Saturday, December 27, 2008
Patronage seen in GOP hiring
Just when the people of Nassau County made it crystal clear that they don't want Republican Joe Belesi to speak for them in Nassau County government, minority leader Peter Schmitt hires him for a salaried position as a part-time adviser in the Nassau County Legislature ["All not lost for Mejias' ex-rival," Spin Cycle, Dec. 22].
The Republicans have got to be kidding! This is patronage at its absolute worst. I guess that the will of the voters means absolutely nothing. Even more suspicious is their decision to slip him in over the holiday season, hoping that no one will notice.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Newsday's Spin Cycle quotes Mondello saying of Caroline Kennedy "She simply has no experience, and her appointment would be a glamour selection when what New Yorkers really need is a fighter who knows first hand the challenges facing working families today."
Back on December 3rd the Albany Bureau Chief Jay Gallagher from Press & Sun-Bulletin, asked Mondello about future "stars" of the party and said "... that the party might have a "surprise candidate, from the entertainment industry" for the 2010 elections."
Now how much experience will this candidate from the "entertainment industry" have?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Democratic Party members, that is.
After all, what's not to like about Mondello's record, if you're a Democrat?
He just quarterbacked New York's Republicans to a historic drubbing on Election Day.
His team forfeited majority control of the state Senate for the first time in 43 years. It also gave up another three of New York's congressional seats, leaving them with just three of 29 in the House delegation.
Mondello has brought the same Midas touch to his 25 years as Nassau County GOP chairman. The once-dominant Nassau machine self-destructed on his watch, losing both the county executive's office and the Legislature after generations of dominance. This year, for the first time in modern history, Democrats outnumber Republicans in Mondello's home county.
Best of all, from the Democratic perspective, Mondello remains deep in denial about why his party keeps losing elections.
Mondello tries to blame this year's devastating setbacks on the "Obama tsunami." In fact, New York Republicans have sunk their own chances by completely abandoning the fiscally conservative principles that once defined their party.
"Mondello refuses even to acknowledge this ideological drift, much less showing any signs of reversing the trend.
A statement last week exemplified his cluelessness.
"You know those new, young voters who came out to the polls for the first time to find the name Barack Obama and then voted Democratic?" he began. "They are Republican voters. They don't know it yet, but they will find themselves looking at the Republican line in due time."
Now there's a strategy for you: Don't bother coming up with fresh ideas. Just sit on your hands and wait for the legions of young, idealistic voters to grow old and start voting Republican out of spite.
He went on to assert, "Democratic ideology is, and always has been, the creation of big government, requiring an ever increasing percentage of your personal disposable income."
Maybe he hasn't been following the headlines out of Albany lately - because that description fits the Senate's outgoing Republican majority to a T.
Under Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Mondello's Nassau ally, Senate Republicans have shown again and again that they can spend every bit as recklessly as, if not more recklessly than, Albany Democrats. And that's saying a lot.
"Mondello, under pressure, has agreed to appoint a task force to conduct a "strategic review" of the party, which is a start.
But it's hard - in fact, impossible - to imagine a veteran like Mondello suddenly changing his stripes and leading New York's GOP where it needs to go.
And unless that happens, the Democrats can look forward to dominating New York politics for years to come."
To him, the young voters who came out for Barack Obama and the Democrats nation-wide are just too stupid to realize that they are republicans. The Village Voice reports Mondello saying "You know those new young voters who came out to the polls for the first time to find the name Barak [sic] Obama and then voted Democratic? They are Republican voters. They don't know it yet, but they will find themselves looking at the Republican line in due time and voting for candidates who reflect their values and work ethic."
So the young voters who believe in a woman's right to choose, gay rights and a host of other center-left ideals are really republicans?
Note to Mondello: Young voters ARE voting their values and work ethic. They voted for a candidate who overcame great odds to win the presidency. They voted for Barack Obama who shares their values.
Mondello is trying to find ANY excuse for the decline in republican voter registration and losing elections.
What's great is Mondello is doing everything he can to avoid blame for election debacle after election debacle. In the Voice article, he just doesn't want teh republican party to think about what happend November 4th. Nothing to see there. Move along. "We need to push past any recriminations about who did, or didn't do what during the last election cycle."
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Getting a winner like Cuomo out of the way could make the race for Attorney General more even.
From Long Island Business News "Responding to a question at a meeting of the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society of Long Island Tuesday, state Sen. Dean Skelos said Gov. David Paterson should pick Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton."
"Here in SD-11 the Republican party has it out for the students of St. John’s University. After challenging the votes of some voters in the district (as is usual for elections) the Republican party is challenging the votes of students here.
Senator Frank (the tank) Padavan has subpoenaed a handful of students at St. John’s.
The New York Times reports:
“Republican lawyers have challenged the votes of students, mostly from St. John’s University, saying that they filled out affidavit ballots with addresses that were not their permanent residences. In the paper ballot count, Mr. Padavan is leading by about 600 votes, but about 1,000 more ballots remained to be counted and the validity of an additional 2,000 must still be reviewed.
While the challenges and subpoenas have angered students, who are being forced to appear during exams, they underscore the high stakes attached to winning the Senate seat in Queens.”
The Republican party has gone out of its way to hassle students who were excited to vote in an election for the first time in decades.
Yesterday, I spoke with a classmate of mine who was recently featured in the Times article who was incensed that the Republican party has challenged her vote in court not only forcing her to prove she voted legally, but the fact that it’s during the final exams.
I’m glad this race is finally getting the attention from bigger media outlets it deserves. From what I know, students are upset but will show in court. I ask you, don’t let this discourage you from voting in the future. Do not let anyone take away your right to vote. I leave you with a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson.
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”
Lets break down this wall of injustice."
UPDATE: According to Daily Politics, "Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan stated that the subpoenas issued to several St. John's college students by the Republicans were little more than a nuisance and should be dismissed.
The judge told the students to return to their studies, but due to the fact that the subpoenas had listed the wrong time for the hearing, they had already burned several hours hanging around the courthouse and weren't happy about it."
Monday, December 01, 2008
In fact, they would rather have another republican if they voted with the republicans for the senate leadership.
"Tough-talking Brooklyn Sen. Carl Kruger, in a private meeting with Skelos (R-Nassau), declared: "I'm not going to put my balls on the table to buy into a Republican coalition with you as the leader," a source close to Kruger told The Post.
The source said Kruger's salty declaration came after a private meeting with Gov. Paterson, who made it clear that he "hates Skelos and won't tolerate him as the new leader.
"Skelos has been offering gang members a variety of inducements, including lucrative committee assignments if they vote for a "coalition" with the GOP in January.
A source close to Paterson confirmed the governor's antipathy toward Skelos, and said it was rooted in his belief that the longtime Nassau GOP activist "is mean, can't be trusted and is not someone you can work with as a colleague."
The source also confirmed the widespread belief that Paterson "could live" with another Republican as the majority leader if gang members back someone other than Skelos.
"It's anybody but Dean, anybody but Dean," the source said."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"Mondello Blames The Voters For GOP Deficiencies
....Third, Mondello could look at his own county.
Tom Suozzi. We're all being upstaged, effectively, by Tom Suozzi -- who is doing a better job as a fiscal (and social) conservative than most Republicans.
And he's winning.
News Copy (http://www.newscopy.org) had its own commentary on the Daily News story by Liz Benjamin on an e-mail blast circulated by Chairman Mondello.
The State GOP chairman did not call voters "deluded" but he did blame them.
Finally, Republicans have to stop blaming everyone but themselves."
The State of GOP and other thoughts
"... The New York State GOP needs to elect a new chair. The State needs someone who can steer the Party to principles that combine the conservative and small government principles of Ronald Reagan, as well as maintaining a degree of progressive ideas that Teddy Roosevelt championed. The new chair should lead the party, from all branches of government, in a direction that distinguishes us from Democrats. I don’t know much about Chairman Mondello, but he may be part of the Party’s problem. He’s from a county that was once a GOP stronghold (Nassau) and is now in Democrat control. That means everything Republicans have been doing in that county has been wrong. To have a State Chair from that county is simply ridiculous.
...Senator Dean Skelos sounded somewhat promising when I read a bio on him in the paper. Since he’s been leader, he has not impressed me. He’s also from Nassau County, which means he is the wrong choice to lead the Senate Republicans. I read today that he’s dangling money to Democrats to switch their party affiliation just to put the GOP back in control. If control means more of the same from the GOP Senate, the Democrats should wisely reject his offer. We need a leader who wants to put the party in a new direction, not prolong the agony of a dying breed of Republicans."
What it really is is a "Team of COMPETENCE."
All of the people Obama has tapped are professionals who have the same essential ideas that he has.
After eight sad years, the adults are in charge again.
How about all state legislators forgo their leadership stipends until the economic down-turn is over?
Just about every single member gets extra money for either being a chairman or ranking member on a committee.
As Majority Leader, Skelos gets an additional $41,500 on top of his $79,000 salary. Minority Ranking Members on committees get an additional $9000. Committtee Chairman get an additional $12,500 - $34,000.
Add up all the stipends from both houses and that's a savings of over $2million.
It's time the people who pass the bloated budgets sacrifice a little.
Will Skelos step up to the plate to save school funding by giving up his leadership stipend?
I'm not holding my breath.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
One of those ideas is to increase revenue from Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) at Aqueduct and Belmont.
Yes, at a time when many taxpayers are having a hard time paying rent, mortgages and buying staples like food and clothes, Dean wants them to increase their spending on gambling to close the budget gap.
Don't pay that mortgage bill, go out and hit the slots!
Great idea, Dean.
And it wasn't just a loss, it was a big loss 56-44.
So how much did it cost Donno to get creamed like that? The final financial filings aren't in yet but her run so far cost $1,395,432. That ends up at $28 per vote for 49,050 votes.
Craig Johnson's re-election cost $657.052 which is $10 per vote for 63,470 votes.
I'm sure Upstate and Queens republicans would like to know if a personal grudge was worth the expense.
Straight single-party vote total was 51,580 for McElroy and 49,782 for Hannon.
For 2010, Hannon is on the endangered list.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
"So Mr. Skelos, What’s Your Plan?
Gov. David Paterson tried bravely this week to get a handle on New York State’s budget deficit, before it spins completely out of control. But the forces that have given Albany its reputation for ineptitude — cowardice and partisanship — prevailed....
"Before Mr. Paterson and the legislative leaders could hammer out the final details, the Senate’s Republican leader, Dean Skelos, announced with great fanfare and unbelievable cynicism that he was prepared, then and there, to call for a vote on the governor’s draft plan. In raw, unmediated form, that plan was sure to lose. The governor had no choice but to cancel the proceedings and send everyone home.
The Republicans’ strategy is obviously to defer all the tough choices until next year when the Democrats will be running the whole show: the governor’s office, the Assembly and, at long last, the Senate. But while tactically shrewd in a narrow political sense, Mr. Skelos’s approach is fiscally irresponsible....
"Mr. Paterson is expected to announce his new budget for the next fiscal year in mid-December, a month ahead of schedule. At that point, the Legislature must turn its full attention to the issue. If the legislative leaders do not like the governor’s ideas, they have a responsibility to offer alternatives — not more political theater."
Friday, November 14, 2008
"Joe Mondello, resign now!
Actually, he should have resigned after whatshername lost her race to replace Mike Balboni in Nassau County. What happened to Balboni? He went to work for the now and forever disgraced Eliot Spitzer in "Homeland Security" (whatever that is) and gave up his seat. I don't know what he is doing now and don't care. In Queens we are down to one state senator despite being told that "we have more Republicans than in who knows how many counties". How did this happen? You may recall that we used to have three city councilmen and managed to lose two of those races about four years ago. Now we have lost our last city council seat in the Middle Village area - and lost big. The time will come when Senator Padavan will either retire or lose. Hopefully, he is grooming somebody to succeed him. And yes, we once had an assemblyman in Queens named Prescott. No more. And then there were none. And the county chairman and his cronies should consider stepping down also. I don't want to go into the scandals but it is very, very sad. I know some people did work very hard but it fell short."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Board of Elections numbers show Craig Johnson beating Donno 335-326.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"The Ethics Board recently wrote Nassau Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (in Hofstra Chronicle photo) to say it was dropping an investigation into his alleged misuse of county employees and equipment after the Massapequa Republican refused to cooperate.
Legis. David Mejias (D-Farmingdale) had complained that Schmitt’s staff photographer allegedly took photos of Democratic lawmakers during a legislative session and then used them Republican attack ads.
If Mejias’ allegations were true, Schmitt misused county resources, the board wrote. However, “the board has determined that it does not have the resources or information to draw definitive conclusions,” it said, while scolding Schmitt for his “disregard for the ethics investigatory process.”
Schmitt denied that he was not responsive. “My staff and I corresponded with your office several times..” he wrote back.“I remained available to answer legitimate questions."
Said Mejias: "An ethical person would come forward and say, 'Tell me what you need.'"
Friday, November 07, 2008
CAROLYN MCCARTHY............153,320 - 64%
JACK M MARTINS..............87,239 - 36%
McCarthy.............. 101,861 - 64%
Blessinger............. 55,050 - 35%
McCarthy.............. 159,969 - 63%
Garner............. 94,141 - 37%
McCarthy.............. 93,651 - 55%
O'Grady............. 72,882 - 43
McCarthy.............. 136,703 - 60%
Becker............. 87,830 - 38%
McCarthy.............. 90,256 - 52%
Becker............. 79,984 - 46%
McCarthy.............. 127,060 - 57%
Frisa............. 89,542 - 40%
When: umm... Election Night
Who: Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto
News12's election blog Island Vote '08 had reporters out at locations around the Island. With video camera's in hand, they captured different moments of election night.
Below is the video of an interview with John Venditto. The question was how the party fared this year and he launches into a defense of the Nassau County republican party. I'm not sure if he knew what he was saying because it is far removed from reality"...I am really proud to be a Nassau County republican. You know for the past several election cycles, it's no secret..uh.. the republican organization on a nationwide basis, has been beset by many problems. yet through it all.. all of those election cycles, the Nassau County Republican Committee hasn't given any ground."
Umm.... John... you kind of forgot that last year Democrat Craig Johnson won a State Senate seat once held by a republican. And maybe you forgot Democrat Kathleen Rice beat republican DA Dennis Dillon. Or how about Harvey Levinson beating Charlie O'Shea for Assessor and Democrat Howard Weitzman beat Fred Parola for Comptroller. And then there's Dave Mejias who took a republican legislature seat and of course there is the Democrats controlling the Nassau Legislature and County Executive Tom Suozzi.
Since 1999, the republicans have been losing ground in Nassau County practically every year.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
“We need to use more than just WD-40 on this once powerful Republican machine. We need to get some replacement parts.”
I wonder who is running this "committee."
Personally, I am happy that Joe Mondello is party boss and I hope he continues for years to come.
November 7, 2008
We have all watched the once great Republican Party in Nassau deteriorate over the past decade under the tenure of Chairman Joseph Mondello. We have all heard the empty excuses that have come out of Post Avenue regarding the reasons for the failures of the organization to be competitive in recent years. As a leader in the Republican Party, you have a fiduciary duty to the Party to act to bring about the change that is needed to give the Nassau Republican Party a fighting chance to attempt to regain credibility, attract new voters to our cause and achieve success in the future.
The excuses that we hear after every losing cycle are disturbing. The same old excuses, reported in the local newspapers after this year’s utter failure, should compel you to action, on behalf of your Party.
Mr. Mondello is responsible for carrying out many important matters on behalf of the Republican Party. However, his inability to lead our party invariably has resulted in failure.
For example, Mr. Mondello’s failure to employ new strategies, develop an attractive message or counter Democrat voter registration efforts have allowed the Democrat party to overtake Republican enrollment in the County for the first time in decades and perhaps longer. This is despite the very public, ongoing and long-standing efforts by the Democrat party to enroll tens of thousands of new voters. In addition, his failure to support and grow the Young Republican organization, once a farm system for future Republican leaders and candidates, has caused the Party difficulty in attracting this important segment of our County. The failure to reach out to Latino voters, and other minority groups and their voters, has caused our Party to surrender the support of those voters to the opposition.
As a sign of the failure of leadership, despite his long-held public stance against judicial cross-endorsement, he has been forced to give Party endorsement to Democrat and minor party judicial candidates in exchange for endorsement of a few Republican judicial candidates, in efforts to save at least some of our Republican judicial candidates from suffering the fate of most of our judicial candidates: defeat. The Party should never be in a position of endorsing candidates who do not adhere to important elements of our Party’s philosophy.
The Republican Committee has failed to expend sufficient resources to wage aggressive and successful campaigns in many races. Many Republican candidates have been forced to assume many of the fiscal and operational responsibilities without adequate Party support or the level of support that the Party once provided. In effect, once nominated, many of our Party’s candidates are left to their own devices to sink or swim.
Mr. Mondello’s complete lack of responsiveness to the executive committee, his failure to adjust our Party’s message and approach to changing times and demographics, and his general failure of leadership, have made it clear that he can no longer effectively function as the Chairman of the Nassau County Republican Committee. If we want the Republican Party in Nassau to survive and be competitive again (and hopefully be successful in the future), a change in leadership must occur soon.
I hope you agree that the future of the Nassau County Republican Party depends upon the selection of a new, dynamic and energetic leader. As one of our party’s fiduciaries, you must act to bring about the new leadership that the Party desperately needs.
COMMITTEE FOR NASSAU COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY REFORM"
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
My wife tells me that she heard a loud noice outside our house and our dog got jumpy. We had someone walking around our backyard last summer so my wife was afraid it was someone who wanted to get into the house.
When she looked out the window, she saw the Krsten McElroy and Keith Scalia signs had been ripped from the front yard.
Like last time, this wasn't just stealing the signs, the Scalia sign was shoved under the windshield wiper again and the metal post was wrapped around the side mirror. The McElroy sign didn't make it to the car, it was left on the grass by the car. I'm pretty sure I know why the sign wasn't on the car. Whoever grabbed the sign dropped it because I had put half a tub of vasoline around the edges of the sign. The vandal got a handful of grease.
So once again a petty Massapequa republican full of hatred goes after my signs and my wifes car. I am clearly being targeted for intimidation.
And thanks for scaring my wife jackass.
Maybe they shouldn't have spoken to the reporter.
The older one says that they have been "republican since birth" because she was "brought up correctly."
Is this the future of the Nassau County Republicans?
Boy are they in trouble.
Here is the video
Carl Marcellino* [R-I-C] 74,506 61%
Matthew Meng [D] 47,471 39%
NYS Senate-District 6
Kemp Hannon* [R-I-C] 56,880 52%
Kristen McElroy [D-WF] 53,524 48%
NYS Senate-District 7
Craig Johnson* [D] 63,470 56%
Barbara Donno [R-I-C] 49,450 44%
NYS Senate-District 8
Charles Fuschillo Jr.* [R-I-C] 70,144 61%
Carol Gordon [D-WF] 44,827 39%
NYS Senate-District 9
Dean Skelos* [R-I-C] 77,221 65%
Roy Simon [D] 42,127 35%
NYS Assembly-District 12
Joseph Saladino* [R-I-C-WF] 36,309 68%
Keith Scalia [D] 17,114 32%
NYS Assembly-District 13
Charles Lavine* [D-I-WF] 32,658 65%
George B. McMenamin [R-C] 17,658 35%
NYS Assembly-District 14
Robert Barra* [R-I-C-WF] 29,276 57%
Joseph Ferrara [D] 21,799 43%
NYS Assembly-District 15
Rob Walker* [R-I-C-WF] 28,999 60%
Stephanie Ovadia [D] 19,191 40%
NYS Assembly-District 16
Michelle Schimel* [D-I-WF] 31,707 63%
Matthew Mitchell [R] 18,557 37%
NYS Assembly-District 17
Thomas McKevitt* [R-I-C] 30,282 58%
John Pinto [D] 21,898 42%
NYS Assembly-District 18
Earlene Hooper* [D-I] 30,092 85%
Darren Bryant [R-C] 4,243 12%
Henry Conyers [WF] 913 3%
NYS Assembly-District 19
David McDonough* [R-I-C-WF] 31,460 62%
Howard Kudler [D] 19,142 38%
NYS Assembly-District 20
Harvey Weisenberg* [D-I-WF] 31,965 66%
Michael McGinty [R-C] 16,457 34%
NYS Assembly-District 21
Thomas Alfano* [R-I-C-WF] 29,580 62%
Alan Smilowitz [D] 18,032 38%
Let's see, the city is overwhelmingly Democratic and that will not change in two years. The state is still a Democratic state and exactly what "dynamic" will change?
I guess he was trying to sound upbeat but he just came off delusional.
She deserved to lose and lose she did.
By 12 points.
How does this affect her svengali Dean Skelos?
It's gonna be bad for him.
More on that in a separate post later.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
And thank you Nassau County for being a part of that dream come true
BARACK OBAMA-JOE BIDEN....................316,523
JOHN MCCAIN-SARAH PALIN ...................272,765
Monday, November 03, 2008
"Senate tie -- 31 Republicans, 31 Democrats -- looms as chaotic possibility
Former Democratic Sen. Manfred Ohrenstein of Manhattan recalls what happened the last time the Senate was so closely divided it couldn't decide on a leader, in 1965.
"We couldn't do any work. We couldn't pass any bills," recalled Ohrenstein, who served in the Senate from 1961 to 1994. "We would come in every day, vote on who should be the leader, fail to agree, and then adjourn."
The deadlock was finally broken after a month, when then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller directed some fellow Republicans to vote for Democrat Joseph Zaretzky of Manhattan, who was then elected the leader."
"Normally, the lieutenant governor would break a tie, much as the vice president does in Washington when the U.S. Senate is deadlocked. But since former Gov. Eliot Spitzer quit in disgrace in March and then-Lt. Gov. David Paterson took his place, the state hasn't had a lieutenant governor -- and won't until January 2011.
Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, noted that Skelos as majority leader is the acting lieutenant governor, and therefore could break a tie.
"It is clear that the majority leader -- as acting lieutenant governor -- has the authority to break all ties on procedural votes," he said.
But Gerald Benjamin, a State University of New York at New Paltz professor and the state's leading academic expert on state government, pointed out that Skelos will no longer be majority leader in January -- his term expires at the end of this year and a new leader will be elected.
"He wouldn't be the majority leader," Benjamin said of Skelos, in case the chamber is split evenly next year."
Tonight he was at the Waldbaums on Hicksville Road in Massapequa around 630pm "greeting" shoppers as they entered and exited the supermarket. He was handing out his little camapaign flier asking for votes on 'Row B'. He was also handing out another piece of paper which turns out to be a taxpayer funded mailer.
Saladino is using taxpayer money to fund his re-election. Using those mailers paid for with YOUR money to campaign is a new low.
Why does Saladino think he can get away with this misuse of taxpayer money?
Who exactly does Saladino think he is?
The 12th Assembly District is overwhelmingly republican so maybe he thinks it's the Wild West and he can do whatever he wants.
Kurt Ludwig the former Commissioner for the South Farmingdale Water District learned the hard way that elected officials are now being held to account for their actions.
Here is Saladino's Campaign piece:
And here is the taxpayer funded piece he was handing out too...
That didn't stop the NY State Republicans using a local Cub Scout Pack in a mailing for Joe Saladino. The scouts were planting dune grass to protect out barrier beaches and end up in a partisan mailing.
Saladino and GOP Boss Joe Mondello should be ashamed and they owe those scouts an apology.
HTFC a sub-prime lender which is being sued by GMAC for selling bad mortgages and made front-page news in Newsday is a contributor to Assemblyman Joe Saladino's campaign.
HTFC CEO Aaron Wider contributed $3400 last year and was also a sponsor of Saladino's 2007 Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo and Music Festival.
Saladino also received the exact same amount the same day from the massapequa-based company of an HFTC account executive.
According to Newsday "By all appearances, Aaron Wider is the chief executive of a flourishing mortgage bank in Garden City, issuing more than $33 million in home loans to buyers across Nassau and Suffolk counties over the past four years.
A closer look at his lending practices, however, reveals that many of these loans relied on faulty appraisals and exaggerated loan applications, leaving behind angry homeowners who are struggling to pay mortgages on overpriced homes.
"I trusted him, I felt like he was an honest person," said Robin Fitzgerald, who negotiated with Wider to pay $805,000 for a home in North Massapequa in 2005 that a later appraisal valued at $545,000. Fitzgerald is now facing foreclosure. "I wasn't familiar with the prices of houses here. I'm a first-time homeowner."
Along with a handful of associates, Wider bought and sold houses and issued mortgages for at least 30 properties, pushing the prices of some homes to as much as $300,000 above similar sales in the area, a Newsday investigation has found. Most of the time, the houses were sold twice on the same day."
"One of his bank's biggest borrowers was Wider himself, who received $10.8 million in home loans. Banks have begun foreclosure proceedings against the owners of at least 12 of these homes, exacerbating an already rising foreclosure rate in East Massapequa, the community where most of Wider's activity has been concentrated.
Wider's bank, HTFC Corp., is being sued in federal court by two large banks it sold millions of dollars in loans to -- Pennsylvania-based GMAC Bank and a subsidiary, Minnesota-based Residential Funding Company -- which charge in court records that the loans were fraudulent."
Wider preyed on Saladino's constituents but Saladino still keeps the money.
When Saladino had to opportunity to vote on A08972C - New York state responsible lending act of 2008 "to regulate subprime and nontraditional home loan lending," Saladino DID NOT VOTE.
Newsday outlines one sale in N. Massapequa "One example of Wider's actions is the Fitzgerald house at 1004 North Broadway -- an ordinary high ranch in the middle-class neighborhood of North Massapequa, with a stone facade and a view of a busy street. On a single day in April 2005, the house inexplicably skyrocketed in value.
First, Wider bought it for $475,000, Nassau County property records show. Then he transferred the property to a real estate trust, with a trustee who was Wider's personal lawyer.
The same day, the trust sold the house to a one-time account executive at Wider's bank for $750,000. At the same time, HTFC issued the account executive two loans totalling $700,000."
And Wider's background? "Lawsuits have followed Wider since he began investing in real estate at least five years ago. According to one federal suit that was settled in 2005, Wider's bank issued loans in the name of four dead people in the Chicago area, then sold those loans to another bank. Wider's ex-wife has sued him. In a Nassau County case that also was settled, she said he talked her into using her credit to buy several homes in the Bronx and Cleveland then never paid the mortgages as he promised."
Would YOU take campaign money from him?
Saladino did and he doesn't seem to care.
Saladino's opponent Keith Scalia is running a clean money campaign. Because that is what we need to get the very best candidates in office, not the best funded candidiates.
I am not dismissing the numbers in the poll but if these are the real numbers, why did Hannon have to go on the air with negative tv ads?
Hannon could have continued on with positive mailings and tv ads never mentioning McElroy at all. But he did mention her. He went after her. A candidate just doesn't go negative with a lead like the Siena poll is showing.
What numbers are Hannon seeing that we don't know about.
The poll was conducted between October 29th and November 1st and this is the first time Siena polled this race.
On October 28th, Hannon went on the air with the anti-McElroy ads.
McElory did not respond until October 31st.
Did the Hannon ad have an affect on the polling?
Like I said, I'm not dismissing the Siena poll but an answer to the question "why did Hannon go negative?" might be more of a window into the race.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Now I have had signs stolen in the past. That seems to be the thing nassau republicans like to do. It's hard to figure out why a name on a sign freaks them out so much. Why are they so scared to see McElroy's name on a sign?
Were these fervent Hannon supporters or just Democrat haters?
Previous thefts from my property tended to be a complete disappearance of the signs. This time however the anger and violence of the ripping of the signs and then what could be be described as an attempt at intimidation by jamming the signs under the windshield wipers makes me think it's at a new level. And my kids asked "why are your signs ripped up on mommy's car?"
I have a replacement sign on the side since I figured the cowardly republicans would go after my signs again.
So keep stealing signs you frightened little republicans, we are going to win elections anyway.
Friday, October 31, 2008
At a time when most Long Island towns are anticipating major budget challenges for 2009, Oyster Bay continues to throw good money after bad in its death struggle to stop the construction of a mall in Syosset.
As revenue from mortgage recording taxes falls and the cost of borrowing increases, towns are cutting capital budgets and considering cutting back on services. Yet, the Oyster Bay town board voted Tuesday to pay $70,000 in legal fees to appeal a consistently losing case.
Adding in the latest legal bill, the total fees paid to outside attorneys to stop Taubman Centers from building a mall on the old Cerro Wire property will top $375,000.
Spending tax dollars on legal fees is not the only cost to the town. We pointed out in a June 12 editorial what the revenue could have been had the mall gone on the tax rolls in 2003, instead of at least 2011, the earliest possible date considering this latest round of appeals. In those eight, lost tax years, it's estimated the town could have collected $4 million in revenue and the Syosset school district could have gotten a windfall of $16 million, without having to add one more student to its classrooms.
Perhaps, some of those legal fees -- as well as town planning talents -- might have been better spent developing a plan to deal with the parking problem at the Hicksville train station.
Wouldn't it be smarter and cheaper right now to sit down and negotiate with the developer?
Maybe Taubman would be interested in building a parking garage in Hicksville? That would give Supervisor John Venditto more acid relief than a whole warehouse of Pepcid-AC.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Well today comes his ad in the Massapequa Post which doesn't outright claim he was endorsed by Newsday but provides a quote from two years ago.
TWO YEARS AGO.
The ad does not provide a date but it says after the quote "Newsday Endorsement."
The omission of a specific date is a clear indication that Saladino wants readers to think he was endorsed by Newsday this year.
Tomorrow more local papers hit the stands so we'll see what he says there.
Johnson leads 50-35 over Barbara Donno.
From Siena "7th SD – Nassau County – Craig Johnson (D, incumbent) vs. Barbara Donno (R)
Johnson has a 50-35 percent lead over Donno, down from a 49-25 percent lead in the previous Siena New York Poll. Johnson has the support of more than three-quarters of Democrats, while Donno has the support of more than two-thirds of Republicans. Johnson has a nearly two-to-one lead among independent voters, 50-28 percent, up from 36-24 percent in the last poll. Donno’s overall gain in the poll comes largely from Republican voters, where she went from leading 47-28 percent, to now leading 68-19 percent.
Johnson is viewed favorably by 40 percent and unfavorably by 28 percent of voters (36-17 percent last poll). Donno currently has a 29-23 percent favorable rating (16-9 percent last poll).
Johnson’s lead is larger than the 51-42 percent lead Barack Obama has over John McCain in the district.
“Senator Johnson has picked up a point to hit 50 percent, while Donno has picked up 10 points, closing the gap to 15 points. Donno’s challenge in a district with a Democratic enrollment edge is made more difficult because nearly half of voters have no opinion of Donno, and among those who do know her, nearly as many have an unfavorable view as have a favorable view,” Greenberg said."
Cue Dean Skelos spinning like a top.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
That is why I'm guessing Saladino felt comfortable enough to run ads in local papers this week claiming to have the endorsement of Newsday. He is arrogant and assumed he would get the endorsement. Newsday saw through his empty-suit rhetoric and that Saladino "... says all the right things about reducing the property tax burden, and he seems to support every proposal that claims to do that, realistic or not." and "Saladino has already become a creature of its moribund thinking and ways."
One other troubling thing, Saladino is claiming that "Youth sports leagues" endorse him because he gives them "NY State Grant Support."
So there is a quid pro quo with Saladino handing out taxpayer money to non-profit leagues and they endorse him?
More on that other parts of the ad later.
The ad starts off with the question "Ever hear of Kristen McElroy?"
The answer would be no for most people since she is new to politics.
It continues "No one seems to know her."
Really? Then why put an ad on the air attacking her????
Because enough people have heard of her to elect her to the State Senate that's why.
The next question asks "so how does she raise nearly $200,000 in a few months?"
Well, the answer is simple.... she went fundraising with the support of the Democratic Party and donors seem to have lined up to elect her and get rid of Hannon.
Then the commercial cuts to an out of context video of her saying "Luckily for me I knew the right people."
WHOOPS! McElory wasn't talking about fundraising, she was talking to The Albany Project about how and why she got into the race. You can see the whole video HERE.
You see, she got into the race because Hannon has not been doing enough for the residents of New York, especially the 6th Senate District.
The Hannon ad goes on that she "took huge contributions from all over the US... even $18,500 from Washington DC based PACS."
The ad concludes "What do all these interests want from McElroy?"
Okay.. seriously.. again...
Is the Hannon campaign on something??
Let's go over the $72,300 in cash Hannon reported back in July from PACS. And another $14,400 from other PACS?
In September he reported another $34,600 in PAC money.
Most all of that money came from medical and pharmacutical companies.
Hannon is Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health in the State Senate. Why is he talking almost ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS from health care companies?
What do they get from Kemp Hannon?
More later with video goodness.
Skelos wasn't prepared to have to defend Hannon but with 6 days to go, it's scramble time.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There aren't any windmills in Massapequa, and there are many Republicans, but that isn't stopping Democrat Keith Scalia from titling at both with his campaign for good government.
Scalia, 37, a high school English teacher who also tutors and works for extra cash as an usher at Shea Stadium, wants to go to Albany to change it. Campaign financing is where he would start. Taking the money out of politics, said Scalia -- who accepts no donation over $20 -- would reduce patronage and the need for earmarks, the money legislators spread around in their districts.
Scalia, who lost in a race for a council seat in the Town of Oyster Bay, says preserving and repairing the state's infrastructure is important. He said better planning could have avoided the Hicksville parking garage debacle.
Incumbent Assemb. Joseph Saladino, 45, of Massapequa, says all the right things about reducing the property tax burden, and he seems to support every proposal that claims to do that, realistic or not. However, asked how he would cut the budget, Saladino says health care, school aid and tax-relief programs are off the table. Instead, he names eliminating Medicaid fraud and cutting frivolous spending, such as the $2 million needed to rename the Triboro Bridge for Robert F. Kennedy, as a solution.
Saladino has spent just over four years in Albany but has done little other than become overbearing and dismissive. Compared to Scalia's optimism about changing Albany, Saladino has already become a creature of its moribund thinking and ways. The editorial board endorses Scalia.
"The lies coming out of Republican Barbara Donno's relentlessly negative campaign have once again shown no connection to reality. Senator Craig Johnson, the Ranking Member of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, has been a tireless advocate for the residents of Elmont, Floral Park, and Bellerose Terrace, and both Newsday and The Franklin Square/ Elmont Herald endorsed Senator Johnson as the candidate best equipped to guide Belmont's development. If Republican Barbara Donno cares about the Elmont community, she certainly didn't show it by missing a LWV debate and two candidate forums sponsored by Elmont civic leaders during the last seven days."
Senator Craig Johnson sits next to a chair Donno should have been in
"Unfortunately, Speaker Silver is more concerned with New York city, and if the Democrats and Malcolm Smith were to ever take over the Senate; Elmont, and Floral Park would be left to suffer."
Yes Barbara, Malcolm Smith would want to put his majority in jeopardy by screwing over the voters who gave him the a Long Island Democratic Senator and one seat closer to control. Smith would surely want to make sure Johnson gets defeated in two years, right?
What kind of logic does Donno have?
Then she attacks Johnson for fighting to give residents around Belmont a strong voice in the re-development "In contrast, Barbara Donno’s opponent, Senator Craig Johnson is sponsoring a plan that creates a local Advisory Board and includes no plans for economic development, job creation, or host community aid."
Johnson introduced S.6977 to "...establish a Community Advisory Board for Belmont, and correct an egregious error in the state Thoroughbred Racing Franchise Agreement. The agreement, which Senator Johnson voted against, provided community boards for the Saratoga and Aqueduct race tracks, but completely disenfranchised the Elmont and Floral Park residents that host Belmont."
Why would Donno belittle important constituent work?
Would Donno let the New York Racing Authority run rough-shod over the communities surrounding Belmont?
Donno praised republican Assemblyman Alfano for his work on Belmont but kinda ignored that Alfano has been working with Johnson since last year.
And of course, this was all in response to Governor Paterson announced he was working on an economic development plan for Belmont and the surrounding communities. From Newsday "Paterson yesterday expressed frustration that Belmont's "development potential has never been realized" despite its physical beauty and proximity to major highways and the Long Island Rail Road. "Belmont could create new jobs, generate additional tax revenue and bolster economic development in Elmont and other surrounding communities," he said.
"Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington), whose district also includes Belmont, said residents "deserve an economic development plan that brings all parties to the table without partisan political gamesmanship and ulterior motives." He also said the planning process "should have begun years ago."
Charles O'Byrne is gone. He's out, he's done. He's finished as perhaps the closest and most influential adviser to Governor Paterson. He's no longer on the state payroll, at what had been a $178,000 a year job.
Mr. O'Byrne is through, and the Senate Republicans really need to move on as well. Instead, they're using Mr. O'Byrne's departure, under the disgraceful circumstances of having gone five years without paying state or federal income taxes, as an occasion for an encore of Troopergate.
No sooner had Mr. O'Byrne's resignation become public knowledge last Friday than Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was trying to exploit a scandal that's better put to rest.
"Questions remain about exactly when the governor knew about O'Byrne's failure to pay his taxes, and why he chose to do nothing about the matter until it became public this week.'' Mr. Skelos said in a statement.
Questions remain as well about why the Republicans can't focus more on what does matter in the Paterson administration, namely just how the governor is going to deal with a budget deficit that he now estimates will hit $10 billion next year.
The state's fiscal crisis continues, even as Mr. O'Byrne departs.
"There is no question that taxes in New York are too high and Senate Republicans are working to reduce taxes, but it is still every New Yorker's responsibility to pay them," Mr. Skelos' statement also says.
We'll leave aside for the moment the dicey matter of cutting taxes, especially the $63 billion in various state taxes that New York relies upon so heavily for a $120 billion state budget. The most pressing question of all is whether the Senate Republicans are more interested in the state's finances, or in a belabored investigation of the transgressions of a former gubernatorial adviser.
Mr. O'Byrne is no more relevant to the immediate and future challenges of state government than former Governor Spitzer or, to be bipartisan about it, former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
If only the Senate Republicans could see the irony that might well make their campaign to maintain their narrow majority all the more daunting. Mr. O'Byrne has left the Paterson administration because his utter disregard for the tax laws had become both a distraction and an embarrassment to a governor confronting such an economic mess. Mr. O'Byrne said as much on his way out.
Yet as long as the Senate Republicans can't seem to put the O'Byrne matter in the past, voters may well wonder who's distracted now.
Senate Republicans aren't satisfied with the resignation of a top gubernatorial aide.
More pressing state business gets ignored.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Skelos says that Johnson never stood up to proposed cuts in school aid.
That is just a huge lie.
Here is Newsday in 2007 "In an unusual turn yesterday, new state Sen. Craig Johnson of Port Washington was one of two out of 29 Senate Democrats to side with the
majority Republicans in voting for the part of Bruno's proposal that adds $358 million in school aid.
"I acted in the best interests of the residents of my district and acted in the best interests of Long Island," he said afterward."
And here is Johnson in 2008 "The governor's proposed education budget, if enacted, would have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on Long Island's schools and would put further financial strain on taxpayers that are already at the breaking point.
While New York State is facing some large and very real financial difficulties, it is unconscionable to demand our children bear this burden.
As this budget simply cannot be supported in this current form, I am eager to begin the negotiation process to raise education funding to levels that Long Island families need and our children deserve."
Here is a picture of Johnson at a rally in Farmingdale earlier this year:
And here is Dean Skelos lying:
Skelos should know how Johnson voted and he probably does. But Skelos chooses to lie.
Barbara Donno is a liar.
Dean Skelos is a liar.
To quote Joseph Welch "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
But wait! There's more!
In October she got even more money in direct contributions to her campaign!
10/2/08 - $89,900
10/9/08 - $29,370
10/15/08 - $85,000
The GRAND TOTAL is $1,087,091
For a candidate who says she isn't a "typical politician" and promises to "... work to be your voice in Albany", taking over a MILLION DOLLARS from Albany isn't the way to do that.
We're looking at over 90% of Donno's campaign money coming from Dean Skelos and the Albany republicans.
Donno is bought and paid for by Dean Skelos so don't expect her to do anything except be what Skelos wants her to be.
Friday, October 24, 2008
That's how Skelos began his summation at his News12 Debate.
From start to finish, Skelos played the fear card and made New York City the big boogey-man.
He says "We know how they like to suck the money out of our pockets on Long Island..." even though NYC gives Albany $11Billion more than it gets back every year.
For the slow-witted Skelos, I'll explain that that means NYC is not "sucking" any money from Long Island or anywhere else. In fact, money is being sucked out of NYC.
Did Skelos try to play the homophobe card too? When Skelos ticks off the names of who from NYC would be in charge in the State, Skelos made sure to be specific that the openly gay Senator Tom Duane was from Greenwich Village. He gave no specific location for anyone else, just saying "the Bronx", Manhattan" or "New York City."
Skelos is on the ropes and he knows it. Skelos may be telegraphing his final weeks attacks in his debate. I don't doubt that Babs Donno will throw the "New York City" junk at Craig Johnson or Hannon at McElroy and Trunzo at Foley. The funny part is that upstate republicans have slammed Long Island for taking their money. When the republicans do lose the Senate, expect the long knives to come out for Dean. He won't be Minority Leader in January.
Skelos has nothing to use but fear and lies to try to remain in the senate.
Below is a video of Skelos trying to scare Long Island voters into voting for him.
They do it all the time.
It's just a cover because the republican State Senators can't do their jobs. Skelos has been in Albany most his adult life and as Deputy Majority Leader with a republican governor, he was still unable to hold the line on taxes.
Here is a simple fact Skelos, NYC gives $11Billion MORE to New York State in taxes than they get back.
Nassau County gives $4Billion more than it gets back.
You don't have to be a math genius to see that New York City isn't taking anyone's money.
Maybe it's time Skelos and his cronies take responsibility for failing the taxpayers of Nassau County.
Today we have Sen. Kemp Hannon, another Skelos BFF, saying essentially the same thing Macellino did. When asked by News12 debate moderator Scott Feldman about the budget, Hannon said "Nothing could be off the table. What you're going to have to do is take an across the board approach. You're going to have to say 'What's absolutely essential. What do you need for public protection, what do you need for education, what do you need for health.' Nothing though can be sacred. You're going to have to have a general belt-tightening."
When pressed by Feldman on school aid, Hannon backtracked a little "That's not been on the table yet. That would be the last thing we want to do."
But his initial answer was that education aid was an area to find savings in.
Skelos really needs to get his people on the same page as him.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
These cuts are more political than ever because of the election.
Last week, Minority Leader Malcolm Smith who is poised to majority Leader when the Democrats take over the Senate was attacked by Skelos because when asked about cuts, Smith made a general comment "I think everything is on the table.”
Skelos went nuts claiming that Smith wanted to cut education funding “Senator Smith’s comments about mid-year school aid cuts should concern every property taxpayer in Nassau County and across the state,” Senator Hannon said. “I am not going to go back on my commitment to education or my commitment to property tax relief. Mid-year school aid cuts would hurt our classrooms, reduce the quality of education and result in higher property taxes that we simply cannot afford. At a time when the economy is in trouble and people are losing their jobs, increasing taxes would only inflict more pain on New York families.”
Smith aid nothing at all about cutting school aid but that didn't stop Skelos from accusing him of doing it. Smith in a release said "Senate Democrats are not cutting education funding. The only special interest Senate Democrats care about is New York's children and we're going to protect them. The Senate Republicans have been as good for education in New York as Bush has been for the economy."
Cut to Senator Carl Marcellino, republican from Nassau County. Skelos' buddy and ally.
In the News12 debate that usually wouldn't create news, Marcelino said in response to Moderator Scott Feldman's question about the budget "Everything is on the table. Everything HAS to be on the table."
When pressed about school aid cuts, Marcellino was adamant "I am prepared to take a hard look at every aspect of the budget. What we can cut we have to cut. There is no doubt about it.
See the Video below for Carl in his own words:
Let's see Skelos and Marcellino explain that one.