiliated registration could have pushed out Schmitt as Minority Leader but that wasn’t the scenario Wednesday.
The Democrats put up Leg. Kevan Abrahams for Presiding Officer which would have meant if Schmitt was a "man of his word," he and his caucus would have given Roger Corbin 10 votes, 1 vote for Schmitt and Abrahams would have gotten the 8 Democratic votes. Even with one vote to his name, Schmitt would still be Minority Leader because Abrahams is the same party as Corbin.
Schmitt is an untrustworthy liar. Plain and simple.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Schmitt Does an Obscene Thing

The vote for the leadership in the legislature was held today and Republican Peter Schmitt was elected Presiding Officer by a single vote. The Democrats put Kevan Abrahams up for PO.
The vote is as follows:
Schmitt - 9
Abrahams - 8
Corbin - 2

Schmitt got his 8 loyal lackeys to vote for him and Corbin and Altmann pulled the Samson Option and voted against the Democratic Majority.
Corbin is now Deputy Presiding Officer... wait, that's what he was before. Moving on up.
Lisanne Altmann was the BIG WINNER cause now she's the ALTERNATE DEPUTY PRESIDING OFFICER.
Altmann is done in Nassau politics.

So Schmitt thinks he might come out in top with the public because he is the "reluctant hero" who stepped into the breach when the Democrats were fighting.
Hold the phone though, for the past couple of weeks Schmitt has been saying that him being PO would be "obscene" which we whole-heartedly agree with and he said "I don't want to be Presiding officer" and "There should be a Democratic Presiding Officer"
Like we asked yesterday, why didn't Schmitt just stay out of the vote? Or direct one of his Stepford Legislators to vote for someone other than him?

So what happens now with Schmitt as PO?
Well, you just have to look at who he is.
Check out Schmitt Watch and go through the archives.
He is a proven liar up to and including today.
When we was Deputy Presiding Officer with a republican majority he proved himself adept in screwing the county finances up.
And you can always count on him to say something stupid in the press. There's still the matter of a couple pending multi-million dollar lawsuits against him and his past problems with the law.

More to come....

There He Goes Again: Nassau Young Republican Spouts Off

The new Nassau Young Republican President just doesn’t know when to stop. He has a “News Release” entitled ‘VASSALLO REACTS TO SUOZZI'S "LISTENING TOUR”’ which appears on his website. Vassallo just regurgitates the same ill-informed GOP rhetoric that failed so miserably during the campaign last year. Vassallo even cribs from his letters to local papers.

“The County Executive's Announcement today that he will be forming a "United State: Listening Tour" is a disservice to the taxpayers who cast their votes for him this past November.”

So sitting politicians are not allowed to do anything else?

Seems Vassallo’s boss ToH Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin was running for Nassau County Comptroller all last year.
Did Vassallo have a problem with that?
Probably not.

”Nassau County faces numerous and substantial problems. Obscenely high Property taxes are driving people out of their homes. Violent crime and home invasions are on the rise due to the underfunding of our Police Departments.Whats worse, Urban-style overdevelopment threatens to undermine our very quality of life.”

Gee, this all looks familiar. Vassallo wrote some letters last year with the same themes. We pointed out that Vassallo didn’t bother identifying his position in the republican party when he wrote those letters.
Last year Vassallo wrote “Residents of Nassau County are being taxed out of their homes.”

As we said then and repeat now When it comes to taxes, the County portion is only about 20%. The rest is School and Town taxes which Alex should know CE Souzzi has no control over. Suozzi has been working with school boards to figure out how to cut school taxes even though he has no control over them. The big problem is the state aid formula. Too bad the State Senators and Assembly-members aren’t doing anything to help.
The fact is crime is down in Nassau County. That was widely reported and then-District Attorney Denis Dillon, a REPUBLICAN affirmed the drop in crime.
As for “urban-style overdevelopment,” Vassallo needs to check with his local zoning board. They have the finak say in what gets built in their Towns and Villages.

”As Mr. Suozzi travels around New York State, flirting with voters about the idea of running for Governor, one thing becomes very clear: Nassau County deserves a full time County Executive, not a part-time Candidate for Governor.”

As we said before, Did Vassallo have a problem with Clavin running for Comptroller?

And if Suozzi is SOOOOO BAAAADD for Nassau as Vassallo said last year, wouldn’t Vassallo rather have Suozzi out of the county?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

“If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”

On January 3rd, we went through the poor-man's Machiavellian moves of Schmitt and the republicans that could mean Schmitt gets elected Presiding Officer.
Democrats Altmann and Corbin pooh-poohed the idea that Schmitt would leave them high and dry and Schmitt himself said numerous times that he is not interested in being Presiding Officer with a Democratic Majority. We of course didn't believe him. Our contention from the beginning was that Schmitt wanted to edge Judy Jacobs out by playing a rope-a-dope on Roger Corbin.

Schmitt told the
Anton Newspapers on December 30th “I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority,"
On January 4th, Schmitt said in Newsday
“That would be obscene... That is not what the people of this county intended when they elected 10 Democrats. ... The Democrats should be in charge."
Also on
January 4th in the Long Island Press “But that is not what the people of the County wanted….. There should be a Democratic presiding officer, democratic committee chairs. The democrats should be in charge.”
More recently in the
Jan 23rd NYTimes "Mr. Schmitt has said it would be "obscene" for him to be presiding officer, since voters elected more Democratic legislators than Republicans."
But there is a slight variation in the story.

"But if his coalition loses its court appeal, and if the Democrats fail to reunite, some politicians say he might take over after all."

Since Judy Jacobs won her court battle and if the votes played out like Corbin wanted, Corbin would be Presiding Officer with Jacobs as Minority Leader. Schmitt doesn't want to be frozen out so of course pending any new court ruling, Schmitt will drop his part of the deal with Corbin and have his people vote for him.
Corbin and Altmann don't want to "lose face" by returning to the Judy Jacobs bloc so thier votes so far stay locked in for Corbin leaving Schmitt as Presiding Officer and Jacobs as Minority Leader.

Today's Newsday has picked up on this with the article "Nassau Dems may forfeit their control."
They say "The running battle over leadership of the Nassau County Legislature became even more confusing Monday with both sides maneuvering to force a vote -- perhaps as early as tomorrow -- that could result in a Republican being elected presiding officer."
This was the outcome the republicans wanted from the beginning.

Corbin tries to turn the vote on the 8 Democrats by saying "We are voting for a Democrat presiding officer, not Peter Schmitt.... If the Democrats don't vote with Lisanne and myself, that means they are willing to give up control of everything just to get at us."
We thought Corbin had the republican votes sewn-up. Corbin is now admitting Schmitt will turn on him and have his people vote for him leaving Corbin out in the cold.

Civil War General William Sherman said in regards to people wanting him to run for President in 1884 “If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”
Will Schmitt stand up today and say the same thing?

He has said repeatedly that he does not want to be Presiding Officer with a Democratic majhority as we've pointed out but his spokesperson Ed Ward told Newsday that Schmitt's name will be
"... put into nomination along with Corbin's."
So Schmitt was lying.
Schmitt should pledge to Newsday that he will do as he has been saying and not be Presiding Officer.
He won't do that because he does not want to lose any power or take a pay cut.

The Ed Ward Follies

Ed Ward is the $80,000 a year part-time spokeperson for the republican legislators. He makes more than his boss Peter Schmitt.
Ward was at one time a legislator in Nassau but lost his re-election bid to the anger of voters over the fiscal malfeasence of the republicans when they were in charge. He actually doubled his salary
Once in a while he is called upon to make comments to the press. They are a wonderful look into the mind of Ed Ward. We'll update this new feature as quotes become available.

Ward tells
Newsday Jan 10th regarding CE Suozzi running for Governor "It's a slap in the face to the residents who voted for him that 13 days after his new four-year term begins, he will focus on a run for governor instead of the myriad of problems that face Nassau County,"

That's funny. We would assume Ward supported Greg Peterson for County Executive last year. We can also assume he supported Peterson when he ran for re-election for Hempstead Supervisor. Did Ward think Peterson slapped Hempstead voters in the face when he resign just after being sworn in after being re-elected so he could take a cushy higher-paying job at OTB?
I bet he didn't.

Newsday Jan 20th "The fight is not over.... Jacobs' efforts not to be affiliated with any party - a 'blank' had disenfranchised 18 legislators. Now who is going to represent them? We're not going to allow a blank to become presiding officer or minority leader."

Why not Ed? What's so wrong with an un-affiliated Presiding Officer or Minority Leader. Nearly 1/4 of voters regsitered in Nassau County (183,400) are "blank."
The blanks as a voting bloc are larger than the number of voters who re-elected Tom Suozzi.
By backing Corbin and Altmann, the republicans are "disenfranchising" 8 Democratic legislators.
Also, the job of Presiding Officer as prescribed by the County Charter isn't a political position but a mangerial position. Who gets "disenfrachised" if an un-affilaited Presiding Officer does the job of Presiding Officer?
What would Ward do if a Conservative (C) or Right-to-Life (RTL) third-party candidate became PO?

Monday, January 09, 2006

We Made the New York Times.... sort of

The Sunday New York Times Long Island edition had a story on the goings-on in the Nassau Legislature. Our "Judy-Jitsu" moniker for Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs move to counter the attack on her was mentioned in the article:
"Mr. Schmitt joined forces with two dissident Democrats, Roger Corbin and Lisanne Altmann, in an attempt to unseat Ms. Jacobs as presiding officer and replace her with Mr. Corbin.
Ms. Jacobs fought back with a complicated counterstrategy that, oddly enough, depended on her dropping out of the Democratic Party, at least on paper. (One blogger called the tactical switch "a Judy-Jitsu.")"

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Legislature Stand-Still

Nothing going on until court date next thursday. Unless of course someone blinks.

Until new news breaks, we'll be doing our long-awaited Nassau Republican Web retrospective this weekend. And of course the fate of Joe Mondello.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Take on the Legislature Mess

From our friends at The Commmunity Alliance

"...... In a related story in the Long Island Press, Judy's Last Stand, Democratic Legislator Craig Johnson is quoted as saying that the situation in Nassau's governing body is "surreal." Maybe we could sell the television rights to MTV, using the advertising revenues to pay for, among other things, the economic redevelopment of our "downtowns," the construction and subsidizing of affordable housing, and the renewal and maintenance of our neighborhood parks.

There doesn't seem to be a "recall" provision in the Nassau County Charter. Too bad. Would be nice if we could replace the Corbins, Altmanns and Schmitts with, say, trained fleas. At least the acrobatics would be more entertaining, and far less costly to the taxpayer.

There is nothing in the Charter that even requires the Legislature to vote on new leadership, which would, in essence, keep the status quo -- something the County Legislature has become particularly adept at doing over the years.

Or maybe we could sneak a measure across the table through which the Legislators would simply vote to abolish their own positions. This, we believe, would truly satisfy what both Corbin and Schmitt have been bellowing for -- that the will of the people be served!"

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


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Judyjitsu n : a method of political self-defense without
weapons that was developed in Nassau County; clever
use of the attacker's own weight and strength to deny
them power (see: Peter Schmitt)

Here's the long and short of it; Schmitt and Mondello try power move with dupes Altmann and Corbin (looking for some power of their own) to wrest control of the Legisalture from Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs. We went over the basics and what Schmitt was really up to two weeks ago.
There is NO WAY Schmitt would vote for Corbin for Presiding Officer and that came out in Newsday "Schmitt had been expected to vote for himself, thereby keeping his minority leader spot as the only person to get a vote who is not of the same party as the presiding officer. He said he, too, was protecting the will of the voters. He said Democrats are so divided that he could end up with the most votes, making him the presiding officer."
And that's what he really wanted but he says now "That would be obscene... That is not what the people of this county intended when they elected 10 Democrats. ... The Democrats should be in charge."
Judy Jacobs pulled a Judy-Jitsu move and ended her life-long affiliation with the Democratic Party and switched to "unaffiliated" so that when Schmitt tries to get Corbin in, the second highest vote getter not in the same party as the Presiding Officer becomes Minority Leader as per the Nassau County Charter (opens as .pdf). Corbin gets in, Judy Jacobs has second most votes not as a Democrat and she's Minority Leader thus making Schmitt officially NOTHING. (Sidebar: That would make E.M. very happy)
While Schmitt-Corbin-Altmann figured they had Jacobs against the wall, he fiesty Presiding Officer tore them a new one with a move no one saw coming.
Today a court decided that the vote for Presiding Officer is on hold until the validity of Jacobs' registration switch can be confirmed. The Corbin-Altmann Cabal along with the GOP went to an Appealate Court to have that over-turned and a vote held.
Here's the funny thing - the County Charter doesn't specify when the vote has to be held if at all since there is already a Presing Officer. The charter says on Page 12 "§ 106. Presiding officer, deputy presiding officer; alternate deputy presiding officer; minority leader.
1. The County Legislature shall choose from its own number a presiding
officer, who shall preside at all meetings of the County Legislature, be chairman of the Rules Committee, prepare that portion of the proposed county budget relating to the County Legislature, and perform such other functions as are assigned to the presiding officer by the rules of the County Legislature. The presiding officer shall cast the vote to which such person is entitled as a member of the County Legislature."
Some are saying that to be P.O., a member must get 10 votes. That's not in the Charter. The scenario we laid out with Schmitt splitting the difference and screwing Corbin making Schmitt P.O. is valid.
But is it politically smart?
It's actually causing problems. The electorate won't stand for such a scheme and can punish the republican legislators in 2007.
As to the Minority Leader election, the County Charter is actually much clearer and we see the math Judy Jacobs did.
"3. The county legislator who receives the second greatest number of votes cast in the election of the presiding officer referred to in subdivision one of this section shall be elected the minority leader and shall have such duties and perform such functions as are assigned to the minority leader by the rules of the County Legislature; provided however that the presiding officer and the minority leader shall not be enrolled members of the same political party."

If Schmitt pulls a rope-a-dope and screws Corbin, Schmitt gets the Presiding Officer title w/o a caucus to back him and an electorate angry at such moral and ethical corruption.
(Sidebar: It would be nice if voters in his district cared about his drunk driving)
If Schmitt backs Corbin and Judy Jacobs party registration change is upheld, Schmitt loses his Minority Leader position along with the power and extra $24,000/yr. in salary.
If the Judy-Jitsu move doesn't pan out, Corbin and Altmann may gain power but they will have done it by making a deal with the devil (Schmitt) and destroying their own electoral base.

Now in the Gift Shop:
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Suffolk Republican backs Jacobs

Former Suffolk County Legislator and Presiding Officer Joseph Caracappa (R-Smithtown) in Newsday......

Unseating Jacobs is upsetting

As presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, I have read with sadness and dismay the accounts of recent attempts to remove Judy Jacobs from her post as presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature ["The Mondello maneuver," News, Dec. 22]. These events have come as a complete shock to me, as I'm sure they have for many individuals across Long Island.

Not only should the powers that be in Nassau County be upset by these developments, but the voters and residents of Nassau should be both angered and offended. This political maneuvering equates to nothing more than an ill-conceived power grab, orchestrated by some ego-driven, power hungry, over-zealous politicians.

After my election as Suffolk presiding officer in January 2004, I worked with Jacobs. I found her an honest, caring, independent public servant who has put the needs of the public well ahead of partisanship or her own political gain. We were able to work in a bicounty, bipartisan approach, dealing with important issues such as regional planning and share ideas in an attempt to better our respective legislative bodies. I am better for having worked with Jacobs, just as the people of Nassau County are better for her leadership in the legislature.

Joseph T. Caracappa