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.

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