Friday, February 09, 2007

They Eat Their Own Mondello-Style

One-time Nassau Congressman and full-time Clinton Hater John Leboutillier lets loose in Newsday on the lack of leadership by Joe Mondello....

"Eight days before the special election for State Senate in Nassau this week, an upstate New York GOP county leader drove for hours to Nassau Republican headquarters in Westbury. He had been summoned to an urgent meeting by state GOP chairman - and long-time Nassau GOP "boss" - Joseph Mondello. Before the meeting was to start, this leader spoke to me over lunch about the upcoming Senate race, keeping in mind that a Democrat hadn't won a state Senate seat on Long Island in more than 20 years.

"We ought to be able to win this race. . . . We're sending down 50 workers for the final weekend, and the counties that don't send foot soldiers are sending money. . . . Mondello knows what he is doing . . . the Nassau GOP machine is the best in the country," he said.

The man was stunned when he finally went in for his meeting and was shuffled off to one of Mondello's assistants - denied face time with a fellow county chairman. "Arrogance," he later called it, shaking his head. And he was just as stunned when the Republicans lost the election.

His big mistake was to assume that Mondello knows what he is doing. County Clerk Maureen O'Connell's campaign was run by Mondello - and she lost to Legis. Craig Johnson by a humiliating 54 percent to 46 percent.....

"The Nassau GOP once was the preeminent Republican political machine in the country. The day Mondello took over in late 1982, Nassau Republicans held virtually every countywide office, plus all four congressional seats. A local Republican, Alfonse D'Amato, held a U.S. Senate seat. The party controlled all three towns and dozens of judgeships. Today, after 24 years of iron-fisted rule by Mondello, we have become a minority party - holding just one countywide office - despite a registration advantage.

How did someone with such a miserable track record get to be state party chairman? Last November, after the Democrats had won an overwhelming statewide victory, State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno - the last remaining elected Republican leader - feared a possible coup and hand-picked Mondello so he could maintain control. With no other candidates coming forward, a shell-shocked and desperate Republican State Committee unanimously rubber-stamped this selection....

" The loss this week of a safe Republican seat exemplifies Mondello's political malpractice and arrogance over the past 24 years. And it highlights why the Nassau Republican Party must remove him when his term ends, about seven months from now, and start over.

The party needs to get back to block-by-block, district-by-district organizing - combining online technology with old-fashioned shoe leather. It needs a younger, dynamic leader who is open to new ideas and dissent and - most of all - views the Republican Party as a vehicle to change government, not as a tool to enhance his or her own career."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Change for Nassau: Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli New NYS Comptroller

The Albany Times-Union is reporting that Democratic Assemblyman DiNapoli is the new Comptroller.
Congratulations Comptroller DiNapoli.
Now there will be one more special election besides the one to replace Senator Johnson.

February 7, 2007 at 3:42 pm by Elizabeth Benjamin

Soon-to-be newly minted state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will be holding a press conference at his new office (OSC headquarters, 110 State St.) an hour after this vote ends, members of the press have been informed.

DiNapoli will sign his resignation papers today, I’m told, creating yet another vacancy in the Assembly Democratic majority - that’s three special elections on the horizon.

Interestingly, Assemblyman Alexander “Pete” Grannis, D-Manhattan, who was nominated by Gov. Eliot Spitzer to serve as DEC commissioner, but has not yet left the Assembly, was “absent” from the comptroller vote today.

This is odd, because I saw him on the Empire State Concourse just after noon today."

The Lament of the Republicans

Over at Urban Elephants, a site for and by active republicans, they have a few comments...

Submitted by NYSRPA on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 8:01am.

Joe Mondello is keeping his streak of incompetence and failure alive with this disaster.""

Submitted by danielnyc on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:19am.

About five years ago, a number of republicans were concerned about the way the Republican Party was going with special interests and in order to start beating Democrats, they'd have to build on a platform of reform. Democrats don't have to campaign on reform, because if no one campaigns on it, they end up having the numbers in the end when it comes to those who vote by party. Sadly, it seems that Democrats are the ones who woke up first and started talking about reform. Now, the Republicans have nothing left unless they begin to unite behind a reform agenda in addition to fiscal responsibility and away from special interests."

"Bruno's Broken Machine

Submitted by Behold a Pale Horse on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:50am.

I wonder if Sen. Bruno finally realizes that his political machine has broken down and can no longer get voters out to elect and re-elect GOP Senators.

He lost three seats in 2004. He lost Spano in 2006 and couldn't get back the upstate seat he lost. Maltese won only by a few hundred votes.

Now he's lost Balboni's old seat.

Two more resignations (or switches), and the Democrats will be charge before the next election.

What's funny is that Bruno still thinks he is doing a great job."

"'m kind of surprised that

Submitted by RSLJD03 on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:07am.

I'm kind of surprised that Johnson won by such a relatively large margin, given how close everyone said it would be. I guess it just shows how far the state party has declined. It's only a matter of time now b/f the Senate goes. Either some R's will switch or the Senate will go D in the 08 election.
It's also an embarassing night for Mondello and Skelos to lose in their backyards.
I wonder what Joe B will say tomorrow?"

No Senator Johnson, Thank YOU

Senator Johnson thanked the bloggers today on his campign website.
I would like to say Thank You to Craig Johnson for running and winning such an important campaign. He is the type of State Senator we need from Nassau.
Governor Spitzer ran on working to fix the state on Day One.
Today because of Senator Johnson, it's Day One Part Two.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

O'Connell Concedes

Welcome to Albany Senator Johnson!!!

Unofficial Numbers:
Johnson 26,452
O'Connell 22,929

Congrats to all the people on the ground that helped Criag win.
The Working Families Party really helped pull this off and the NYS blogs like the Albany Project lit a fire for this race.

Will O'Connell Concede Tonight?

Or will Mondello demand a recanvassing of ED's and absentee votes?

All Districts Reporting Johnson Leads by Almost 4000 Votes

Johnson 26452
O'Connell 22929

Is Mondello in court with lawyers yet?

Unofficial Results: SENATOR JOHNSON!

News12 LI reporting Johnson apparant winner.

And here come the O'Connell challenges.

Johnson Leading Again

251 ED's out of 264
Johnson 24434
O'Connell 22276

It's a nail-biter

O'Connell Leading By Only 700 Votes

231 ED's
Johnson 20115
O'Connell 20842

O'Connell Relying on Conservative Party Vote

Her 2056 votes on the C line are helping.
Less republicans voting than democrats.
18898 Dems to 17247 Reps.

O'Connell Jumps Ahead

230 ED's
Johnson 19958
O'Connell 20797

174 Election Districts and Johnson Still Leads

Johnson 15090
O'Connell 13338

Election Results Live

We're covering the returns all night.

Race Tightens a Little But Johnson Leads

133 out ot 264 districts reporting Johnsohn leads 11367 to 9177.

Johnson Opens Wider Lead

With 111 of 264 ED's reporting Johnson leads 9693 to 6772.

95 Election Districts Repoting Johnson 2700 Vote Lead

Johnson 7902
O'Connell 5257

Johnson Still Leading

With 92 election districts reporting, Johnson leads 7385 to 5119 at 947pm

Johnson v. O'Connell Early Results

At 940pm with 64 out of 264 election districts reporting, Johnson leads 3908 to 3332.

Must Read: Nassau Voter Protection Blog

The blog has been set up by the Johnson campaign to thwart attempts by Mondello and his thugs to intimidate voters.
Follow all the voter news at

The most recent post is disturbing..

"Voter Misdirection?

The campaign has received reports that some voters received calls last night directing them to the wrong poll site.

It's not clear right now if these were robo-calls or live callers, but misdirecting voters in a low-turnout election is a cause for concern.

If anyone has additional reports of calls telling people the wrong poll place, comments are open."

Judge Orders Republicans to Obey Election Law, Republicans Say 'No Thanks'

From the WFP blog....

For the past few days, Republican State Chair Joe Mondello has been saying publicly that he plans to engage in a campaign of voter intimidation on election day with blanket requests for identification. On Saturday, the NY Times reported Mondello said, "Our poll watchers and election inspectors will challenge people to show some kind of identification as to who they are."

The County Attorney's office issued instructions to the Board of Elections that they reach out to poll workers, and make sure that they were informed of the law and the special circumstances under which poll workers were to request identification:
"I am requesting that you immediately notify all special election poll workers and inspectors that they must not request identification of any person seeking to vote, unless there is an "ID" notification next to the bar code for the voter name on the registration poll ledger prepared by the Nassau County Board of Elections."
The Republican response to these instructions was to was to disobey the county Attorney's directive."

See the judges orders here.

And there is a Nassau Voter Protection blog here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

More Misleading O'Connell Literature

From Newsdays' Spincycle..

"A Maureen O'Connell flyer that went out this weekend to Jewish homes touts her endorsement from the Jewish Press and other community leaders. It has photographs of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg alongside a Jewish family and an anonymous Orthodox man. The problem comes at the bottom of the flyer, where there's a picture of the Great Neck Synagogue, which not only has not made an endorsement in the race but declined O'Connell's request to campaign there, according to the synagogue's executive director, Mark Twersky.
"It's very misleading, as you can see," Twersky said. "I've been getting calls from the congregants, they're all very upset."

See the flyer at Spincycle

Maureen on the Air Everywhere

I guess there must be a last minute big push across WABC, WCBS and other local stations because I'm seeing an angry-looking O'Connell every time I turn the channel.
And when I say she looks angry, I mean she looks angry.
I wish I had a picture to post here.
O'Connell is against a stark white background and as the commercial progresses she starts looking like the angry guy the republicans used in tv ads two years ago.

Maureen O'Connell: The Candidate That Just Can't Shoot Straight

From the Steve Perez over at the WFP blog...

O'Connell MO: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Flyers endorsing Maureen O'Connell continue to get her in trouble.

The most glaring error is the claim that O'Connell's a State Senator. She's not, no ifs, ands or buts. The rest of the flyer also gets things wrong.
Take, for example, the claim that O'Connell designed the nation's first at-home care program for cancer patients. The truth is, the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx actually designed the nation's first at-home care program for cancer patients - 30 years before O'Connell's program.
O'Connell also talks up her performance as Nassau County Clerk, even as she refuses to release - or even respond to - an audit critical of her performance in office.
And let's not forget the O'Connell campaign's Osama-Balboni flyer. Over the weekend the Daily News took O'Connell to task in a scathing editorial well worth a read that asks, "How desperate is the GOP to hold onto the Nassau County Senate seat that's up for grabs Tuesday?"

There's more at

O'Connell Keeps Running

The Sam Greenfield and Armstrong Williams show on WWRL 1600AM invited both O'Connell and Johnson to be a guest on thier show this morning.
Guess who was a guest and who wasn't.
As usual, Craig Johnson who is unafraid to state his positions appeared on the show while O'Connell decided not to.
Why is O'Connell only comfortable when there are no hard questions to answer?
That's why she avoided the debate in Manhasset

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's the School Taxes, Stupid

Dean Skelos gathered the other do-nothings of the Long Island Senate delegation (all republicans) and Newsday reports "At another GOP event Saturday, seven of Long Island's eight state senators gathered on the lawn of a Mineola family to denounce Spitzer's property tax plan as unfair. A steamroller was parked in the driveway of Karyn and Chris Franz's home in mockery of Spitzer, who recently called himself a political steamroller.
The senators, too, singled out for mention the governor's position on STAR credits, saying that families making more than $80,000 yearly should get more benefits than Spitzer's plan calls for. State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the deputy majority leader, criticized Johnson for supporting the governor's plan, noting that the median income on Long Island is higher than $80,000.Pointing at the Franzes -- Chris, 39, a New York City firefighter, and Karyn, 37, a teacher, together make more than $80,000 -- Skelos said: "That's who it's going to hurt, firefighters and teachers. People can't afford their taxes."

Not so fast Dean-o...
"The Spitzer administration disputed that, saying families that make more than $80,000 a year still will get large property tax cuts. For instance, families making between $80,000 and $120,000 will see a 65 percent increase in STAR tax credits, Paul Francis, Spitzer's budget director, said in an interview."

And that really isn't the problem in Nassau anyway.
The problem is the school tax.
That is what really puts homeowners on the brink.
And where have Skelos, Fuschillo and the rest been all these years?
Nassau does not get its fair share of state school funding and for years our republican state senators have been AWOL on the issue.
The election year stunt with the fake "rebates" last year didn't even come close to helping homeowners with thier school taxes.
The school funding formula was and is an issue that Skelos and the gang couldn't be bothered to touch. Skelos even threw the blame on the school districts for not trimming thier budgets.
Skelos likes to tout that he has "secured" more funding for school districts in his SD but he never says where the money comes from or mention that it's a one-shot.
And the money he's getting does nothing to lower school taxes.
We need a long-term solution and Skelos, Fuschillo, Hannon, and Marcellino aren't doing thier job.

O'Connell Ridiculed by NY DailyNews


Maureen's Osama whopper
Sunday, February 4th, 2007
How desperate is the GOP to hold onto the Nassau County Senate seat that's up for grabs Tuesday? Desperate enough to drag Osama Bin Laden into a race that has nothing to do with terrorism.
In a campaign flyer featuring the scary mugs of Osama and Iranian nut job Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Maureen O'Connell makes the laughable claim that she's just the woman to defend New York from terrorists. Tel Aviv, too. She also cites "security expertise" not evident from her résumé as a nurse, lawyer, Assembly seat-warmer and county clerk.
In a photo, she stands next to ex-Nassau Sen. Michael Balboni, now Gov. Spitzer's top security adviser, beneath the official seal of the state Office of Homeland Security. A voter might assume she runs with their support. But Balboni has not endorsed anyone, and Spitzer is backing Democrat Craig Johnson.

Also, Homeland Security strongly objects to this politicization of its logo, calling it "completely inappropriate" and "arguably illegal."
But why would a terrorist-fighter of O'Connell's talents want to waste her time in Albany, anyway? Surely the world would be safer with O'Connell, Maureen O'Connell, Clerk 007, working for the CIA. Or maybe Mossad.

Who is O'Connell Trying to Fool?

You the voter that's who.
Her Osama/Terrorism expert mailing got some facts wrong and attempted to link O'Connell with Mike Balboni and the NYS Department of Homeland Security. Balboni has had to disavow the mailing and now the Johnson campaign is asking the Nassau DA to look into the mailing.

Newsday is reporting "In a letter to District Attorney Kathleen Rice dated yesterday, Johnson's campaign manager demanded the district attorney examine the O'Connell campaign's use of the insignia of the New York State Office of Homeland Security on literature mailed to voters.
The flier featured photos of Osama bin Laden and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad beneath the question: "Why do we need a Senator with Homeland Security experience?"
It also showed O'Connell and former state Sen. Michael Balboni pictured together under the New York State Office of Homeland Security logo. Balboni, a Republican, is the state's new deputy secretary for public safety whose vacated seat O'Connell is seeking.
"To the best of my knowledge, the campaign of Maureen O'Connell is not part of state government, much less the New York State Office of Homeland Security, and thus has no authority whatsoever to display the insignia of a government agency in a political mailing," Johnson's campaign manager, Brian Stedge-Stroud, wrote to Rice."

The O'Connell hacks responded with "[the request] is a desperate measure by a desperate person. It's clear there was no violation of the law."

They are "technically" correct. You see, the NYS DHS logo they are using is a fake. O'Connell hopes you the voter can't tell the difference.
The logo may be fake but that just proves that O'Connell is a fraud.
The photo with Balboni has nothing to do with his new position or homeland security.
Again, O'Connell is perpetuating a fraud.

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See the difference?
This is a weasel way to trick voters.

O'Connell's motto is "She says what she means"
And so far, she has been a fraud.
She has a problem with being truthful.
Oh what the heck, she's a liar.

Johnson is the clear choice for the voters in the 7th SD.

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From the Albany Times-Union

State Homeland Security Office spokesman Dennis Michalski slammed GOP 7th SD candidate Maureen O’Connell for using a “falsified state seal” in her campaign mailer, saying the move was “inappropriate” if not outright illegal.

“It is completely inappropriate for a political candidate to use a falsified state seal in the context of a political campaign. Politicizing state security issues is inappropriate and trivializes the law enforcement efforts of New York’s office of Homeland Security,” Michalski said. “We direct the campaign and candidate to the following passage from New York’s penal law that identifies such actions as arguably illegal.”

Here’s the passage in question:

§ 190.25. Criminal impersonation in the second degree

A person is guilty of criminal impersonation in the second degree when he:

1. Impersonates another and does an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another; or

2. Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another; or

3. (a) Pretends to be a public servant, or wears or displays without authority any uniform, badge, insignia or facsimile thereof by which such public servant is lawfully distinguished, or falsely expresses by his words or actions that he is a public servant or is acting with approval or authority of a public agency or department; and (b) so acts with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority, to solicit funds or to otherwise cause another to act in reliance upon that pretense.

Criminal impersonation in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor."

O'Connell should be going to jail.

Gee, aren't the NYS GOP county chairmen glad they elected Joe Mondello party chairman?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

O'Connell the "Terrorism Expert" Doesn't Know Much

Jay Jochnowitz at Capitol Confidential did a little Fact Check of O'Connell's terrorism mailing...

"The opening line of Maureen O’Connell’s campaign flyer, which casts her as someone “with homeland security experience,” might leave you wondering if you’d missed some big news. The mailer states that “The Department of Homeland Security has raised New York’s threat level to “Orange” — indicating a “high risk of terrorist attack.”

Turns out, it’s about one-third accurate.

New York’s threat level isn’t orange. It’s yellow. And it’s set by the state Office of Homeland Security, not the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

If the flyer meant to talk about New York City, the Big Apple is indeed at “orange,” but the implication that this is some new development isn’t so. The city, according to the state Office of Homeland Security, has been at that level since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Nor is the city’s threat level set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or, for that matter, the state office; it’s done by the NYPD and the city’s Office of Emergency Management, according to the state.

Other than that, the sentence is fine: orange does indicate “a high risk of terrorist attack.”

If she doesn't even know the current threat level or who sets it, that doesn't reflect too well on her "experience."
Granted, the flier was written by a copy writer but O'Connell does check her stuff before it goes out. She approved it.

Balboni Slaps O'Connell Over Terrorism Mailing

O'Connell pairs herself with Balboni at every turn. The new Osama mailing may have gone a little too far. Newsday reports "Balboni said he has not endorsed any candidate and was not aware of the mailing. "To the extent that it implies that there is a governmental agency supporting the candidacy of anybody, that is incorrect and inappropriate," he said.

State homeland security office spokesman Dennis Michalski added in a statement, "It is completely inappropriate for a political candidate to use a falsified state seal in the context of a political campaign."

Friday, February 02, 2007

File Under Unbelievable: O'Connell Uses Osama in Mailing

Yup, Maureen has played the Osama Card. Capitol Confidential has the pretty pictures.
O'Connell is now trying to portray herself as a terrorism expert/fighter. "Here’s Republican 7th SD candidate Maureen O’Connell’s latest campaign mailer, which seeks not only to scare voters into supporting her, but also to link her with the man who held the seat she’s running for: Michael Balboni, former chair of the Senate’s homeland security committee and now Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s deputy secretary for public safety...
The way this is written, with an emphasis on Israel and O’Connell’s support of the Jewish community, it seems likely it was sent to Jewish households.
If that’s the case, however, it must have been sent out before her endorsement earlier this week by The Jewish Press, since that’s not mentioned here."
O'Connell is sure a desperate piece of work.

The Daily Gotham wasted no time in mockeing O'Connell (there are more pictures at Daily Gotham)
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BREAKING NEWS: Ass. Joe Saladino (R-Massapequa) Endorses Oyster Bay Democrats

As seen on News12 LI's 'Long Island Talks' program, Saladino called for "checks and balances" in government (audio coming soon.)
At the end of the program, Saladino slipped in an endorsement for Maureen O'Connell saying she is needed to keep "checks and balances" in Albany.
The Town of Oyster Bay government is led by Republican John Venditto and has an all-Republican Town Board.
For the sake of the "checks and balances" he desires so much, Saladino will be endorsing the Democratic Supervisor candidate or the Town Board slate the Democrats nominate for this novembers elections.
Welcome Aboard Joe.
I'll drop some signs off at your house.