Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Donno Won't Apologize for Lying

What a desperate and pathetic campaign. I called the campaign and spoke to Bryan Hurst. I asked if Donno was going to apologize for lying about Craig Johnson's position on the commuter tax.
Donno press release said that it's a "fact that Craig Johnson and his Democratic leaders in New York City are now talking about bringing it back."
Bryan Hurst said "No" Donno will not apologize.
When I told him that Johnson had not talked about bringing back the commuter tax and in fact spoke out against it, Hurst tried some double-speak and say that it was Johnson's "leaders" that are talking about it.
I pointed out that the press release clearly accuses Johnson of "talking" about bringing the tax back.
Hurst who lies so easily says no it does not.
I then asked about Johnson's "leaders" and Hurst points to the press release saying "Minority Leader Malcolm Smith... issued one of the weakest, most transparent ‘non-denial denials’ I’ve ever heard."
Sen. Smith said of the commuter tax "Now is not the time to be talking about raising taxes. We need to focus on rebuilding New York’s economy by cutting property taxes, creating jobs and reducing wasteful spending.”
That's pretty straight forward.
And Johnson is opposed to the commuter tax and said so over a year ago "As I have said before, I am opposed to levying extra taxes on commuters under this, or any other, name."

Donno is trying to say that Johnson will go along with whatever he is told to do when the Democrats are in the Majority. That is simply false. Johnson does what he feels is the right thing to do and his record proves it.
I asked Hurst about Donno accepting Bloomberg's endorsement and Bloomberg wanting to bring back the commuter tax. Hurst said that Donno can disagree with Bloomberg on some issues.
And of course Johnson can't disagree with those who want to bring back the commuter tax even though Johnson is on the record opposing it.
Got it.
Hurst just weaves a web and traps himself.

Monday, September 29, 2008

There She Goes Again; Donno's Lies Continue

In a new release yesterday, Donno says "... if my opponent Craig Johnson has his way, your check amount will be zero dollars and zero cents.”

“At a time when families and seniors are having a hard time making ends meet, the last thing we should be doing is taking more money out of the taxpayers’ pockets,” Donno added. “I promise that as your state senator, I will fight to lower your property taxes and increase any associate rebates, not take them away.”

First of all, how can Donno increase rebates when budget deficits are projected for the next few years. Even this years budget is in question.

Second, Donno just plain lies about the rebate checks. I'll let Nassau County Presiding Officer Diane Yaturo explain "Barbara Donno's criticism of Senator Johnson's Triple Play Tax Relief plan is simplistic and flat-out untrue. Her contention that every Long Islander would lose their rebate check is intentionally misleading. What the Triple Play legislation does is replace the Middle Class STAR program, which gives rebate checks based on broad income categories and the school district a taxpayer lives in, with a STAR Circuit Breaker that actually issues rebate checks based on a taxpayer's exact income to their exact tax bill.

The result is that real tax relief goes to the people who need it the most. The average Nassau County family would actually receive a rebate check that is more than double the highest Middle Class STAR rebate in Nassau.

Seniors living on a fixed income, a group that generally pays among the highest portions of their income in property taxes, will be among the largest beneficiaries of the Triple Play. This is in addition to the benefits of Senior Enhanced STAR."

Here is a breakdown of what it means to taxpayers "A circuit breaker tax credit would provide targeted tax relief to households who pay more than a threshold percentage of their income on local property taxes.

For example, Long Island homeowners with a household income of up to $120,000 will have a rebate triggered if their property tax bill exceeds 6 percent of their income. The rebate will be for 70 percent of the difference.

This component will especially benefit seniors and those living on a fixed income. For example a senior living on a $40,000 fixed income with a total property tax bill of *$9,595* (the average for the Town of North Hempstead) would be entitled to a $5,036.50 rebate. This legislation does not affect the Enhanced Senior STAR program."

And the legislation is called "Triple Play" because it has two more features. One is to do away with unfunded mandates. That will in effect lower the local school tax burden for homeowners. The other function of the legislation is a cap on tax increases.
Instead of lying and attacking the proposal to save homeowners money, Donno should applaud it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Donno: A Big Fat Liar; Making Things Up to Attack Craig Johnson

The ever-desperate campaign of Babs Donno trips over itself again and again. This time Donno comes out swinging at the wind attacking Craig Johnson over Assembly Speaker Silver talking about bringing back the communter tax. Never mind that Johnson opposes the commuter tax. Donno never lets a fact get in her way.
Here is
Johnson in 2007 "Cutting and controlling spending, not raising taxes, is what is needed to help New York out of this current fiscal crisis. As I have said before, I am opposed to levying extra taxes on commuters under this, or any other, name. Some very tough choices will have to be made to combat this difficult economic climate. What we should be doing is going back to Albany in order to work today to fix what will be an even larger problem tomorrow."
Donno who apparantly is no longer "fed up" with "outright character assassination" jumps all over Johnson last week "And local commuters should make no mistake – a vote for Craig Johnson is a vote to bring back the commuter tax."
So Johnson opposes a commuter tax but Donno says he'll bring it back. Hmmm....
She continues "The fact that Craig Johnson and his Democratic leaders in New York City are now talking about bringing it back, is a stunning and stark reminder of just what’s at stake in this election.”
Ummm.... Babs, that's just an outright lie. Johnson isn't talking about bringing it back. At all.
The only person who brought it up was ASSEMBLY Speaker Silver. No one else wants it back.
Oh wait, there is one more person who supports it.....
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg "New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s finances are so dire that he needs help from the suburbs. That’s right, he wants to bring back the commuter tax."

That would be the same Bloomberg who ENDORSED Donno and said " I look forward to working with her when she is elected this November.”

Donno loved the endorsement very much "The Mayor and I also share the same strong commitment to improving our schools and enhancing the quality of life for hardworking families, so I am truly honored to have his support for my campaign.”

What really gets me is the Donno feels it is okay to lie. And this isn't the first time.
I know her campaign is being run by her Svengali Dean Skelos and Skelos has no ethics to speak of but why allow lies be said in your name?
Skelos has an unhealthy obsession with Craig Johnson and in any other context would lead to an arrest or at least a restraining order.
The recent Siena poll shows Donno getting destroyed by Johnson so Donno will say anything and do anything between now and election day.
A desperate campaign resorting to desperate measures and making the candidates' own words unreliable in the process.

Friday, September 26, 2008

And This is Why Skelos' Judgement Cannot be Trusted

As AIG was collapsing 10 days ago, Dean Skelos went on the attack blaming Eliot Spitzer for the companies demise. Skelos said that because Spitzer went after the corruption of Wall Street fat-cats, “What Spitzer did is costing our pension system right now about $700 million. Those were his head-hunting days, and unfortunately his head-hunting days are costing our pension system.”
Yes Dean, going after former AIG boss Maurice Greenberg was the reason AIG made huge mistakes. But Greenberg is a big GOP donor so as AIG was falling apart, Skelos wanted to bring him back "He has credibility with Wall Street, he has credibility with investors, and it’s his baby. Nobody knows their kid better than a parent.”
Newsday's Spincycle had to remind Skelos that "Greenberg, this very month, agreed to a $115 million settlement of a shareholder suit brought against him and other former execs that alleged they diverted $1 billion in assets from AIG to CV Starr, a company they controlled?
Does he, by chance, realize that Greenberg was just deposed in a civil fraud case that is being pursued by new AG Andrew Cuomo, the very guy whose fairness Joe Bruno used to regularly praise? A case that, according to the WSJ, focuses on accounting irregularities and charges of improperly "polishing" AIG's results?"

And now what does Greenberg do after AIG is bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $85billion? "Former American International Group Inc. chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg intends to sell his AIG stock, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday."
Greenberg is going to profit off of the bailout.
What would have been worthless is being propped up by the taxpayers and Greenberg who owns 10% of the company is walking away from the mess.
What a guy.

A Solution to Donno's Party ID Problem

Senate candidate Barbara Donno doesn't identify herself as a republican. You 'd be hard pressed to find it spelled out on her website or mentioned in her TV ads or in her mailings. On election day, she'll have the word "Republican" spelled out under her name.
How can republican candidates like Donno run like mad from her party name and still have a party designation?
Do what Gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi is doing in Washington State.
Instead of being listed as "Republican," Rossi wants to be list as "GOP Party."
Yes, that's right, "GOP Party." (Hat tip to Rachel Maddow for pointing out this means he is in the Grand Old Party Party)
The Seattle Times reports "The state Democratic Party filed suit Tuesday in an attempt to force Dino Rossi to list his party preference as "Republican" on the November ballot instead of "GOP Party.
"Polls by Stuart Elway have suggested many people don't know that GOP and Republican mean the same thing. One recent Elway poll indicated Rossi did better among voters if he used the "GOP" label instead of "Republican."
"Democrats say the Iraq War and low approval ratings for President Bush have left the Republican Party a damaged brand and that Rossi is trying to distance himself by using GOP as his affiliation."
Republicans around the country are running away from the republican name just like Donno is here. Will this rebranding idea catch on?
Dean, are you listening?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skelos Slapped on Siena Poll Ignorance

Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee says "Senator Skelos's understanding of statistics and polls is equivalent to the Senate Republicans' understanding of arithmetic and budget—both ways New Yorkers lose,"

Who is Writing the Obituary for the New York Republicans?

Bouldin from The Daily Gotham says the NY GOP is dying
"A serious question: is there even going to be a republican party in this state, in the sense of an organization with meaningful ability to influence public policy, after the November elections?

The signs at this moment aren't all that promising. The not-so-casual observer can isolate three flashing signs of decline.

Fragmented, low-profile leadership: The top-ranking republican in this state today is Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Skelos has virtually no statewide profile and isn't really doing much to acquire one, choosing to act very much like the leader merely of Long Island republicans, and not as the titular head of his party for the entire state. The rest of the leadership roster is similarly desiccated; Rudy Giuliani, the best-known New York leader of that party, went from Presidential front-runner to also-ran in a matter of weeks, former governor George Pataki has vanished, former Senator Al D'Amato is busy lobbying, and former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is probably negotiating with the Feds right now over those pesky indictments. Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, has opted out of anything having to do with state politics for a very long time.

As to the next generation of leadership, if it's out there, it's difficult to detect. This stems in part from a systemic feature of our electoral system, whereby New Yorkers stick with incumbent legislators for decades (a problem that similarly affects the black political leadership, in ways that offer parallels to the republican challenges). Republicans, by choking off avenues of advancement for new stars - cf. Trunzo, Caesar, or Maltese, Serph - have disincented their young guns from seeking out the path of public service."

Read more at http://dailygotham.com/blog/bouldin/the_new_york_gop_is_dying

Skelos Sticks Fingers in Ears; Refuses to Hear Bad Poll News


Azi over at The Politicker quotes Skelos in full denial mode "I don't think the Siena poll is correct."
After delivering remarks at the ABNY breakfast, Skelos said of the Siena poll that the Republicans have polls "that have been done within all of these districts for the past 20 years that indicate a lot differently."
Referring to Siena, Skelos said, "They used the random digit dialing. Siena has never done a poll in senate districts and random digit dialing, for all you know, all the calls could have gone into Great Neck."
Sadly for Dean, Siena says they don't do random-digit dialing. They work off of voters lists.

Sorry Dean, your $658,000 investment in Donno is doing as well as a sub-prime mortgage.

If Skelos knows any different, he should release the internal republican polls.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marcellino Opposes Bottle Bill

From Marcellino Watch...
"For years, Carl Marcellino has kept the Bigger Better Bottle Bill "bottled" up in the Environmental Committee he chairs.

The Bill is supported by more than 600 groups, businesses, and local governments. And, on June 11th, 2008, the Democrat controlled Assembly passed the Bill by a vote of 91 to 54. So, why do the Republicans and Carl Marcellino loathe this bill so much?

What would the bill do? Expanding the original 1982 Bottling Bill to include non-carbonated beverages would dramatically improve recycling on Long Island and bring in millions of dollars per year to the local economies. Billions of bottles and cans would be returned and recycled through the bill. Millions of tons of plastic, glass and metal would be kept out of our landfills and incinerators. Less litter and broken glass in our streets, parks, playgrounds and beaches would make them safer, cleaner, and more attractive.

So, who could possibly be opposed to it???

The beverage companies and food retail companies and the man their donations keep help electing: Carl Marcellino! Currently, beverage companies are keeping an estimated $140 million per year in unclaimed deposits from bottles and cans that are not returned.

What does this have to do with Senator Marcellino?? A quick review of Senator Marcellino's campaign contributions shows that he has received thousands of dollars from beverage companies and food retail companies. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company ($500), the Pepsi Co Bottling Company ($500), Anheuser-Busch ($1,250), NYS Beer Wholesalers Association ($2000), Convenience PAC ($2000), Grocery Manufacturers Association ($450) and Price Chopper ($500) have each donated to Marcellino during this campaign year.

Each of those companies has made millions of dollars by haulting a bill which would create refunds for the return of non-carbonated beverage bottles.

It takes very little deductive reasoning to bring this age-old tale of political bribery together. Carl Marcellino takes donations ($7,200 in 2008) from big business companies and in exchange continually keeps this important and helpful bill stuck in committee--away from a floor vote.

Update: Senator Carl Marcellino, chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, told a group of supermarket representatives and beer wholesalers that, "We [the Senate Republican Majority] will hold the line against 'Bottle Law' expansion." Food Industry Alliance of N.Y.S., FoodScan, (May 10, 2004), www.fiany.com/FoodScan/FS%201.htm.

Update: Click here for a full report on the impact of campaign donations on the Bigger Better Bottle Bill: http://www.nypirg.org/enviro/bottlebill/BottledUp.pdf"

Sienna Poll Reactions

From Sen. Craig Johnson "The results of this poll are a reflection of Senator Johnson's tireless efforts on behalf of Nassau's residents. He will continue to fight for real tax relief and to help New York state get back on the right track, just as he helped bring Nassau County back from the brink of fiscal crisis."

From La-La Land.. err... the Senate Republican Campaign Committee Spokesman Joe Conway "Siena's poll confirms the fact that our Senate incumbents are running strong and poised for victory across the state. It also confirms that our other candidates are campaigning on precisely the same job creation, economic and tax relief issues that New Yorkers are concerned about, and our own polls show that they are gaining ground and poised for victory as well.
"Siena is new to this kind of polling, and they didn't poll a number of key races, but overall this poll bolsters our confidence that we’re going to both maintain the majority and pick up seats on Election Day."

First Conway says the poll "confirms the fact" that the republican incumbants are safe but the poll says no such thing. Trunzo and Maltese should be running away with their races simply because they have been in office decades. Instead, Trunzo has a slim 6 point lead and Maltese is dead even with his challenger.
And then come the excuses that Sienna is "new to this kind of polling."
What other "key races" are there?
Sienna polled where republicans have been dumping money and getting nothing in return.

Skelos Getting Sinking Feeling From New Poll

The Sienna Poll out today doesn't bring much good news for Skelos.
Skelos' mortal enemy Craig Johnson is leading Babs Donno by 24 points. At this point with $658,000 spent by Skelos on the race and 3 months of tv commercials and mailings, if Donno is still an unknown that's real bad. Skelos won't pick this seat up.
Over in Queens, Serf Maltese is even with Democratic challenger Joe Addabbo 42-42. Maltese has been in the Senate for a long time and should be doing much better. The district is Democratic and Maltese barely held on 2 years ago.
In Suffolk, Cesar Trunzo who has also been in the Senate forever is leading Foley 46-40. If Trunzo isn't breaking 50% after all his time in office, he has a problem.
Upstate in an open seat held by a republican, Democrat Joe Mesi is up 40-38.
The poll plus the presidential campaign affecting turn-out and coat-tails point to republicans losing the senate.
After spending all that money on Donno, Skelos won't be too popular with his caucus. I don't see Skelos getting Minority Leader after losing in November.

Craig Johnson Leads Donno by 24 Points in New Poll

Looks like Skelos isn't getting much bang for his $658,527 buck. After spending close to $600,000 on TV commercials and mailings, Donno is down 24 points in the new Sienna poll.
Johnson leads in the poll 49-25.
The numbers could tighten as we get closer to the election but Donno can't make up such a huge deficit. She would need every single undecided voter and that ain't happening.
On the issues, Sienna asks "What is the most important issue you want your State Senator to be working on in Albany?"
Property taxes - 40%
Housing - 2%
Job Creation - 7%
Government Reform - 8%
Healthcare - 22%
Education - 17%

"The Senate’s two newest members who came into office after hotly contested special elections both enter the final six weeks of the campaign in very strong shape,” said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena New York Poll. “Craig Johnson in Nassau County has a 24-point lead and Darrel Aubertine in north, central New York has a 20-point lead.
"Johnson has the support of three-quarters of Democrats, while Donno has only a 47-28 percent among Republicans. Johnson leads among independent voters, 36-24 percent, although a plurality of these voters, 40 percent, has yet to make a decision.
Johnson is viewed favorably by 36 percent of voters and unfavorably by 17 percent of voters. Nearly half of voters has no opinion. Donno has a 16-9 percent favorable rating, with 75 percent having no opinion.
Fifty percent of voters would like to see the Senate controlled by Democrats, while 35 percent prefer Republican control. Johnson’s lead is far larger than the 48-40 percent lead Barack Obama has over John McCain in the district.
While Johnson has an approximately two-to-one advantage over Donno on all the issues surveyed, more than four in ten voters could not choose between either candidate on any of the issues.
“Senator Johnson is not over the magic 50 percent mark, however, his 24-point lead is far greater than the nine-point enrollment edge Democrats have over Republicans. He is not widely known throughout the district but is more known than his opponent,” Greenberg said."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barbara Donno and Her Albany Underwriters

The republican challenger to Sen. Craig Johnson has received $462,000 in direct contributions from the New York Senate Republican Campaign Committee so far.
There is also the money spent by the SRCC on Donno's behalf which adds up to $196,527.

So total from the State Republicans IN ALBANY, Donno is the recipient of $658,527.
For that kind of cash from the republicans, you'd figure she would at least advertise that she is the republican candidate.
Albany money makes up more than 80% of Donno's campaign spending.
For a candidate that says she wants to go to Albany to "... work to be your voice in Albany" and "fight for the changes we need and deserve," she sure took alot of money from the establishment in Albany.
If Skelos is so nuts about winning that seat back, do you really think that Donno will vote any way other than the way Skelos wants her to vote?

You dance with the one that brung you and Skelos is the one that is bringing Donno.
With over half a million dollars from Albany so far, Donno is not a candidate for change in the state senate, she is the candidate of the status quo.

The Donno Albany Money breakdown...

6/20/08 - $45,000
6/30/08 - $135,000
7/14/08 - $175,000
8/21/08 - $27,000
8/25/08 - $53,738
9/8/08 - $80,000
9/15/08 - $142,789


I Donno How I Forgot This - More Albany Money for Donno

Yesterday I wrote about the $462,000 Donno has gotten from the New York Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

Well, I forgot to count the money spent by the SRCC on Donno's behalf which adds up to $196,527.

So total from the State Republicans IN ALBANY, Donno is the recipient of $658,527!!!
Albany money makes up more than 80% of Donno's campaign spending.

For a candidate that says she wants to go to Albany to "... work to be your voice in Albany" and "fight for the changes we need and deserve," she sure took alot of money from the establishment in Albany.
If Skelos is so nuts about winning that seat back, do you really think that Donno will vote any way other than the way Skelos wants her to vote?

You dance with the one that brung you and Skelos is the one that is bringing Donno.
With over half a million dollars from Albany so far, Donno is not a candidate for change in the state senate, she is the candidate of the status quo.

The Donno Albany money breakdown...

6/20/08 - $45,000
6/30/08 - $135,000
7/14/08 - $175,000
8/21/08 - $27,000

8/25/08 - $53,738
9/8/08 - $80,000

9/15/08 - $142,789


Donno (R-Sixth Borough) Gets Endorsement from Bloomberg

Isn't it the kiss of death for a Nassau Republican to get an endorsement from the Mayor of New York City?
In the past few local elections, the GOP mantra has been "We don't want to be the 'Sixth Borough.'" So how does this play for Donno when Bloomberg says “I am happy to endorse Barbara Donno in her effort to represent the 7th Senate district on Long Island.
“I believe her unique set of qualifications give her the ability to truly understand the issues that impact her community and our state. I look forward to working with her when she is elected this November.”

How can Donno work with Bloomberg when Donno calls for a "fair share" of school funding from the state and her fellow republicans complain that NYC get more than their fair share?

Bloomberg has made it known that he supports the republicans majority in the state senate. Blomberg endorsed O'Connell in the special election and Johnson still won. Heck, he even gave O'Connell $75,000 for the race.
The voters in the 7th Senate District showed that they would not be bought by a billionare from NYC and they'll do it again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Donno the "Not Your Typical Politician" Gets Bulk of Campaign Money from Albany

So far this year, Barbara Donno has taken $462,000 from the New York Senate Republican Campaign Committee.
Republican Senate Boss Dean Skelos kicked in $9500 too.
For that kind of cash from the republicans, you'd figure she would at least advertise that she is the republican candidate.
For someone running as someone who wants to "work to be your voice in Albany," she is bought and paid for by Dean Skelos.

Money breakdown:
6/20/08 - $45,000
6/30/08 - $135,000
7/14/08 - $175,000
8/21/08 - $27,000
9/8/08 - $80,000

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hannon Opponent Kristen McElroy Interview by The Albany Project

Philip Anderson interviews Kristen McElroy...

Dean Skelos says "I'll Show You Mine, If You Show me Yours First"

In the wake of more Albany scandals, there is a push to have Legislators disclose their outside income. A Skelos told the NYTimes "Senator Skelos is on record as saying that the Senate will act on legislation to strengthen the state’s ethics laws to include greater disclosure of the outside income of legislators.”

But over at the NY Sun, "Mr. Skelos, in an interview with the Sun last month, said he would have "no problem" sharing a full version of his forms. A spokesman for the Senate leader later clarified that Mr. Skelos was unaware that the income details were redacted. He said Mr. Skelos would make that information available as long as the rest of the Legislature followed suit."
He will do it if everybody does it as well," the spokesman, John McArdle, said. "He did not realize it was redacted."

What a great ethical standard Skelos has. If he believes in more disclosure why does he have to wait for legislation or "everybody" else to do it too.

So far only a 29 year old Assemblyman is not afraid of disclosure "...Assemblyman Micah Kellner stands apart.

Unlike most of his Albany colleagues, the 29-year-old Democrat of the Upper East Side has no problem providing an unredacted review of his financial disclosure forms. Not that his forms disclose terribly much: The only income Mr. Kellner earns comes from his $79,500-a-year salary as a legislator."

Before election day, Skelos and his colleagues should volunteer their outside income information. Anything less just proves how bad the corrupt culture in Albany is.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Skelos Attends Fundraiser for Gay Republicans, Still Doesn't Support Gay Marriage

I'm not sure which is worse, the Log Cabin Republicans hosting Dean Skelos who opposes their fundamental rights or Dean Skelos for taking money from a group of people he opposes.
To their credit, the Log Cabin Republicans were honoring the four republican Assembly members who voted for gay marriage.
At the event, Skelos said “I appreciate your inviting me... Sometimes the media will say, ‘What are you doing here?’ You’re Republicans and I’m proud of you for being Republicans and I’m proud of being a Republican and standing here with each and every one of you.”

Yeah, Skelos is so proud he wants to deny them rights afforded every other citizen.

The Log Cabin Republicans hope to persuade more republicans to support gay marriage but continue to support the likes of Skelos who will not change his mind.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome "The Marcellino Watch"

Someone has started a website about State Senator Carl Marcellino.

Desperate Donno's Despicable Mailer

For someone who says "I'm not your typical politician" and "I learned that we are all fed-up with politics as usual, partisan sniping and outright character assassination- especially when that's what we get instead of progress" she sure doesn't live up to that.
For a local race, Donno has brought sleaze to a new level. And considering her party in Nassau, that says alot.
A mailer sent out to the 7th SD voters can be seen below. (click to enlarge)

This mailer says that while in the Nassau County Legislature, Craig Johnson opposed a tax break for veterans. That is far from true.
The TRUTH is that (and reported in Newsday) "Democratic lawmakers voted to make sure that all veterans will receive the same savings in tax dollars next year under reassessment as this year."

After the mailing went out, Donno received letters pointing out her sleazy tactics.
From Owen Costello a veteran in her district "I am writing to express our profound disappointment in your campaign's attempts to use Nassau's veterans for political gain in your race for State Senate.
I, along with many of my fellow veterans, were shocked to open our mail boxes to find your attack piece that incorrectly accused Senator Craig Johnson of being against a tax cut for veterans while he was a member of the Nassau County Legislature six years ago. This is an outright lie.
The vote referenced in your political ad was to preserve the county's previously established tax credit in the face of a county wide reassessment. If the Legislature did not take this step, it would have meant higher taxes for every homeowner in Nassau County.
As a veteran, and as a taxpayer, I supported the County Legislature's actions on this issue. I cannot square how you are in favor of lower taxes, and yet are disparaging this financially responsible vote.
This attempt to mislead veterans and the general public is shameful and wrong. I think you, and your campaign, owe me, and them an apology."

Another from John Chalker, Commander VFW Post 1819 "As commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Henderson-Marino Post 1819 here in Port Washington, I can verily say that Senator Craig Johnson has shown a long history of supporting our Post.
I am a Viet Nam Era Veteran also I served in Desert Shield/Storm and Iraq.
The veterans here in Port Washington have no doubt that Craig Johnson’s support will continue for us locally and veterans nationally."

Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman also a veteran wrote "In 2002, as I’m sure you will recall, Nassau County faced fiscal collapse as a result of decades of mismanagement and fiscal gimmicks. As Tom Suozzi, the County Legislature—including then Legislator Craig Johnson—and I worked to turnaround the county’s finances, we faced a great many challenges. However, despite what this mailing says, at no time did Craig Johnson, or any other elected official, deny a tax cut to veterans.
Rather, in the vote referenced in the mailing, the County Legislature preserved an existing tax deduction at its existing levels. Any other action would have either raised taxes for veterans or cost all Nassau taxpayers an additional $17.7 Million at the time when the county faced insolvency. Craig Johnson’s vote on this matter was fiscally responsible and supported by the Nassau County Office of Veterans Affairs and many veterans groups throughout Nassau.
This mailing distorts these facts in a clear attempt to score political points. The people of our community deserve better than this. I urge you to apologize to the people of our community for the actions of the Republican State Committee in this mailing and to join me in demanding that the Republican State Committee run a positive, fact based campaign on your behalf."

County Executive Tom Suozzi writes "the proposal was backed by the Nassau County Department of Veterans, a number of veteran's groups and property tax experts."
"While I will usually agree to appear with candidiates of my party during election years, this year due to my role as the Goovernor's Chairman of the Commission on Property Tax Relief I have shied away from becoming more personally involved in partisan battles. I must tell you, however, that if these tyoes of tactics that inaccurately criticize the actions of my administration continue, I will not shy away from setting the record straight.

The mailing says "Veterans deserve our gratitude and every benefit worthy of a hero. They Deserve Better Than Craig Johnson."

No Babs, they deserve to not be used in as you say "
outright character assassination."
Donno and her Svengali Dean Skelos will say anything and do anything no matter how vile and unethical to defeat Craig Johnson.
Donno will Lie.
Donno will Cheat.
Donno will Steal.
Donno cannot be trusted and the voters in the 7th SD will get to know more about the Nassau republican machine hack she is.

In a Newsday blurb about this mailing, Joe Conway, spokesman for the Senate GOP campaign, said: “The mailing simply points out the fact that Mr. Johnson voted against a tax reduction that would have helped veterans...”

Skelos and his minions are desperate. And desperate people will do anything.
Lie, cheat, steal. It's the republican way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Skelos Gets Slapped Around

In his do-nothing response to Sen. Malcolm Smiths call for a special session, Skelos lies about the Democrats' intention.
Sen. Smith hits Skelos back hard (via Capitol Confidential)
"Maybe Dean Skelos thinks raising taxes is the answer to the financial crisis which was caused in part by the Republicans failure to address the housing crisis, but Democrats don’t. We need to focus on rebuilding New York’s economy by cutting property taxes, creating jobs and reducing wasteful spending."

Why Does Dean Skelos Lie?

Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm Smith called on Skelos to convene an emergency session. Smith wants the State Senate to "protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been put at risk by the extraordinary challenges facing New York’s financial markets.
"The collapse of Lehman Brothers, sale of Merrill Lynch and the extreme financial distress of AIG demand immediate action by the Legislature. Lehman Brothers alone has over 8,000 New York State employees who contribute more than $250 million in State taxes. New York State faces a potential loss of 35,000 jobs in the financial sector for calendar year 2008 and a potential $18 billion decrease in wages and bonuses, which would represent a decrease of approximately $1 billion of Personal Income Tax revenues to New York State this year.

The possible loss of jobs and revenue pose unprecedented challenges for our State. While the $20 billion that Governor Paterson made available to AIG is significant, the Legislature must get back to work to determine what can be done to provide further relief for policy holders and AIG employees.

Coupled with the rapid rise in home heating costs, it is absolutely essential that the Legislature convene an emergency session to protect working families.

The Legislature, together with Governor Paterson and the Executive Staff, should immediately convene a meeting of the state’s leading financial experts to provide advice and counsel, and assist us in designing and implementing the steps needed to mitigate the impact of these challenges, and take every action necessary to protect New York’s future.”

That's what Smith said.
So why does Skelos in his response say
"However, we will not raise taxes as Senate Minority Leader Smith and the Democrats have called on us to do. In a fragile economy, it would be disastrous to support the Democrats’ efforts to raise taxes, as it would only exacerbate the crisis we face."
Smith didn't say anything about "raising taxes."
Why does Skelos have to lie when Smith wants to get to work to figure out how to blunt the impact of the disasters on Wall Street?
Skelos' course of action? "We will continue to monitor the fiscal situation, and if legislative action becomes necessary we will partner with the Governor and the Assembly to address this crisis and its related impact on New York State."
I guess Skelos wants to keep his republican senators out campaigning instead of trying to deal with a very real crisis.

Dean Skelos - Man of Inaction!

Letter Writer Calls on Schmitt to Step Up to the Plate

From Newsday
"Elected officials, lead by example

Newsday reported that Nassau Legislative Minority Leader Peter Schmitt blasted County Executive Thomas Suozzi's expected proposal to raise county property taxes by approximately 4 percent ["Republicans blast Suozzi tax hike plan," News, Sept. 10]. The Republican leader said Suozzi should lead by example.

Most Nassau taxpayers would agree, especially since Suozzi recently accepted a 60 percent salary increase (plus an increased pension benefit). However, Schmitt has been on the record favoring salary increases for the 19 county legislators, including himself.

Each of our elected officials should lead by example, do the right things and stop pointing fingers at each other. No wonder the public has so little admiration for them.

John Minogue

Schmitt still wants his raise while Suozzi has declined his 'cost of living increase' along with DA Rice and Comptroller Weitzman.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Donno Takes Policy Position Johnson Already Has

It's nice to see Donno come around and agree with Craig Johnson.
In a recent mailer, Donno says she "will work to cut state taxes on gasoline."
Johnson can say "been there, done that."
Here is a floor speech by Johnson supporting a gas tax holiday back in May.

And here is the Donno piece. The least she could do would be to have a picture with current gas prices. Is that picture a couple months old?
And exactly how is she "helping families fight back?"
She hasn't done a thing about the high price of gas.

Nassau GOP Losing Registered Voter Edge

We touched on this two years ago.
Via the NYTimes......

"As recently as 1998, the Republican Party had 340,333 enrolled voters — a daunting lead of nearly 100,000 over the Democratic enrollment of 240,735.
"That is no longer true. In just a decade, the Republican plurality has all but vanished and is down to several thousand voters. And Democrats predict that in the next few months — with a bump from newly registered supporters of Barack Obama — their party will eclipse the Republicans in registered voters for the first time in anyone’s memory.

“It should be by the end of this year, or the beginning of next year at the latest,” said Nassau’s Democratic elections commissioner, William T. Biamonte.

That would be a reversal of fortune for Nassau Republicans, a powerhouse in state and national politics cited in textbooks as one of the strongest party organizations in the country.
"Voter preferences here may have shifted further than official records show, because people can change their minds without switching registration.

“There are far less who say they’re Republican than the records reflect,” said Michael D. Dawidziak, a political consultant who polled 700 Long Islanders for Dowling College before the presidential conventions. About 32 percent identified themselves as Democrats, 29 percent as Republicans and 33 percent as independents or in other parties, with the remaining 6 percent undecided or not answering.
"But with an aging membership and hierarchy, “there’s been no new blood, no turnover in leadership,” said Desmond Ryan, a Republican lobbyist. Similarly, Mr. Dawidziak, the consultant, said, “The Republicans have been very noncompetitive and lackadaisical about recruiting young people and having a big tent.”

Mr. Mondello, the Nassau chairman, did not respond to requests for comment.

Senator Skelos said he remained optimistic for Republicans. “Politics is cyclical,” he said, “and I think that it will turn around,” especially with the right candidates. He noted that even overwhelmingly Democratic New York City elected Republicans as its last two mayors — Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg, who is now unaffiliated."

Note to Dean-O: Rudy ran as an anti-gun, pro-choice, liberal republican. He was endorsed by the Liberal Party. And on top of that, he ran against David Dinkins who made a mess of the city.
And Bloomberg? A Democrat turned republican (to get elected w/o a primary fight) turned independent. Blomberg is also anti-gun, pro-choice and pretty darned liberal.
Skelos gets an "F" for Current Events.

A Double-Donno Day - The People Speak

Here is a letter in this past weeks Manhasset Press on Donno's record as Mayor of Plandome Manor
"The Republican State Committee has sent residents of the Seventh Senate District a flier recommending Barbara Donno's candidacy. It says "Barbara Donno Fighting to Cut Property Taxes." I wonder how many of my Village of Plandome Manor neighbors found that amusing; we know Mayor Donno has spent a great deal more money than her predecessors ever spent.

At the end of Barbara's first year as mayor, March 2008, the budget line for legal expenses was $114,904 over the $60,000 amount budgeted for the year. That is almost exactly the same amount that was spent by the previous mayor for his entire two-year term. This means that the village's legal expenses went from being an item that represented only 9 percent of the budget and grew to 18 percent in one short year. Mayor Donno offers residents an excuse that litigation is costly and she inherited these expenses. Oddly enough, when Barbara Donno brought an Article 78 Proceeding against the village during her predecessor's administration, the legal fees didn't rise dramatically. By the way, our former village counsel, who won that legal proceeding, worked for 10 years with three mayors. Mrs. Donno replaced him to hire a longtime associate of hers as village counsel. She will say that the board of trustees approved her appointment. That is true as far as it goes; the trustees' vote was split, so Barbara's vote was the deciding factor. In her "year in review" letter to Village residents and currently on the website, Mrs. Donno admitted, "The issue of these costs remains a concern to me..."

You also have to look at the quality of advice the board of trustees and mayor received for this very costly service. The village had a road study performed by an outside engineering firm to address safety concerns raised by residents. At the June 26, 2007, board of trustees meeting, the board approved the recommendations. Mrs. Donno cast the deciding vote. But the recommendations have not been completely implemented yet. Why hasn't counsel advised the board that this failure to improve safety conditions leaves the village with a greater liability should an accident occur in the area studied?

In late August, 2007, Mayor Donno called an unscheduled meeting of the board to approve the issuance of a bond for a large road project. There was no notice given to residents; personally I thought the meeting was held illegally and refused to vote at that time. It was interesting that counsel was not present at that unscheduled meeting. One of our village residents wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Manhasset Press saying the "hastily called meeting is irresponsible..."

On July 17, 2008, a Legal Notice appeared in the Manhasset Press giving notice of a zoning board hearing that evening. These notices are supposed to appear at least a week in advance; why wasn't counsel reminding the village that this was inappropriate and leaving the village open to litigation?

When she ran for mayor, Barbara's campaign letter referred to the newly revised Code of Laws passed in 2005 and 2006 and said "ensure that they are necessary and appropriate for our village." Only minor changes have been made since Barbara took office. Did the previous mayor and board do such a good job, or is she afraid to spend the money it would take to have her counsel do a review?

That same letter complained about permit fees. Barbara's term of office is almost three quarters over. If she hasn't been able to reduce the fees in this small village, how does she expect to do it in New York State?

In taking credit for controlling and reducing village expenses, Mayor Donno fails to realize that signing a contract to have work done means you have to ensure that all the work is being done. I refer to the village's contract to have landscape maintenance performed in public areas of the village, including our memorial garden. During my three terms as trustee, I was personally responsible for the garden. Since I left office in March, the condition of the garden had deteriorated. Her obligation to village taxpayers is to see that we get value for our money. It is unacceptable for a candidate who claims fiscal responsibility to permit a contractor to collect a monthly fee when the entire job is not done.

Finally, Mrs. Donno's July 29, 2008, statement says "I will make it my full time job." Has Mayor of Plandome Manor been her "full time job?" She had only served about nine months of a 24 month term as mayor before she sought the party nomination for the State Senate. Was our village just a steppingstone to be used for her personal political ambitions?

Jean Kuskowski"

She Donno Nothing About the Facts

Dan Janison over at Newsday SpinCycle covers a factless Babs Donno campaign attack mailing about Craig Johnson.
"Senate 'distortion': C. Johnson and veteran tax vote
In the endless war for Nassau’s 7th Senate District, Republican candidate Barbara Donno has sent mailings against Democratic Sen. Craig Johnson suggesting he’s anti-veteran for allegedly voting against certain property tax breaks while a county legislator in 2002.

But as officials publicly explained then, the Legislature in that vote converted tax exemptions for about 32,000 veterans to breaks of the same dollar as the previous year, a result of reassesments. Otherwise, proponents said, the exemption would have expanded, slashing county revenues $17.7 million. The change passed with Republicans opposed. County Executive Thomas Suozzi and County Comptroller Howard Weitzman, both Democrats, as well as several veterans, condemned Donno’s mailings as a distortive attack. Joe Conway, spokesman for the Senate GOP campaign, said: “The mailing simply points out the fact that Mr. Johnson voted against a tax reduction that would have helped veterans...” He charged Johnson “wants to dispute that he took that vote.”

But in fact, Johnson hasn’t denied voting for the 2002 measure."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Someone Has Launched "The Hannon Watch"

Don't know who is writing it but a website called 'The Hannon Watch' about State Senator Kemp Hannon is on the interwebs.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Return of Bruce Blakeman

A couple of months ago we reported on the possible return of former Nassau Presiding Officer Bruce Blakeman to politics.
Not Nassau County politics, New York City politics.
And now it is official.
The New York Post reports that Blakeman is throwing his hat in the ring for Mayor of NYC in 2009.
The headline is pure Post and not a good sign for Blakeman's image "BEATLE GAL PAL'S EX IN MAYOR RUN." That means Blakeman's ex is now Paul McCartney's main squeeze.
Blakeman says "I think there's a real desire for continuity," by following "in the mold" of Rudy Guiliani and Bloomberg.
I guess he doesn't want "continuity" of his own years in Nassau where he along with the rest of the Gulotta Republicans buried the county in debt.
Blakeman continues "I've come to the conclusion all want a different name than the names out there."
He should also conclude that his tenure in Nassau will be fodder for the NYC media and his opponents.
The Post story says Blakeman "... last ran for office in 1998 as the Republican nominee for state comptroller."
That was when he saw the writing on the wall in Nassau and wanted to get out while the getting was good.
The Post didn't mention his real last run which was his defeat in 1999.

My prediction is a short-lived candidacy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Republicans Politicize 9/11 at Convention as Peter King Stands By Silently

During last weeks republican convention, just minutes before McCain was to accept his parties nomination a "Video Tribute" to 9/11 was played. Far from being a "tribute", it was the most disgusting use of 9/11 for political purposes to date.
The New York Delegation to the convention which included Peter King and party boss Joe Mondello did not raise one objection to the video and that is a testimony to who they really are.
As we remember the victims tomorrow, let's also remember that playing politics with tragedy is dirty business.
Here is MSNBC's Keith Olberman's "Special Comment" from his show this evening....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

King Wins Primary



ROBERT PREVIDI .............................491
PETER T KING ...................................4,976

Does Baby Skelos Need a Hug?

Somebody call the WHAAAAAA-mbulance for Dean. In a speech the other day Governor Paterson said "I used to sit in my legislative office and think about how difficult it is to travel 150 miles to Albany on a bus ... and how there were legislators, who I used to think practiced their own versions of being Count Dracula."
"In that they [legislators] would be very nice to advocates when they came to Albany and then they [advocates] would get back on the bus around 4 o'clock. By 5 o'clock the sun would go down, and they'd [legislators] go back to who they really are - a bunch of bloodsuckers."

Needless to say, prickly uber-baby Dean Skelos was not amused "The governor's comments were flip and not very amusing - in fact, they were Spitzeresque."

OH NO! Skelos compared Paterson to Spitzer. How dreadful.
The fact is, advocates who come to the state capitol do feel ignored after they leave.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Where Does Barbara Donno (SD-7) Stand on the Issues?

Head over to Donno's website and you'd be hard pressed to find anything that points to a single position on any issue.
And I'm talking specifics, not just her "listen to you" and "work for you" pablum she has up there now.
We do know that she doesn't want anyone visiting the site to know she is a republican since that word isn't anywhere on her site.
We also know that she is running against he benefactor Dean Skelos when she writes on her site "We pay the highest taxes in the state and get little in return. I'm running for State Senate because we deserve better. It's time to take a stand and fight for the changes we need and deserve." and "By bringing strong, innovative leadership and new energy to Albany, I will work to shake up the status quo, provide relief to taxpayers and restore fiscal responsibility to our state government."

Go to the website of Senator Craig Johnson and he offers real answers and positions.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Joe Mondello "Don't Know Much About History"

Dan Janison in Newsday reports this little gem from GOP Boss Joe Mondello about McCain choosing a woman for VP "She's certainly got the credentials to help with evangelicals. And, frankly, she's a female. Democrats have been talking about it for a long time, and they didn't do it. We did it. I think it's going to be one of those things the Democrats wish they had done."
Is Mondello that stupid?
Or does he sling BS so much for so long that he just can't stop?
He says "And, frankly, she's a female. Democrats have been talking about it for a long time, and they didn't do it."
Repeat after me Joe, "G-E-R-A-L-D-I-N-E F-E-R-R-A-R-O"
Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 was the Democratic Party nominee for VP. The Dems did it already.
It took the republicans 24 years to nominate a woman.
And now the Democrats have nominated an african-american.
That means by 2032, the republicans should be "doing it."